Maybe Trump Should Read His Own Book

The Art of the Deal? The loser can’t negotiate with toast. He got rolled big time on the budget negotiations that keep the government operating until September. Don’t let him near any international treaties, or he’ll give away Oregon.


House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) secured nearly $5 billion in new domestic spending by exploiting disagreements between Trump and GOP lawmakers over spending priorities.

Democrats’ lopsided victory on the five-month deal, which is likely to be approved this week, means it will be very difficult — if not impossible — for the GOP to exert its will in future budget negotiations, including when it comes to Trump’s 2018 budget blueprint. …

… The extra money for domestic programs will now be that much harder to strip out of future budgets, and Trump’s priorities, such as money for a wall along the border with Mexico, could be more difficult to include. …

… In addition to the $5 billion in domestic spending, the bipartisan agreement released early Monday morning is packed with Democratic priorities, such as protection for funding for Planned Parenthood, a permanent extension of health care for coal miners and money to help Puerto Rico make up a projected shortfall in Medicaid.

In short, Trump’s budget cuts sleep with the fishes.

And since it worked so well this time, he’s already threatening a government shutdown in September if he doesn’t get what he wants.

The government spending deal just reached in Congress isn’t some enormous triumph of progressive politics, but with the exception of a boost in military spending it didn’t include many of Donald Trump’s various campaign promises or budget proposals. Since Trump himself is frequently disengaged with policy issues, it’s not entirely clear that he recognized this is what was happening while the dealmaking was taking place.

But once the deal was reached, coverage of it inevitably trickled out onto cable news, the president’s chosen source of political information. So it’s no surprise that he’s reacting somewhat defensively on Tuesday to the scale of his defeat.

On one level, his message is pretty banal — the right would make more progress in budget negotiations if Congress had even more Republicans. But he also threw in what looks like a surprising call for Republicans to take a tougher line next fall when this round of appropriations expires and threaten a government shutdown unless they get their way.

However, it’s unlikely conditions will be more favorable for Trump in September than they are now. If current trends continue his administration is likely to become more dysfunctional, not less, and what little honeymoon he had is now officially over.