It’s hard to say who is more stubborn, President Donald Trump or House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. If neither gave in, the shutdown would have to go on forever. The only solution is for both to give in; that is, to compromise. A compromise is an agreement where both parties win, or at least can claim they won. And that will happen, sooner or later. I promise. The shutdown will not go on for years.
Trump above all needs a win. But consider this: he knows how to say he won even in the face of apparent defeat, as he did after the midterm election. He saw it as a great Republican victory because the party gained seats in the Senate, despite the fact that the Democrats took the House by a very large margin.
What to do? Here’s an idea, Mr. Trump. Drive a hard bargain with Ms. Pelosi as to the amount budgeted for the wall. She will give in, because for her it’s a bargaining point, but for you it’s a promise to your base, and also one of the few things you really believe in. But also, in proportion to how strongly you want the wall, be prepared to give her a few things she really wants. Maybe DACA immediately and a commitment to full immigration reform in the longer term.
Stop owning the shutdown, Mr. President.