It is Day 27 of the partial government shutdown caused by President Donald Trump’s demand for a border wall and a new report from the Daily Beast claims the President isn’t even trying to talk to Democrats in order to end the shutdown.
Despite having a few meetings with Democrats, including the congressional leadership and some moderates, Trump and his team have failed to manage outreach to individual Democrats. Team Trump has contacted hardly any Democrats directly, according to the report.
Even Democrats from districts Trump won in 2016 have barely heard from him, though they would be obvious targets to put pressure on. If this is part of a strategy, is it a very unusual and ineffective one. Presidents normally try to reach out or coerce members of the other party to break ranks.
According to the Daily Beast, only two Democrats from Trump districts have been contacted by the White House, while it appears no Democratic senators have been contacted at all. There are many Democrat senators serving states Trump won, yet no pressure has been brought to bear on them.
This may be an indication of the disorganization had the heart of the Trump administration. There has long been talk of chaos in the Trump White House, with frequent staff turnover and no clear lines of authority. It is also clear that Trump, and many Republicans, are not interested in pursuing bipartisan solutions.
Trump’s inability or unwillingness to reach out to Democrats will likely prolong the shutdown, which is already the longest in history. Democrats have refused to provide funding for the wall, and they appear to stand firmly behind Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
The Trump administration will either have to change its approach to bipartisanship or prepare more humiliation at the hands of congressional Democrats.