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HORIST: Trump opens government … a cave or a finesse?

HORIST: Trump opens government … a cave or a finesse?

Trump’s decision to end the shutdown has been greeted by many as a cave … a surrender … a capitulation.  He seems to have agreed to bring the federal workers back to their jobs – and get them brought up to date in their wages – without funding for the wall.

Trump’s decision has been greeted on the far left and the far right with celebration and consternation, respectively. The disappointment and rage on the right come from such national conservative icons as Laura Ingraham and a number of local conservative radio folks, such as Joyce Kaufmann in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.  They see it as a total betrayal of Trump’s campaign promise.  But is that true?

On the left, there is dancing in the streets.  House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is being praised for both her toughness and political savvy.  After all, in the judgment of the #NeverTrump community, she took down a political Goliath.  But is THAT true?

As one who thought Trump had the power position — and all he needed to do was to hang tough until the House Democrats started feeling the pressure — I am a bit disappointed in his shift in strategy.  But I am not among those who think Trump has thrown in the towel regarding his $5.7 billion request for enhanced border security.  He has not ended the government shutdown, but merely called a time out.

In his remarks, Trump made one thing perfectly clear.  His funding for border protection is absolutely necessary, and he still demands that it be included in any bill that funds the government for the long run – at least as long a run as the God awful Continuing Resolution (CR) approach that holds sway in Congress will allow.

So what has Trump achieved?

In return for a little criticism from the right and the appearance — just a temporary appearance – of a defeat at the hands of Pelosi, Trump has reduced the pressure that had been building as the shutdown proceeded.

Trump may also have gained credibility and favor among the public.  Credibility because he has been able to make a good case for the wall in the interim.  His concerns about crime and drugs are increasingly persuasive.

He may be gaining favor by seeming to be more willing to negotiate and compromise – more reasonable.  While Pelosi & Co. pre-emptively rejected Trump’s most recent proposal – which included at least a temporary fix for the Dreamers and those with Temporary Protective Status – a good portion of the non-aligned public saw the Trump proposal as a reasonable start – a step in the right direction.

Getting the federal workers out of the crossfire in the highly personal and contentious feud between Trump and Pelosi cools down the situation considerably – and the credit goes to Trump.

He has also made it harder for Pelosi to credibly maintain her no wall/no talk position.  Her obstinance was already beginning to wear thin as the shutdown went on.  If she refused to consider funding for the border – and continues to avoid the negotiating table – she will own the next shutdown in three short weeks.

Trump has given Democrats three weeks to get serious about real negotiations – essentially forcing Pelosi to the negotiating table as she has promised when the government is back in operation.  He has also trumped her petty tactic of blocking the traditional State of the Union Address.  To block it now against her own prerequisite would pile petty upon pettiness.

Whether the Democrats have reason to celebrate, or the Trump base has reason to despair is an open question.  It all depends on what happens in the coming weeks.  Trump has every reason to continue to hang tough on his $5.7 billion request – and there was nothing in this move, or in his explanation, that suggests he will not.  This is no time to call the game.  There is a lot of time left on the clock before we know who won and who lost.

As far as the interim negotiations go, Trump’s announced proposal remains the opening offer.  It is now up to Pelosi to counter.  But as long as she will not consider any funding of the wall, the just-concluded government shutdown may wind up being the second longest in American history.

So,there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.


  1. Kenwardj Coker

    Sometimes you have to lose a small fry the catch the big fish believe in Trump don’t bump the Trump could you give you the stump I’m a good day whatever you are Trump is still in charge no matter what because God put him where he’s at and only God can take him away is everything that we have weather for the president of the United States all the shirt on all back it’s on loan to us my God Almighty himself never never never forget that everything is going the way God wanted to go praise the Lord Jesus I pray for Trump and his family everyday and how can you lose with such a thing as prayer

    • Mason

      Go back to grammar school. Learn basic punctuation. Then you will be able to make statements. What you have displayed here is just a bunch of words strung together without any meaning. That’s seriously lame and pitiful.

      • Susan McVicker

        And yet I understood what he was getting ac ross. He is a great man, being insulted by a seemingly not-so-great one. Tsk.

    • Susan McVicker

      Nice! Thank you for being a pray-er, rather than a complainer. We all need to take a lesson from that.

  2. Jimi Hendrix

    Round 1:TRUMP

    • Fidel Castro

      So what did trump “ win”?

