You know, shutting down the government is a bad thing. Funny thing, it turns out that a lot of voters actually like things like getting their social security checks on time and stuff. Usually it’s the party in power that’s blamed for a shutdown. This time, for the first time in 8 years, that’s the Republicans, although they got blamed for the last one simply because their handling of it was so obvious and clumsy. But the Republicans are pining for the old days, when they could be the ones holding the gun, and not the ones with it pointed at their head.
In a recent article I wrote about how the Democrats could use the looming prospect of a government shutdown to basically kill the Republicans tax bill for this year, and quite possibly far into the future. But it turns out that there is nother ransom demand that Pelosi and Schumer could make, one that would not only be popular, but could also help them to retake the House in 2018. I’ll explain.
One of Trump’s signature campaign promises to his rabid base was that if he was elected, he was going to rid them of all of those icky, lazy, drug pushing brown people. And once he did it, he was going to keep them out with a big, beautiful, honkin’ wall. This is why it was such an unmitigated disaster for McConnell and Ryan when Trump caved to Chuck and Nancy, and put a 6 month moratorium on taking any action against the DREAMERS. Ending this program would be something concrete they could show to their racist base, a valuable promise kept. And yet, Trump gave it away for literally noting. Pelosi and Schumer actually thought that they had an agreement to make the DREAM act permament, but the tortured screams of Yertl the Turtle and Eddie Munster forced Trump to back down from that one.
But Trump’s previous inspired act of stupidity has given Chuck and Nancy another crack at this. Shutting down the government in September would have been bad, shuttitg it down two weeks before Christmas would be a nightmare scenario. Trump needs them more than they need him. They can just sit back and happily portray him as the chief stocking coal stuffer for every day that the government is shut down. The leverage is theirs.
Now is the time to fix the DREAMER problem once and for all. Simply cutting a deal for Trump to make the DREAM Act permanent m ightnot cut it, the original act was under court challenge, and if Trump makes it permanent, the state Attorney’s General would just refile the suits, which may have merit. What would make more sense would be for Pelosi and Schumer to give Trump another 3-6 month extension, for the sole purpose of codifying the DREAM act into law by Congress. This would have two beneficial effects for not only the Democrats, but also for the DREAMERS, and all of the rest of us as well. First, it would push most other legislative stuff to the back burner, since writing immigration law takes time, as will the debate. Second, it would set a deadline for another extension into June or July, right in the middle of the election campaign season, and open another opportunity for Democrats to pants Trump and the GOP only months before the election.
I have little to no doubt that Trump would go for it. He doesn’t give a shit about brown people, he doesn’t want to look like a loser. McConnell and Ryan would most likely push for another 18 month extension, trying to set up the main battle after the votes are cast, but if Chuck and Nancy hold firm on 6 months, Trump would probably back them for political expediency. Why not, he did the first time?
There are few things that the Democrats could do that would be more detrimental to GOP chances in 2018. Frst of all, getting an agreement like this would help to motivate the Hispanic vote, with a solid plan of benefit for them to campaign on. Combine that with reminding all and sundry that Trump had insulted them by pardoning that racist pig Joe Arppaio, and you have a great one-two punch. But the real damage would be to the GOP base. They don’t want a deal, they want these people gone! Trump electing to make the DREAMERS permanently able to stay in this country would be a base betrayal of everything that he promised them. It would damage his own brand for 2018, but more importantly, it would unleash a huge backlash from the basist of Trump supporters, just in time for the midterms, when more moderate Republicans are already going to be depressed due to the lack of accomplishments from the Trump cabal.
Trump really fornicated the canine back in September when he caved in to Pelosi and Schumer for a measly three month budget extension. Now it’s time to pay the piper, and if we’re smart, the bill will look like it was for open heart surgery.