Friday, January 19, 2018

Who Wins The Shutdown?

The Omnivore was asked who he thought would win the Government Shutdown--it's a hard call.

Some Of The Facts

Here are some relevant facts:

  1. The president was presented with a bipartisan agreement which he seemed initially very fond of. Later he wasn't. This (in theory) could have solved the whole problem right there. The Omnivore thinks the theory that immigration hardliners got to Trump and turned him around on it seems credible. Responsible Party: Republican Immigration Hard-Liners.
  2. On the other hand, the House passed a bill that offers a CR + CHIP. Now, the President tweeted he didn't want CHIP in a short-term deal--but whatevs. This is a clean bill that everyone, in theory, agrees on. The Democrats won't pass it beacause DACA. Responsible Party: Democrat High Command (some squishes might defect)
  3. HOWEVER: Both parties, in theory, want to do something about the Dreamers. There were promises made both by Trump and to Jeff Flake and others that there'd be a vote. Secondly, enough Republicans either are okay with the Dreamers or don't want to throw themselves on the "third rail" that there is likely a pretty decent compromise for the DACA recipients. If both sides say they want it then putting it in shouldn't be hard. But the R's won't because they want to use DACA for leverage. When you are using something you want for leverage, that's hostage-taking behavior. Responsible Party: Republican Establishment.
The Battlefield

This isn't all taking place in a vacumm--if it were the Republicans might have an edge on the Clean Bill + CHIP--aside from Democrats quoting the president saying "no," it's the kind of thing voters generally like (clean bills without stuff--especially immigration stuff--crammed in).

But it's not a fresh start. The Republicans have two headwins. The first is that they're the party of shutdowns--it's their brand. They speak fondly of the last one after which they won a bunch of seats in Congress (there's no cause & effect here--but it didn't sink them either).

Still--it's their brand.

The second problem is the media. If the media tells exactly the (true) story that the Republicans want to tell then the Democrats are choosing illegal immigrants over kids. If the media expands the (true) story to say things like "The Republicans let CHIP lapse because they were focused on tax cuts" then things get worse.

If the media tells the (true) Democrat version of the story that the Republicans are forcing a Sophie's choice between "DACA kids" (who are not kids--but were when they came) and "healthy kids" then it gets even worse. It's a super-villain move.

So which story will the mainstream media tell? The Omnivore expects one of the last two and some outlets leaning heavily on the last one. That isn't good for R's.

The Other Thing

The other sore point for the Republicans is that they do control Congress and the White House. Yes--not with a super-majority--but they suffer defections in their own ranks on this bill and internal criticisms and some unseemly power-plays. For casual observers it may look just like a mess and everyone loses--but the R's need to win this in order for it to be worthwhile (that is either get some good concessions like a "Wall For DACA" or have Dem-favs go down while R's go up or at least stay steady).

Betting on this to happen based on the cold facts of the matter seems risky to The Omnivore.


Will there be a shutdown? The Omnivore puts the odds at, what? 80% now? Assuming they have 3 hours left to make a deal--The Omnivore bets against it.

Who wins? That's a lot tougher to say. But The Omnivore goes 60-40 D's because of the media bias (no joke here--there are multiple factually true stories and the media will determine which one they like best).

Update: Last night it happened--the government shut down. It might last until Monday--it could last longer. Some of the press (AP and NYT) blamed the Democrats in their headline--so that's good for Republicans but The Omnivore thinks this still has a few twists and turns to go.

McConnell baldly pitting CHIP against DACA may backfire as unseemly (it makes the choice "too obvious" and too clearly engineered). Also there were 5 Democrats voting in favor of the Senate bill and 4 Republicans voting against it.

If the Democrats had been forced to filbuster it would be easier to pin on them--but they weren't: McConnell couldn't get his entire caucus in line.

So we're still out at sea here.

1 comment:

  1. Dems overplayed their hand unfortunately. No one is going to be as sympathetic to immigrants when the stakes are government shutdown. Sounds like as of today Schumer and Pelozi have realized this. On the plus side, CHIP gets a six year renewal....assuming all comes to pass as suggested it will.