Republicans are trying to recast their extortion as ordinary negotiation. “We’re asking for $5.6 billion. They’re offering us zero,” Mulvaney told CNN. He complained that in a meeting with Trump on Friday, Democrats “said they were not interested in having any further discussions until … the government was open.” Trump and Mulvaney dismiss that position as absurd. The least Democrats can do, according to the White House, is “come to the middle.”
The they are demanding $5.6 billion and offering nothing in exchange other than the end to the harm they are causing. Calling this a hostage situation is not a leap.