Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Dems must hold firm in shutdown, and make the GOP own their idiocy

After we have a day off to ring in 2019, things are going to heat up fast in the political world immediately afterward. The Dems will take over the House of Representatives on Thursday, and have said the first bill they will pass will be one to end a partial government shutdown that has been in place before Christmas.

But President Donald Trump seems to still care more about posing for his 35% deplorable base instead of his actual job of presiding over the country. So Budget Guy Stan Collender says it makes the focus of action shift to the US Senate, still run by the Mitch McConnell-led Republicans.
McConnell['s] choice will be stark: either try to reinforce Trump’s wishes on the wall or try to talk him into doing something different and perhaps keeping the fight alive.

The worst thing for Trump will be for Mitch to conclude that overriding his veto of a bill that reopens the government is the only way to get out of this situation. It will be politically messy and could put Trump into the kind of tweet storm rant against McConnell that he uses frequently against others. That could send financial markets reeling.

A veto override could also result in Trump looking for even more things to distract attention from what many would consider his worst legislative rebuke ever, especially because it would come by the hands of Senate Republicans.

The most logical solution will be to extend the time so something may be negotiated by reopening the government for another month or so. But this is Trump; logic won’t necessarily be the guiding force unless McConnell is able to convince him that a veto override will be far worse for him in both the long- and short-run.

If McConnell can’t do that, or can’t get the votes for the override he may need, this shutdown is going to set records for political ugliness and ineptitude.
And if McConnell doesn't do that, it goes against what the Senate did 2 weeks ago, where a similar bill to keep the government open passed unanimously and was set to fly through the House. Until Paul Ryan cowardly caved to Trump (who was caving to right-wing media) on Pau-lie's way out the door into his lobbying/stink tank career.

Have you seen me?
DC Dems often think that they will be rewarded by media by being the "responsible party" in situations like these, and compromise their wants in order to allow the country to run smoothly. But that isn't true.

This recounting by Washington Post's Greg Sargent regarding an interview with Madison resident Ben Wikler describes the quandry that results, and the differing incentives among the two parties that showed themselves during the last government shutdown.

Dems in DC need to get that mentality out of their heads and recognize that they should not compromise on wasteful, racist garbage like Trump's Wall, the eradicating of human rights, or disastrous fiscal policies. You cannot cave in to allow the country to be run by a clueless fraction of a fraction, or at the very least they should expose the public to the consequences of such a situation, if the president and the GOP Senate continue to allow that fraction of a fraction to control things.

Bottom line - Dems better not give the GOP an inch on this, and they don't need to. No one outside of 35% BubbleWorld believes the Dems have any role in this shutdown, nor will they be blamed for the economic damage that results from things staying closed if Trump and the rest of the GOP continue to pout instead of govern.

Make the Senate do the right thing, whether that's in getting Trump to back down on his stupid shutdown, or in overriding Trump's veto. Or if they continue to do the wrong thing, shout far and wide that "THE GOP IS WORKING FOR TRUMP, AND NOT YOU!" And if some bad things have to happen to some Americans due to GOP negligence, that's a them problem, not a Dem problem.

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