The Corner

Politics & Policy

Trump Flunks Shutdown 101

The first rule of shutdown fights is never to say that you want a shutdown. This rule has demonstrated its power over and over again, and yet here we are. In his compulsively watchable Oval Office showdown with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, Trump stayed on the right side of the line until the very end, when he let his irritation get the best of him and said he’d be happy to accept responsibility for a shutdown over wall funding. This almost guarantees, no matter how recalcitrant Democrats are, that Republicans will get blamed for any shutdown, and probably creates more incentive for congressional Republicans to avoid one in the first place. Trump is understandably desperate to get a wall, given how important that promise was in 2016, but in all likelihood he’ll have to settle for touting incremental progress in certain sectors.

Rich Lowry is the editor of National Review. He can be reached via email: comments.lowry@nationalreview.com. 

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Hillary Ruins the Plan

Editor’s note: Andrew C. McCarthy’s new book is Ball of Collusion: The Plot to Rig an Election and Destroy a Presidency. This is the first in a series of excerpts.  There really was a collusion plot. It really did target our election system. It absolutely sought to usurp our capacity for ... Read More
Culture

‘Good Verse, Bad Verse, and Chaos’

I love reading Sarah Ruden, and I’ve enjoyed the attention given to Walt Whitman in these pages over the last few days. Ruden gives the poet the back of her hand for being championed by — angels and ministers of grace, defend us! — intellectuals and professors, a poet “whom ordinary Americans most ... Read More
Economy & Business

The Great Mystery

Kevin Williamson disputes my characterization of his riposte. He writes: I wrote that people can choose what kind of work they want to do, and what kind of services they want to consume, without any help from Michael. Kevin then accuses me of being a stouthearted defender of the “Real America.” If ... Read More