“Extremists.” “Anarchists.” “Legislative arsonists.”
Those are words the Democrats used to describe the Republican Party in 2013 when the GOP refused to sign off on a continuing resolution that did not delay or defund Obamacare. Republicans, then in the minority in the Senate, were assailed from all sides for “shutting down the government.” Ultimately, Democrats got what they wanted.
Now, in 2017, there is a Republican president, the Democrats are in the minority in Congress, and congressional Republicans, Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., and Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., are capitulating on funding President Trump’s proposal for a border wall because the Democrats are threatening to shut down the government.
With full control of the White House and Congress, and with what is considered a “must-pass” spending bill coming up for a vote this week, Republicans are in the perfect position to leverage the Democratic party into passing funding for major pieces of Trump’s agenda. Instead, the failed negotiators in Republican leadership have backed themselves into a corner by vowing to keep the government open.
President Trump once wrote, “The worst thing you can possibly do in a deal is seem desperate to make it. That makes the other guy smell blood, and then you’re dead.” Republicans didn’t take. Democrats smelled blood.
“If the President doesn’t interfere and insist on poison pill amendments being shoved down the throat of the Congress, we can come up with an agreement,” Schumer said last week. “Our Republican colleagues know that they control all – the House, the Senate and White House – and that a shutdown would fall on their shoulders and they don’t want it.”
The hypocrisy of the Democrats is appalling and on the record.
“I’ll give you the basic line,” Schumer said of the partial government shutdown in 2013. “The basic line is: No matter how strongly one feels about an issue, you shouldn’t hold millions of people hostage. That’s what the other side is doing. That’s wrong and we can’t give in to that.”
Well now the Democrats are the ones holding the government hostage, and Republicans are backing off the wall.
“There will never be a 2,200-mile wall built, period,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. “I think it’s become symbolic of better border security. It’s a code word for better border security. If you make it about actually building a 2,200-mile wall, that’s a bridge too far — but I’m mixing my metaphors.”
Border fences work to reduce illegal immigration and strengthen border security. The upfront costs of construction are paid for over time by a reduced burden on law enforcement, reduced costs to welfare programs that currently cater to illegal immigrants, and in other ways.
Yet, Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is running around cable news TV calling proposals for a border wall “immoral.” Meanwhile, the uninterrupted flow of illegal immigrants into the United States under Democratic policies has strengthened violent criminal gangs and compromised the nation’s internal security. Is there a single member of Republican leadership in Congress who has called Democratic open-borders policies “immoral”?
If the Republicans were serious negotiators, they would go straight to the American people with the facts. They would make the case for a border fence. They would drop the responsibility for shutting down the government in the Democrats’ lap — as Attorney General Jeff Sessions has done brilliantly.
They would dare the Democrats to obstruct funding for border security, and — if the government shut down —would go to the people with the stories of every family victimized by illegal immigrant crime and of every person hurt epidemic of drugs pouring into the United States. Republicans would ask “How can the Democrats permit this to happen to the American people?”
But that’s not the plan.
Instead, apparently, Republicans are planning on giving the Democrats a political win now, and then trying again for border wall funding in the fall. What happens when the Democrats threaten to filibuster again? Why would they change tactics if they won the first time?
If the Democrats get what they want now, they will continue to use the filibuster to keep getting what they want.
The American people witnessed the lengths the Democratic party is willing to go to when Sen. Schumer filibustered Judge Neil Gorsuch’s nomination in the Senate, forcing Sen. McConnell to change the rules and end the filibuster for Supreme Court nominations. If Congressional Republicans give in this week, “government shutdown” will become the Democrats’ safe word to stop every Trump policy the Left objects to — and that’s every Trump policy.
And then the Trump presidency will effectively be over.
Chris Pandolfo is a staff writer and type-shouter for Conservative Review. He holds a B.A. in politics and economics from Hillsdale College. His interests are conservative political philosophy, the American founding, and progressive rock. Follow him on Twitter for doom-saying and great album recommendations @ChrisCPandolfo.
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