Donald Trump is holding firm on his border wall and the shutdown is showing no signs of abating – Donald Trump’s America
The President refused to support a spending bill passed by his own Republican senators as the shutdown drags on. (AP: Alex Brandon)
A gutless joke President who scammed the American people.
Those words belong not to the legion of left and even mainstream Republican critics, but come from a woman who once called Donald Trump “God”.
Back when it appeared the President would reopen the government without funding for a wall, Ann Coulter, perhaps the most influential commentator in Trump world, savagely turned on her former idol.
She even began trolling him on Twitter bringing up impeachment.
Travelling across America to speak with the most diehard Trump supporters, they often say they know his character is flawed but they don’t care because he is their champion.
A man who makes promises like a wall that they don’t believe anyone else could deliver for them.
Fail on that though and the marriage is under threat — the narcissism and untruths of their leader newly revealed like a person seen for the first time in the full light of day.
Ms Coulter referenced that in a podcast on the Daily Caller (another influential voice in Trump land), calling him “a not particularly attractive presidential candidate”.
This criticism unleashed a wave of disaffection with usual reliable voices of support turning on the President and questioning why they had delivered him the White House.
The President thrives on conflict with the left and even the mainstream of his own party but this is something completely different.
These are the people who brave poor weather to turn out to #MAGA rallies on weeknights and have stuck by his side despite all the criticism levelled at him. The impact was immediate.
The President refused to support a spending bill passed by his own Republican senators and here we are with a shutdown entering its third week and no end in sight.
It has been close to a year since Trump’s inauguration and the President will need his loyal followers now more than ever. (AP: Andrew Harnik)
Caving will now be a risky business and Democrats will be in no mood to give quarter.
The President has delivered them a ready for television quote owning the shutdown.
Donald Trump on Twitter: ….The only reason they do not want to build a Wall is that Walls Work! 99% of our illegal Border crossings will end, crime in our Country will go way down and we will save billions of dollars a year! A properly planned and constructed Wall will pay for itself many times a year!
In any case, they have internal pressures of their own — new, more radical members of Congress who not only don’t want a wall, but want to abolish the agency that polices borders: Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
The President also heads in to 2019 more in need of his previously loyal foot soldiers than at any time since his inauguration on January 20, 2017.
It’s expected that sometime this year the investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller will land.
There was a rush of speculation that could come early this year, but over the weekend it was revealed Mr Mueller’s team had extended the grand jury hearing evidence for another six months.
If that leads to impeachment, Mr Trump will need all the support he can get.
And his war room team is looking a little thin.
Among his key lieutenants with acting before their name are those crucial to defence, including a chief of staff and an attorney-general (William Barr still has to be confirmed).
Even before the dramatic reveal of the special counsel investigation, a number of other irritants loom.
Democrats will soon control key legislative committees with subpoena powers.
The shutdown seems likely to continue and will break records if it drags into next week. (Reuters: Jason Reed, file photo)
In moves sure to infuriate the President, they will no doubt have a good look at any conflicts of interest as well as payments to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal.
With all of that going on a shutdown seems like the last thing the President would want right?
He needs to show his supporters he’s doing everything he can to deliver on the wall.
At the halfway mark of his presidency excuses blaming Congress, which was controlled by both Houses until now, will not wash.
That’s why with the shutdown entering its third week the President is showing no sign of giving in.
He has floated bypassing Congress by using emergency powers.
Legal experts though believe that’s unlikely.
So get ready — this shutdown is likely to break records. In fact it’s getting close already.
If it drags into next weekend, it’ll have that dubious honour.
Predictions under the 45th president are fraught, but with the base in full revolt the chances are Donald Trump will claim that mantle.