Thursday, January 17, 2019

Shutdown Thoughts

I've been watching the shutdown with morbid fascination. Here are some thoughts I've had.

● First, I find the shutdown to be evidence of what for rotten human beings our political class are. Real people are being needlessly hurt by this -- people not getting paychecks, businesses being blocked from needed services and goods, etc. -- and they really don't care. All of this could be avoided by either (1) giving Trump his pittance for a wall (the budget won't even notice), or (2) passing a bill continuing funding at current levels until a new budget is agreed to... letting them continue to argue without ruining lives. But they want people hurt because they want to point fingers. Think about that. Don't tell me that any of them care about real people.

● The Democrats in particular seem happy to keep the shutdown going. It's kind of amazing to see them on vacations rather than in Washington trying to solve this. Very callous. And the fact the leftist media ignores this and whines that Trump served fast food to guests tells us all we need to know about their genuineness.

● Some of my credit cards have sent out notices that if you work for the government to let them know because they will be somewhat forgiving. So, ironically, evil credit card companies are being more human than the Democratic Party.

● If the government can shut down and the country doesn't grind to a halt, why do we have one?

● It's funny how our Bug-Eyed Moron isn't refusing to take her salary during the shutdown as other progressives are, but that doesn't seem to matter to the left. I guess her $3,500 suits weren't an accident after all.

● I think the shutdown has put the final nail in Trump's coffin. I had his re-election chances pegged at "gasping for air" levels, and I think this shutdown probably pushed it even lower... snowball in hell. The problem is that the shutdown hits the working class the hardest... which is why elitist Democrats are in no rush to stop it either. The Democrats being hurt are federal government workers, but they are a tiny minority of Democrats, most of whom are teachers (state level employees), professional women (state or private sector admin), minorities (hardest hit), billionaires, or those on welfare. Trump's voters are the people who can't get goods through customs, can't get inspectors to let them keep working, and serve in the military.

● Does the shutdown make us look bad to the rest of the world as the media screams? I don't know... Brexit collapse... immigrant/anti-immigrant violence in German... France in yellow-vest riot collapse... socialism-induced collapse in Venezuela... massive corruption in Brazil... the seizing of white lands in South Africa... Islamic terrorism throughout the Middle East... corruption in Israel... Russia a clowntocracy...

Yeah, we look bad.

● I think the GOP needs to start pushing to open the government at last year's level until the wall issue and new budget can be decided (denying Trump and the Democrats their victory). They need to raise the PR cost on the Democrats by offering to make it possible to end the shutdown without deciding the issue in dispute. If the Democrats refuse, then they are clearly to blame. At the same time, that ties everyone's hands until the Democrats and Trump work things out... which will never happen. Basically, it stops the pain but freezes the government's ability to legislate in the process.


AndrewPrice said...

As an aside, airports seem to be becoming the pressure point on this. Don't be surprised if you start seeing a systematic shutdown of various large airports as security workers start an unofficial strike.

Stacy said...

My parents are due to put into port in Miami on Saturday and fly home. I'm really hoping the airports hold on till they get home. That aside, I have a question. Does the Federal insurance on bank deposits get tangled up in the shut down mess? Curious because our bank was robbed this morning.

tryanmax said...

My view is that, at close to four weeks long, the shutdown is entering fatigue stage for most people who aren't directly affected by it. That includes almost everyone only tangentially affected by it. Fatigue is not welcomed by anyone depending on the media to sell their stance as the correct one.

Putting aside how things got here, I don't see passing a bill to fund at current levels as a sound move for Republicans. It takes whatever little incentive Democrats have to negotiate away. I think Trump’s calculus is correct that Democrats will feel the pinch politically before Republicans do.

It's hard to say what the Republicans' best move is. In the current media atmosphere, if you're making headlines, you're probably losing. Laying low seems like a reasonable strategy. I would like to see them put forward some piecemeal funding bills, but that might undermine the head-down approach.

As for the blame-game, Trump already accepted it. What that means is, Democrats who would've blamed him anyway will continue to do so and Republicans who wouldn't have will understand it as rhetoric. As polarizing as Trump is, I don't see a significant undecided faction. How this affects Trump's reelection prospects depends entirely on what happens over the next 21 months.

FWIW, NPR has been running shutdown horror stories every day. So far, I've heard harrowing tales of people delaying their vacations, reigning in their budgets, dipping into savings, and getting help from family, friends, and even strangers. It's pandemonium.

AndrewPrice said...

Hi Stacy, The coverage still exists, whether or not they would make payment right now. That said, I think the FDIC is an independent agency that is only federal in ownership but not operation (kind of like the post office), so I suspect they are up and running.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I know some federal workers who really are close to losing a house, maxing out their credit cards, etc. For whatever reason, the media has been really lax on finding horror stories, but there are quite a few of them -- especially among military spouses.

In terms of why the media might downplay it, I think they aren't sure who will take the blame ultimately. The Democrats are doing little to end the shutdown and that reflects poorly on them. Trump is making noises about ending it, but the polls (grain of salt) seem to suggest that people still blame him. The worry to me is that the problems pile up, they are piling up in the laps of his supporters to a large degree.

In terms of the GOP, laying low is a decent strategy, but I really do think the better plan is to call the Democrat's bluff and appear to be the saviors. Trump is trying that by saying "let's make a deal," but he has a credibility problem. I think that offering a legislative solution that basically dares the Democrats to either agree or expose themselves as happy with the shutdown would score them a lot of points.

Stacy said...

Thanks for the info. That's at least some good news. The news this morning ran heavy on stories of immigrant families trying to cross the border and on the latest group detained after they tunneled under a barrier. Interesting, that they (ABC) did share the comments of one border guard who pointed out that groups are very eager to prove they are families because they know families will be released into the country in 20 days. The best news moment had to be Pelosi's face when discussing Trump pulling the plug on her overseas trip. She appeared to be struggling not to throw a tantrum. The news pretty much glossed over the fact that Trump cancelled his own trip, though.

tryanmax said...

Andrew, I’ve been foreclosed on and declared bankruptcy. Nobody loses a house in one month. I don’t doubt people are stressed.

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