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Nancy Pelosi Trolls Trump With Poll Numbers, Wins State Of The Union Showdown

 

Earlier today, Trump fired off another snotty letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in a bizarre attempt to force her to let him give his State of the Union address on the House Floor:

Predictably Trump’s stunt ended in embarrassment for the president after Pelosi, who controls the House, sent her own letter politely informing him he could get bent:

Pelosi then trolled the president with some poll numbers that might not have made it through his impenetrable Fox News cocoon:

The poll shows Pelosi has the upper hand in the shutdown negotiations with a plurality of voters on her side:

Trump later retreated to the Oval Office where he seemed to concede defeat in the State of the Union battle. Of course, he didn’t admit he’d been beaten without lying that he’s actually winning and claiming it’s Pelosi who’s afraid of “the truth”:

After an extended rant whining about having his invitation revoked Trump said, “We’ll be doing something in the alternative, we’ll be talking about that at a later date.” It’s unclear what kind of “alternative” Trump’s talking about but ideas that have been floated include an Oval Office address, somewhere on the border, or in the GOP-controlled Senate. Additionally, there have been reports Trump is considering two addresses, one to Congress and one in front of a fawning crowd of MAGA die-hards.

Trump could probably use a “feel-good” rally given the latest poll numbers. A new Associated Press poll has his approval rating at its lowest ever—34 percent:

But this kind of short-term “give the baby his bottle” strategy is precisely what’s dooming his presidency. Trump is locked in a death spiral with his fan base (including right-wing media) where every move he makes to please them only puts actual victory further out of reach. Still, guided by right-wing media personalities like Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, and White House Communications Director Bill Shine, he also won’t break free.

It’s a dynamic that Pelosi seems to recognize well, which is why she’s standing firm on his shutdown demands. Any negotiation with a president who’s taken the government hostage will only encourage him to do it again. Meanwhile, the furloughed federal workers are bearing most of the brunt of Trump’s doomed strategy, and they’re starting to share their pain with the legislators responsible.

Hopefully the right-wing fever breaks soon, although it’s tough to see how that’s going to happen. It’s possible that getting a first-quarter GDP growth number of zero—a scenario Trump’s own economics advisor admitted was possible—could knock something loose. Or maybe pressure from GOP donors fearing such an outcome could force McConnell’s hand.

In the meantime, Trump, along with too many Congressional Republicans, are following the siren song of Fox News right off a cliff and they’re dragging the rest of the country with them.