They’re caving, but Mulvaney’s spin is the smart spin: Just because the bill won’t include money for the wall doesn’t mean it won’t include money for immigration enforcement. It will. The border will be tightened, with Democratic help. You’ll simply have to wait a bit longer for the most visible manifestation of America’s new approach to illegal immigration to be built. And … what makes the White House think Chuck Schumer will be more willing to appropriate money for the wall six months from now than he is this week? That part isn’t so clear. It may take a trade — say, amnesty for DREAMers in exchange for wall funding — to get it done.
No one likes to see the GOP back down but it’s a prudent move in this case. New from Morning Consult:
In the poll conducted from Thursday and through the weekend, only 27 percent of registered voters said funding the wall was important enough to prompt a government shutdown on Saturday — making it their lowest priority. Sixty-one percent of voters said it wasn’t important enough to prompt a shutdown.
The idea of a shutdown over wall funding was more palatable to Republicans. Four in 10 GOP voters said the issue was important enough to prompt a shutdown, compared with 19 percent of Democrats and 21 percent of independents. Still, roughly half of Republicans (51 percent) said it wasn’t worth a shutdown…
With Republicans firmly in control of both the House, Senate and the White House, they’re set to take most of the blame if a shutdown were to happen. Three in 10 voters (31 percent) said they would blame Democrats in Congress, while half (51 percent) would blame the majority party — 28 percent said Republicans in Congress and 23 percent said Trump.
How much do Americans dislike shutdowns? Of eight spending priorities tested by Morning Consult, the only one which people said was worth shutting down the government to protect was defense and Homeland Security spending, and even that attracted merely plurality support (47/39). A shutdown over the border wall almost certainly would have blown up in Trump’s face, and if it had, Democrats never would have given ground on money for the wall going forward. In fact, depending upon how much of a hit Trump took, it could have endangered the already slim chances for health-care and tax reform to pass. He shouldn’t have picked this fight in the first place but letting it go rather than escalating in a self-destructive way was the next best option.