At the end of this month, Congress is going to need to either figure out a way to approve a spending bill or send us into a government shutdown. Since it’s the Democrats in the minority this time around and, as we all know, it’s only the Republicans who force shutdowns, all should be well, right? Not so fast there, Skippy. There’s a fever brewing among congressional Democrats and the only cure for the Resist! movement may indeed be a good old fashioned dose of turning out the lights on the hill. (Also from… The Hill)
Democrats plan to drive a hard bargain when the White House and GOP congressional leaders seek to pass a stopgap spending bill by the end of April to prevent a government shutdown.
As the party out of power, Democrats feel they face little pressure to provide any votes for a funding bill that does not meet their basic demands. Any shutdown, they believe, will be blamed on President Trump and Republicans.
As a result, Democrats say Republicans must bring a clean funding bill to the floor that includes no conservative policy riders if they want to win any of their votes.
It’s frankly rather amazing to see Democrats and most of the media (but I repeat myself) acting like the past twenty years never happened. It’s almost as if their memories have been erased. In the current instance, the majority may be considering pushing through a spending bill with some riders which address outstanding issues from the campaign trail. These could include things such as denying funding for some oppressive EPA regulations, cuts to discretionary spending and more. And if any of those items appear in the bill, apparently the Democrats are ready to walk away and let the government shut down. Why? Because, as quoted above, the shutdown “will be blamed on President Trump and Republicans.”
This past weekend I wrote about the tale of two narratives when it comes to historical government shutdowns. The excuses and accusations employed by Democrats are mirrored in the media coverage these stories receive. When the Republicans were in the minority, they were the obstructionists who closed down federal operations, imperiled the paychecks and livelihoods of countless workers and threatened the fabric of the republic. For yet another example, allow me to turn your attention to a piece in the Huffington Post from December of 2013. It was written by Terry Newell during the weeks following the last government shutdown, one which was obviously blamed on the GOP since the Democrats controlled the White House and the Senate. It carried the catchy and definitive title, The Tyranny of the Minority. (Emphasis added)
The result is that a faction can produce a brand of minority tyranny. One way it does so is to grid-lock government. A faction that is an electoral minority cannot take control, but it can block the majority and thus render the national government inept. The current Congress has been unable to pass legislation dealing effectively with many important national issues (e.g. immigration, the debt, the deficit, infrastructure improvement, farm policy) even when it is clear that action is warranted and wanted.
Another way minority factions damage republican government is to skew the national dialogue by withholding support (or threatening to do so) so as to kill the discussion of policies and possibilities. When issues become “off the table” or “dead on arrival” because a minority faction demands such treatment, people can lose trust in the political system itself.
Bold words for a nation in need of grief counseling to be sure. I wonder how many of those statements will be embraced by liberals this month. If the aforementioned conservative riders to the spending bill make the legislation “dead on arrival” will they be worried about the people “losing trust in the political system” or some unspecified “damage to republican government?” Will the Democrats be accused of “rendering the national government inept?”
Of course they won’t. Because 2013 never happened. We need to live in the moment, people. Stop bitterly clinging to the past.