Headlines this morning seem to all be questioning how a party that controls both houses of Congress and the executive branch could not avert a government shutdown. There is much talk about legislative incompetence. Trump is being labeled an ineffective president.
But these storylines miss the point.
Donald Trump and the GOP got exactly what they wanted … a shutdown.
With Republican prospects for the 2018 midterms looking exceptionally bad, a new narrative needed to be concocted. And Trump and company got their wish … blame Democrats for the failure to keep the government open.
The bet is that Republicans can anger a majority of Americans by mounting a media blitz that blames Democrats for the shutdown … despite GOP control of Congress.
It is being reported that Senate Minority Leader, Chuck Shumer, met with Donald Trump yesterday morning to try and work out an agreement to avert the shutdown.
“I reluctantly put the border wall on the table for discussion — even that was not enough to entice the president to finish the deal,” Shumer said, adding: “What has transpired since that meeting in the Oval Office is indicative of the entire tumultuous and chaotic process Republicans have engaged in the negotiations thus far. Even though President Trump seemed to like an outline of a deal in the room, he did not press his party in Congress to accept it.”
Shumer, who seems to buy the bunk that Republicans wanted to avert a shutdown, has laughably accused the president of not “taking yes for an answer.”
Already the Trump TV Netowrk, Fox News, is putting the shutdown on the Democrats. The new Republican talking point is to brand this massive governmental failure the “Shumer Shutdown.”
That this gambit is all about the 2018 midterm elections was given away by Trump in one of his early morning tweets:
For those asking, the Republicans only have 51 votes in the Senate, and they need 60. That is why we need to win more Republicans in 2018 Election! We can then be even tougher on Crime (and Border), and even better to our Military & Veterans!
Will a majority of Americans buy this malarkey?
Right now, most Americans are blaming the GOP for the shutdown. But that is all subject to change once the Republican spin machine kicks into high gear.
That is the bet.
Don’t believe this is all part of the Republican game plan?
Here is a statement issued by the White House even before the official deadline for Congress to keep the government open passed at 12:01 am last night:
Senate Democrats own the Schumer Shutdown. Tonight, they put politics above our national security, military families, vulnerable children, and our country’s ability to serve all Americans. We will not negotiate the status of unlawful immigrants while Democrats hold our lawful citizens hostage over their reckless demands. This is the behavior of obstructionist losers, not legislators. When Democrats start paying our armed forces and first responders we will reopen negotiations on immigration reform. During this politically manufactured Schumer Shutdown, the President and his Administration will fight for and protect the American people.
(AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)