The Trump Shutdown Unmasks A Weak President Who Has Surrendered the Reins of Control

The dealmaker unmasked.

“Will Donald Trump take the reins of his presidency back?” asks Kasie Hunt. The MSNBC host of Kasie DC continued, “It’s clear: President Trump and ‘the White House’ are *not the same* when it comes to these negotiations. That is a stunning reality.”

Hunt unraveled it in a Twitter thread:

Chuck Schumer and President Trump haven’t spoken since Friday.
Chuck Schumer and John Kelly haven’t spoken since Friday.
Democrats believe the president wants two things
1. A big budget deal
2. The wall
Chuck Schumer had an outline of a deal with the president after lunch on Friday. It included all the money the president asked for for the wall, around $20 billion
But hours later–the Kelly call came. The White House couldn’t agree to what was on the table.

It’s clear: President Trump and “the White House” are *not the same* when it comes to these negotiations
That is a stunning reality.

Whether the shutdown can end tonight now seems to be up to the Senate: Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer
McConnell and Schumer are not talking directly either. Lindsey Graham and Jeff Flake have been engaged in a high stakes game of shuttle diplomacy
Republicans want to reopen government until Feb. 8.

Democrats will go along *if* they can get a meaningful commitment that McConnell will put an immigration deal on the floor even if the president doesn’t sign off
But it’s almost impossible to measure that kind of a commitment.

A colloquy (discussion btw McConnell and Schumer) on the Senate floor?

Maybe.
And passing an immigration bill in the Senate is meaningless if @SpeakerRyan refuses to put it on the floor

(Remember what happened to the comprehensive immigration bill that passed the Senate in 2013? The one then-Speaker Boehner wouldn’t bring up?)
So we are still at stalemate.
The questions today:

– Will @realDonaldTrump take the reins of his presidency back?
– Will the Senate strike a pact to go it alone?

By surrendering the reins during tense negotiations, Trump has destroyed the “dealmaker” image he spent a lifetime crafting out of being born rich, starring in a reality TV show as a dealmaker, and exploiting the value of his name in licensing deals around the world.

This Trump – the real Trump – the one running the most powerful country in the world, can’t be negotiated with because not only is he like “Jell-o” as Democratic Leader Senator Chuck Schumer said, but he isn’t even in charge.

Trump has surrendered the reins of his presidency — perhaps to anyone willing to do the work. This is the President who was reportedly most upset to miss the party celebrating the anniversary of his inauguration for a job he doesn’t seem too keen on actually doing.

But this should surprise no one. Trump has never been about work. He is all slick image and sleight of hand shell games. The glamorous parties are what he’s all about. The oil paintings of himself. The gold gilt mirrors reflecting his carefully manufactured image, replete with extra long ties to disguise his weight and a dark, outdated spray tan that read “wealthy playboy” in the 80s.

It’s ironic but also wholly predictable that the man many Republicans saw as “Big Daddy” “Alpha Male” and a “Strong Man” is actually the Wizard of Oz, the little man behind the curtain. But the Wizard didn’t mind working for his success. And that is where we lose Donald Trump. Working isn’t his thing. Donald Trump isn’t an alpha male or big daddy. He suffers from a confused and mercurial temperament, which has been thrust into the worst job imaginable for itself. A job requiring leadership. Or just the semblance of leadership.

But Trump can’t manage to even sell the image of leadership the job of being president requires.

Selling hats is his thing. And that’s why during the government shutdown, the White House released images of Trump wearing his MAGA hats.

Line his pockets and celebrate his greatness: That’s what Donald Trump is here for.

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