Wiretap: The biggest shutdown questions are what Trump wants and whether he even knows

It would probably be much easier to come to a compromise on the Dreamers and on the government shutdown if the president could say — or even knows — what he wants. It wasn’t so long ago, as you might remember, that Donald Trump was calling for a “bill of love.” Now he’s saying that Democrats are “complicit” in murder. Via The New York Times.

The conventional Washington wisdom, writes Russell Berman in The Atlantic, is that Republicans have the stronger hand to play and that, in a vote Monday, you may see enough Democrats take a deal to keep the government open for three weeks in return for a vague Mitch McConnell promise that he’ll take up DACA in the Senate if no broader deal can be forged by Feb. 8. Even if Senate Democrats trust McConnell on this, there’s no promise yet from Donald Trump or Paul Ryan.

So, who is Stephen Miller, the Trump aide largely blamed by Lindsey Graham and many Democrats for holding up an immigration deal? For one thing, he’s among the few close Trump advisers to have survived the first year. For another, he’s a hardline immigration restrictionist. Via The Washington Post.

Given the fact that Republicans control the presidency and both houses of Congress, the way to bet, writes CNN’s Chris Cillizza, is that Republicans will be blamed for the shutdown. Bigly.

Dave Leonhardt: Democrats won’t win this fight because Republicans have made the fight about immigration, which is still winning ground for them. Democrats, he writes, should retreat in order to be able to fight again. Via The New York Times.

As the two sides continue to try to reach a deal on the Dreamers, the Trump reelection campaign comes out win an ad saying Democrats are “complicit” in murders by undocumented immigrants. If this reminds of something, it might have been something Tom Tancredo said back in one of his attempts at running for governor. Via Vox.

From The National Review editors: Hang tough, Republicans, on the “Schumer shutdown” and against “amnesty” for Dreamers and other “illegal immigrants.”

The women’s march in Washington this year was very different from the one last year, which was equal parts outrage and solidarity. This one was more about getting things done. Via The New Yorker.

Joan Walsh: A year later, from the first march to the second, it’s still women vs. Trump, and it’s still not clear which side is winning. Via The Nation.

Princeton historian Sean Wilentz says we know who the bad presidents were. But after Trump’s first year in office, there is every indication  Trump will be worse. Via The New York Times.

Interesting read on Glenn Greenwald’s war on Robert Mueller’s Russia probe. The famously contrarian Greenwald makes a (sometimes) strong case that we’re fighting the wrong war. Via New York magazine.


Photo by Mobilus in Mobili via Flickr: Creative Commons