The end of the shutdown
Hey weeds fans this Matthew yglesias. It's Friday afternoon as you probably know on Friday afternoon, Donald Trump and congressional Democrats reached a deal to reopen the government and funded through February fifteen th that is good news for the American people. It is bad news for the weeds podcast because we were courted Friday morning and in every podcasters nightmare. We talked about the shutdown not knowing that the shutdown would be on the verge of ending by the time the podcast was over. So if you're listening keep in mind, we're not idiots. We just didn't know I think if you look at the discussion you're going to see that we get into the longer term issue here, which is still on the table. We only have funding through February fifteenth. We talk a lot about the fundamental dynamics in the White House and in the United States Congress. I think it all holds up. I think it's a pretty good analysis. But you know, there's the first part where we say we don't know how long this is going to go on for. And in fact, we now do know how long it's going to go on for so sorry. Those are the breaks in the podcast and game. You can't win them. All. But you know, we do our best. And hope you enjoyed the episode. Hello, welcome to another episode of the weeds on the FOX media podcast network. I met through glitziest here today with Ezra Klein, and Jane Costa n-, we are in the day thirty five now of the government shutdown. It is I think the official second missed paycheck by federal workers. And I think that you know, if you have been working without pay for over a month. Now, it may seem like this just goes on and on and on and on with no end, but we've actually seen this week. I think the beginnings of the Republican party's political position on this crumbly, and that that one sign of that was in the state of the union standoff where you know, Pelosi and Trump had these letters going back and forth. Trump sort of conceded that no he's he's not going to give the state of the union until the about that map gallon. You think he did that? Because that actually surprised me it surprise you that that he backed down. So. Caused me that he backed down a given. What is public position had been given the talk that maybe just go give his state of the union at the wall like for him to back down to a powerful meant to say. Like, okay. Then I guess I'm not giving the state of the union anymore until you tell me I can seem very out of character for him. It was of character, and it doesn't make narrow tactical sense. And the reason I think it was significant is that to me that was the beginning of an implicit admission by the White House that they are looking for an exit strategy here. Right. Did like they did not want to further escalate the confrontation with congress. And that I think you started to see in some of the, you know, gossipy White House reporting that came out today other signs of this that like what they are. Now, looking for is a kind of a face-saving exit and that the decision to not further escalate the state of the union standoff is part of that they said we will give a state of the union, and we're going to give the state of the union when the shutdown is over which taken literally was what policies. Letter had said in the first place, but that's like an acknowledgement that they want this to end, and that they don't think the way that they are going to end it is by ratcheting up the pressure on Democrats that like they're gonna find some kind of pathway out. Then we had votes in the Senate. Right. We're we're Mitch McConnell had had this idea that he was going to raise pressure on house. Democrats by holding Senate a Senate vote on the Republican plan, and he knew it wasn't going to pass. But he was hoping that he would get some democratic defectors his plan, but to get agreement to hold the vote on the Republican plan. He also had to hold a vote on how Democrats plan and what happened in. This was neither Bill got sixty votes. But the democratic Bill actually got more votes than the Republican Bill. Even though this fifty three Republican senators and only forty-seven democratic senators so that again was assigned right? Like there is a significantly larger number of Republican senators who are saying we need to bail on this. Then there are Democratic Senate. And if I'm remembering the numbers, right? That was six Republicans who crossed over to vote for the democratic Bill and one democrat Joe Manchin who crossed over to vote for the Republican Bill. Right. Exactly. So it's there's a number of Republicans who are feeling political heat, plus some people with safe seeds Mitt Romney was one of the the party switchers Romney voted for both bills. But you know, that's like a signal. Right. That like people in the Republican party want to get out of this. Right. You're starting to hear from people that they're hearing from constituents because I think that there is kind of this myth building early on the shutdown, and you even saw Trump himself say like don't people know that most of these federal employees are Democrats, which we can't really know the answer to that question, unless you're really take like donations political campaigns as a direct sign of one's political standing, but you kind of saw this language of like people don't actually care about government employees what they really want us to wall. Well, all of the polling has shown that people are. Way more concerned about a government shutdown than they have been about the construction of a border wall. And you're seeing FBI agents going without pay. You're seeing coastguard people going without pay. And I think the basic kind of language around the shutdown is changing it away. That's not very helpful for Republicans right now. So I want to pose the question then of how this actually does end. Because if you if you pulled me back three weeks, I would say will Trump were cruelly seeing the way out for Trump is that he's going to declare a state of national emergency. And like say he could build his wall as own way, and that'll get tied up in the courts, but allow him to like step down in a face saving way. And like we opened the government and that'll be that. But right now like he didn't do that. I don't fully understand why he didn't do that given the things he'd been saying about doing that. But he didn't do that. I can see this ending through disaster. A plane crashes like God forbid or something else happens within the shutdown federal government that ratchets up pressure on reopening. The federal government so much that Republicans can't bear it any longer. But if we're just talking about negotiated end to the thing, they're not as far as they can tell nothing is actually change in the Trump administration's position, Lindsey Graham was floating the idea of a three week reopening while they continue to negotiate and Trump said only those a pro rated down payment on the wall to which Nancy Pelosi. You said as you might expect could a hell, and so like I like as Republican position cracks like do do either of you if you had to like right now like pre right what the story is going to be when the shutdown is broken. Like, what is that story? Read like, I still think the surrender plus emergency declaration seems like the most likely outcome seems to be some internal Republican politics around that I was one other possible way out right with this pro rated type language is that I knew ons here is that the appropriation Bill that Trump is not signing does include. I think it's one point three or maybe one point six. Billion dollars in border security funding that was negotiated between Democrats and Republicans months ago, and it does not include the wall. So none of that money can be used for a wall. But some of that money can be used for Bollard type pedestrian fencing and then Trump separately over the course of the shutdown has redefined the wall to include the bollards, you just say what bollards are this steel slats Trump? Trump steel slots at what's described in the legislative language as the pedestrian Bollard