Well, it certainly isn’t taking very long. It hasn’t even been 24 hours yet, and already the GOP is mucking up the swamp, trampling all over their messaging, and contradicting themselves in the same sentence. Here’s just a few things that already stick out from day one of the Trump Shutdown.
Mark Short needs a better analogy. At the White House briefing on the shutdown this morning, legislative director Mark Short said that Democratic Minority Leader Chuck Schumer “threw a two year old temper tantrum.” Somehow or other, I don’t think this is quite the image that Short should have been trying to paint. When you have a sitting President whom you support who yells, gets red faced, and calls people childish names, I don’t think that a “two year old temper tantrum” is a comparison that you want to invite. Hell, if Trump ever pulled a shoe off and pounded the lectern, everybody over 50 would think that Nikita Kruschev had risen from the grave. Pretty much any comparison that refers to childish behavior should be off of the table where Trump is concerned.
Mick Mulvaney can’t even lie without contradicting himself. In the same press conference, OMB Director Mick Mulvaney (R-La-laland) tried to show that it was not Dim Dung Pill in the White House who was not an honest broker, but Schumer who was misrepresenting the negotiations yesterday. Here’s how Mulvaney told the tale, “Last night Chuck Schumer said that in the meeting he even offered to give Trump everything he asked for on the wall. I talked to Chief (John Kelly, who was present), and he told me Trump said ‘Great, it’ll be $28 billion’. And then Schumer said no, no, I’ll give you $1.9 billion, that’s what you asked for. $1.9 billion isn’t what the wall will cost, he asked for $1.9 billion in the 2018 budget, I know, I wrote it. And $1.9 billion was never intended to be all he was asking for.” OK Mickey Mouse, this really isn’t that complicated. Chuck Schumer said that he told the President that he would give him everything he asked for on the wall. Mulvaney admitted that he himself asked for $1.9 billion in the 2018 budget for the wall. Help me out here Mickster, if Trump/Mulvaney asked for $1.9 billion in 2018, and Chuck Schumer offered him $1.9 billion in 2018, in what parallel universe did Chuck Schumer not give Trump everything he asked for on the wall? Come on, inquiring minds want to know.
When it comes to November, don’t compare 2018 to 2013. Talking heads are already knitting their brows enough that they have a full afghan on the floor beneath them, worrying that even if the GOP is blamed for the shutdown, the Republicans won’t pay any kind of a price for it in November. For proof they point to 2013, when Republicans in general, and Calgary Teddy Cruz in particular were held solely responsible for the shutdown, but in the 2014 midterm election, the GOP picked up 12 seats in the House. But former White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest showed the falsity in that comparison last night. In 2013 the Republicans got luckier than hell. While the GPO was blamed for the shutdown, something else occurred that overwhelmed that blame. What happened is that at the same time the GPO shut down the government, the website for the ACA came online, and it was a nightmare. The GOP was able to easily deflect disgust for the government shutdown to disgust for the pathetic operation of the ACA website. The GOP was able to ride that negative narrative into November, while the Democrats were too busy defending the ACA to draw the focus back to the shutdown. This time around, there should be no new bright shiny object for the GOP to distract from the shutdown.
The GOP is lying their asses off, and the Democrats must capitalize on it. Where Mitch McConnell threw the troops under the bus, and he must be held responsible. One of the first things the Democrats tried to do last night was to offer an amendment for unanimous consent to continue to pay the military and military death benefits during the shutdown, and McConnell objected.At present, McConnell has no plans to introduce it today. McConnell and Trump are now the ones who don’t give a tosser about our troops, and the Democrats need to scream about this endlessly. Also, the GOP is claiming that the Democrats are placing poor kids at risk with this shutdown, since it included a CHIP extension. Bullshit. It was the GOP that let the CHIP program lapse by refusing to introduce a clean bill to extend it, and McConnell continued to refuse to bring up legislation to renew it, preferring to keep that hostage blindfolded for this occasion. They’re lying about DACA too. McConnell keeps pissing and moaning that they have time to work on DACA, the expiration date isn’t until March 5th. Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit. Every single day 120 current DACA recipients see their eligibility expire, subjecting them to immediate deportation proceedings. How many DREAMERs will bother to file for an extension, not knowing whether or not their request will be approved before the possibility of the court ruling being overturned on appeal? The March 5th deadline is a purely arbitrary Trump deadline for sunsetting the entire program, but DREAMERs are placed at risk of deportation every day as their protection expires. The Democrats need to trumpet this daily from the ramparts.
There it is. It hasn’t even been 24 hours yet, and already the GOP excuses and justifications have more holes in them than a wheel of Swiss cheese. And just think, His Lowness hasn’t even chimed in yet with another round of digital brain farts. Keep it up Republicans, you’re knocking it out of the park!