I know. You think the deal is garbage. You think Trump “caved.” You think we should have shut down the government again to get another 150 miles and better building material or something.
I think this all should have happened when Republicans controlled both houses of Congress, but here’s the part that will really frost you: They never wanted to do this at all. They only got on board they saw the opportunity to force the Democrats to do it, and that’s why we’re getting any physical obstruction at all.
I’d call 55 miles near the Rio Grande a huge improvement over what we had, and smart people take their first downs and line up for the next set of downs. This is how Democrats got themselves to the verge of socialized medicine. They’ve been amazingly patient about taking steps where they could get them.
At any rate, it’s about to become a lot more difficult to sneak across the border in the Rio Grande region, and most would call that a win:
President Trump is likely to sign the border-security deal lawmakers reached this week that would keep the government open past Friday, according to people familiar with his plans, marking a potential concession by the president on his demands for border-wall funding.
Mr. Trump is expected to sign the deal unless there are any late additions, the people familiar with his plans said. A day earlier, in a cabinet meeting, Mr. Trump said the bill was “not doing the trick” and that he planned to try to amend it. “It’s always nice to negotiate a little bit, right?” he said.
Senior Republican lawmakers said it wasn’t realistic to reopen negotiations at this point, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) urged the president to sign the bill, calling it a “pretty good deal.”
Administration officials cautioned that no final decisions had been made, saying the White House was still reviewing the plan but that Mr. Trump was likely to sign the deal.
To some degree, I think Trump’s negotiating style is working against him with his own fans here. Trump understands that if you want something, you have to open negotiations asking for a lot more than you want and threatening to walk away if you don’t get it.
You have to be willing to blow things up to show how serious you are, and that’s what the four-week quarter shutdown last month was. Ultimately that’s how you get the other side to move in your direction, and in the end you hope what you get is pretty close to what you really thought you needed all along.
Is $1.3 billion for 55 miles close to what Trump really wanted? We may never know, because he kept emphasizing the $5.7 billion and more than 200 miles. The never-compromise-ever crowd decided that anything less than that represented a complete collapse because they’re so spooked by every past concession to Democrats, they can’t see anything as a victory unless it starts with a humongous demand and doesn’t back off in the slightest, come hell or high water, until the humongous demand is agreed to.
That is not how Trump negotiates and never has been. He never thought he was going to get $5.7 billion, but his negotiating position had to be that he would accept nothing less until he managed to get something tangible.
You are going to see Democrats running around saying the “defeated” Trump because this is a “barrier and not a wall,” and because it’s nowhere near the money he wanted.
You’re going to see the media claiming Trump was humiliated.
You’re going to see hard-core conservatives like Ann Coulter stomp their feet because we never, ever, just get what we want and we’re holding our breath until we turn blue.
But you’re also going to get 55 miles of new physical barriers that no other president has gotten or probably would have gotten.
You decide whether or not to have a nice day.