fence. So there is some money in the appropriation. Trump is refusing to take for the thing that Trump says he wants so conceivably you can take the thing that Pelosi is already offering him kind of take it out and then put it back in. And then that's your pro-rated ball down payment. Just like a pure fudge of the issue to the extent that Trump is really just. Looking for some kind of way to say he won something here. Now, the inclination for Democrats at this point is going to be to say, look Trump put the country through this really bad situation because he is crazy, and we cannot allow him to save face because we don't wanna do this again, and again, and again, a subject of internal disagreement among Democrats will be if Trump is willing to basically surrender, but he needs to save a little face. Do you give him something to save face? So that we can get out of this. Or do you say like, no like we really need like knife to the jugular devastating when here because Trump is so nutty, then on the Republican side right conservatives did a lot of pushback to the emergency declaration thing. And it seems to have given the Trump administration a lot of pause that, you know, conservatives worry, I think not that it will fail, but they worry that Trump could somehow actually. Get this done with emergency powers, which would open the door to Democrats doing all kinds of crazy stuff. I mean, this is Jane, I think you you follow this world Mark closely. But but that seemed to me to be the problem that there was a backlash on the right, right? And it was more about the fact that like when there is a democratic president if they made a emergency declaration because we absolutely have to deal with the issue of climate change. Right. This very second. I think that the idea that letting Trump through this essentially letting every future president do this. But it's also interesting something I'd do on a mention is that with the GOP Bill that they put forward that failed. I think that the internal text of that Bill was particularly interesting because he actually contained a lot of specifics about Central American minor in asylum restrictions that Trump never brought up. And so I think that you saw even from some Republicans as idea that like the GOP should not be attempting to reform asylum law in an emergency or kind of doing a Stephen Miller special to include things about restrictions on how TPS works or. How can of these internal machinations immigration law work in this Bill that's supposed to be trying to get the government to some stage of open this again. And this kind of thing really does. I don't exactly wanna say backfire because who knows what the Trump administration actually wanted this point. But, but it does have consequences. I mean right now what you would expect to be seeing is somebody like Doug Jones, right who won the special election for the seat in Alabama like Doug Jones, it'd be under a lot of pressure. He's up for reelection in twenty twenty I believe, and he like has a very conservative state, but he ended up voting, and he went he had initially heard Donald Trump talking about that, you know, quote, unquote, compromise Bill he'd been pretty favorably disposed on it. But then he voted against it on the grounds. These asylum changes were snuck into the legislation and at a number of points here. The Trump administration has not been running anything that looks to me like a legislative strategy, right? From the beginning. They didn't want the wall enough to. Get anything for it. And then going forward they have not actually been crafting bills that they can use to split the democratic caucus. And that was another example of that they had something that if you just like took the Bill with it's quite narrow DACA relief or dreamer relief. I should say. And the other pieces of it, you could it was not a good Bill, and it would not have gotten sixty democratic votes. But it may be have split Democrats more and put more pressure on Schumer. But whatever the internal dynamics of the Trump administration. Are they put into that Bill language that could not pass under any circumstances? But also made it a less effective political messaging or coalition pressure document. And I would genuinely like to know what happened there like who is in charge that that occurred because a point to that Bill is not to pass the point of the get Doug Jones to vote for it. Right. And they did something completely optionally like an optional option that allowed Doug Jones to not vote for it. And just like why? Why like why did that happen? Yeah. I mean, it's it's a fascinating question. Right. I mean, the the a lot of profiles got written of Stephen Miller at a certain point sort of taking the the view that like here's this remarkable rise of a young man who used to write long emails on behalf of Jeff Sessions to reporters about why various immigration compromises were actually bad for conservatives. And like now, he's like running the whole government. But like he just doesn't seem up to it. I don't know. You know, you you had a piece as their yesterday on the on the side about Francis Lee's work on like like, how do things happen in congress and the whole strategy around this wall is just like the opposite of that. There's a certain thing where if you actually want to get something done in congress as opposed to sabotaging other people's efforts you have to I like decide what it is. You're trying to accomplish. Right. And then you have to like work at it. Right. And. If what you're trying to accomplish as a messaging Bill, then you have to keep poison pills out because he you need to achieve your messaging goals, if what you want to achieve as a wall. Then you have to be like very pragmatic about the wall. You have to give other people good stuff. So you get it done. You have to not turn it into the most divisive. Most polarizing symbol in American politics. If you just want a symbolic show noun than like, that's great. But then you don't wanna put it into must pass legislation in which you wind up looking like an idiot 'cause the airplanes don't take off right? And throughout this whole thing. There's no way to tell from the outside. What it is. They are actually trying to achieve here because the strategy is not now we'll design to any particular goal. So there's another political scientists here who's worked. I think is relevant which has Liliana Mason University of Maryland. And she does a lot of work on political identity and the way when political identities come into collision with each other very quickly the actual nature of the policy. Win will fade in relevance. And she puts it like the winning becomes the thing. Donald Trump has always been like a like a almost human manifestation of that idea. He really does just talk about politics in terms of winning and losing. And I think one of the one of the strange problems of this is it this is continuously been framed as about the wall. One for Donald Trump is clearly about the winning, right? Donald Trump has never done any of the things he would need to do to get the wall. Like he's like going back to one Republicans control of congress like he did not make the concessions. He did not prioritize it in that way. And in part that seems to be because Donald Trump's administration itself doesn't really care about the wall. Even the administration hardliners on immigration like the wall is a symbol to them. It's not how you actually stop immigration. They cared about cutting legal rates and changing asylum rules, and and the whole basket of things that have been discussed on the weeds before, but so at some point Donald Trump seems to have woken up during this most recent appropriations fight and began looking at tweets. Ann coulter. And realized that he wasn't winning. He was being perceived as losing because he wasn't getting this wall. Right. And I I something I'd like to add in is that there. There's argument on the right? And you saw that from Ann Coulter that like, well, Barack Obama was tough on these issues and was willing to shut down the government