Trump Can’t Afford to Lose

The cost of defeat would be higher for President Trump than for Speaker Pelosi.

The Oval Office speech and trip to the border suggest the stakes are rising as the government shutdown is now in its third week. In the received Beltway wisdom, the trick for shutdowns is to pin blame on your opponents, in the way that then-Speaker Newt Gingrich was blamed for the 1995 shutdown by Bill Clinton, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer took the hit for the quickly aborted shutdown early last year. Because Mr. Trump took full responsibility for this shutdown even before it started, the thinking goes, he is fated to lose.