Democrats have no incentive to extract President Trump from the corner he’s painted himself into. Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.): “I think that what the president needs to do more than anything else — he’s painted himself into a corner on this thing — is figure out how he unpaints himself from that corner. … If you reward the president with that kind of tactic, Jake, then we’re going to see every year the president shutting down the government. And we just can’t afford to do business that way.”
Trump is cornered, tweeting instead of governing. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.): “Enough with the memes. Just quit hurting innocent people and re-open the government.”
Corner some Senate Republicans and they’ll say Trump is the biggest threat to their re-election. “Cracks in the GOP ranks have already emerged as skittish Republicans, many of whom face difficult elections in 2020, have begun asserting their independence. Their actions have ranged from siding with Democrats on efforts to reopen the government to writing a stinging op-ed about the president in just the first week of the new year.”
The markets are no longer in the president’s corner but regard him as a danger to a sustained recovery. “The market’s roller-coaster ride has prompted some Wall Street analysts to cut their 2019 forecasts, the latest sign of unease as the stock bull market approaches its 10th year. … [A] brutal December selloff and lingering worries about the health of the global economy have kept major indexes well below their records.”
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) starts with many progressives in her corner — and turning out in Iowa. “Warren ended the day Saturday in Des Moines, where a capacity crowd of 750 people showed up to hear the senator sounding every bit a presidential candidate. Another 300 people showed up but there was no space for them inside so Warren visited them in an outside overflow space.”
Republicans cornered Trump on Syria, and it may have triggered a flip-flop. “[Rep. Liz] Cheney told ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos that pulling troops out hastily could create ‘a situation where the Iranians were given free rein to really establish a land bridge there and control and dominate Syria. It would allow ISIS to begin to again form safe havens potentially and it would not serve the interest of our ally, Israel, and others in the region.’” Now John Bolton says we’re not pulling out right away.
Oh, puleez. Even with John F. Kelly in his corner, he was an inveterate liar. “With the departure of White House chief of staff John Kelly, the misinformation emanating from President Trump has only escalated. Alumni of this White House see a possible reason. … Although Kelly was thwarted in many of his efforts to control the president, one place he made authentic inroads was clamping down on the paper flow to the Oval Office.” He was just as bad in the run-up to the midterms when Kelly was there.