to get ObamaCare passed why can't Trump strong as Obama definitely not how that went just for the record? Indeed. Because the amazing thing about this is that Donald Trump to go back to this yesterday. Republicans shut down the government over ObamaCare and Obama was willing to like let them bear the cost of it until they had to reopen it, but the amazing thing about what Donald Trump has done is that there is often an upside for minority to engage conflict brinksmanship and to to show Washington isn't working and the president is failing and we're paralyzed in its conflict, and like maybe voters should just make a change. What is crazy about Donald Trump in this respect is it he ran what is usually the out of power parties political? Strategy on himself. So he's given Democrats all of the benefits of huge levels of conflict and government dysfunction at a time. When Donald Trump is a one in charge of the government at least putatively, but he has done that without making the bear the cost of that obstruction or those decisions. So it's like when Ted Cruz shut down the government and Republicans all followed him into it. Like people didn't like Obama, but they were really angry or publicans for doing that. And so like ended up hurting the Republicans much worse don't show has managed to both like do the thing and take the blame for it. He's like completely localized like who gets blamed for it in himself. It's a terrible strategy. But the reason he can't get out of it is that as far as I can understand basically, the the Trump administration, we speak of it as a unitary thing. But very much isn't and includes Donald Trump wants to be seen as winning and a certain number of like people who care about the issue of immigration who wanna get policy things done. And between those two things there is no Bill like. Their ways Donald Trump could look to be like winning which is the emergency declaration. But then like his immigration people. They know they're not gonna get anything out of that. So they don't want to do that. And they may even loosing in the future because you know, Democrats will use emergency declarations in their own way. On the other side, Donald Trump might be able to get more of what he actually in theory wants which is border security. There has been a lot of openness among Democrats tab, like a smart wall as opposed to a physical wall and other kinds of big border security packages, and maybe this'll be the end maybe Donald Trump will like declare victory on it. But it doesn't look like it because Donald Trump doesn't want border security. His even really want the wall. He just wants to be seen as winning a fight that he has no leverage to win. And like there's no answer to that riddle. It's it's interesting also because you're seeing a linguistic shift within the administration, not from Trump himself, which is one of those moments in which I and others have pointed out that there's Donald Trump, then there's the Trump administration and occasionally there was to have markedly little to do with. Another Kellyanne Conway had a conversation with us CNN's Abby Phillips earlier this week in which she kept asking why do you keep using the word wall? You should stop using the word wall. That's not what we're talking about. We can call it anything we want and that at that same time. Trump is tweeting build a wall and crime will fall then it's interesting how by attempting to get away from the word wall. Some Republicans are arguing that like, well, you know, if Democrats were willing to give money for baller fencing when we weren't calling it a wall if Democrats were willing to vote for the secure fencing act of two thousand six if Democrats have been willing to pay for border security before well, we'll just stop saying wall, and then Democrats should come on board. But I feel as if that is an argument that lacks any in all context about the fact that, you know, we've been having this wall discussion for nearly four years now, essentially, and it's it's interesting. How though that is really I think that was the moment to me in which I recognize like Republicans are recognizing it this this isn't going, particularly well, and especially because even the national. Emergency declaration. I think conservatives agree that like that would essentially just mean that like Trump can declare some sort of victory, but that it would all wind up in court and during the first four years of Trump's presidency. There would be no quote, unquote, wall constructed. Okay. Let's let's take our first break. And then I wanna I want to float a crazy idea. Would you buy a t shirt for fifty bucks? If you knew it only costs seven dollars to make. I don't know. Maybe you would I I wouldn't and I don't anymore thanks to ever lane. Because you never need to overpay for quality clothes. Everybody makes premium essentials using the finest materials without traditional markups. They want you to know what you're paying for. And why you are paying for it. So they tell you the real costs, and they're radically prince parent about every step in the process for the materials, they use to the ethical factories. They worked with everybody's clothes. They looked better that cost less. 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We're going to focus on one of the most important issue shaping the displacement crisis. That's held the nature of wars. Changing. We will look at how technologies like drones cyber warfare. And social media are changing the ways that conflict start and how they play out to season to displace. Now, apple podcasts or wherever you get. You podcasts. Okay. So it seems to me that if Republican immigration hawks really want to get what they want out of this. I mean, not other shutdown. They should just end the shutdown. But like if they want to achieve their policy goals, would they should take a serious. Look at is. There's this concept that exists in the White House. That's called going big and involves the DACA and that dream act, but like they should go really bit, right? And look and say that for Democrats there has been for a long time, the concept of a comprehensive immigration reform, and for Democrats, the centerpiece of that comprehensive immigration reform is a path to citizenship for about eleven million long-settled undocumented residents of the United States who have not committed serious crimes who've been here for over ten years who are integrated into American communities. And you know, who would would pay back taxes would get permanent status would be able to apply for citizenship. Like anybody else and Democrats have traditionally tried to make that deal with pro immigration Republicans for the understandable reason that they're the ones we're interested in those guys like John McCain like Jeff flake who were tied into the business community. And who would they normally wanted is the Republican side of it was things like guest worker programs do visa categories stuff like that? It keeps almost coming together in in two thousand thirteen and again in two thousand seven and then it gets scuttled ultimately by immigration hawks. But the hooks themselves could come to the table. And they could say look what we really want is a a giant steel fence because that will prove some kind of point to Donald Trump be changes to how asylum law works because we think there's huge loopholes here that are creating runaway. Whatever. Whatever whatever else is on this like insane pick a Yun less that that Stephen Miller keeps putting forward and then put it to Democrats to like, look like how much do you care about immigration lawyers concerns about asylum baba versus the concrete interests of the eleven million undocumented residents their families their communities, and I think that could be a very tempting offer to Democrats, right? If it's really true that these things that Stephen Miller thinks are huge problems are huge problems. The way to address it is to make a really big offer on the other side. I don't think that's going to happen. Like, there's just not at all the the mind space in either