The “government” is not shut.

A part of the government, about one-fourth, is not funded. Because of the payroll cycle, the people working in those sectors are getting paid, though there may be a delay in payment for non-essential workers for future work until a new funding bill is passed.

Nonetheless, the “government shutdown” is the phrase of the season.

Depending who you ask, Trump either has boxed himself into a corner handing a potential victory to Schumer and Pelosi, or has brilliantly played his hand so that the only thing standing between a shutdown and a reopening is $5 billion in funding for border security, including some portion for the wall/fence.

If the parties were reversed, the media would have proclaimed the Democrat president the winner in this scenario, blaming Republicans for shutting the government over an amount that, in the grand scheme of the federal government, is almost a rounding error. But since it’s Trump, the media is siding with the Democrats.

The wall fight is not about the wall. We all know that. Democrats simultaneously claim a wall will be totally ineffective AND that it’s going to severely punish migrants and illegal border crossers. But as many people have pointed out, Democrats oppose the wall because (1) it WILL WORK in the locations where it is built, and (2) Congressional Democrats want to deprive Trump of fulfilling a campaign promise.

Trump has compromised, reportedly moving away from the $5 billion number. But does not appear to be backing down entirely.

AP reports:

President Donald Trump says parts of the government will stay shut as long as Democrats refuse to build more barriers on the U.S.-Mexico border, seemingly dashing hope for a Christmas miracle that would soon allow several departments to reopen and employees to return to work.

Asked when the government would reopen, Trump said: “I can’t tell you when the government’s going to be open. I can tell you it’s not going to be open until we have a wall or fence, whatever they’d like to call it.”

“I’ll call it whatever they want but it’s all the same thing,” he said at the White House after offering holiday greetings to U.S. troops stationed around the country and the world.

Trump argued that drug flows and human trafficking into the U.S. can only be stopped by a wall.

“We can’t do it without a barrier. We can’t do it without a wall,” he told reporters.

Democrats oppose spending any money on a wall or fence, pushing instead for increased use of technology to control access at the border.

Trump used the press statement today to get his message across how Democrats are playing games:

I don’t see much choice for Trump but to see this through. Even if he get less than the $5 billion, he will portray it as a victory. And he will cite statistics, as he did in the videos above, about how much of the border fence/wall has been repaired or extended.

There’s the added bonus that these partial shutdowns reveal, once again, how much of the federal government is non-essential.