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Shutdown Looming

Shutdown. It’s possibly happening and it could become something to seriously loathe. A government shutdown like the one that has been making headlines threatens to prevent government paid services from stopping until there is legislation that states how the government will be funded. In the short term, that means government operations and the post office; in the long term, it could mean trouble and austerity for social services like welfare medicaid. In other words, we could be seeing a prolonged period of a disabled federal government as Democrats and Republicans battle over immigration, CHIP and the proposed border wall.

The Democrats enter the first round of political battles of the new year backed into their corner and a bit punch drunk with mass re-election campaigns and important midterm elections on the near horizon. A gaggle of Democratic leadership lead by Joe Manchin (West Virginia), Claire McCaskill (Missouri), Joe Donnelly (Indiana), Heidi Heitkamp (North Dakota) and Doug Jones (Alabama) warned Chuck Schumer(New York) that the dems would lose red state support for their future agendas and office seats if they placed the DACA reform over CHIP, a program that deals with insurance for Americans who are already citizens.

“Thus, Schumer was playing a roulette game against an opponent who knew he had no leverage or escape plan if all went awry; this lead to the Shutdown and what seems now to be a capitulation by the Dems, since the Dems now calculate they will be blamed for any prolonged shutdown since they are fighting for DACA while many of the moderates and conservatives they still think they need to persuade to vote for them in the midterms or that they think they can poach from the Trump support nexus are decidedly in favor of not sacrificing CHIP for immigrants. “

The Republicans were betting that  conservative states that will swing in the balance in the upcoming congressional elections would be angry and remember their anger at the ballot box if the Dems continued to push what Pres. Trump and Sen. Majority Leader McConnell have deemed a liberal favoritism towards non-americans/illegal immigrants. Schumer bet that the republicans poor national poll numbers might give the Dems space to put up a legendary fight for DACA, which would certainly endear the party to liberals in this country, but with the republicans passing a tax plan earlier this month that “promises” to lower middle class taxes and taxes across the board for the foreseeable future, albeit it that claim is contested by pundits and the Dems, the Republicans and Pres. Trump have seen an uptick in their approval ratings.

 

Thus, Schumer was playing a roulette game against an opponent who knew he had no leverage or escape plan if all went awry; this lead to the Shutdown and what seems now to be a capitulation by the Dems, since the Dems now calculate they will be blamed for any prolonged shutdown since they are fighting for DACA while many of the moderates and conservatives the Dems still think they need to persuade to vote for them in the midterms or that they think they can poach from the Trump support nexus are decidedly in favor of not sacrificing CHIP for immigrants. Which is predictable and a sign of the unfortunate politics of immigration reform. CNN’s poll states that Americans, by a 56% to 34% margin, said DACA should not take priority over keeping the government open, and that voters believe a CHIP extension is more important than fixing DACA. Why we live in a world where two important policies have to combat each other for relevance and support is baffling, seeing as immigration reform is now entering a near 40 years at the center of political conflict and national attention.

The Dems better recover fast because with the diminution of the media, which is often kind to them,is changing the power of the traditional democrat pulpits. The media is no longer able to convey Democrat talking points as a ally the public trusts as the “fake news” movement gains steam and creates more voters who simply do not believe in the news. With the Republicans gaining momentum, as their polices look more and more like benefits rather than mere talking points and fixes for past failures, the Dems are risking another six years of Republican leadership in Congress, and that is a Trump card they simply cannot win against.

 

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