You know that person you try to make dinner plans with, but they refuse to make any suggestions themselves? Instead, they just veto every idea you throw out.
That person is President Trump.
On Friday afternoon, Trump capped a confusing few hours by signing an omnibus spending package that he had threatened to veto earlier in the day -- but not before pledging that he would never again sign such a monstrosity (more than 2,200 pages), attacking Congress for passing a bill he said nobody had read, and taking issue with the lack of an immigration deal in the bill.
All of this happened, mind you, after Congress had already passed the bill to avert a government shutdown at midnight. The White House had been working with congressional leaders along the way, and White House advisers assured as late as Thursday that Trump would sign it. Whatever concerns Trump had with the process or the final product, he bizarrely opted not to express them at a point in the process when he actually could have effected some change. He instead decided on the eve of a shutdown that he'd rather just sign the thing and hightail it for Mar-a-Lago, while shaking his fist and insisting he wasn't happy about the whole thing.
It was quite a display. It was also completely pointless. If Trump really believed this was such a horrible thing, why not try and get involved on the front end? Why wait until the very last day to lodge these complaints, and then not even force Congress's hand. All it really did was make Trump look like he got a deal he didn't like and signed it anyway. Trump's late veto wound up mostly making it seem like Congress got the better of him and that he didn't get what he wanted.
The reason for this, of course, is pretty simple: Trump does not participate in policy debates. He doesn't even tune into them, it seems, until they show up on his television screen. He's held two policy discussions with lawmakers that were open to the press this year -- one on guns and the other on immigration. In both cases, it was clear he didn't really even have a passing understanding of what Congress was considering or had considered.
He's torpedoed deals that seemed to meet his previously expressed requirements, most notably on immigration. He insisted Friday that he wished a new immigration deal had been struck as part of the omnibus, but it appeared to be the first time he had floated that idea. As recently as Thursday, White House adviser Marc Short said the White House had gotten what it asked for in the bill when it came to border-wall funding -- contrary to Trump's Friday morning tweet.
This was mostly just Trump taking the opportunity to complain and say "Don't do it again." He wasn't involved in the process on the front end, because he simply doesn't do policy, and when his interest was finely piqued (by cable news, no doubt) he decided to engage -- with a tweet that was too late to do anything.
Trump once promised to fix virtually all the problems that plague our nation. "I alone can fix it," he said upon accepting the GOP nomination. Whatever you think of him, though, he's shown almost no real interest in putting in the work to fix things like Congress passing 2,200-page bills just before a deadline. He'd much rather just let Congress do it and then use it as a bogeyman. Friday was a prime example.