party to get like really really really big deals done here. But it's true that like Unimak Gration mostly the two groups are like. Talking at cross purposes about totally different things. And then it's collided in this symbolism around the wall, which like shows like are we at mean country, or are we at welcoming country, or are we a tough country or are we up a soft in eve country? What liberals really really really want is to deliver a win to this sort of shadow constituency of undocumented people who've been living here for a long time and who often have US citizen, children friends family colleagues things like that. And what Republicans really want is a stop to the ongoing future flow of people from Latin America, and like you can do both of those things I agree with you to some degree on the policy. You could certainly have a conversation about both of those things. But I I think this gets to a place where you really get into the nitty gritty of how the legislative dynamics are particularly breaking down in the Trump administration. But also breaking down more, generally. Donald Trump runs on immigration. He makes himself a symbol of anti immigration hard liner ISM. Right. The thing that Donald Trump represents above all else is not just the wall. But it's an attitudinal approach to immigrants. Right. It's like Donald Trump's immigration views are not powered by a particular set of us on like income levels. And I don't even really believe they're powered by these us on crime. Because if they were then somebody would like sit Donald Trump down and say actually imigrants, including documented imigrants, commit fewer crimes in natural born citizens, and he'd be okay. So I guess it's not a big deal. Like it's powered by something. A lot of people feel which is at immigrants are bad. They are changing the nature of the country. And that I like the country the way it was. I don't want the country to have more immigrants in it. And Donald Trump is a symbol of very very powerful tendency, not only in American life, but in other countries into some green, all countries, and the thing then and particularly around how he acts with it is it you can't. Compromise with that symbol you can't give a win that symbol. I'm not saying when shouldn't necessarily saying that the political dynamics so that are that one cat. So then you can do something else. Right. And this is fundamentally what Barack Obama sort of tried to encourage in twenty thirteen. So, you know, after winning the twenty twelve election and after Republicans took at least in the immediate aftermath. Lessen the problem is they're completely losing the Hispanic electorate. There was the emergence of his gang of aid in the Senate and Obama like could have done a number things here. He could have called a joint session of congress to like pound the table and say that they like had to pass a gang of eight spill or he could have like, you know, gone on a national tour or it could have made a bunch of demands to the gang of eight there were pretty hard line. But he did it like what he did was he created a space purposefully where if this Bill passed one of the people would get the most credit was Marco Rubio who at that time was believed to be the one of the most potent threats to Democrats holding the White House in two thousand. Sixteen and like, nevertheless, like Obama like backed out because if he had gotten himself up in front there have been no chance of a compromise. Because Republicans could not in the Senate compromise with Obama and make Obama look better and make Democrats look better. But they potentially could do something that would make Marco Rubio, look good and John McCain, look good and Lindsey Graham, look good. And and so on and so forth. The issue here is that both at the Trump administration level and also far as they can tell at the house and Senate Republican level. These are not coalition negotiators who are also the immigration hardliners. The abortion hardliners seem to be. I don't wanna call them. All cranks. Like, I think Tom cotton's sometimes works well with his colleagues, and and I it's not that like nobody there can craft a deal, but these are not deal makers if you like came up with a list of the people in congress who are like good at like building these coalitions and like trying to get somewhere with him. It doesn't include any of these people. And so I I think one reason you just don't see any of the activity that you're talking about Matt is it all of the? People who seem to me to lead. This anti immigration tendency and elected American politics are highly symbolic politicians as opposed to highly coalition, all or legislative politicians you have like a lot of people who are good at pounding the table and not a lot of people who are good at building a working group. And I think that that comes out here like they're very concerned about purity. And they're not all that concerned about getting anything done. And so they don't get anything done. I think that there. There's also it's interesting that you go back to two thousand thirteen because how gang of eight was perceived on the right? Was that this kind of transaction politics is in some ways like immoral failure. That purity is good even if nothing actually happens at least, you kind of have the moral and political purity to to go back on and it's interesting because Stephen Miller got his start essentially, the Jeff Sessions yelling about gang avait when you talk about like, the GOP twenty twelve autopsy document about reaching out to Hispanics there. There was a response within a large swath. Of the right. Like know what we need to do is doubled down more. And I think that the double downers are not politically effective, but political effectiveness is not really the point the idea that like, oh, we can create a deal that will make life better for dreamers or for specific groups of undocumented immigrants or immigrants in general is not at all the point the point of crossing the aisle. Not what the double downers want. When the fact that Ann Coulter. And Rush Limbaugh have in some ways, the ear of the president make it very difficult for him to even there was that moment in early December in which he was kind of like, you know, wall funding is Nasr important. He got decimated within specific swath of right wing media because conversation isn't the point actual political wheeling and dealing is not the point which I think is in some ways why this has been such a difficult shut down for Trump to leverage because Nancy Pelosi is very good at politics. And I think that that's a specific challenge. When Donald Trump has no the idea of being good at politics is now. Not why he was elected president. It was because he was supposed to be outside of politics only, he could fix the issues that come with wheeling and dealing, but the issue is that you have to be good at wheeling and dealing to actually do anything that even the double down would want. I do think the autopsy report is actually and the sort of debate about that is is very well event here, right? Because if you if you look at that twenty twelve autopsy and the analysis that Romney's core problem was was weakness with Latinos, you can see where that comes out of which is that over the states that Obama won in twenty twelve his three weakest wins were Florida Virginia, and Colorado, and those are all states with relatively large Latino populations in the case of Florida and Colorado Virginia's modest, but but quite rapidly growing. And so those are all states where I think you can really say look if Romney had done as well as Bush with Latinos, he would have won those states. So and like those those were the closest states, so that's what we're focusing. On right different analysis. And frankly, more correct analysis would be to say, look, even if Romney had won Florida and Virginia and Colorado. He still would have lost the election yet. But think of thick of how much more of a moral victory. Right. But the the goal is not to win states. It's to win the election. Right. And the pivotal state was