President Donald Trump's hatred of looking foolish and Democrats' conviction that they have a winning hand is leaving the President with no way out of the stalemate over his border wall.
That means hundreds of thousands of federal workers, in limbo in a government shutdown that is within days of becoming the longest on record, are about to pay a heavy price when their paychecks don't arrive as normal on Friday.
Far from moving toward a resolution, the shutdown, which started in the old Republican Congress and has stretched into the new Democratic House majority, is becoming more intractable by the day.
On Wednesday, in talks with top congressional leaders, Trump lived up to a tweet he fired off nearly eight years ago: "'Know when to walk away from the table.' The Art of the Deal."
He stormed out of the White House Situation Room after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi declined to finance the border wall that the President didn't manage to get funded when the GOP held the purse strings.