The Democrats should call Trump’s bluff on the Wall and the government shutdown. To explain, the Democrats are in a great position to split Republicans and force Trump to back some of their key issues.
However, today’s Democratic leaders are too stupid to see the opportunity. Instead, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) will let the opportunity pass out of fear of offending the Democrat’s Trump-hating base.
Moreover, President Donald J. Trump (R-New York) is letting a tremendous opportunity to embarrass and divide Democrats slip away. To enumerate, Trump could put Democrats at each other’s throats by calling Pelosi’s bluff. However, like Pelosi, the Donald is too frightened by his base to take the risk.
How the Democrats should call Trump’s Bluff
The Democrats should call Trump’s bluff because it could help them pass major agenda items that will benefit the American people.
For instance, Democrats could write a Medicare-for-all (single-payer healthcare) bill that includes $6 billion or $7 billion in funding for the Wall. Then Democrats could dare Trump to sign or back the bill.
Notably, Trump himself was an outspoken single-payer advocate before his presidential run. In addition, he promised better healthcare during his 2016 campaign.
If Trump vetoes or refuses to support the single-payer bill; Democrats can say, “look Trump is against the wall.” Thus, such a bill will force Trump to choose between his supporters and Republican leaders. Hence, Democrats could say Trump cares more about billionaire donors than rank-and-file Republicans.
Democrats should call Trump’s bluff to destroy the GOP
Moreover, a single-payer wall bill could spark a nasty battle between Trump and his working-class base and Senate Republicans.
Notably, the Grand Old Party’s (GOP) Senate leadership composed of neoconservatives who hate both single-payer and the Wall. Therefore, a Wall-single payer bill could spark an all-out Republican civil war which will tear the GOP apart.
In fact, Democrats could find conservative allies; such as Tucker Carlson, if they offer a single-payer Wall bill. Markedly, Carlson sparked a huge row within the Right by delivering a Bernie Sanders style diatribe against America’s ruling class on 2 January 2019.
Why Democrats Should Call Trump’s Bluff
Finally, Democrats should call Trump’s bluff because they could get legislation they want without having to build a Wall.
To explain, a border wall will cost far more than the $5 billion Trump wants. In fact, Senate Democrats estimate the Wall’s cost at $70 billion, The New York Times reports.
Under these circumstances, the shutdown debate is not about the wall and Trump is admitting it. Instead, Trump is offering an opening to Democrats to propose legislation.
Moreover, Democrats can give Trump a few billion for the Wall for legislation they want and kill it later. In fact, they will probably swear a Democratic president in on January 20, 2021, a little over two years from now. A Democratic president can kill the Wall with a simple executive order.
Thus the Democrats can kill the Wall once and for all then. In the meantime, they can use the ludicrous concept to help Republicans destroy each other.
The many ways Democrats could Call Trump’s Bluff
Nor is it just single payer, Democrats could get by calling Trump’s bluff.
For example, there’s House Resolution (H.R.) 1, a radical election reform proposal. In particular, H.R, 1 mandates same-day voter registration and early voting, restore voting rights for felons, limits gerrymandering, and places limits on “dark money” in elections.
Democrats should call Trump’s bluff and link wall funding to H.R. 1. Notably, Democrats will show they are serious about election reform by calling Trump’s bluff.
Additionally, enough Republicans could join Democrats in supporting an H.R.1 Wall bill to get it through the Senate to the Oval Office. To explain, Republican Senators will support the measure out of fear of Trump supporters.
Beyond H.R. 1 and single-payer there are the $15 minimum wage, increased Social Security payments, and U.S. Senator Kamala Harris’s (D-California) basic income proposal. In detail, Harris wants to replace Republican tax cuts with a $6,000 a year tax credit for all Americans who make less than $50,000 a month.
Why Trump should Call Democrats’ Bluff
Obviously, Trump himself is missing a huge opportunity by not calling Democrats’ bluff.
To demonstrate, Trump could tweet he will sign a single-payer, $15 minimum wage, election reform, or basic income bill that includes Wall funding. Hence, Democrats will have to choose between their popular agenda items or fighting the President.
Under those circumstances, Congressional Democrats will look like a bunch of shallow hypocrites who do not care about average people, the issues, or federal workers. Obviously, that will strengthen Trump’s hand for 2020.
Therefore, Democrats will look terrible and Trump can portray himself as a champion of the working class. Additionally, supporting single-payer or a $15 minimum wage will strengthen Trump’s position if he runs in 2020.
