Dems - Defend your Senators holding the budget bill hostage

Every time the Pubs held the government hostage by threatening a shutdown because of the increasing debt, the Dems (here and in Congress) lose their stuff.
“How dare they allow a shutdown.”
“OMG this is the end of America. Blame the Pubs.”
“Republicans are evil. Eeeeeeeeeviiiiilllllll!!!”

But this year the Dems are holding the budget hostage because of DACA. Of course the Pubs have their own hypocrisy* saying the Dems should not cause a shut down.

So can you defend the Senate Dems threatening a shutdown?

  • So let’s not devolve into the tu quoque arguement.
    ** And now the standard Dem arguement for anything is “Everything the Cheetoe does is wrong”

Yes, with enthusiasm. Why do you ask?
ETA disclaimer: I’m not a registered Dem. I might even vote Republican on occasion if the Republicans would quit driving me into the arms of the Democratic Party.

Nice poisoned well you have there.

Insults Democrats
BTW, let’s not resort to insults…

So, you’re saying that you’ve fallen for Republican efforts to paint this as the Democrats’ fault even though they have full control of the government.

No party has ever had full control of the government and allowed it to shutdown, yet now that the Republicans are set to do it, somehow that’s the fault of Democrats, not the members of their own majority and the leader of the party’s vacillating intransigence.


  1. DACA is a worthwhile hostage.

  2. When the Pubs blocked everything during the Obama administration, they didn’t do it based on any content or merits of whatever they were blocking. They didn’t do it for the good of the country or any group. Their openly-stated reason was to prevent the black, Muslim, uppity, Kenyan Obama from accomplishing anything.

Next question?

When one party says the the government is the problem, they are more likely to be held responsible when the government shuts down. I don’t think there’s anything surprising in this.

And, of course, both means and ends matter. It matters what you do and why you do it.

86% of Americans support DACA recipients’ rights to stay in the US.

How do you defend the Republicans wanting to shut down the government unless they get something only 14% of Americans approve of?

It’s a fair question, and I have mixed feelings about it. On the one hand, I absolutely believe that the general government funding should continue without these constant short-term fixes. On the other hand, things is complicated. Democrats have offered to do a short short clean extension–of a few days, to allow for more time for negotiation–and Republican leadership have rejected this proposal.

It seems to me that Republicans know their opposition to Dreamers is extremely unpopular and want to keep not committing to a position on it one way or the other; anything that forces them to confront this is going to get rejected.

I also admit I see a difference between shutting government down because of spurious and hypocritical claims of concern about the deficit (note I’m only saying it’s hypocritical for those folks who both voted for the shutdown in 2013 and for the tax bill in 2017), and because of very real concerns about exiling people from the communities they’ve grown up in. The harm that Trump plans to do to Dreamers is very real, and may justify the equivalent of civil disobedience to stop it.

But like I said, I have very mixed feelings.

I’m a Washingtonian, so I don’t have a senator, but I’d like to play. The GOP controls all branches of government, but still can’t keep the government open, but this is somehow the Democrats fault? I would argue that a better OP would have asked Republicans to defend anyone voting for a GOP candidate when they’ve demonstrated they have no ideas or core competencies.

Equating fighting for millions of children’s healthcare and the well being of hundreds of thousands of people that have lived in the US since they were children, with fighting against paying for the spending that you already approved for is pretty fucking disingenuous.

I don’t have to, because they aren’t. Trump said he’d accept a bipartisan resolution of DACA to allow a budget to pass. Both sides came together in a rare act of bipartisanship and came up with one. Then Trump reneged on his plan.

A shutdown is entirely on Trump for lying, and those who convinced him to renege.

You can’t spin it as a Democratic problem when both sides were willing to work it out, but got stymied by a third side.

I think it’s important to remember that DACA would likely pass were it brought up for a vote. CHIP would likely pass were it brought up for a vote. So when leadership tries to say that people who wouldn’t vote for CHIP with poison pill riders (back in last quarter) or who won’t give up a lot for DACA (despite claiming they only want to do what the president wants and the president says he wants DACA), those claims are bound to ring hollow for a lot of people.

The agreement a few years back to link defense and non-defense discretionary funding in parity is what’s really driving this problem. Why did that happen? Because the GOP at that time kept threatening shutdowns in protest over spending. Now the defense guys like Graham want them delinked, but they need Democrats to go along with it. If they don’t delink them, increases to defense spending have to be coupled with increases to NDD spending. So leadership keeps wrestling with this issue, failing to come up with a solution, then comes on a hard deadline, tries to scoop up some bipartisan issue like CHIP and force Democrats to vote in favor of a CR that does not and cannot solve the underlying problem. They are punting, again and again and again and keep trying to use bipartisan programs as bait to get MoCs to agree to the punting.

