Mania at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

Yesterday in the Oval Office, Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump knocks BuzzFeed over Cohen report, points to Russia dossier DNC says it was targeted by Russian hackers after fall midterms BuzzFeed stands by Cohen report: Mueller should 'make clear what he's disputing' MORE’s “Art of the Deal” business skills turned into Edvard Munch’s famous painting “The Scream,” that iconic portrayal of a man who is overwhelmed and contorted by anguish. Here are the takeaways from the mania between our Republican president and the top two Democrats in Congress at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

First, Trump learned the hard way that there is a big difference between a president with a shrewd negotiating posture and one who thinks he can just push people around. Pushing people around may work in the New York City real estate deal, but it doesn’t work when the real estate is Washington, and Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiOn The Money: Trump teases 'major announcement' Saturday on shutdown | Fight with Dems intensifies | Pelosi accuses Trump of leaking trip to Afghanistan | Mnuchin refuses to testify on shutdown impacts Ellen DeGeneres buys cheesecakes from furloughed federal workers who were baking to make ends meet Trump teases 'major announcement' about shutdown on Saturday MORE and Chuck SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerTrump blasts Pelosi for wanting to leave country during shutdown The Senate should host the State of the Union Dem senators debate whether to retweet Cardi B video criticizing Trump over shutdown MORE are in the room.

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Second, Vice President Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceWhen government is closed, American diplomacy pauses Trump signs law guaranteeing back pay for federal workers Pence says 'ISIS has been defeated' hours after attack that killed US troops in Syria MORE demonstrated for the American people what a deer in the headlights looks like when the deer is sitting frozen in place in the Oval Office.

Third, Pelosi demonstrated clearly to House Democrats why they need a heavyweight against Trump. When he blustered about currently having the votes in the House for a massive border wall, she challenged him to call the vote. When he spun, she put the brakes on him. She demonstrated that this president has not figured out how to solve an issue beyond reciting an empty campaign promise.

Fourth, Schumer served as an equally effective foil to combat the flood of obfuscations coming from the president. When Trump tried to downplay Democrats taking over the House by pointing out that Republicans had victory in the Senate, Schumer answered him very directly, “When the president brags he won North Dakota and Indiana, he is in real trouble.”

Fifth, Schumer reminded us that Trump is willing to close the federal government because Congress refuses to fund a wall that he promised would be paid for by Mexico. Remember that? The president unwittingly set up himself and Republicans to take the blame for a shutdown.

Political battles over shutdowns are won and lost by whom the public perceives is unreasonable and at fault. In 1998 and 2013, the public held House Republicans responsible. It is true that the longer shutdowns go on, the more equally blame is shared. In this case, we have a president who said, “I will be the one to shut it down.” If there is such a shutdown, expect that quote to air on cable news as frequently as “I Love Lucy.”

Sixth, Trump displayed that he is not a Teflon president but instead has thin, if orange hued, skin. When Pelosi needled Trump during the meeting, it was like she jabbed him with a serrated knife, sending the commander in chief to the behavioral equivalent of Defcon 1. The real problem here is that foreign leaders learn from this display of how to get under that skin.

Finally, the one person watching this who might have felt some shred of relief was outgoing White House chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE, who knows he will no longer have to sit through many more of these chaotic meetings.

Steve Israel represented New York in Congress for 16 years. He served as chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee from 2011 to 2015. He is a novelist whose latest book is “Big Guns.” You can follow him on Twitter @RepSteveIsrael and Facebook @RepSteveIsrael.