President Trump has provided Democrats with a major opportunity to gain credibility as well as to accomplish some things that are important to their agenda. Partisanship and stubbornness on the part of Democrat leaders could cost them dearly.

On February 15, Trump will order a border wall constructed. He has several avenues to pursue to make that happen, including a declaration of a state of emergency that does not require Congressional approval. He doesn't want to go that route, but he will.

Trump has proven several times during the last month that he would prefer a working relationship with Congressional Democrats, one that involves negotiations and a little give-and-take. So far they have been reluctant to accept his overtures.

Make no mistake, Trump will get his way on the wall.

Democrat leaders have a golden opportunity to win approval of a number of initiatives they hold dear, not the least of which are DACCA and TPS. They have a chance to put aside their differences with Trump and make some deals. He is the dealmaker.

There has to be a willingness to cooperate with the other side in order to make meaningful deals in which each side gets something and each side gives something. The Democrats have flatly rejected Trump's efforts.

On February 15, Trump will order the wall built. Should they come to the table, Democrats could win big. Should they continue to play silly partisan games, they will win nothing. Talking is always better than not talking. Bargaining in good faith is even better.

Democrats could change the environment in Washington and end the gridlock that has paralyzed the system for years by coming to the table with Trump. This is a historic opportunity for Democrats to make government function properly once more.

I hope they don't blow it.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author. 

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