Hang tough, Republicans

The Democrats are trying to spin the media and the public into thinking that the shutdown is the Republicans’ responsibility, pointing out that Republicans “control” both chambers of Congress and the White House and that several Senate Republicans voted against the bill too. It remains the case that the government would be fully open for business if Democrats had not voted against a bill — a bill, again, which has nothing of substance they oppose — to get leverage for the policy they favor. The Democrats’ negotiating stance is: Give us this amnesty, or we’ll make the government shut down and blame you Republicans for it. It is the exact tactic they decried in 2013, when Republicans refused to pass legislation to keep the government funded unless Democrats agreed to a partial repeal of Obamacare.

The majority of Republicans who favor the amnesty, and even the minority of Republicans who favor it with no strings attached, should not reward this Democratic behavior. They should not reward it even if it is true that the public will fall for the Democratic spin and Republicans will sustain some political damage. The Democratic demands both are unreasonable in themselves and set a bad precedent.