Perhaps predictably, the president of the United States seems to be overreacting to assessments of the stopgap funding bill worked out by Congress over the weekend as a defeat for his own self and his congressional allies. With the ink on the bill barely dry, Trump took to Twitter this morning to attack the deal and suggest that in the next round of appropriations negotiations a government shutdown would be better than a compromise:
That’s right: We have a president calling for a government shutdown when current appropriations expire, out of pique for his own inability to shape events despite his party’s control of Washington. Too bad this has happened after the 100-day milestone for Trump’s presidency, because it’s quite an accomplishment.
The rest of the mini tweetstorm would be equally dramatic if it were not accompanied by the shutdown threat: Trump is clearly calling for an end to the legislative filibuster — a.k.a., the ultimate “nuclear option” — though it is less clear how doing that “now” could be avoided by electing more Republican senators in 2018. Maybe he means that with more Republican senators the GOP could un-nuke the legislative filibuster, which seems unlikely. Or maybe he’s tweeting with something less than precision, which seems very likely.
In any event, it will be fascinating to see if the president doubles-down on these inflammatory comments, or walks them back, or just leaves them out there unexplained like poorly disposed toxic waste. Without question, it will make it harder for the administration to attack Democrats or Freedom Caucus types for wielding government shutdown threats when the Maximum Boss has done the same thing.