Moreover, backing H.R. 1 one could help Trump get black votes in 2020. To explain, I think nobody can win the White House in 2020 without a significant portion of the African American vote.
In addition, measures like single-payer, a $15 minimum wage, and basic income could cement Trump’s position among working-class whites. Notably, Trump has done little or nothing for working-class whites in office, yet he needs their votes to stand a realistic chance in 2020.
Why Democrats will not call Trump’s bluff
Not calling Trump’s bluff refuses how cowardly, short-sighted, and unimaginative Democrats are. Unfortunately, there are several pathetic excuses Democrats will fall back upon for calling Trump’s bluff.
First, Democratic leaders are scared of the “Resistance” and the far left. To clarify, the fear is any association with Trump; no matter how constructive, will drive away Democratic primary voters.
Second, Democrats fear they will strengthen Trump as a presidential candidate. In particular, they do not want the Donald to claim credit for popular Democratic measures like single-payer healthcare, basic income, or a $15 minimum wage.
Third, Pelosi and her centrist mafia fear a deal with Trump will strengthen the hand of far-left Democrats. In particular, Pelosi is frightened the corporate cash will dry up if Democrats drift too far to the left.
Fourth, Pelosi fears an all-out battle between leftist and centrist Democrats more than anything else. The Speaker knows many corporate moderate Democrats will fight to the death against single-payer healthcare, basic income, or a higher minimum wage. Pelosi fears a civil war that will rip the Democracy apart.
Fifth, moderates like Pelosi fear political chaos more than anything. They would rather have a nice quiet and comfortable country club on Capitol Hill than an effective national legislature. Thus, they fear any proposal that rocks the boat; whether it is the Wall or single payer.
Why Trump will not call Democrats’ bluff
Trump supporters must not gloat because their hero’s behavior is just as craven, cowardly, and short-sighted as Pelosi. Sadly, Trump has the same pathetic motivations for not calling Democrats’ bluff that the Speaker will fall back upon.
First, Trump fears Republican civil war in the form of a battle with the U.S. Senate. In particular, the Donald wants to avoid an all-out battle with extreme conservatives like U.S. Senator Ted “Satan” Cruz (R-Texas).
Markedly, conservative fanatics like Cruz believe they have a mandate from God oppose measures like single-payer. The last thing, Trump wants is somebody like Cruz joining the Resistance.
Second, Trump fears conservative Republican primary voters who already distrust him. In detail, the fear is that such voters will derail the Donald’s second term by backing a conservative challenger like former U.S. Senator Jim Flake (R-Arizona).
Third, Trump knows he will lose corporate backing and funding by turning left. In particular, Trump fears the Big New York Media which created him. To explain, Trump succeeded in 2016, partially because media like the big three networks (CBS, ABC, and NBC) refused to report the true story of his sleazy career. If Trump turns left, the Media could quickly destroy him by reporting the full story of his past.
Fourth, Trump fears the big media will manufacture a challenger to him if he turns left. Not coincidently, somebody saw Flake at CBS offices seeking a “job,” The Arizona Republic claims. Since Flake has appeared in primary states like New Hampshire the real job, he is seeking is Trump’s.
Fifth, Trump fears the conservative media. The Donald knows his followers will ignore a Trump-Mafia story on a “liberal” outlet like CBS. However, the same voters could believe a Trump-Mafia charge from Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, or Breitbart. To elaborate, Trump knows if he leaves the conservative reservation the conservative media will smear him.
Sixth, Trump understands he has no friends in Washington, only a few doubtful allies in the GOP. Any overture to the Democrats will cost him whatever Republican support he has and makes impeachment or investigations more likely.
Seventh, if he runs in 2020, Trump will need big corporate money. The Donald is not likely to get big corporate money if he signs off on single-payer or election reform.
What we can learn from the Government Shutdown
The main thing I have learned from the shutdown saga is that I would love to play poker with Donald J. Trump and Nancy Pelosi. I am a lousy poker player but I think could clean those two out because they bluff.
To explain, most card experts teach that bluffing is the fastest way to lose in poker. Hence, calling a bluff is the quickest way to win. Unfortunately, risk-averse egomaniacs like Trump and Pelosi would rather keep bluffing than admit they are wrong and win.
It is a sad day in America when our leaders on both sides of the aisle refuse to take the risks necessary to win. Therefore, the main lesson we can learn from the Wall battle is that we need new leadership at both the Capitol and the White House.