January 18, 2018

Don't Do It, Democrats

So, on Saturday Donald Trump will have been in office for a year, and on Friday there's (currently at least) a good chance that the government will shut down. Heck of a way to celebrate your first year of full control of the government, eh Republicans?

You've got the White House, you've got Senate, and you've got the House, and you might lose the keys to the buildings.  Oh, sure, your majority in the Senate is not enough to get everything done, only the stuff that can be finagled into some kind of reconciliation language. So you need Democrats to do real work, like passing another short-term spending package to give yourselves one more month to start acting like adults. You know -- legislating and all that.

Stinks to be in Mitch McConnell's shoes, don't you think? Yeah, he needs Dems to bring it home for the party, for the president, and for the country.  And, dammit, they better be right there to do it.

I know, I know -- you think I'm crazy suggesting that 'we' do anything to help 'them' get what 'they' want, at 'our' expense, or that 'we' do anything to help Trump accomplish anything. But in my eyes, if 'we' cause the shutdown, 'we' will suffer the consequences even though 'they' hold the reins to all of the horses.

The House passed a short-term bill tonight, fairly easily, that will fund the government for a month.
The House approved the measure 230 to 197, despite conflicting signals by President Trump sent throughout the day and a threatened rebellion from conservatives that failed to materialize.  The bill's chances had appeared in a question until shortly before the vote, provided only a faint glimmer of hope that a crisis could be averted before much of the government exhausts its funds at midnight on Friday.  The bill would fund the government through February 16.
The plan would fund CHIP for six years,which is something that Dems care greatly about. It would also apparently do some more 'repealing' of Obamacare taxes, and that's something about which Dems should care considerably less. And yes, I understand this is the House not the Senate, but look - it's Republicans protecting CHIP, right? This is an opportunity not to be wasted.

Trump has been saying all along that a shutdown is on the Dems; I think he started saying it even before it became a real possibility.

The #schumershutdown is picking up steam on social media, and people are saying that Dems care more about illegals than they do American children, the military,  and all the people who run all of the programs that all the Dems are all in favor of...

Trump and his minions will hammer Dems on this, and what's the answer?

It's worse than that. As with much of the 2016 election cycle, we still don't know what the Dems stand for, even as we know without question what they stand against. The party tries to reinvent itself through the DNC and its dance with Bernie Sanders; it tried (and failed, unfortunately) to get Dems elected to replace Trump administration hires by throwing money into races all across the country,, and now we even see Dems primarying other Dems, which hardly seems like a good idea.

The Democratic Party has to stand for something, and as I see it now, the best thing to do is to stand for keeping the government open, not shutting it down, and to stand for action on other bills in return for the favor, including DACA, including comprehensive immigration and including whatever other priorities there are. 

And when they do stand, they need to do it at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Challenge the president to ignore them. Do it all day, every day -- but do it from a position of strength, not of weakness.

Trump is despicable - no argument there - but being the people that Trump can't govern without is much better than the alternative.

Don't do it. Be the better party. Be the party of yes, and don't let the government shut down tomorrow.