Americans know Trump can't make a deal.
When it comes to who is doing a better job handling the government shutdown, Americans side with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi over the failed efforts of Donald Trump.
In a new CBS poll, 47 percent of Americans say Pelosi is doing a better job of handling the shutdown, compared to a mere 35 percent who say the same about Trump. Polling expert Harry Enten said this was the first high-quality poll directly comparing Pelosi and Trump, adding, "Good for the Speaker and not so good for the President."
Trump's handling of the shutdown has been an epic disaster from the start. in a petulant hissy fit, Trump demanded roughly $5 billion for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border in a December bill to fund the government. In a televised meeting with Democratic leaders, Trump boasted that he would be "proud" to own a government shutdown. "I will be the one to shut it down," Trump told Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), adding, "I'm not going to blame you for it."
In typical Trump fashion, he shut down the government and proceeded to blame anyone and everyone but himself.
Americans see through the tantrums and childish antics, and are not happy with Trump. Despite being the least popular president in modern history, his poll numbers have slumped during the shutdown as most Americans place the blame on him and his complicit Republican accomplices.
And beyond blaming Trump, Americans think it is a terrible idea to shut down the government over a wall.
In the same CBS poll, an overwhelming 71 percent of Americans say the shutdown is not worth it. Beyond the sheer stupidity of a government shutdown over a wall, Americans are seeing the harm caused by Trump's reckless and churlish demands.
A full 94 percent of Americans see at least some problems the shutdown is causing this country, with three in five saying the problems are serious. Thanks to the Trump shutdown, 800,000 federal workers are not getting paid. For the first time ever, members of the military — the Coast Guard — are not receiving a paycheck. FBI agents are warning that national security is being compromised, airline pilots warn that air travel is less safe, and food inspectors are not inspecting the nation's food supply. Thousands of families are at risk of evictions because of a lapse in funding for certain housing programs, and national parks are filling up with trash.
Through it all, the American people have seen Nancy Pelosi and Democrats working towards ending the shutdown. The House has passed numerous bills to reopen the government, only to find Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blocking every effort thus far to end the shutdown.
Trump eventually offered a sham proposal that only addresses problems he himself created (related to Dreamers) and actually makes the situation worse for families seeking asylum. After more than a month of blocking any and all efforts to reopen the government, McConnell finally caved and will allow a vote on both Trump's sham plan and a House-passed version to end the shutdown.
Trump, McConnell, and the rest of Republicans should listen to the American people and trust Nancy Pelosi's leadership. It's the best way to end the Trump shutdown, reopen the government, and begin repairing the damage Trump wrought.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.