Playing to his conservative base at the Phoenix rally, President Trump threatened to shut down the government unless funding is included by Congress to build the border wall he campaigned on, and with the recent departure of Steve Bannon, widely viewed as protecting conservative interests in the Trump administration, nothing would rally the base more and do as much to calm their anxiety than to fulfill this pledge to shut it down.
Donald Trump is a man of strong convictions who had a pretty clear idea of what he wanted to accomplish as president should he be given the chance, but it took Steve Bannon to articulate those ideas in a way that reached middle America and spoke to the anxiety gripping working class Americans who have watched their manufacturing jobs being outsourced to China while millions of immigrants have been allowed to pour over the borders to depress wages for the rest of the jobs remaining. Bannon was able to create talking points that were instantly recognizable to millions of Americans, and Trump’s delivery of these talking points in his unique manner conveyed a trustworthiness that propelled him into the presidency.
Millions of conservatives and blue-collar Americans rallied to Candidate Trump with high expectations of watching him drain the Washington swamp of globalist politicians intent on integrating America into the world order to satisfy the appetite of the wealthy at our expense. Remaining loyal to President Trump despite the avalanche of fake news, his base supporters have grown somewhat anxious over the last few months absorbing some rather unusual moves made by the president. We have comforted ourselves by reasoning that these moves might be part of some elaborate Trump strategy to flip the script on his Deep State enemies given his ability to confound the corrupt mainstream media during the campaign. Increasingly though, it has come to appear that the Deep State with its illegal leaking of classified information, is gaining the upper hand. We’ve watched Deep State minions such as National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster and Chief of Staff John Kelly insinuate themselves into President Trump’s inner circle while ousting numerous conservatives allied with Bannon. Our fears have grown even greater with Bannon’s departure from the White House as President Trump is now surrounded exclusively with Deep State actors and completely cut off from conservatives tapped into his base of supporters.
We keep expecting President Trump to launch some unexpected volley that flips the script on his enemies to completely turn the latest issue from an attack on Trump to an attack on his adversaries like he did so flawlessly in the campaign. Could it be that the Deep State and the media are finally figuring President Trump out and designing their traps more carefully? Or, could it be that the Deep State is getting better at trapping Trump since he became president? It certainly appears so as President Trump’s Afghanistan address came straight out of the neocon playback to expand that conflict despite Candidate Trump’s pledge to end the war in Afghanistan. The Deep State had President Trump agreeing to expand the Afghanistan conflict and dancing to their tune like they own him. It could still be that President Trump is merely giving the Deep State enough rope to hang themselves, but the odds of this being true are decreasing given its tightening grip on access to the president.
President Trump appeared in Phoenix to a capacity crowd and played to his strength in rallying the base. His threat to shut down the government over border wall funding drew resounding cheers from the crowd. Shutting down the government would give President Trump a huge amount of cachet with his base of supporters for carrying through on yet another promise and by placing the burden squarely on Congress for not providing border wall funding.
With its failure to repeal Obamacare despite pledging to do so for seven years, Congress came off as a bunch of ineffective politicians with the Republican leadership looking even worse as if they were actually opposed to repealing Obamacare, which they are. Americans pointed the finger at Congress and the Republican leadership, not President Trump, with their failure to repeal Obamacare. Shutting down the government over border wall funding would once again have Americans pointing the finger at Congress and the Republican leadership as obstructing President Trump’s agenda.
President Obama deftly exploited the fears of Republicans in Congress at being blamed for a government shutdown. House Speaker John Boehner rolled over every time President Obama and Democrats threatened shutdown with Boehner giving Obama more than he asked in his original bargaining position. President Trump should be using this same strategy to bludgeon the Republican leadership in Congress to fund his agenda instead of allowing them to continually obstruct his agenda. This bludgeoning should also include mandates to defund outdated and unnecessary bureaucratic functions to streamline government and save taxpayer money.
Another benefit to shutting down the government would be the fact that its power to harass the Trump administration would be severely curtailed while congressional leaders concentrated on reopening the government in an attempt to regain their leverage. This is the kind of bold play President Trump’s base has come to expect, and it would rob the Republican congressional leadership of a large portion of its leverage. House Speaker Paul Ryan would lose some of his smugness, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell would be served up a heaping portion of crow also. Americans would get to see the Republican congressional leadership making deals with Democrats to override a presidential veto, as if they needed more evidence of their collusion.
President Trump embarked on a great undertaking with his challenge of the Deep State, and he may have underestimated their power and the resolve necessary for their defeat. The Deep State is entrenched and unwilling to lose the power it has gained over the years insinuating its acolytes into the deepest recesses of the government to preserve the radical regressive ideology advanced by the Obama administration. President Trump has begun a fight he can’t afford to lose because the Deep State won’t merely be content to allow him to quit and walk away. It must ensure that President Trump is thoroughly destroyed and eviscerated as a warning to any other upstarts who might think they have what it takes to challenge their power.
The radical regressive left learned from its earlier mistake of attempting to ban ideas that conservatives successfully countered with charges of censorship. Political correctness was launched to create a toxic climate of intimidation and duress which causes potential critics of the left’s radical agenda to censor themselves rather than risk the ridicule, economic sanctions, and violence they can expect to face from the terrorism of political correctness. Having the courage to stand up to political correctness and its power to intimidate free speech is similar to the courage President Trump must summon to face the Deep State, for much like political correctness, once he gives in to the Deep State, he will never be able to summon enough courage to face the emboldened Deep State again.
Establishment Republicans have been held hostage to the fear of being blamed for shutting down the government since President Clinton blamed House Speaker Newt Gingrich for unnecessarily shutting down the government back in the 1990s. It makes no difference that Gingrich was taking a principled stand to balance the budget and fulfill one of the planks in his Contract with America. The media savaged Republicans to shift public support into Clinton’s court, and Republicans have feared being labeled obstructionist by Democrats ever since. This is ironic since President Reagan once happily shut down the government over Democrat intransigence in Congress while bemusedly wondering if anyone would notice. Most Americans didn’t as government operations didn’t affect them so directly. The same is true today, but media screams of doom and gloom have obscured this fact for some Americans, mostly establishment Republicans.
President Trump could use the fear congressional establishment Republicans have of being labeled obstructionist by shutting down the government over funding for the border wall. Millions of Americans rallied to Candidate Trump when he dared to highlight the onslaught of illegal immigration and the failure of the Obama administration to properly secure the borders to the chagrin of establishment Republicans who wanted the issue to remain unnoticed in the background. Establishment Republicans were conspiring with Democrats to throw open the borders to unlimited immigration as part of the globalism already embraced by European politicians. Shutting down the government would again force establishment Republicans to side with Democrats to deny border wall funding just like they did to obstruct repeal of Obamacare. The reality of establishment Republicans colluding with Democrats to obstruct President Trump’s agenda would be reinforced in the prelude to the 2018 elections.
The Deep State may think it is gaining the upper hand on President Trump and consolidating its power to return Washington, DC to the past, but Americans are watching this play out and keeping score of where the players are aligning themselves. The 2018 elections are shaping up to provide some stunning upsets on both sides as the major political realignment ushered in with President Trump’s election continues to play itself out. Shutting down the government would be a huge boost to President Trump’s popularity among his base, and it would irritate all the right people such as the Deep State. Also, if the government is shut down, then many of the Deep State minions will be at the house where they can’t continue to cause trouble for the Trump administration. It would be a great way to weed out the leakers. Be bold President Trump and shut it down!