Open for business—until Feb. 8
Here it comes.
DEMOCRATS ARE WEAK!!
SCHUMER WOULD LOSE AT POKER WITH A BLIND MAN!!
JUST LIKE REPUBLICANS!
NO DACA NO DEAL!!
The government is about to reopen after being closed over the weekend. Senate negotiators agreed a continuing resolution until February 8 which funds CHIP, with the proviso, as promised by Mitch McConnell, that progress will be made on a DACA fix.
Now, let's not mince words: even if McConnell, against all expectations, moves a DACA bill in the Senate, it's dead in the House due to the Hastert Rule. It would pass in the House easily, but with a majority of Democratic votes and a smattering of Republicans. Paul Ryan's position is tenuous enough as it is; this would have the knives come out and stab him in an orgy of political violence.
Democrats expect either McConnell to break his word, or for anything coming out of the Senate to be DOA in the House.
"DREAMers are not bargaining chips!!" I hate to break it to you, but yes, they are. They became so the minute millions of voters abdicated their responsibilities and either voted for Donald Trump, or voted for a candidate not named Hillary Clinton. We saw it just this weekend with McConnell pitting CHIP against DACA. People shouldn't be bargaining chips, but they are. The CHIP kids were bargaining chips, being attached to the House continuing resolution to tie Democrats' hands into voting for the bill. You can stamp your feet and scream, but that's the fact of it. The question is: How do we as Democrats exact a steep political price for Republicans' unconscionably taking hostages in this manner?
CHIP is safe for six years. That's a win. DACA is now on the Senate agenda. That's a win. When DACA doesn't happen, Democrats can use the failure to cudgel Republicans over an issue that even their own voters support. That's a win.
DREAMers aren't protected by this compromise. That's a loss. But that was always going to be a loss. Democrats exerted as much leverage as they could. At the end of the day, it is still the minority party, and keeping the government closed over the issue of DACA was going to bounce back on them. Democrats made their point, and made no bones that they'd do it again. But for real change to occur, Democrats have to win back the House and Senate. That's the only way we can enact our agenda: DACA, extending CHIP for 10 years, investigating the 2016 election, and if not impeaching Donald Trump, neutering him to a point where he's a caged animal.
Screaming that Democrats are "weak", when in fact Schumer played his hand quite well, is the kind of thinking that got us 2016, and 2014, and 2010. Politics is bloodsport; as such, you don't have time to look at your wounds and whine about them. You want to protect DREAMers? Vote Democratic. You want to extend CHIP? Vote Democratic. You want to roll back this tax scam? Vote Democratic. That's the nub of it.
This was a Battle of Kadesh. Neither Ramses nor Muwatalli scored a victory. Both Democrats and Republicans came away to fight another day. Now is not the time to throw down your weapons in disgust. Then you are marked out as someone who talks a great deal, but doesn't want to do the actual work.
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