David Limbaugh: This was not Trump's shutdown -- Here's why

President Trump will deliver his State of the Union speech on Tuesday, but before we begin focusing on it, and the predictable, rote shellacking he’ll take from the usual suspects, let’s review the recent shutdown quagmire and set the record straight about what actually transpired, as it will be instructive going forward.

On that note, it’s disheartening that people are casually swallowing the lazy narrative that the impasse was “Trump’s shutdown” -- that he deserves the blame for it.

Yes, during the infamous Oval Office meeting with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer Trump said he was prepared to take the blame if a shutdown occurred. But it’s intellectually dishonest to interpret this remark as his unqualified acceptance of responsibility, irrespective of subsequent events.  It was an exasperated declaration in the face of arrogant Democrat obstinance, that he is so determined to get a wall that he is willing to die on that hill.

TRUMP, DEMOCRATS REACH TEMPORARY DEAL TO END SHUTDOWN

You can criticize Trump for the statement, but it’s sheer demagoguery to claim it led to the standoff. Keep in mind that the media and other Trump haters would blame Trump whether or not he’d uttered it.

In assessing the parties’ culpability, we should compare the reasonableness of their respective positions and dealings. By this measure, the shutdown was overwhelmingly the Democrats’ fault. But why admit that when it’s more fun to mock Trump?

Pelosi didn’t out-negotiate Trump, because she didn’t negotiate at all, as her overarching goal was to humiliate him. Such was her bloodlust for Trump that she probably wouldn’t have agreed to wall funding even if he had offered full-fledged amnesty. Pelosi had no risk because she had no skin in the game. She not only didn’t care about the government being shut down or those hurt by it; she knew the media would continue to blame Trump no matter how unreasonably Democrats behaved.

It’s commonplace to accuse Trump of bluster and showmanship, but he’s been straightforward from the beginning on his wall pledge. Democrats have been dishonest from the jump, claiming they support border security, while steadfastly opposing it.

As the wall promise was a major reason for his election, Trump has a mandate and duty to pursue it. While he can be faulted for not fighting hard enough for it in the first two years, his party’s congressional leaders kept delaying, and Democrats never dealt in good faith on it.

Pelosi didn’t out-negotiate Trump, because she didn’t negotiate at all, as her overarching goal was to humiliate him. Such was her bloodlust for Trump that she probably wouldn’t have agreed to wall funding even if he had offered full-fledged amnesty. Pelosi had no risk because she had no skin in the game. She not only didn’t care about the government being shut down or those hurt by it; she knew the media would continue to blame Trump no matter how unreasonably Democrats behaved.

But with imminent Democratic congressional control and obstruction around the corner, Trump decided to pull out all the stops for a wall, even if it meant offering concessions he opposed. But nothing worked, as Pelosi and Schumer repeatedly rejected his generous compromise proposals, ludicrously arguing, against common sense and universal experience, that walls don’t work, and laughably maintaining they oppose them for fiscal reasons. Hellbent on denying Trump his signature campaign promise, they weren’t about to give him even a fraction of the funding they had already agreed to in the past.

Let’s remember that when Trump first met with Pelosi and Schumer, they refused to talk substance and just childishly pointed their bony fingers of blame at him. These darlings of the political party that bills itself as an exemplar of compromise told Trump to take his wall and shove it. In the following weeks, they wouldn’t budge an inch or even sit down for a meeting. It was Trump alone who kept making overtures and they rebuffed his every advance, knowing the dishonest media would whitewash their recalcitrance.

Trump haters say he was outmaneuvered by Pelosi and that he caved, but he didn’t cave because he hasn’t given up, and he wasn’t outmaneuvered. Rather, he just met adversaries willing to sacrifice the nation’s interests as long as it meant taking a chunk of his flesh. The next time you hear people talking about Trump’s callousness, and Democrats’ compassion – remember this movie we all just watched together.

When the parties agreed to re-open the government for three weeks, the Beltway’s smart set reveled in Trump’s ostensible defeat, saying he deserved a comeuppance because he’d painted himself into a corner at the beginning. That’s just fine for cynics who view politics as a blood sport and a poll-watching parlor game instead of the process by which the body politic’s elected representatives promote policies to advance the national interest.

Trump haters say he was outmaneuvered by Pelosi and that he caved, but he didn’t cave because he hasn’t given up, and he wasn’t outmaneuvered. Rather, he just met adversaries willing to sacrifice the nation’s interests as long as it meant taking a chunk of his flesh. The next time you hear people talking about Trump’s callousness, and Democrats’ compassion – remember this movie we all just watched together.

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If the liberal media cared a whit about border security and fairness in reporting, and despised Trump just a molecule less than they do, they wouldn’t be gloating about Pelosi’s superior negotiating skills, but would excoriate Democrats for being on a singular mission to destroy Trump – no matter the cost to America and Americans.

Meanwhile, it might just be that Trump has ensnared Pelosi into helping him lay the predicate for declaring a national emergency. When an entire political party stands opposed to securing our borders and preserving our national sovereignty, when drug lords, traffickers and criminals are exploiting this obstruction, and yet another caravan makes its way to our border, is it so extreme to treat this as a national emergency? We may soon find out.

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