An interesting sidelight of the Trump shutdown drama was a private meeting yesterday between Mike Pence and Republican senators, who supposedly told Pence in strong terms that Trump needed to end the shutdown soon. Even quiet Sen. John Boozman got in on the action, according to an account in the Hill.

Pence met with senators to whip them to vote for Trump’s bill yesterday that drew fewer votes than the Democratic alternative, also defeated.


One GOP senator said lawmakers told Pence “the shutdown needs to come to an end, this is not a strategy that works [and] we never should have had a shutdown in the first place.”

Pence in turn told them that “the president is interested in striking a deal,” according to the source.

The pushback against Pence came from outspoken critics of the shutdown like Sen. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), as well as from lawmakers who usually keep a lower profile — Sens. John Boozman (Ark.), Johnny Isakson (Ga.) and Jerry Moran (Kan.)

One of the most remarkable moments during the Senate luncheon came when McConnell told Pence that shuttering the government to try to secure funding for a border wall was not a smart approach.“McConnell talked about how we need to bring this process to a close; we should never have had a shutdown; they don’t work; I’ve said this numerous times; I don’t know how many times I’ve told you there’s no education in the second kick of a mule,” said a GOP source familiar with the meeting.

So give Dr. No Boozman some points. Give him more if he actually votes in a way that matches his words or speaks publicly about the ill Trump is doing.