Whatever else you can say about Donald Trump, the man is a master troll and an expert at getting under people’s skin. Mr. Trump may not know much about the intricacies of policy, but he does know how to add insult to injury. He did exactly that this morning when the luggage from Speaker Pelosi’s canceled congressional junket was unceremoniously returned to the speaker’s office in Congress.
The Washington Free Beacon published a photo of a luggage cart marked “military liason [sic]” that was tagged “CODEL Pelosi.” The cart is sitting unattended in a hallway that is apparently outside her congressional office. The Beacon reports that the photo was forwarded to them by an unnamed “snap-happy tipster.”
At least eight bags are piled on the luggage cart ranging from medium size rollaboard suitcases to small, soft-sided bags. The Beacon notes drily, “It's unclear whether all the luggage belonged to Pelosi.”
The personal tit-for-tat amid the larger showdown began when Pelosi notified President Trump on Wednesday that the annual State of the Union address should be postponed until after the government was reopened. The president held his return fire until Thursday afternoon, about an hour before Pelosi’s delegation was scheduled to depart for a trip to meet with NATO commanders in Brussels, Belgium and then continue to Afghanistan to visit US troops. Politico reports that the delegation was actually on board the bus when they learned that the trip was off.
Just prior to the departure of the Air Force bus taking Pelosi and her entourage to Joint Base Andrews to board a military flight to Europe, the Trump Administration posted a letter to Twitter that notified Pelosi that the trip had been “postponed” until after the shutdown.
“Obviously, if you would like to make your journey by flying commercial, that would certainly be your prerogative,” said the letter signed by President Trump, who himself took a military flight to Iraq shortly after the shutdown began.
While President Trump’s base is celebrating Pelosi’s embarrassing comeuppance, I have to wonder if the childish behavior of leaders on both sides of the aisle is good for the country. Of course, it is not. I suspect that most voters look at both Pelosi and Trump with embarrassment themselves. Ultimately, the hardball tactics of both leaders serve only to further deepen and cement our national divide.
On a tactical level, angering and embarrassing Speaker Pelosi is unlikely to achieve Trump’s goal of funding a wall for the southern border. Making people angry makes it less likely that they will give in to your requests.
There are two aphorisms that may be applicable for President Trump and the current budget confrontation. It may be too late for the first, the notion that “It’s easier to catch flies with honey than vinegar.” The second is still very apropos, however, and that is the warning that “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.”
Meanwhile, Day 27 of the shutdown passed and it seems that the country is further away than ever from having a functional government.
Originally pubished on The Resurgent