Donald Trump has invited conservative House Democrats to the White House in hopes of picking up their support in the shutdown fight. Speaker Nancy Pelosi isn’t worried, reportedly telling Majority Leader Steny Hoyer that “They can see what we’ve been dealing with. And they’ll want to make a citizen’s arrest.”
The effort to woo conservative Democrats to support wall funding that Pelosi is extremely unlikely to allow a vote comes as a handful of Republicans have already peeled off and supported Democratic efforts to re-open the government while border funding negotiations continue. But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell won’t bring anything to a vote—even something virtually identical to what the Senate passed unanimously in December and that passed the House on bipartisan lines—unless Trump is guaranteed to sign it, and Trump has been very clear that “I’m not interested” in re-opening government unless he gets billions for his wall.
Somehow Trump thinks he’s going to get the public to blame and pressure Democrats over the shutdown when he said going in that he would be “proud” to shut down the government and has now rejected multiple efforts to re-open it. He did manage to get Politico to both-sides it by speculating equally whether Democrats can gain Republican support (which they’ve already done) and whether Trump can gain Democratic support (which he has not yet come close to doing), but polling shows that voters are a little more savvy than Politico on this one.
Will Trump’s outreach manage to peel off one Democrat? Even Politico sees the problem there, noting that “though several centrist Democrats have expressed unease with the shutdown, it’s unclear whether the White House could even convince these rank-and-file members to strike a deal because they simply don’t trust Trump.” Why would you make a deal with someone who’s repeatedly appeared to make deals only to walk away, scoffing at them?