The Dictator Who Can’t Dictate

The Ego That Ate America may be completely gumming up the government through his irrational demands for a wall, but what’s remarkable is how little in charge of anything he actually seems to be.

For example, Trump’s decision immediately pull out of Syria has been effectively countermanded by John Bolton, who has laid out conditions for a pullout that pretty much resets Syrian policy back to where it was before Trump’s announcement. So who’s in charge of foreign policy, again?

Were it not causing so much harm to people, the government shutdown would be a joke. Republicans owned the Senate, House, and White House for two years, yet Trump couldn’t get his wall funded. Now he’s grandstanding to force House Democrats to give it to him.

Greg Sargent points out that there’s only one man protecting Trump — Mitch McConnell.

President Trump would almost certainly not be able to continue shutting down the government over his megalomaniacal border wall obsession if it weren’t for Mitch McConnell. The Senate majority leader is refusing a Senate vote on the bills that House Democrats have passed funding the government — shielding Trump from possibly having to veto a bipartisan measure reopening it, which would be politically disastrous for him.

There’s a plan afoot to pressure McConnell.

Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) tweeted over the weekend that Senate Democrats should block any and all measures in the Senate that are unrelated to funding the government until the Senate votes on reopening it. Since then, several progressive groups and a handful of Democratic senators have endorsed the strategy.

However, it may take a few days for this strategy to have any impact.

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