Monday, January 22, 2018


It appears thathe shutdown will end soon:
In a dramatic turnaround, Senate Democrats voted to re-open the government on Monday after receiving a commitment from Republicans to hold a vote on immigration legislation — paving the way to end the three-day shutdown.

The Senate voted 81-18 to move forward on a bill to fund the government through Feb. 8 after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) agreed to end the shutdown and continue to negotiate on immigration and spending matters.
Why did Democrats yield? Didn't polls show that Republicans were being blamed for the shutdown?

Yes, but not always by significant margins:
A new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll, conducted Thursday and Friday also found more voters would blame Republicans in Congress for the government shutdown, 41 percent, than would blame Democrats, 36 percent.
A super PAC allied with Senate Democrats commissioned a poll in 12 battleground states in early December 2017, and it found that in more conservative states, blame for a shutdown would be split between Trump and Republicans and Democrats in Congress. But when interviewers asked respondents about a shutdown that might be tied to the legal status of dreamers, Democrats absorbed more blame.
To understand American politics, you have to absorb one simple lesson from Gallup's ideology poll. The specific numbers change, but the result essentially remains the same:

It's easy to think of Republicans as the conservative party and Democrats as the liberal party. But there are always significantly more self-identified conservatives in America than self-defined liberals. Sure, the gap is narrowing now. But in order for Democrats to be competitive, they need moderate voters more than Republicans do.


Some see strategy in what the Democrats are doing today:

I'm not sure I understand how this is a trap for McConnell. In the polls, the same people who are saying now that it's wrong to shut down the government on behalf of undocumented immigrants will be saying it in three weeks. The Republicans will proclaim once again that it's unconscionable not to fund the military. And so on.

On the other hand, the failure to get a DACA deal will mean mass deportations of young people who know no other country but America. Democrats are hoping that will matter to the rest of the country. I'm skeptical. This is an issue that's like universal background checks for gun sales: The liberal/Democratic position has overwhelming public support, but the people who are passionate one-issue voters are overwhelmingly on the other side.

If Republicans prevailed in this shutdown, it's because America, however anti-Trump it is, still isn't truly liberal. We'll see how much sympathy the Dreamers elicit three weeks from now. I don't think it will be enough, but I hope I'm pleasantly surprised.

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