Pennsylvania. If you go through how much better would they have had to have done to win the political center of gravity was in Pennsylvania and Michigan and that continued to be the case in two thousand sixteen right, and Pennsylvania and Michigan are states that have very low Latino populations that have large white working class populations. And we're Democrats traditionally done well because the white working class population in those states is relatively secular and had not been super into anti-gay politics into abortion politics. Not like this early incredibly woke on those issues, but not into that. Right. And so then when Republicans shift their political. Center of gravity to anti immigrant themes. They wind up doing much better in those white working class northern midwestern states, and even though the specific political dynamics of this shutdown are not going well at all for Trump. It is still true that positioning Democrats as the party of multiculturalism and cosmopolitanism and positioning Republicans as the party of Americanism and native ISM is a smart strategy for those midwestern states, right? Like that macro-analysis is right. And so it's hard to get Republicans off inti immigrant politics because they Trump is picked a bad battle here. But like, it's a good war. Right. And then particularly after Republicans have already lost the house the center of gravity in congress becomes the Senate GOP caucus anti-immigrant politics is great in the Senate map where like this is a totally empty states that have six. White people. You know, have like a million senators, and then like California has to and then Texas, which you know, is a Republican state. But like if there were a state in which the ongoing nativist turn were to flip it blew like, it's going to be Texas, which is going to be eighty Gillian people in two senators. Right. So the more presidential politics focuses on the Great Lakes, and the more congressional Republicans just think about the Senate map, the more sense, it makes to be the anti-immigration party, and that makes any kind of deal making just like per se unattractive because if you have a deal, then you're not having a fight. And if you think it's a winning fight, then you to not make deals or if you think the fight itself is the win. Yes. If you love the fight, I think there are two interesting things of that touches on it. And won't goes back to something. Jane was saying that when Donald Trump ran on the right? He was like the purity candidate. But, but I want to note something that was always interesting about Donald. Trump like which was he managed to both be the candidate who would like brook, no shit, and like say what he really thought and like knock into the media and also the candidate swearing that. He would be the greatest dealmaker the world had ever seen that American needed like not one of these week like like pathetic people. But like the Kenneth who written the art of the deal like me, Donald Trump like the great dealmaker. And so this I think was also important with those voters you're talking about Matt that they're obviously some voters for whom like the issue, and the only issue is keeping America like as white and native foreign as possible, and like they're out there, and there's some voters who just like are uncomfortable with changing demographics, and like they're out the two, and I think that's actually a big group, and it's an important group in American politics. But there are a lot of voters who like pass him sympathy with this. But they also like they're not so political that they would like things to work. They would like politics to not be a circus, and they're very disillusioned with politicians, and they're very disillusioned with politicians because. Like go back a couple of years into the Obama era, which now looks like this awareness of calm, and like an almost like peace, but it wasn't had shutdowns in debt, ceiling, crises and constant partisanship. And like fights over, you know, Trayvon Martin. And like there's like all this feeling of tumbled and here Kim, Donald Trump with his authoritarian personality swearing that. He can make these great deals because looking at much money made in business. And you know, it's it's cliche say it now, but it is worth remembering that the apprentice was very important to the Donald Trump candidacy the in the view of himself that Donald Trump had persuaded America on the apprentice wasn't like a nutcase nativist, both a great in-command businessman. So Donald Trump like managed to put together this set of things there's actually quite unusual to put together in American life. But it just turned out that he wasn't all of those things. He wasn't a good deal maker. He probably wasn't a very good businessman. He is kind of nutty nativist. He is a hardliner. He doesn't compromise at all. And so what you see now like. To your point Matt there's something to that idea that Donald Trump is picked about battle here. Possibly a good war. But there's also something to the fact that yes, whether Donald Trump can run the government is for twenty twenty part of the war, and the fact that his approval ratings have been going steadily. Dow is a real signal that that matter to his support right there could be this view in liberal circles. Like, nothing Donald Trump does hurts them. And I think that you said often, and I said as well that no actually a lot. That's happened hurts him. That's why he's always unpopular, but this is hurting him even more and if Donald Trump cleaves immigration hard liner from great maker who knows how to run things that is not a winning presidential campaign for somebody who already almost lost. But I do want to go here. I think we should take a break because I do want to talk about Donald Trump's foils and particularly Nancy Pelosi who I think is run a stunningly effective counter-strategy. So I think to understand this whole like what is going on here there too big moments with looking at the democratic leaders forced into being was it's now probably month month and some change ago. But during one of those initial meetings with Donald Trump, and I remember watching this this crazy thing with Chuck Schumer just again, and again and again, bathing Donald Trump until Donald Trump finally just like like like hulk like ripped off the rhetorical. It was like I would be proud to shut down the government like I would completely own a shutdown shutdown government overboard a security, and I'd be proud of it. It was like a really dumb west wing scene where where? Whereas like, he just said it, and it's all exposed, right? Like is a very dumb west wing where the thing that never happens. It's schumer. I mean, if you go back, and you read the transcript, it's not like Donald Trump invited them in. And then did that like Donald Trump like, yeah. Them up there. It wasn't meant to be open press. It was open press and then Schumer, and certainly does something to be closely. But, but you're really took the lead on this like is clearly trying to get Donald Trump to say if we shut down the government, I own it. And then Donald Trump says, and that's such a very important context. But by the time, Donald Trump does shut down the government after after a little while Nancy Pelosi becomes speaker and Nancy Pelosi has been like an unbelievably effective foil to Donald Trump, and I will like zoom in on one moment in particular, which is she ran a very high risk strategy in my view in setting that letter to postpone the state of the union like it was not clear to me that that would be a winning strategy. I thought that was like a very good chance of. Backfiring. That people said that's an American tradition, and we need to be talking. And you know, whatever else it might be. And then you had like Donald Trump coming back and saying it, I, you know, I'm just going to be showing up whatever. And like the secret services. It can do it fine. And it completely worked like she has stared down Trump completely unblinking Lii, and he is blinking. And there is something interesting in the way that the the two Democrats