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Daily Recap — May 22

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Ultimatum for Progress

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President Trump delivered a simple message to Democrat leaders today in the West Wing: Choose your ‘I’ word.

A meeting that was supposed to focus on a bipartisan effort for infrastructure instead, as they tend to do these days, turned to talk of investigation and impeachment.

After failing to hash out any semblance of a productive meeting with the people targeting every aspect of his life, PDT told reporters there that he gave Dim leaders an ultimatum, warning that they needed to choose between pursuing infrastructure or obeying Tom Steyer’s orders to somehow fulfill far left fantasies of perp-walking the president out of the White House.

“You probably can’t go down two tracks,” he said. “You can go down the investigation track, or you can go down the investment track.”

“I walked into the room and I told Sen. Schumer and Speaker Pelosi, ‘I want to do infrastructure. I want to do it more than you want to do it… But you know what? You can’t do it under these circumstances. So get these phony investigations over with.”

Trump made clear that he didn’t appreciate Pelosi’s earlier statements at a news conference accusing him of stonewalling of up to 20 House investigations, saying it amounts to a “cover-up,” which in turn led to the Steyer wing of the party ramping up their calls for impeachment.

“I don’t do cover-ups,” Trump said, calling out Dims for their unrelenting harassment. “These people are out to get us,” he said.

After returning to the Capitol, Dims called their own news conference to say they were stunned that Trump had stormed out of the meeting before anyone else could speak.

“To watch what happened in the White House would make your jaw drop,” said Cryin’ Chuck Schumer. “We are interested in doing infrastructure. It’s clear the president isn’t. He is looking for every excuse.”

Cos you know, an entire political party seeking to us its power to destroy the lives of your family and everything associated with you isn’t an excuse not to sing Kumbaya with Dim leadership.

Schumer said he’d brought a 35-page infrastructure proposal to the White House, attempting to contrast Dims’ good-faith approach to talks with the president’s reluctance.

“Now that he was forced to come up with a way to pay for it, he ran away,” Schumer said.

Fun fact: The House of Representatives controls the purse strings of government. That chamber is currently controlled by Democrats, the same party who say they’re serious about doing infrastructure. That means it’s ultimately their job to sign off on a way to pay for the legislation they want. The funding aspect of the bill would need to be a bipartisan effort at the very least. This is another example of Dims seizing on the ignorance of the public to push their narrative.

Pelosi, who is simply stunned that unbound investigations could have an effect on bipartisanship, opted not to speculate as to what motivated PDT’s behavior.

The president, she said, “couldn’t match the greatness of the challenge that we have. … He just took a pass and it makes me wonder why he did that,” she said. “In any event, I pray for the president of the United States.”

They truly do rely on the stupidity of their constituents.

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Big Picture

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Let’s sift through all the noise to find the truth.

Dims are attempting to have their political cake and eat it too with a so-called “two-track approach.” The first track is to “conduct oversight” (read: investigate the living hell out of anything remotely connected to the Trump name) in order to appease the gathering far-left masses outside their office windows. The other track is to work with PDT —or at least give the appearance of working with him— on mutual interests such as infrastructure in order to provide cover for swing state and red state Dims who can’t afford to be seen as part of the out of control #Resistance movement.

It’s certainly the perfect strategy for a majority leader who must find a way to appease both wings of the party so as to prevent a civil war within her ranks. PDT knows that very well, and he’s (wisely) seeking to squash it before it gets any traction. By demanding that Dims choose between their witch hunt and bipartisanship, he denies Pelosi and co. the luxury of appearing reasonable while behaving unreasonably on a daily basis.

Don’t misunderstand me — Trump has every right to be upset with what is happening and I wouldn’t assume that this is all an act. But he also understands the strategy being applied and knows that he needs to take control of the narrative. The more he can portray Dims as rabid socialists who seek to undermine his presidency even at the cost of progress for the country, the better his political prospects. It’s a narrative that also has the benefit of being true. One could argue that Dims are doing the heavy lifting for him.

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On the other side of things, there is an element of truth to some of the talking points being proffered by Pelosi and Schumer. The funding aspect of infrastructure legislation presents an issue for PDT. A few weeks ago, Trump expressed support for what would likely amount to a $2 trillion infrastructure bill. Once Republicans got wind of the possible compromise, fiscal hawks (the few that exist anymore) said no way, Jose.

The most popular funding mechanism for these types of plans is the gas tax, which many Republicans fiercely oppose, thereby putting Trump at odds with his own party from the onset. The GOP’s preferred option for raising funds is cutting non-military spending from bloated government programs, which is a dead-on-arrival proposal as far as Democrats are concerned.

So you can see how Trump is behind the 8-ball here.

Thus, today’s failed meeting and subsequent Rose Garden presser allowed Trump to kill two very large birds with one politically savvy stone. Not only was he able to combat the Dims’ disingenuous efforts to appear reasonable and willing to work with the president, he was able to pass off blame for an infrastructure plan that would have a tough time garnering support even in his own party.

It was one of the smartest tactical moves he could have made. It’s a shame that the political environment makes getting things done for the American people a virtually impossible task, but if this is the game that must be played, at least he’s playing it better.

Now, the political calculus is pretty clear. Pelosi must decide whether the witch hunt being demanded by the more rabid wing of her party is worth the risk of alienating the level-headed constituency that decides elections. It’s clear that she ultimately wants to appeal to those swing state voters, as anyone who can do electoral math would. But now she must deal with something she’s never faced before — a GOP president who knows how to attack her vulnerabilities.

The next year and a half will hinge on whether Pelosi’s political common sense can survive the pressure of the impeachment crusaders. One thing is for sure — Trump won’t let her weasel out of making that choice.

And that gives us more than a fighting chance.

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(Turn page at bottom for next story)

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