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Donald Trump's speech will make the shutdown worse

President Donald Trump will address the country at 9 p.m. ET tomorrow on the issue of immigration and, presu...

Posted: Jan 8, 2019 3:16 PM
Updated: Jan 8, 2019 3:16 PM

President Donald Trump will address the country at 9 p.m. ET tomorrow on the issue of immigration and, presumably, the ongoing fight over a border wall that has kept the federal government shut for the past 17 days.

The specifics of what Trump says -- and whether all the networks give him the airtime to say it (CNN has already announced it will) -- is tough-ish to predict. But it will almost certainly fall into one of two buckets.

Donald Trump

Political Figures - US

Bucket 1: Trump announces he is declaring a state of emergency on the border, allowing him to use money allocated to the military to build a wall along the southern border.

Bucket 2: Trump cobbles together the various half-true -- and less than half-true -- statistics his administration has been using to create the idea of a crisis at the border, sprinkles in some anecdotes about violence committed by people in the country illegally and, voila, a prime-time address!

(I suppose there is a third bucket where Trump uses his prime-time bully pulpit to push a specific compromise plan. But I mean, come on.)

Under either scenario, the shutdown -- and the chances of it ending before it breaks a record as the longest shutdown in modern political history -- gets worse.

In Bucket 1, there are a series of legal challenges to Trump's ability to end run Democrats' refusal to allocate money in the federal budget to his border wall -- not to mention the massive political fight that would ensure.

"I'm confident he could declare a national emergency but what that may mean in terms of adding new elements to this -- in terms of court hearings and litigation that may carry this on for weeks and months and years -- to me injecting a new element in this just makes it more complicated," Republican Sen. John Cornyn of Texas told CNN's Manu Raju on Monday.

In Bucket 2, any progress made over the weekend -- as staffers for the two sides met behind closed doors -- would almost certainly be erased by the President's over-the-top rhetoric. Given that any deal made and passed through Congress still requires the President's signature to become law, putting Democrats on blast on national TV is almost certainly a bad thing.

Remember, too, that Trump has said -- as recently as last Friday -- that the shutdown could go on for a "very long period of time, months or even years." (That was Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer quoting Trump but the President has confirmed he said it.)

Add it all up and the chances of a prolonged shutdown just keep going up with each passing day.

The Point: When has Trump speaking to the public made a situation less polarized or controversial? Go ahead and think. I'll wait.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 27900

Reported Deaths: 1082
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds211139
DeSoto131115
Madison120634
Jones106149
Neshoba95268
Lauderdale87978
Rankin81612
Forrest79842
Scott74215
Harrison7198
Copiah56214
Leake54719
Holmes52040
Wayne51511
Jackson50516
Oktibbeha48324
Lee47716
Leflore46948
Yazoo4676
Washington4659
Lowndes44411
Lincoln43434
Warren42517
Lamar4077
Grenada3675
Pike35612
Monroe35529
Attala35023
Lafayette3394
Newton3289
Covington2905
Sunflower2806
Adams26318
Bolivar26113
Chickasaw25418
Panola2546
Jasper2456
Noxubee2458
Tate2457
Clay24010
Marion24011
Winston2405
Pearl River23932
Pontotoc2314
Claiborne22810
Simpson2183
Smith20411
Clarke19824
Marshall1963
Coahoma1836
Kemper17413
Union1729
Walthall1694
Carroll15711
Lawrence1541
Yalobusha1527
Webster12310
Itawamba1228
Tippah12111
Hancock12013
Humphreys1209
Calhoun1194
Montgomery1162
Jefferson Davis1034
Prentiss973
Tallahatchie943
Greene917
Tunica893
Wilkinson899
Jefferson843
Amite812
George733
Choctaw714
Quitman670
Tishomingo651
Perry594
Alcorn551
Stone511
Franklin382
Benton270
Sharkey240
Issaquena61
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 38442

Reported Deaths: 947
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson4210140
Montgomery378894
Mobile3634134
Tuscaloosa196436
Marshall14959
Lee116737
Shelby105623
Madison10216
Morgan9553
Franklin84313
Walker84317
Dallas8088
Elmore80614
Baldwin6639
Etowah60613
Butler60427
Chambers57627
DeKalb5765
Tallapoosa56069
Autauga53011
Unassigned50924
Russell4690
Lowndes45719
Houston4244
Lauderdale4105
Limestone4030
Cullman3983
Pike3965
Colbert3635
Bullock3609
Coffee3522
Barbour3221
Covington3086
St. Clair2922
Hale28520
Wilcox2788
Marengo27711
Sumter27512
Calhoun2685
Clarke2645
Escambia2586
Talladega2576
Dale2410
Winston2293
Jackson2102
Chilton2062
Blount2041
Pickens2046
Marion20012
Monroe1942
Choctaw19112
Conecuh1786
Randolph1699
Bibb1671
Macon1668
Greene1647
Perry1350
Henry1293
Crenshaw1223
Lawrence1000
Washington987
Cherokee717
Lamar711
Fayette661
Geneva630
Coosa551
Clay532
Cleburne291
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