SEVERE WX : Flash Flood Watch View Alerts

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 4:16 PM
Updated: Jan 8, 2019 4:16 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.

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Cases: 2537823

Reported Deaths: 56270
CountyCasesDeaths
Kings33533010862
Queens31620210308
Suffolk2406933616
Nassau2150853300
Bronx2081546756
New York1687034643
Westchester1439382344
Erie1073581959
Richmond893051939
Monroe851201189
Orange57824920
Rockland53317779
Onondaga52624765
Dutchess35811500
Albany31130390
Oneida28916592
Broome24801409
Niagara24280398
Saratoga20545205
Ulster17373280
Schenectady16970229
Rensselaer15006170
Chautauqua12556175
Putnam1255098
Oswego11868115
Chemung11069158
St. Lawrence10742128
Steuben10304174
Ontario9467111
Jefferson903578
Cayuga8745107
Sullivan854183
Wayne830685
Cattaraugus7863118
Genesee7120132
Herkimer6890129
Clinton683740
Tompkins658059
Fulton6465104
Madison6288102
Montgomery6063143
Livingston581171
Warren559484
Cortland541380
Tioga519472
Columbia5053111
Chenango474688
Allegany471598
Washington471468
Otsego462655
Wyoming443458
Greene442587
Orleans441089
Franklin436422
Lewis365338
Delaware360348
Seneca276763
Essex237533
Schoharie233723
Yates167728
Schuyler155817
Hamilton4393
Unassigned14123
Out of NY0319
Utica
Cloudy
52° wxIcon
Hi: 54° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 52°
Oneonta
Cloudy
54° wxIcon
Hi: 53° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 54°
Herkimer
Cloudy
51° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 51°
Old Forge
Cloudy
51° wxIcon
Hi: 52° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 51°
WKTV Radar
WKTV Temperatures
WKTV Severe Weather
Game Day Deals - New Deals Each Week
Chapter Aesthetic October Giveaway
Cool To Be Kind 2021
Looking for work or looking to hire? Check out the WKTV Job Fair!
Saluting Those Who Are Proud 2 Serve