have been tag teaming this in the way that you know, Chuck Schumer tries to draw Trump out and Goshi it with Republicans and Nancy Pelosi is just been this quite unyielding force who's willing to to tweak Trump and just utterly unafraid of him in a way that very few people. He's dealt with have appeared to be. I've been very impressed by the by the democratic leadership team over the course of this shutdown so far, I think it's it's useful. Also to note that a their compatriots in a sense within the Trump administration have done an extraordinarily poor job of messaging nece where one Trump administration official kind of. Described federal workers coming into work without getting paid is volunteering because they so support the president and Wilbur Ross who's commerce secretary said he doesn't understand why federal workers are using food banks when they should just be taking out loans, and he described you federal workers not having enough cash as a liquidity is to be fair. It is liquidating Chris this is much by thinking guess. Yes. Cr-? Those craziest comment to me. No. The craziest common was when Trump defending Ross said that he thought Ross misspoke. But what he really meant was that you could go down to the grocery store, and they would know you're good for it. And they just wouldn't make you pay for several days. Like, he's like shopping in the nineteen twenties or something. I don't I don't know what he's not even that he's old. But he like he's. Lead to the ongoing question of what Trump thinks a average American does and just an average day. But I you also saw this from Laura Trump talking about how you know, this is a sacrifice for federal employees, but their grandchildren and children will be so grateful, and it's interesting from someone write about, obviously conservatives and conservatism, and it's interesting how the administration that was that pitched itself the most to being speaking to every day, quote, unquote, normal Americans, and when I think people connected to this ministration or people who are supportive of this administration used the term normal. They mean, the white working class Americans living in rust belt states, but it's interesting to see this administration be so bad at messaging to that same group of people while sounding like marie-antoinette that is absolutely true. But also, I mean back to Pelosi, right? I mean when people were talking about newsy policies future in leadership, and she was getting. Criticized I think that the criticisms of her were mostly focused on a thing. That is true. Which is that she is not an incredibly dynamic public communicator. Right. Like, her speeches are not like going into the classics, and she's not the a plus number one person to go on a like two people yell at each other television show, and she's polarizing right? That was the other piece of that it right? But what her supporters were saying the whole time was that she's really good at the job of being a legislative caucus leader. And like, that's what you've seen across us because it's very difficult type situation. Right. Where one thing that happened here is that Colin Peterson who is a veteran House Democrat. He hold down, the Trump, east house district of any district that that Democrats represent he has kind of broken with the party, and you know, said on local talk radio like, yeah. Like, give Trump has wall. Right. And that's. Absolutely the right politics for Peterson and Peterson has been around so long that like there's no way leadership could get him to not do that. Anyway. But the way policy managed the house is that it wasn't a huge deal. When Peterson did that there wasn't like a ha the first cracks in the democratic armor. Right. And there was no stampede like Jared golden who holds down a fairly Trumpy district in northern Maine. That's like kinda similar to Peterson's northern Minnesota district. But it's just one his election. He didn't like hop on that bandwagon, right? There was no stampede. And not only was there. No stampede. Everybody knew. There was no stampede. Right. There was those the multiple layers of confidence that the caucus was sticking together that there was going to be an exception to the rule that the caucus was sticking together. But that it wasn't even big news. Because of course, this one I did right. And like that stuff is really really hard. That's the kind of thing that a new. Person would really struggle with and to have the depth of relationships with people with understanding of what's important, and what's not important. And like what matters about these different things a risky strategy. Like that said of the union ladder to pull it off. You need your people to not act like it's a risky strategy. Yes. Right. Like if every member of congress had right away like Ben on the phone with their favourite reporter back in the district being like, I don't know about this like it wouldn't have worked. And I'm sure lots of members of the house had some doubts about that strategy. But they did not express those doubts in public and because they didn't express the doubts in public the strategy worked, right? And like that's what she's been able to pull off whereas Republicans here, it's just in their overt message on television. But it's like you just look at the right? Like, you just cover Capitol Hill. It is obvious, and it has been obvious from day one that they are not comfortable with this strategy. That they don't really believe that their leaders have a winning hand here. And they just like they look itchy. They act cheap. They're breaking on weird votes. There was a story in the post about Senate Republicans yelling at each other. And that just builds confidence over time that like we don't know what end game is here. But like clearly it involves Republicans caving. And like that was the thing people were saying when people were dumping on Pelosi was like when you actually have a speaker, and you want the speaker to do the job. Well, she's going to do it. While also two of the things that are notably here. One is it on day. One of this the way day one went is Donald Trump at trade Republicans by abandoning a deal they had to go she and he had said he would sign onto. So they really began for place a fracture. I just want to note. It's not a great president. But just like give plus a little bit more more praise on this. The other thing that I think has been important here. I don't know if you guys find this when you do your reporting. But I I find Capitol Hill, there's a real destroy. Action between different views of Donald Trump. And there's one few of Donald Trump, which is like the Donald Trump doesn't know very much. But he's really strong that he's like a he's like a strong person, you know, easy does things at the conventional wisdom won't back. And he and a number of Democrats have this kind of like what I would call the grudging respect view of Donald Trump like heated, something unimaginably difficult to them certainly which is win that election coming out of nowhere. And that the guy has some kind of like political master genius that is not fully apparent adult times. But you've got to give it its due. And you got to give him a wide berth. Like, Donald Trump is sort of like like visa, it's like he's like a wild animal or something. You know, you wanna be careful, and there are others. And I was Nazi policy has always been a leading person in this caucus who say no, Donald Trump is weak. He's like a week prideful vein, man. And if you can just poke him enough he will overreact. And if you're not afraid of his overreaction. He will expend himself and make a mistake. And I do think something important here is that Pelosi has for years, but now has had the power to execute. She has Donald Trump's measure. She believes he's weakened these ways, and he is showing himself to be weaken these ways going back weeks and weeks now in every meeting with him. Plus, he really jabs at him in the Chuck Schumer, for instance, more or less doesn't. I mean shimmer like will like re put out the press release. Donald Trump is back but