Donald Trump has just immersed himself in Nancy Pelosi's CODEL and yes, that is the headline



"Due to the closure, I regret to inform you that your trip to Brussels, Egypt and Afghanistan has been postponed." Trump wrote to Pelosi in a letter tweeted by the White House press secretary, Sarah Sanders, on Thursday afternoon. "In light of the 800,000 large American workers who do not receive their salary, I'm sure they would agree that postponing this public relations event is entirely appropriate."

And then, this dagger: "Obviously, if you want to make your trip on a commercial flight, that would be your prerogative."

Oh, it's on.

(It is very likely that that line is an intentional echo of Pelosi's Wednesday letter to Trump, in which he said about the State of the Union's Presidential speech: "You can leave the Oval Office if you wish").

Read: Letter from President Trump to Speaker Pelosi

Knowing what we know about Trump (he's thin-skinned, easy to get angry and will never let the answer go unanswered), his reaction should not be surprising. This is who he is! This is what he does!

And yet, even with those incredibly low expectations, Trump's movement was surprising.

Pelosi was scheduled to depart on Thursday afternoon at CODEL, short for a congressional delegation traveling abroad. Trump canceled it by not allowing Pelosi to use a military plane for the trip. (The White House oversees the use of military aircraft by elected officials). "Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats guaranteed that 800,000 people would lose their paychecks today," a White House official told CNN's Jeremy Diamond as a justification.

Then, while the people on Thursday's television talked about how surprising it was that Trump had not yet responded to Pelosi, the president was busy in his lab preparing this gem. Show, once again, that there is not a way too low for him, although, certainly, the offer of Pelosi to make the trip on a commercial flight is an epic movement of trolls.

To be clear: Pelosi is far from irreproachable here. His decision to deny Trump his platform for the annual address on the "State of the Union", which expressed concern about the ability of the Secret Service to guarantee the safety of all in the midst of the 27-day government shutdown and without counting, was a totally political movement designed to embarrbad the president.

Pelosi's decision, like that of Trump in CODEL, was within his reach. (Speaker of the House invites the President to speak at a bicameral Congress session, the only function of the President is to accept or reject the request). But only because the two directors can doing what they have done does not mean that should do it.

As a reminder: 800,000 federal workers are without permission or working without pay today. And they have been doing it for the last (almost) month. Invoices are not being paid. They are making sacrifices. Real life is happening.

In the midst of that backdrop, the childhood extravagance between Trump and Pelosi feels deeply out of touch. But, more than that, it is actively detrimental to the reopening of the government. No one can argue that the actions of Trump and Pelosi in the last 24 hours have brought us closer to a compromise that would reopen the government. Hell, nobody can even argue that what happened between two of the most powerful people in the country has had a neutral impact in the confrontation of the closure. This is a bad thing for the country. Period.

What is even more frightening, and depressing, is that neither side is likely to play with the adult at this time.

Trump's nightmare of shutdown: a choice between the economy and the wall
Pelosi sees a Democratic base that is not interested in giving Trump its border fence and a series of national polls that suggest that the public blames the president and his party more than congressional Democrats for the continued closure. Combine those two factors, and Pelosi has no incentive to surrender to Trump.

Trump, of course, has made a political career to do just this: crush normal behavior, act impulsively and impetuously, take your ball and go home when you do not get exactly what you want. If Pelosi's political calculations make it unlikely that he will take the high road in the short term, Trump's personality does not even allow him to see that there is a high road.

What leaves us absolutely nowhere. Our elected officials are acting as my two children, who are 9 and 6 years old. Everything is the fault of the other person. They did it first. What could I do but react?

As any parent, or, in fact, any adult, will tell you, it is easy to get caught up in that blame game. But it is also a dead end from which solutions do not emerge. It's pretty bad when we're talking about a game between my guys on the Nintendo Switch. It is unimaginable when we are talking about the closed federal government.

"A second-year response does not deserve another," said South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, in a statement criticizing Trump's decision.

Amen. Unfortunately, at this point in the game, saying that Trump and Pelosi are doing "sophomoric" can be a great compliment to them.


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