  3. Donald Gitschier

    The game isn’t over, but there can be no amnesty or DACA or it is a cave. Time to do something about our courts as well. To many on the bench that don’t give a damn about the American worker.

  4. robert brydge

    i think trump di te right thing i think he will come roaring back in a stronger position

  5. Constance Toussaint

    I fear they have finally sepRated Trump from his base, that was their goal all along. I for one could cry with disappointment
    End in trump. His stature went way down for me who gas defended him with all my might. I will not donate anymore….

    • Inkpad

      Hang on lil trooper see how it plays out before throwing in the support towel

  6. George moran

    He better win or we are in trouble he will be toast in 2020 .

  7. Ann Crosby

    We think that was Trump’s planned strategy. The fact that it seems Dems won this round of the standoff means that all media will report it! That uses the media against Democrats for once. They now own the open border & all the consequences of that. It’s very public, front and center.

    Democrats are racing to paint this as a win…which it is, for now. But notice that they are so against Trump that they have forgotten us, the voters. However, we see them working blindly and ferociously against our safety, against the Wall. Democrats don’t realize we want protection, safe communities, safe highways from drunken drivers. They have not stopped to realize that we don’t hate Trump the way they do.

    Basically they have no goal except to resist Trump, whatever form that takes. That does NOT serve us well!!! They have totally forgotten that that their biggest job is national security, protection of citizens They are running on automatic now, they are no longer leading in any sense of the word….

    We need to mount pressure on our elected leaders to Build The Wall. So that’s how Trump will structure an eventual win…!

  8. wyomingman

    Pelosi thinks she has won and thinks this will embolden her base. The witch will find out in three weeks. I believe President Trump has a plan which will get the funds to build the wall, our wall, the American people’s wall, and at the same time, make the Democrats look even more stupid than they are. Wait and watch.

  9. Jean Baker

    He’s concerned about the people who were getting hurt due to the shutdown. Pelosi has shown she doesn’t care about anybody. She just wants her own way. She and all of congress should work with the President for the good of all Americans.

    • Susan McVicker

      Great points. Thank you!


    President Trump, and he is the elected President in spite of the morons who say he is not their President, is fighting to save America and our fought for values that so many died for in our many wars the last 100 years. The far left/radical liberals seem to forget who paid the price to allow them into office to project the will of the people. They are not in any way doing their job to keep our citizens safe from external forces determined hell bent on destroying our way of life. Many members in Congress are in fact holding hands with these evil forces. Many advocate socialism. Morons just have to look at the record of many countries who went this route and are now garbage.
    The President needs to expound the fact of all the billions America has donated to foreign countries in past years while ignoring our own problems of caring for the poor, the homeless, the Vets and so on. Can Congress be so blind to miss this fact.
    The President wants a mere 5.7 billion for a wall to keep us from being overrun. A very low percentage of what we have given away even recently and the Dumbocrats will not allow this to happen. They want to only make a point of their so called power and control over the White House and America be damned. The Dumbocrats are hell bent into giving our country over to the illegal masses so they can somehow vote them into power in 2020 and expand their socialistic programs that have failed in so many countries.
    If President Trump does not win his case, America will go the way of Russia, Venezuela, Cuba and the rest who just didn’t get it.
    The Left should stop shooting from the hip and start researching history. Understanding the past and the mistakes made is the only way toward a decent future for our kids and grand kids.
    President Trump is our only salvation against the many morons in Congress who speak only crap.

  11. srk_in_co

    So now what will he say in the State of the Union address? It would appear he thought it more important to do that speech than to continuing the shutdown. Like another commenter said, he better have a winning hand and a wall in one year or else reelection is gone.

  12. Katee

    Careful what you ask for left, you might get it, in SPADES!!!!!

  13. Leon

    My only response is: Finesse with a capital “F”

  14. Elias Salas

    Let’s see how can the Democrats paint this Oh!!!! we won. This was not for your benefit it was to give those men and women their just due their wages and back-pay. Pelosi you best do something or you are going to be hung out to dry, and your party is going to blame you for losing the battle.

  15. Kandice Alexander

    President Trump has too much guts to just throw in the towel now. I believe he calculated a strategy to get the overdue wages to FAMILIES who need it ( remember he is very Pro-family unlike any democRAT) and I believe he will play hardball when the 3 weeks is over. Give him credit for relieving the pressure. He will not back down on that wall!

  16. RUSTY