Snow clovers the East Front of the US Capitol, on Sunday
As Washington DC is snowed in, shutdown talks are still at a complete and total impasse. It’s day 24 of the shutdown, and things are just stuck in the same place as they have been for three weeks. Period.
Bottom line: The dynamics haven’t changed. Between President Trump and Democratic leaders, someone will have to blink, and neither side is either willing — or, according to key players on both sides, currently has the political incentive — to do so. The expectation at the moment is that this week will be just as fruitless as the last.
This weekend, CNN’s Phil Mattingly polled seven senior GOP and Democratic aides who have been involved in these fights for years about how they thought this would end. While everyone had ideas and theories, not one could give a firm, confident answer on the way out.
The reason why was probably best encapsulated by this, from a GOP aide:
“We’re used to dealing with rational actors – the idea that once we get into situations like this, one side will see there’s no way out and end the stupidity. But those usual triggers – polls, pain of a shutdown on the country, frustrated members of your party – just don’t seem to move this president. Because it’s not about them, or an outcome. It’s about the fight.”