Vice President Pence plays politics with the troops overseas. “American elected officials typically do not engage in political speech when addressing members of the armed services. When asked about this later by a reporter, Pence paused and then said the troops are ‘Americans who are literally paying the price.’ He added: ‘I wanted these soldiers to know that we are with them.’ He promised to work earnestly to move this process forward. He then repeated his attack on the ‘Democrats in the Senate.’ ” No one in the administration seems to sense when something’s out of line.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) tries to play the role of grown-up. “Sen. Rand Paul on Sunday proposed a compromise to reopen the government: promising Democrats a week of votes on immigration at the end of which there’s some resolution for the so-called ‘Dreamers’ brought to the U.S. as children. The Kentucky Republican said he believes the impasse that shut down the government Saturday could end if Republicans were willing to offer a series of votes on immigration, including amendments, in both chambers.”

President Trump doesn’t really do the job of president. He just plays one on TV. “His own staff and leadership is keeping him at arm’s length from shutdown negotiations for fear that he will flub them. His campaign team launches incendiary ads in his name, while the [White House] runs from them. This isn’t the Michael Wolff book. This is today’s news.”

He should just go play golf. “Inside the White House, Mr. Trump, the neophyte president who has styled himself the ultimate dealmaker, remained remarkably disengaged from the complex process of hammering out a politically palatable deal that could provide a way out of the morass.” Totally useless in a crisis.

We’ll see how this plays out in the midterms. “Determined to not let the momentum die, protesters once again converged on hundreds of cities — at home and abroad — for the second annual Women’s March, seeking not only to unite in a call for social change but also to channel their fury into voter action. . . . ‘This year, organizers say they are reaching out to local partners after a year of grass-roots work to try to access a cross section of America, from minorities to the disenfranchised to women in low-income communities.’ One thing that hasn’t changed, organizers say, is the anger that was on display last year.”

Republicans look deceitful when they try to play the military card. “Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, in a letter to troops on Friday in anticipation of a shutdown, said daily operations around the world will continue and active forces will stay in their posts. … His sanguine comments conflicted with those of Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and some Republican lawmakers who said the shutdown is harming the U.S.’s ability to protect its citizens.” There shouldn’t be any serious question as to which one to believe.

While U.S. politicians played partisan games, Turkey invaded a neighbor. “Turkish ground forces advanced into northern Syria’s Afrin region on Sunday, Ankara said after launching artillery and air strikes on a U.S.-backed Kurdish militia it aims to sweep from its border. … Turkey is targeting the U.S.-backed fighters at a time when ties with ally Washington appear close to breaking point.” Trump managed to make us less respected and less admired in the world; chaos ensues.