The Corner

White House

Trump Blinks

President Donald Trump announces a deal to end the partial government shutdown as he speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, D.C., January 25, 2019. (Kevin Lamarque/REUTERS)

I think Guy’s instant take is largely right:

It seems possible to me that Trump could get some “wall” funding out of the Democrats to avoid another shutdown. The trick for both sides is to avoid the notion that the deal will be in response to another threatened shutdown. The Democrats are too invested in their argument that using shutdowns as leverage (“hostage taking” and all that) is illegitimate and a non-starter. Quietly letting Democrats vote on some modest package that Trump could sign would let both sides save face. But the odds of everyone sticking to the script seem low to me. The X-factor is how Democrats — and Republicans — would/will respond to Trump threatening to declare an emergency and building it anyway. As outrageous as I think that would be, it could play out as another way for both sides to save face, since it would allow Congress to yet again outsource important questions to the courts. Or Democrats could respond that playing the “Emergency” card is as outrageous as shutting down the government. I think it would be more outrageous, but Democrats are just as enamored with a powerful executive as Republicans — and they’re equally cowardly about defending their power and prerogatives.

Guy’s last option — “fully concede” — strikes me as unlikely given the freakout we’re likely to hear from segments of his base. But if he does, what a spectacle that will be.

Jonah Goldberg, a senior editor of National Review and the author of Suicide of the West, holds the Asness Chair in Applied Liberty at the American Enterprise Institute.

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