In the meantime, it looks like we may be heading for another government shutdown. Is this really happening? I didn’t realize it was possible for an administration to commit suicide twice.

Gail:This administration? Hahahahahaha.

I have hope we won’t smash into another shutdown, but it’s hard to tell. Right this second it looks like it’s not happening, but it’s complicated because Trump would have to accept what’s basically a face-saver on the wall issue. And give a little bit to the Democrats, who want to reform his mean, miserable border detention policies. In a normal world, that would happen. I miss the normal world.

What do you think?

Bret:I think Trump’s calculation is that he can do a Groundhog’s Day in reverse: That is, shut down the government again and again, and behave worse with each successive iteration. This rallies his base while, at some point a majority of Americans will say, “Just give him his darn wall.” Or so he figures. But we’ll have to see how he reacts to the “agreement in principle” that the House and Senate seem to have reached.

Gail:Don’t think Bill Murray would like us turning over his “Groundhog Day” role to Donald Trump.

Bret:The alternative narrative, and the more convincing one, is that Trump has continued to play games with the livelihoods of American workers for the sake of a bit of fencing that solves nothing except his own political problems. One thing that is becoming clear is the G.O.P. campaign theme for 2020. They are going to claim Democrats are the party of socialism, open borders, nationalized health care, and an environmentalist agenda that will wind up outlawing air travel and steaks and maybe even milk, too.

Gail:The Republicans are indeed ranting now about the Green New Deal, which Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other Democrats put forward. A.O.C. did mention eliminating “emissions from cows or air travel,” but — contrary to Trump’s swipes — that was a rather lighthearted description of a perfect future rather than a part of the plan.

And Trump has been playing the socialism card, but I don’t think it’s going to work. There are a number of Democrats who’d like to move toward a society that offers health care for everyone, free college tuition for those who can’t afford to pay, and federal work programs for the unemployed — paid for by much higher taxes on the rich. Most Americans want the same things. If the Democrats are smart about the way they present the programs, things should be fine.

I am aware, Bret, that this sort of talk causes you great pain. That’s why we’re in different political camps.