Progress, huh? Did Schumer offer him five magic beans in exchange for a DREAM amnesty this time instead of the usual four?
All of America waits now and wonders whether the country can survive having 13 percent of the federal government cease functions for 28 hours or however long it’ll take for them to make a deal. And I say that knowing that, in its own small way, that sort of statement contributes to the GOP’s PR problem when shutdowns happen. When Democrats are running around screaming the PEOPLE WILL DIE if the federal Sarlacc stops consuming taxpayer money for 45 minutes and Republicans are saying, “Calm down, it’s a burp that’ll be resolved before you know it,” which side will be perceived as more reluctant to see a shutdown happen and therefore less blameworthy if it does?
Which brings me to this afternoon’s new WaPo poll.
A 48 percent plurality says Trump and congressional Republicans are mainly responsible for the situation resulting from disagreements over immigration laws and border security, while 28 percent fault Democrats. A sizable 18 percent volunteer that both parties are equally responsible. Political independents drive the lopsided margin of blame, saying by 46 to 25 percent margin that Republicans and Trump are responsible for the situation…
The Post-ABC poll finds Democrats are more united in blaming Republicans for the situation than vice versa. A 78 percent majority of Democrats say Trump and congressional Republicans are mainly responsible for the potential government shutdown, while a smaller 66 percent of Republicans blame Democrats in Congress. One in seven Republicans, 14 percent, say Trump and Republicans are to blame.
It’s the g-ddamned NeverTrumpers knifing the GOP again. Except me, I mean. The meeting between Schumer and Trump this afternoon was one on one, by the way, which seems like an awfully dangerous risk for White House border hawks like John Kelly and Stephen Miller to take. They know how vulnerable to persuasion Trump is, particularly on this issue. Schumer could have walked out of there having negotiated him down to three magic beans. Maybe they reasoned that, to the extent that it’s true that Trump will side with whoever the last person is to whisper in his ear, Kelly and Miller could always arrange to be that last person after Schumer left. Schumer might depart thinking he had a deal only to find out five minutes later — nope.
To Trump’s credit, though, it sounds like he drove enough of a hard bargain that Schumer left under no illusions that POTUS was prepared to roll over. Shutdown iceberg, dead ahead. While we wait for impact, here’s a fun subplot among all of the congressional knife-fighting this afternoon:
“All I can say is we’re not going to end family immigration for DACA,” [Lindsey] Graham said. “The Tom Cotton approach has no viability here. You know, he’s become sort of the Steve King of the Senate.”…
Later on Friday, Cotton responded to the South Carolina senator, telling a group of reporters on Capitol Hill that because Graham failed to win the Republican presidential primary in 2016, he is unqualified to lead the charge on immigration issues now.
“The difference between Steve King and Lindsey Graham is that Steve King can actually win an election in Iowa,” Cotton said. “Look, we had an election in 2016. Immigration was a major issue there and the American people and especially Republican primary voters made it clear that they wanted Donald Trump’s vision of immigration policy, not Lindsey Graham’s. He didn’t make it to the starting line and he didn’t even make it off the kiddie table in the debates.”
Out: Metaphorical brawls over immigration on the Senate floor. Coming soon: *Actual* brawls over immigration on the Senate floor. And not even between different parties!
Anyway, a brief shutdown probably won’t hurt Republicans much politically … unless it disrupts economic growth, in which case take cover. In lieu of an exit question, as further evidence of my claim this morning that Democrats are now wild-eyed fanatics on immigration, go read about the fartknocker who’s now attorney general of California threatening private employers with fines if they too eagerly assist the federal government with immigration raids. Anyone can be pro-amnesty, but the real bleeding edge of liberal activism is penalizing people for complying with federal laws that undercut the political preferences of bien-pensants.