I don’t think any elected member has an obligation to vote a particular way on ANY bill.

If a politician of any stripe feels as though a bill is a bad deal, I evaluate whether they have a legitimate point in complaining about the bill.

In the case of shutting down the government in order to kill Obamacare, as was done in 2013, that was a foolish position to take because there was no chance of it succeeding.

In the case of DACA, I think it is a close call. On balance, I think it’s reasonable to think that withholding votes for the budget bill will mean the White House has to cut a deal. If Dems just vote to keep government open, I have little to no confidence that Trump will make a deal on DACA, since he’s shown to be a terrible negotiator and an extremely dishonest person.

To bring a different scenario into the conversation, I could see that Dems might want to vote against increasing the debt limit in the next few months in order to protest the reckless tax cuts that will increase our debt. If it is a protest vote, I don’t care. If they were to sink a debt limit increase because of the tax cuts, I would strongly oppose such a reckless move.

If the Democrats vote for this, they are giving up several things:

  1. Leverage on DACA;
  2. CHIP savings and CHIP leverage
    a. CHIP savings–the CBO says that extending CHIP for 10 years saves $6 billion, the GOP wants to extend CHIP for 6 years, saving $1 billion;
    b. CHIP leverage–CHIP is a bipartisan issue;
  3. Other health issues that usually get bundled in with programs like CHIP, including Medicare extenders, Community Health Centers, etc.;
  4. It does not address the fundamental problem, which means they are doing 1-3 without any real hope that doing 1-3 will prevent another cliff and another threat of shutdown.

I can’t. At the end of the day, shutting down the government is stupid, and while holding out for DACA is a much more worthwhile cause than the dumb shit the Republicans shut the government down over, this isn’t how things should be done. Democrats should hold their noses and vote for the CR today, then pick up DACA in the morning.

That said, I think pinning this on Democrats at this point is silly. So far, all they’ve done is make threats, but they haven’t been in a position (yet) to actually delay legislation. The fact that we’re here, at the 11th hour, trying to pass yet another CR, is entirely the fault of the party in charge. Republicans control everything, and yet talks have broken down at every turn. The CR is unpopular even among Republicans senators.

Furthermore, Trump rescinded the DACA EO, a rather popular bipartisan program, seemingly for the sole purpose of creating a bargaining chip. That’s fucked, on a human level, and also it’s a terrible way to run a government.

So yes, I’m SMDH at the Democrats threatening to shut down the government, but I’ve been SMDH much longer and much harder at the Republican shenanigans over the last few weeks/months regarding immigration and spending.

Making DACA permanent is an easy, good-faith ask. It actually helps Trump, as he will cheerfully take credit for a permanent DACA fix, and the majority of Trump voters support DACA, as does the American public at large.

The Democrat case is entirely ethical, collegial, practical and popular. Contrast with the Republican shutdowns, where McConnell specifically stated that his unpopular demands were designed to make Obama a one-term president.

It is obvious to anyone with half a brain that the Democrats are, in this case, acting in abundantly good faith. It’s pathetic that the party controlling all 3 branches of government is still acting as if they’re being held hostage by an unpopular agenda.

It’s not at all clear that the Republicans have even 50 votes to pass the House bill. I think it’s already pretty silly to blame the party out of power if a shutdown happens, but it’s totally ludicrous if the party in power doesn’t even have a majority of the votes needed.

I should add that Dems are holding out for a deal that the President says he wants. Okay, Trump, cut the deal and we all move on with our lives.

I forgot disaster relief and opioids. Bah. Still, if someone keeps demanding you come to the table and give up something because they can’t get their house in order, you really have to say no at some point. Because they never have to get their house in order if you keep making concessions.

As an analogy:

You tell your kid “Clean your room. Your room must be clean by Friday.”

On Thursday, your kid says “I haven’t cleaned my room, but if you give me five bucks and give me until next Friday, I won’t set it on fire.”

You, fearing fire, give the kid five bucks and until next Friday.

The next Thursday, your kid says “I haven’t cleaned my room, but if you give me five bucks and a cookie, I won’t set it on fire. I’ll consider vacuuming the living room.”

The room still isn’t clean, but you’re out ten bucks and a cookie. The fact that the living room could potentially look better eventually is hard to consider a win.