We’ve known there was a possibility Democrats would pursue this gambit for some time, but with only a few days left until the government officially runs out of money, it’s looking more likely. There are layers upon layers here. At the surface is a debate over spending priorities. President Trump sent out these tweets this morning:
….the wall is not built, which it will be, the drug situation will NEVER be fixed the way it should be!#BuildTheWall
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 24, 2017
That, in a nutshell, is what the president is demanding as part of a continuing resolution to keep the government running. Meanwhile, Democrats have denounced funds for the wall as a poison pill which will prevent them from voting for funding and effectively lead to a shutdown. From the Hill:
“Our appropriators were well on a path to resolving their differences and finding their common ground, respecting each other’s priorities until the White House intervened,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told reporters during a conference call…
“Parties were negotiating quite well…until Donald Trump and the White House threw a monkey wrench into this, with the wall.”
He added that “it’s my view that if the president stepped out of it, we could get a budget done by Friday.”
That’s all happening on the surface. Beneath this is a deeper current of obstructionism which we’ve seen toward nearly everything since Trump was elected. Yes, Democrats genuinely object to the wall but you really can make the argument that it wouldn’t really matter what Trump was proposing. They are against all of it equally.
For instance, it was relatively clear ahead of time that Democrats were going to lose the filibuster over the confirmation of Judge Gorsuch. Members of their own party admitted he was well qualified and charming. But they fought the losing battle because that’s what their base wanted to see. If your mantra is “resistance” there’s not a lot of room for compromise.
As Ed discussed last week, there’s probably not a lot of upside for Democrats in shutting down the government. They’ll get the usual pat on the back from the media which always blames Republicans, but in the longer term it really is possible Americans will get tired of this game.