Guest Editorial: Will Trump sabotage another deal over the wall?

February 14, 2019 GMT

Less than a day after congressional Democrats and Republicans announced they had a deal in principle to avert another government shutdown, President Trump harumphed displeasure: “I’m not happy about it. It’s not doing the trick.”

Surprise surprise, these comments followed conservative media types pronouncing it a “garbage compromise” (Sean Hannity) or “pathetic” (Laura Ingraham).

So yet again, a president who claims to be strong and independent and interested in unifying the country, not to mention a world-class dealmaker, looks capable of scuttling a meaningful attempt to reach common ground just to demonstrate fealty to the far-right fringes.

This is the best agreement Trump is going to get. It funds the outstanding parts of the government through Sept. 30. No, Trump won’t get his $5.7 billion for 200 miles of a “big beautiful wall,” but he will get $1.375 billion for a more fence-like barrier.

Call that the penalty for willful acts of sabotage. Last summer, the Senate Appropriations Committee agreed to a $1.6 billion wall “downpayment”; Trump said no because the deal didn’t slash legal immigration enough for his tastes. (Insult to injury: In this year’s State of the Union, Trump ad-libbed the lie that he wants legal immigrants admitted in “the largest numbers ever.”)

This time, if he has an iota of good sense, he’ll take good enough as good enough.

Instead, expect the President of the most powerful and prosperous nation in the history of the world to sit in front of a television, with itchy Twitter thumbs, seeing how angry pundits are about an important piece of public policy before choosing whether to plunge the government into another shutdown. Egad.

— New York Daily News