Ed Rollins: If Trump thinks Pelosi will back down when he counterpunches he’s gonna be very surprised

As the longest government shutdown in history continues, negotiations have moved from a serious policy discussion, to political hardball and now to a game of throwing hand grenades. Rocket launchers come next.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., suggested Wednesday to President Trump that he should postpone his State of the Union speech – scheduled for Jan. 29 in the House chamber – until after the shutdown ends, or give his speech in writing.

Pelosi put out the unwelcome mat after claiming security concerns made it advisable not to give the speech in the House chamber during the partial government shutdown.

TRUMP DENIES PELOSI AIRCRAFT FOR FOREIGN TRIP, AFTER CALL FOR STATE OF THE UNION DELAY

Trump and his supporters weren’t buying Pelosi’s explanation, of course. And the president proved once again Thursday that he was a counterpuncher.

Trump told Pelosi that a congressional delegation she was heading that was about to depart snowy Washington to meet with U.S. military officials at NATO headquarters in Brussels and in Afghanistan couldn’t use military aircraft.

“We will reschedule this seven-day excursion when the Shutdown is over,” the president wrote sarcastically. “In light of the 800,000 great American workers not receiving pay, I am sure you would agree that postponing this public relations event is totally appropriate.”

“Obviously, if you would like to make your journey by flying commercial, that would certainly be your prerogative,” President Trump added.

And if the president thinks the gentle lady from San Francisco – by way of the docks of Baltimore – will back down when he counterpunches, he better realize that Pelosi can throw punches his way that would make former heavyweight boxing champion "Joltin" Joe Frazier proud.

Trump even stopped an Air Force bus from taking members of the congressional delegation to their cancelled military flight. But hey, there’s always Uber to take the lawmakers to a nearby civilian airport.

I'd be a little careful if I were Pelosi about flying roundtrip on Afghan Air. Sometimes the return trip gets delayed – and she’s needed in Washington to herd the far-left Democrats and the farther-left Democrats to keep up their nonstop attacks on the president.

And, of course, next year Pelosi will be needed to help plan the Capitol ceremonies for Trump’s second inauguration in 2021.

Equally important, once Trump’s letter to Pelosi made news, the secrecy required for a trip to war zone was blown. I’m guessing that 200 White House staffers took credit for getting the word out.

After this little back and forth with Pelosi, Trump may be no closer to getting a deal for $5.7 billion he wants from Congress for his border wall.

And if the president thinks the gentle lady from San Francisco – by way of the docks of Baltimore – will back down when he counterpunches, he better realize that Pelosi can throw punches his way that would make former heavyweight boxing champion "Joltin" Joe Frazier proud.

Maybe we need to postpone for a time the discussions on the southern border wall and figure out how to build a wall between the Capitol and the White House. Maybe to keep the news media from being confused about "wall talk" it might be better to build a moat around the Capitol.

In the long history of "separation of powers" debates between the Congress and the presidency, this one goes in the record books. I can see it now: the speaker of the House ordering impeachment hearings to begin over the president not letting the Congress use military aircraft for junkets.

The only modern-day comparison to the Trump-Pelosi battle is when President Lyndon Johnson threatened House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Wilbur Mills. Johnson told Mills that if the congressman from Arkansas didn’t let the bottled-up Medicare bill come to a vote in the full House, Johnson would start shutting down military bases in Mills’ home state.

Johnson reportedly asked Mills if he knew how many military bases there were in Arkansas. Mills said he was not quite sure, but he knew there was a lot of them. LBJ's response was that there were going to be a helluva lot fewer of them if that damn Medicare bill didn't get passed out of committee immediately.

Oh, for the days that House Speaker Tip O'Neill, D-Mass., and President Reagan sat on the south porch of the White House and told old Irish jokes.

Not going to happen with Trump and Pelosi.

The speaker of the House also complained to the media that she hadn’t received a response from the president to her letter telling him he was not invited to give his State of the Union speech while the shutdown goes on.

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His response could be: Thanks, Nancy. Didn’t want to do it anyway! Instead of speaking to the Trump-hating Democrats in the House I’ll find a red state where my base appreciates me and give the State of the Union there.

Chief Justice Roberts, wake up the Supremes. I feel this one is coming your way.