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Thu Jan 10, 2019, 10:01 PM

Trump the Toddler

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/opinion/trump-the-toddler/ar-BBS59R4?ocid=sf
Trump the Toddler
Adam Serwer
8 hrs ago


Donald Trump wants his wall, and he’ll hold your breath until he gets it.

Twenty days into a partial government shutdown, the impact on government workers, their families, and basic services is coming into view. Food is not being inspected. Transportation Security Administration workers are calling in sick rather than working without pay. Millions could be evicted from their home, hundreds of thousands of workers are about to miss their paycheck, and tens of millions could lose food assistance. All because the president isn’t getting his way.

As with so much of what Trump does, holding Americans hostage to partisan goals is a logical extension of what the Republican Party was already doing. During Barack Obama’s administration, Republicans shut down the government demanding the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. They threatened to put the U.S. government in default on its debt in order to cut the deficit, then as soon as they regained power, they vastly expanded it by passing upper-income tax cuts. Demanding that the Democrats cough up money for a wall on the southern border or the American people get it is different only in the degree of its absurdity.

The inauguration of a new Congress means that for Trump, the days of easily getting his way are over. And like a child facing his first taste of discipline, he is chafing at the restrictions. But that’s what makes maintaining them so important—if Democrats allow Trump to use the well-being of the American people as a hostage, then he will do it again every time he is denied. As any parent knows, rewarding misbehavior only invites more of it.

What makes this shutdown distinctly Trumpian is not only that the president has taken credit for it, but that it was provoked by his most reliable trigger, being humiliated by a woman. Democrats and Republicans had already negotiated a deal to fund the government and border security without the wall. But after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told Trump that he lacked the votes to pass a bill with wall funding and Ann Coulter mocked him, Trump erupted and demanded that the lame-duck Republican House pass funding for a wall, scuttling the deal. When Trump met with Democrats on Wednesday and they repeated that they will not fund his wall, the president said “Bye-bye” and walked out. Making maximalist demands, offering nothing in return, and then withdrawing in anger the second those demands are not met is a child’s strategy for getting what he wants.

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https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/opinion/trump-the-toddler/ar-BBS59R4?ocid=sf

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