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State of the Union Address: Unity or Emergency?

On Tuesday, Trump will throw down the gauntlet: Unity or Emergency?

Tuesday’s State of the Union speech comes at a time of deep partisan division over border wall after record-long shutdown.

The WSJ reports Trump to Call for Bipartisanship as He Threatens to Declare Emergency.

President Trump in Tuesday’s State of the Union is expected to issue a plea for national unity at a moment of deep partisan divisions, with the Democratic-controlled House and the White House at an impasse over spending priorities while Mr. Trump threatens to do an end-run around both chambers of Congress to pay for a wall on the southern U.S. border.

Mrs. Pelosi will be sitting behind Mr. Trump, alongside Vice President Mike Pence, as the president delivers the address. A CNN poll released Monday found Mrs. Pelosi’s approval rating jumped eight points during the recent partial government shutdown to 42%, while polling has shown that Mr. Trump has borne the brunt of the blame for the shuttering of government offices for the longest period in U.S. history.

In a January Wall Street Journal/NBC poll, 50% of respondents blamed him for the shutdown, compared with 37% who said Democrats were most responsible. The president’s overall job performance rating remained steady, with 43% approving and 54% disapproving of the job he is doing.

Minds Made Up

I cannot hope to persuade anyone to change their minds because minds are already made up.

Rather, I can state that Trump is pressing a debate he cannot win except in the courts, and that is a risky move.

I caution that just because someone is economically illiterate or foolish on many things does not imply the same person is foolish on "everything".

I recently went through that with Michael Bloomberg who I called a foolish billionaire for his statement that trying to legalize marijuana is "perhaps the stupidest thing that anybody has ever done"

Clearly, legalizing marijuana is not the stupidest thing that anybody has ever done.

Yet, I had two friends who stood up for Bloomberg.


I responded:

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When you dramatically overstate your your case, you subject yourself to immense ridicule.

Like it or not, Pelosi has decent political instincts that need to be respected, even if you cannot stand her (and I can't).

Pelosi cannot possibly cave, nor can the Democrats. That leaves Trump with several choices.

Three Choices

  1. Declare a national emergency against the advice of most Senate Republicans
  2. Start a second government shutdown against the advice of all Senate Republicans
  3. Complete cave-in against the advice of some but not all Senate Republicans.

Those are the choices, all bad.

Of the two, the second is most problematic, followed by number three.

By process of elimination we arrive at number 1 followed by a big court battle.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

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