A few weeks ago Donald Trump threatened to close the Mexican border. “I’m not playing games” said Trump. Some people evidently thought he was, so two days later the White House had to double down: Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway insisted that the president’s threat “certainly isn’t a bluff.”
Still, no one really took him all that seriously, except the talking heads in the media that needed fresh meat to chew on. Sure enough, less than a week after his threat, Trump reversed himself. He was going to give Mexico a “one year warning” instead.
The same week, Trump also backed off on a threat to go after Obamacare again. The last time Trump actually followed through on one of his big threats, he shut the government down and it didn’t work out so well for him.
Still, don’t look for Trump to stop making threats. It’s his MO and has worked for him all of his life. In addition, he doesn’t appear to know any other way to negotiate.
The problem for Trump is that fewer and fewer people believe his treats. Which makes him look impotent. Which is a problem for all of us, because if he feels like no one is taking him seriously he may resort to something dramatic that could be good for his ego but a disaster for the country.