The Immediate Past
Political comprises occur when agents for adversarial parties craft a deal that each side can depict to their respective principals as a victory. Chuck and Mitch reached such a compromise last week, and Mike Pence told them that Trump would go along.
Then Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh denounced the deal and denounced Trump. Acting out of shit-faced panic, Trump backed off. The deal fell through. The government went into a partial shutdown.
We are in a partial shutdown. Rush and Ann are, effectively, the co-President and co-Vice President of the United States.
What Happens Next
Chuck and Mitch may try again on Wednesday. They may or may not succeed in reaching a new arrangement that is satisfactory to the two of them. But the Democrats will never agree to a deal that lets Trump save face and claim that he has got the money for his wall, or his slats, or whatever.
And, in any event, President Limbaugh and Vice-President Coulter would, once again, veto any deal that the Democrats would accept.
What Happens After That*
The shutdown will continue, and continue, and continue. Pundits will predict a prolonged stalemate.
Before very long, Ann and Rush will be excoriating Trump for failing to force an end to the statement on his (their) terms.
Rush and Ann will begin to demand that Trump take all manner of destructive unilateral actions to punish the Democrats.
Trump, fearing for “his base,” will follow Rush and Ann’s advice.
Further chaos will ensue.
There may well be several successive cycles of this nihilistic behavior. During which Trump will continue to circle the drain, at an ever increasing velocity.
* When I prognosticate, I claim no magical powers. Nor do I purport to rely on my “gut.” I draw logical inferences from known facts, in order to think ahead just a few steps in the chess game. Inasmuch as life is not always logical, my prognostications may be wrong. So be it. But in this age of unreason, there is something to be said for continuing to try to be think rationally.