President Trump loves slapping nicknames on people, so here’s one he might try: Brass Knuckles Nancy – because the Democratic Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, has earned it.
Following her party’s surging success in the midterm elections, Pelosi was sworn back into the job she’d held before and was instantly facing a critical problem.
The government was partially shut down, and the president was insisting he would not open it again unless he was given five-billion-plus dollars for his much-ballyhooed wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.
Talks were going nowhere. Democrats said until the shutdown was ended, noting could be discussed. The White House was howling about a national crisis, about America being overrun by drug dealers/terrorists/gang members, and about how the president’s party — the Republicans — would never, never, never give in until money for the wall was approved.
Pelosi went to meetings only to have Trump storm out. She listened to his repeated threats to proclaim a national emergency and just take the money. But most of all, she waited. Because she knew that all the bellicose words, posturing, and bullying could not overcome some simple facts.
Government workers were being forced to labor without pay. Lines were forming deeper and deeper in some airports. Fears about food safety, basic services, and economic stability were growing. And polls were eating the president alive.
Most voters blamed Trump for the problem, and many objected to the shutdown, especially as a tactic to build the wall. Pelosi canceled his invitation to deliver a State of the Union address.
And finally, after 35 days of a standoff, Trump blinked. He announced a temporary funding measure to put everyone back to work, just as the Democrats wanted. “I am very proud to announce today that we have reached a deal …”
He did not get the money for his wall.
He did not get to crow about how he’d shown the Democrats what’s what.
He did not get to tell Republicans, once again, how he can’t be beaten.
Instead, he got a jaw-rattling roundhouse from a wily pro who — say what you will about her politics — knows how to throw a punch.