Pelosi will come in. And be like, oh, yeah. We don't get money from our daddy's like, right? Hello. I love that comment. Pelosi talks down to him. She insults him. He she does actually something. Harry Reid used to sometimes do with with with Republican politicians, and the view is that like you don't have to be afraid of Donald Trump. You want to provoke him until like these displays of braggadocio and like digging in an and that was like the joint strategy. They played out in that meeting where they got Donald Trump to say that he wanted to own a shutdown, but it is NS strategy that plus he's been doubling. Down on an doubling down on doubling down on. And again, there's risk in that strategy to be out there during a shutdown needling, the president could make you look if you did it too much or if he responded, the right way, it could make you look like the aggressor it could begin to turn public perception of like who is causing the shuts the shutdown after all, but in part because Donald Trump's position here is so ridiculous in part because Democrats just keep being willing to vote to reopen the government, but in part because she's correct about how he's gonna react repeatedly up to and including but he's going to back down on the state of the union like Nancy Pelosi has had his measure and in that way has been very effective at the public facing game. Not just the insider game on this. And it's been interesting. Also that like I said earlier is that Nancy Pelosi knows how to politics, and I mean that in the sense of like yet, she she was she's able to hold Democrats together on issues that e- even when she knows that it's going to come across poorly in I don't know. Right. Leaning outlets like townhall dot com or something. Like that. Because she recognizes that for most people following this. They're gonna care way. More about the fact that like members of the coast guard aren't getting paid FBI agents aren't getting paid people. Are you foodbank lines are going to be more kind of impactful than conversations about specific bills that did or didn't get past? And it's interesting also that every time we have a presidential election. We have this entire conversation about people want to get away from politics or like this. You know, it's time to get away from politics as usual, and it's both Democrats and Republicans. But there's a reason why politicians are good politics. And we're seeing it right now with Nancy Pelosi the other thing that's just sort of muddy here is that for the first time Trump has really made himself Republicans like floor general legislative battle that was not how the healthcare or tax bills worked right because Trump. Has no idea what he's doing in this field. Right. Like, even in the the theory of Trump. That's like he has political skills that you don't understand like he doesn't have those political skills. And I think there was actually something to the idea that like when they were doing the tax Bill. The idea was going to be that like Paul Ryan was gonna mostly craft what the policy was and Mitch McConnell was gonna mostly craft like what were the limits to that policy that you needed to do to enact a law, and Donald Trump was gonna mostly talk about how tax cuts are awesome. That like as a division of labor sort of made sense. But we now have like Jared Kushner is the guy who's supposed to work out the legislative dealmaking right to be fair. He did bring peace to the Middle East, and he ended the opiate crisis. But I mean, but I mean in all seriousness, like the I don't know that anyone believes this. But the. Receipt of the operation is that customers work on the criminal Justice reform Bill which just consisted of getting some Republicans to just agree to give into the democratic position like shows that he can mastermind this. And like, I don't know why anybody would think that I don't believe that any of the congressional Republicans who claim to believe that actually do believe it. But it's like nobody wants to tell Trump now like you need to take back seat here. Right. And like Mitch McConnell who knows what he's doing like negotiated deal with Democrats that would have allowed Donald Trump to claim that he was beginning construction on a border wall. That key objective was already achieved by the most knowledgeable Republican legislative leader. And then Trump blew the deal up because he didn't like how Laura Ingram was covering. And like that's just nutty. You can't win with those kind of tactics. Again, it doesn't even begin to make sense. Like if you tried to pitch to, you know, Brock Obama, Georgia Bush like any president history. Okay. My strategic goal in. This legislative dynamic is to get a Bill that no media personality is on my side will complain about like how are you going to do that? I mean, I was just saying that it's a particular challenge in which Trump relies so much on the feedback from the people he watches on television that when you are attempting to craft policy or craft legislation that will make a specific group of people who work for a specific television network, happy or talk radio happy that that's going to be challenged. When you then need to send Jared, Kushner, try and parse that out to congress. But it's like, oh, we can't we can't do the because Chris Hayes will complain that. There was no public option like. Do that. If you remember when Chris as personally scuttled ObamaCare, but to go to go back to this for a minute. I was seeing I was reading some New York Times coverage of the shutdown of the kind of Pelosi Trump fight. And I I saw like the most interesting location in it, which was they they said in a couple it seemed to be in a couple different articles. If I'm remembering this correctly, they they would talk about the Plessey Trump confrontation in. They would write something along the lines or exactly Trump facing an equally powerful like female, like political leader. And I don't remember in past periods. Like, the speaker vows being declared equally powerful to the President Trump has made himself. Look a lot. Smaller Nancy Pelosi who I would say that the kind of like the democratic sentiment when Nancy Pelosi regained the speakership, you know, you remember there was this whole deal about her being a transitional speaker and stepping down in a couple years. There's this whole like like a caretaker speaker like, okay? Like, she. She's got it for now. Now because maybe there wasn't a really good alternative. But like Democrats aren't fully on board with this like she one. And she like, you know, you give her the credit, but it's not like the party was not fully like thrilled about the Pelosi speakership, and you know that joke. It's always out there like this is a day Donald Trump became president. But this has been the fight Rene. Plus, you really became speaker of the house again because like that that sentiment is gone like as far as I can tell there's another democrat in the house out there and for the most part boat, most just Ranga Fulda. Impress us out thrilled Nancy Pelosi is like their general on this fight. And I just I don't see that just to praise plus. Yeah, I say it because I think it's an important dynamic going forward. It's building confidence employees from her members. It is establishing a relationship between Nancy Pelosi and Donald Trump it is establishing away that relationship is covered it like this template coming as soon as it did after the twentieth. Eighteen election is establishing a lot of the framework for how politics is going to work in basically like the next year. The one year we have until like a year from now, we're in primaries, right? Which is a crazy thing to think about two, and if you're a conservative you have to be excited that the power of the executive is being diminished. I don't I don't think if you're conservative you're super excited general I mean, the power of the executive isn't being diminished like Trump is just poor manager of the executive branch fright like it's he's not losing formal authorities. I mean, it's true that in some theoretical Suns. At least