Categories Politics

Dems Cave on Shutdown and Begin Infighting

Ever since FDR, Democrats have held an advantage over Republicans. That is, in number of voters. If people who consider themselves “Democrats” would vote, it would be the Democratic party that controlled the White House, the Senate, the House, the Supreme Court, most of the governorships, and most of the state legislatures—instead of the Republicans.

The problem is that the Democratic Party is like herding chickens or cats. Years ago, Will Rogers said, “I don’t belong to ANY organized political party—I’m a Demmycrat.” And it’s the same today. By contrast, the Republican Party has always been the party of owners and managers and the Chamber of Commerce. They plan. They strategize. They get talking points, and everyone is on the same page, driving them home, in every medium, using the exact four or five words.

The only problem Republicans have is Donald Trump. They have no idea what he’ll do next. Leading up to the government shutdown, an exasperated senate leader, Mitch McConnell, said that Trump needs to decide what he wants, before they can negotiate with Democrats. And Democratic senate leader, Chuck Schumer, said negotiating with Trump is like negotiating with Jello, according to the Hill.

Trump then made two major blunders. First, he promised he’d sign anything that a bipartisan group of senators come up with. Note this from the conservative National Review:

Donald Trump held an extraordinary public negotiation on immigration reform with congressional leaders, during which he declined to commit himself to any particular policy but affirmed that he would sign off on whatever Congress sends him. Lest you think I am unfairly interpreting the president’s words, here is what he said:

I think my positions are going to be what the people in this room come up with. I am very much reliant on the people in this room. I know most of the people on both sides, I have a lot of respect for the people on both sides, and what I approve is going to be very much reliant on what the people in this room come to me with. I have great confidence. If they come to me with things that I’m not in love with, I’m going to do it, because I respect them.

And second, he reneged on that promise, according to NewsMax. To make matters worse, Trump went on to denigrate other countries.

It was during Thursday’s meeting that Trump reportedly made his remarks about “sh**hole countries” like Africa and Haiti, a comment that has boomeranged around the world, drawing support from his base and scorn from the rest.

Meanwhile, Republican Senator Lindsay Graham blames Trump’s staff for his flip-flops, according to The Blaze.

“I’ve talked to the president,” Graham said, “his heart is right on this issue. I think he’s got a good understanding of what will sell. And every time we have a proposal it is only yanked back by staff members.”

“As long as Stephen Miller’s in charge of negotiating immigration we’re going no where,” he said. “He’s been an outlier for years.”

With that kind of “leadership,” you’d think Republicans would be switching parties to get some sanity. But you’d be wrong, because Democrats are experts at “grabbing defeat from the jaws of victory.”

Look at the shutdown. Trump’s DACA flip-flop was all they needed to look like the reasonable side. But wait, there’s more. Democrats have been able to take ownership of two of the most popular issues today: CHIP (Child Health Insurance Program) and the Dreamers (Relief for immigrants who were brought here when they were young). In both cases the public is overwhelmingly in support of those programs.

A Kaiser poll shows that CHIP is the number one—number one–top priority among Americans. A full 62% said it was the nation’s top priority. That’s compared to only 28% who thought the recent tax bill was a high priority. Meanwhile, 79% thought DACA should be a top or important priority.

Trump served up the issue on a silver platter for Democrats, who could have said they were willing to shut down the government if we didn’t get CHIP funding. Republicans gave it to them, and they still balked, wanting DACA, too.

If they had been smart, they would have claimed that we got CHIP only because Democrats fought for it. Remember that it was Republicans who withdrew funding last fall.

That would have been a big success for Dems. AND, since the funding bill would only go for a month or so, they then could have said they wanted DACA for that negotiation. A one-two punch that would have left the Republicans reeling, appearing to be against kids in both cases. Instead, Dems demanded both in this one negotiation, and well, lost.

And since Democrats took a (very short) stand for DACA, many Democrats are furious that Dems then “caved” as Trump called it.

. . .many Democratic lawmakers and activists, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Kamala Harris of California, denounced the deal, arguing that Democrats couldn’t trust Republican leaders to fulfill their promises on immigration, the issue at the heart of the disagreement between the parties. . .

Sens. Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, and Kirsten Gillibrand, other possible 2020 presidential contenders, voted against ending debate on the bill, which the Senate eventually passed. The House is expected to vote on it on Monday evening.

Pelosi also broke with Schumer, saying she wouldn’t support any deal until House Speaker Paul Ryan promised to bring DACA legislation to the floor.

“I don’t see that there’s any reason — I’m speaking personally and hearing from my members — to support what was put forth,” Pelosi said during a Monday press conference. . .

Some Democrats voiced particularly strong dissent after news of the senators’ deal. Alida Garcia, a strategist and advocate for immigrants’ rights at the lobbying group FWD.us, announced she would cut ties with the party.

“I’m leaving the Democratic Party today,” Garcia tweeted. She later called Democrats “liars.”

People are not going to remember this as Democrats fighting for kids. They’re going to remember it as Democrats shutting down the government for some vague reason. And even in comparison to the chaos in the White House, they look disorganized.

Back to Will Rogers, he also said, “Democrats never agree on anything, that’s why they’re Democrats. If they agreed with each other, they’d be Republicans.”

Goethe Behr :Goethe Behr is a Contributing Editor and Moderator at Election Central. He started out posting during the 2008 election, became more active during 2012, and very active in 2016. He has been a political junkie since the 1950s and enjoys adding a historical perspective.