Tuesday night, Trump may or may not try to declare a "national emergency" at the southern border in order to get around Congress and start the construction of his useless wall. If not Tuesday, then it's more likely than not he'll do it in the next week or two because he'll have to. It's the only move besides total capitulation he has left and he has no one to blame but himself.
Just as Trump did not expect to win the election and neglected to plan for his transition, he shut down the government on a whim, after right-wing media complained about his plan to approve a government funding bill. Nobody in the administration had a clear understanding of just what a shutdown would entail. Two devastating reports in the Washington Post over the weekend detail the horrifying scope of their ignorance. The administration did not realize that 38 million Americans lose their food stamps under a shutdown, nor did it know that thousands of tenants would face eviction without assistance from the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
In other words, Trump and his regime of imbeciles had no idea what the fuck they were doing. As I wrote two weeks ago, they thought that the shutdown was going to be awesome for them because it would disrupt Nancy Pelosi's agenda and boost Trump's ratings. This is what happens when people who both hate the government and do not actually know anything about it are put in charge of the government.
Now that they're discovering that, oh gee golly gosh whiz!, shutting down even 25% of the government for weeks on end quickly leads to disastrous results for millions of people, the Trump regime is in a blind panic.
Look where they put themselves. Trump shut down the government over funding for a wall that nobody except his dwindling base wants. Democrats don't want it so even if they were willing to bargain for it, the ask would be so high, Republicans would never go for it. Republicans don't want it because they know it's stupid so they won't offer anything of value to the Democrats in the first place. Trump cannot bully Democrats into doing what he wants and since he's already announced that this was all his idea, he can't lay the blame at their feet (even though he keeps trying).
But Trump can't back down because if he does, he will be seen as weak by a base that cannot tolerate weakness. And since Trump's entire image is based on being a winner and never ever backing down, that could be fatal. His popularity is already in the gutter of the mid to high 30s. If it were to drop, the GOP would turn on him and that would be the end of Trump.
So if Trump can't back down and he can't force/beg/convince Democrats to give him what he wants, the only move left is to try to go around congress and declare a "national emergency" and hope he can convince the country that it's not his fault when (if) the courts strike it down.
The worst part about this will be the potential damage to the nation such a move will do. This is the stuff of authoritarian dictatorships. There tends to be a "national emergency" declared so the leaders can grab power and the "emergency" lasts for months or years while the rule of law is eroded and then simply eliminated. Trump has been raging against the constraints placed on him since his first day as president and has yet to understand that he is not the emperor of America. With Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller whispering their fascism in his ears and a number of investigations closing in on him, he may see this as his opportunity to change all of that.
A cornered animal is when it's most dangerous and Trump was already rabid to begin with.
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