President Trump nailed it. He reportedly told television anchors at an off-the-record lunch before his first Oval Office address to the nation Tuesday night that the strategy, suggested by his advisers, of giving a speech and then heading to the border on Thursday was “not going to change a damn thing.” He was right.
His speech, warning of a “humanitarian crisis” at the southern border and stoking fear about the dangers of illegal immigration, didn’t change a thing. The Democratic rebuttal by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, urging an end to the ongoing partial government shutdown, didn’t change a thing either, aside from launching a slew of memes.
The two sides remain dug in 19 days into the shutdown, and a Wednesday afternoon negotiating session in the White House situation room broke down quickly, with Trump calling it “a total waste of time.”
At the meeting, Democrats reportedly again asked Trump to reopen the government. In response, he asked Pelosi if she would agree to fund his wall, and when Pelosi said no, Trump left. “I said bye-bye, nothing else works,” the president tweeted.
The bottom line: We’re still where we were last month, except that some 800,000 federal workers are about to miss their first paychecks because of the stalemate, and the shutdown is set to become the longest in history on Saturday.