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  1. #1
    Senior Member lorrie's Avatar
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    The strategic case for — and against — Democrats shutting down the government over D

    The strategic case for — and against — Democrats shutting down the government over DACA

    The question is whether this makes a deal more likely, or less.

    Jan 19, 2018, 10:30am EST

    All of a sudden, Senate Democrats are looking ready to shut down the government over immigration. After months of fruitless negotiations over helping to get legal status for the hundreds of thousands of immigrants protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program — something President Trump and Speaker Paul Ryan have both claimed to want — they seem to have had enough.

    But there’s still division in the party over whether a shutdown makes a deal for DREAMers more likely — or less.

    Dozens of Senate Democrats have said they are withholding their votes from any government funding bill that doesn’t address DACA. If they hold firm, the federal government will shut down at midnight Friday.

    These Democrats’ argument, essentially, is that it’s time to take a stand for DREAMers. A show of strength at a high-profile deadline, they think, is the only way to force a recalcitrant White House to get serious on the issue.

    They say the public supports a deal, and that Republicans’ own divisions on spending give Democrats an opening. (The former Obama aides behind the Pod Save America podcast have dubbed this faction the “Fight Club.”)
    “Republicans control the House, Senate, and the White House, so it’s on them to bring a deal that is supported by 80 percent of the American people,” says an aide to a Fight Club Democratic senator.

    But the caucus isn’t entirely united around this strategy. Quietly, some say that a shutdown fight would be downright counterproductive to efforts to help DACA recipients.

    These Democrats — let’s call them the “Shutdown Skeptics” — privately worry that forcing a government shutdown could end up torpedoing chances to cut an immigration deal with Trump. “It essentially forces Trump to draw a line,” says an aide to a senator in this camp.

    The basic argument is that a polarizing, high-stakes confrontation could make the pugnacious, dominance-obsessed president less likely to give in, for fear he’d be seen as a loser. “Does anybody think Trump gives a shit about a shutdown? He does not give a shit,” the aide argues. “His base will be fired up.” As such, he says, it’s better to keep the government funded and try to revive talks on an immigration deal on the side.

    Both sides have a combination of tactical, political, and intuitive reasons for their position. Here are the arguments for each.

    The case for forcing a shutdown

    For months, pro-immigrant and organizing-focused activists on the left have argued that Democrats needed to fight harder to help DACA recipients — by refusing to vote to fund the government unless that help were included.

    And in recent days, most Democrats in both the House of Representatives and the Senate have been persuaded to take that stance. In general, they think these hardball tactics will make a deal more likely, for some combination of the following reasons.

    1. Congress has kicked the can on DACA a few times already. Furthermore, Trump revealed he was unserious about making a deal during his disastrous “shithole”/“shithouse” meeting with lawmakers last week. So it’s clear now that a deal is unlikely unless Democrats force the issue.
    2. Democrats have leverage on a shutdown, since Republicans need their votes to get a government funding bill past a Senate filibuster. Therefore, they should use that leverage to try to get a DACA deal.
    3. It’s true that the 2013 government shutdown ended in humiliation and failure for the Republicans who forced it by demanding President Obama defund Obamacare. But the issue dynamics are different here. Some Republicans are in favor of a DACA deal, and Trump and Ryan have both said they want one. Also, it polls overwhelmingly well.
    4. Democrats are betting that Trump and Republicans will shoulder the blame for a shutdown, since they control Washington. As the embarrassment drags on, their position could weaken further, and they could decide to cave. (Plus, even if Democrats get blamed, well, the midterms are still many months away — and the GOP paid no price at the polls for that 2013 shutdown.)
    5. Finally, and more intuitively, Democrats feel they have the moral high ground here, and they want to fight for their beliefs. After all, these are immigrants who came here as children, through no fault of their own, and grew up as Americans. Plus, these Democrats ask, how can you get what you want unless you fight for it?

    There are, of course, also motivations that could be spun as self-interested or political. For instance, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) characterized some of her hardline colleagues as “people running for president all trying to find their base.” There’s also some speculation that if Democrats “sell out” DREAMers, Hispanic voters might be less energized to turn out in 2018. But the five reasons above are generally why many Democrats think a shutdown fight could end up working out for a DACA deal.

    The case that a shutdown will be counterproductive

    However, there’s another group of Senate Democrats who aren’t so convinced.

    It’s common to treat the Shutdown Skeptics as having transparently political motivations, and some, especially those in states Trump won big, surely do. (This faction is now being derided by the Pod Save America guys as the “Waffle House” because of their alleged waffling on helping DACA recipients.)

    But some of these Democrats truly do seem to want a DACA deal — and they’re making the case that a government shutdown is more likely to kill that deal than it is to save it.

    One major problem with the shutdown strategy, from this point of view, is that it transforms the situation into one where Trump will inevitably be viewed as either triumphing over Democrats or caving to their demands. And our winning-obsessed president won’t want to be seen as a loser.

    In this line of thinking, Democrats really shouldn’t delude themselves into thinking that a government shutdown over DACA will be popular (like Republicans did for Obamacare in 2013). Many people across the country will be terribly inconvenienced by it, at the very least. Plus, the Republican position — a “clean” government funding bill that funds the Children’s Health Insurance Program for several years — seems reasonable on its face.

    This point isn’t just about politics. If the shutdown does prove to be very unpopular — for instance, last time, review of veterans’ disability applications slowed to a halt — and if Trump effectively argues that Democrats caused it by making extravagant demands for unauthorized immigrants, Democrats’ negotiating position will weaken. Republicans and immigration hawks will be emboldened, and the prospects of a DACA deal could well recede even further.

    Finally, shutdown-skeptical Democrats argue, the current negotiations aren’t hopeless. Yes, last week went badly, and Trump aides like Stephen Miller are clearly trying to sink a deal. But Trump himself has been all over the place on the issue, and he could decide to listen to somebody else who has his ear, like Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), next week. Plus, he’s repeatedly signaled that he’s afraid of being blamed for the deportation of sympathetic DACA recipients.

    Another potential point of leverage, the senatorial aide in this camp tells me, is wall money. “Trump really wants some sort of wall funding before the State of the Union,” the aide says. “There probably is something on the wall that can get him to budge.”

    Maybe that’s a bit optimistic. But in the end, Trump is the president. There won’t be any DACA deal unless he agrees to sign it into law. So the debate is over how best to make that happen — whether it’s with more rounds of talks disconnected from the government funding fight, or with a game of hardball.

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  2. #2
    Senior Member southBronx's Avatar
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    Jul 2010
    from the look of all of you ( it look like you all should be retired by now . you all look sick )
    Judy, Beezer and lorrie like this.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Beezer's Avatar
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    Apr 2016
    Quote Originally Posted by southBronx View Post
    from the look of all of you ( it look like you all should be retired by now . you all look sick )
    Sick in body, mind and soul to sell out America to illegal aliens and foreigners who have NO right to be in our Country.

    They have taken their cushy job, their fat paycheck, healthcare and benefits for granted. While hard working, struggling American's foot the BILL for their disgusting policies and their waste, fraud and abuse of OUR money!

    Judy and lorrie like this.


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