some conservatives favor like congressionally driven government. But like this is not actually actually what what they want. And it's true read there's a remarkable transformation from the Niyazi Posey of forty days ago who was like really sweating committee assignments because she had to really delicately maintain the support of her caucus, which was full of Grumbly people who kind of reluctantly gone along with it to now. When like there is no more grumbling. There is no more. I mean members of congress will always find a new day to grumble, right? Like it will happen. But like for now like the skeptics have been completely silenced. The the last phase of the committee assignments went forward without any controversy. It's not that the last assignments where less contentious is it nobody was complaining about Nancy Pelosi anymore. So when she told them out like it just was what it was. And every people defer to her now again, and they have confidence that like she has a plan and that people who are complaining about her. You know, like look dumb, right. And that's a real transformation situation and a real question for Trump, right? There has always been there was throughout Trump's first two years. One view of Trump from from outsiders was wow, Trump is showing like extraordinary strength as a president. Right. That like unlike this kind of weak hesitant Obama, Trump is just doing this. He's doing that. He's getting away with everything like Lal nothing. Matt. Others like this is the template for maybe more aggressive progressive governance in the future. And then another year was like, no Trump is actually very weak. And then what he's showing is that if you have a congress behind you, and you are willing to defer to them on everything that you can create the like appearance of party unity and getting things done. And what we're seeing now that Trump is trying to push the Trump agenda rather than the Paul Ryan agenda, and the the house is not under his control. Then like he's really quite weak like he is not marshalling the conservative movement's forces in a reasonable way. He doesn't have a whole of government effort behind immigration that makes sense. That's even legible to people, right? He's just kind of flailing. And now that he doesn't have the total lack of accountability that congressional Republicans gave him he's facing all kinds of investigations and things like that. Now that he's not just rubber-stamping kind of assembly line agenda. Like, he he's looking very weak because he doesn't have he doesn't have any skills. Right. And it's interesting also if you go back to the halcyon days of two thousand fifteen when Trump launched his campaign, you know, I keep going back to his campaign website, and their description of how the wall would be paid for through remittances, and it's so interesting to have gotten to this point at which the shutdown itself is a failure of politics. But also, it's a real failure of this idea that like something that you built your entire campaign on Trump stuck now he's stuck because he relies so much on specific, you know, come rightly in commentators in the media, and he is stuck because at the base of it. He cannot deliver on the thing. He kept bringing up over and over and over again, a thing that was more a a speechifying element than a real idea that he really wanted to get done. So Jane, are you saying you don't think Mexico's gonna pay for the really troubling news for you mad about whether or not Mexico is going to pay for this wall is not gonna. I don't think it is. I'm so sorry. You know? I mean, it's like it's easy to joke about the whole Mexico thing. But like, it's true, right? Did like Trump Blythe a lot more than a traditional candidate? And at one point people kinda hoped it's like people will catch on that. He's a huge liar, and they'll be a huge backlash against him. And they showed it wasn't right. You now see that one reason to not lie to everybody all the time about stuff is that you might wind up in a situation where you're kind of trapped by your own nonsense. Right. And like Trump is created a universe where to Trump supporters. There is a huge immigration policies. And the solving the immigration crisis involved border wall. And also that the border wall can be achieved with no trade-offs. Right. And so it'll be easy. And also were Donald Trump is a master dealmaker. And like that stuff isn't true. Right. And like the problem is that the way is out of this involve a kind of collapse of that narrative about Trump and about what's going on there like either he's incredibly ineffective or immigration problem isn't actually that big a deal or the wall is not a useful solution to it. Right. Like there has to be some way out of this. Trump can't just come out this summer and be like, wow, the country is a disaster. Right. Like, he's the president. But you know, it is true. But it's true that you should join the weeds Facebook group of that is true. That is true on the weeds Facebook group, you will find sustenance and truth that that you. Need to get you out of this and possibly tips on which airports to avoid in the midst of an ongoing a breakdown of the traffic control system. I also want to make a plug as recline show last two episodes that they will be of particular weeds listener interest one was with Francis Lee, whose work we've mentioned a couple times in this podcast. And I think he's a political scientist most relevant for understanding this period of divided governments. Like, I I wrote this piece yesterday about how if there's one political scientist, Donald Trump should read. It's Li but like if there's one you should hear it may be her too. And she's on the show, and then also Robertson Polski who's at neuroscientists at Stanford. But we had a really really I think amazing conversation about the way in which poverty creates like high levels of toxic stress in the body that then lead to more poverty because of what they do to function learning, and and all kinds of other things, and I think it's like you hear us talk on the show sometimes about like the fight over work requirements and making a lot of these programs harder to access and I think this show like. Like suppose, he's work really kinda shows if it was in fact, your goal to help people get out of poverty making their lives. Harder is not a good thing to do. But I think both those will be worthwhile interviews for weeds listeners. Awesome. Thanks for joining us on Friday. Thanks to everybody for listening. Thanks as always to our producer, Jeffrey gal and the weeds will return on Tuesday. I'm Sarah clip. The host of the impact from vox a show about how policy shapes people's lives. I live in Washington DC where the policy making process is really broken. But this is just not true. When you leave the beltway, so many cities and states are doing interesting exciting, sometimes kind of wacky things to tackle our country's biggest problems. So this season we are criss crossing the country, South Carolina, Baltimore kogo, Vermont. The Oakland New York. We are looking at cities and states as laboratories of democracy wrestling with serious problems and experimenting with bold solutions win someone is facing deportation. It should be a universal. Right. So I'm looking at take advantage of all opportunities for me and my family. The impact. Find us on apple podcasts or wherever you get your favorite shows. What if all you're breaking news alerts had a voice what would that sound like it would sound like today? Explain its daily news podcast from vox. I'm Sean Rotherham everyday my team, and I take one central new story and break it down into twenty minute episodes. They're perfect for your ride home. And he used the charities money to buy his sons membership. The news changes every day, right? Well, so does our show. His lawyer Michael Cohen sets up a shell company called essential consultants. LLC insult. Subscribed today explained on apple podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts. So you never miss an episode from Stitcher and the vox media podcast network.