The Impending US Government Shutdown

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Catnip1024:
How is it not a win? CHIP is funded, there are no government workers sat unpaid, and there is more negotiating time.

It's not a win because the Democrats didn't achieve their primary goal, which was DACA codification. It's not a loss because the Democrats didn't lose any of the leverage they had on Friday.

Seanchaidh:
The Democrats have delivered to Trump and ICE a few weeks of deporting DACA recipients.

The actual legal status of DACA protections seems to be in flux right now. It was cancelled by Trump, but the cancellation was structured to not take full effect until this March...but people who missed their chance to renew their DACA protections in October lost them, and were made vulnerable to deportation...until a federal court ruled that they had to start accepting more renewals.

And on top of all of that, there's the likely possibility that the Trump administration is just ignoring the small details and illegally deporting people. Really, right now DACA is a shitshow.

In the larger context of shutdown politics, I think Schumer decided that the risk of pushing for a potentially-unpopular shutdown outweighed the risk that some DACA recipients might be illegally deported in the next few weeks. It does not amount to "caving," or to losing on purpose, despite what Twitter says on the matter. It's Chuck Schumer making a deliberate strategic ploy to avoid being seen as responsible for shutting down the government and defunding CHIP while ensuring that they will have more leverage in future negotiations.

Of course, it's hard to keep believing that in the face of Trump's gloating. That sense of humiliation is hard to stomach, and it's probably fueling the Twitter rage.

Ninjamedic:
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Avnger:
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I don't mean to tone-police here, but I've seen a few posters who I enjoyed talking to get banned over the past couple of weeks for getting too personal. And I don't want to see either of you guys get banned. So, take a deep breath, count to ten, etc. etc.

Seanchaidh:

Thaluikhain:

erttheking:
It kind of reminds me of the Fabian Strategy back in the Second Punic War. Hannibal was kicking Rome's ass up and down Italy, so the then Dictator of Rome, Quintus Fabius Maximus Verrucosus, adopted a new approach to fighting Hannibal. Refusing to engage him directly, picking off his foraging parties, and keeping his army close to Hannibal's, limiting Hannibal's movements while keeping his own forces on favorable ground. Rome hated it, called for Fabius' head, accused him of being a coward...and it almost brought down the, at that point, undefeated Hannibal. The only reason it didn't work is that the Roman soldiers, when they thought they had Hannibal cornered, charged at a series of moving lights against Fabius' orders, only to find that Hannibal had tied torches to the horns of oxen and slipped away in the confusion.

To further expand the analogy, Fabius's unpopular strategy was abandoned by his replacement, Varro, and Rome was nearly conquered as a result. There's a lesson in that.

I'd also mention in passing that Washington adopted Fabian Strategy during the War of Independence. It's of significance to US citizens.

Hannibal could have conquered Rome after the battle of Cannae (he declined to go for the jugular). Hannibal avoided confrontation while in a winning position, and that in turn caused Carthage to be destroyed.

There is a thing called context, and this is NOT the time for a Fabian strategy.

Hannibal could've conquered Rome? Yeahhhhhhh that is high debatable. In fact, historians have debated whether or not he could've actually put Rome to siege for thousands of years. His army was actually rather on the small side, not helped by how he had lost so many of his soldiers crossing the Alps. His main strength was how he could constantly get his army into an ideal position and lure the Romans out to fight him on his terms, and it's highly argued that this army would have done very poorly in a siege. Evidenced by the last major battle he fought in the war where he fought the Romans head on on even terrain and he lost. And Hannibal wasn't the one using Fabian strategy. You got the analogy utterly backwards by talking about how Hannibal failed in order to discredit the Fabian strategy.

Seanchaidh:

The vast majority of Senate Democrats, who did not lend them that support, are responsible for the shutdown. Those Democrats have spent the past three days blaming it on Republican procedural incompetence rather than making a straightforward, honest case to the American people that the shutdown?s true purpose- securing a DACA deal- was worth it. "It's the president's and congressional Republicans' responsibility to govern," Schumer said in a speech Saturday. "It's their responsibility to keep the doors open and the lights on around here." The word for this is cowardice.

Hang on there bud. This is exactly what I was saying right from the start.

But that doesn't detract from the fact that, given the hand they were dealt, and PR aside, the Democrats played it in probably the best possible manner.

erttheking:

Seanchaidh:

Thaluikhain:

To further expand the analogy, Fabius's unpopular strategy was abandoned by his replacement, Varro, and Rome was nearly conquered as a result. There's a lesson in that.

I'd also mention in passing that Washington adopted Fabian Strategy during the War of Independence. It's of significance to US citizens.

Hannibal could have conquered Rome after the battle of Cannae (he declined to go for the jugular). Hannibal avoided confrontation while in a winning position, and that in turn caused Carthage to be destroyed.

There is a thing called context, and this is NOT the time for a Fabian strategy.

Hannibal could've conquered Rome? Yeahhhhhhh that is high debatable. In fact, historians have debated whether or not he could've actually put Rome to siege for thousands of years. His army was actually rather on the small side, not helped by how he had lost so many of his soldiers crossing the Alps. His main strength was how he could constantly get his army into an ideal position and lure the Romans out to fight him on his terms, and it's highly argued that this army would have done very poorly in a siege. Evidenced by the last major battle he fought in the war where he fought the Romans head on on even terrain and he lost.

Yes, his elephants were nigh worthless (or employed poorly) at the battle of Zama and he lacked the cavalry advantage that he enjoyed at Cannae. That says nothing about a siege. Rome had just lost a huge army at Cannae after having already lost at Trebia and Lake Trasimene, and Hannibal failed to press his advantage.

erttheking:
And Hannibal wasn't the one using Fabian strategy.

Didn't say he was. A Fabian strategy makes no sense for someone who enjoys the advantage in a direct confrontation. Hannibal did, however, decline to press his advantage at a crucial time. He assumed that Rome would surrender without his putting additional pressure on. He trusted that he and his army had fought hard enough already.

He was wrong, and Carthage was destroyed for that error. He knew how to achieve victory, but had no idea what to do with it.

erttheking:
You got the analogy utterly backwards by talking about how Hannibal failed in order to discredit the Fabian strategy.

Hannibal failed in Italy because he let his enemy recover while he was in a winning position. If it were indeed impossible for him to lay siege to Rome or otherwise to compel a Roman surrender, even after three decisive victories which killed a full fifth of Rome's male adult citizen population, then Carthage had no business being at war with Rome in the first (or second) place.

The Fabian strategy is advisable in a particular context: when an enemy is superior in direct confrontations and you are able to absorb the losses incurred by attrition warfare. Which is all to say: there is a time and a place for it; it's not a great strategy in itself. In fact it's one of the worst: it deserves serious skepticism in most cases, especially in politics. Fabian socialism, for example, achieved a few modest gains over around a century which were then reversed with the rise of neoliberalism (and it's questionable whether it was the Fabians who achieved those gains, or whether it was really the fact that capital was filling their diapers over the revolutionary socialists marching around everywhere).

The Democrats were in a position to go on the offensive; a "Fabian strategy" makes NO SENSE WHATSOEVER in that case. Kicking the can down the road gives the Republicans a chance to recover. We'll see if they do.

bastardofmelbourne:

I don't mean to tone-police here, but I've seen a few posters who I enjoyed talking to get banned over the past couple of weeks for getting too personal. And I don't want to see either of you guys get banned. So, take a deep breath, count to ten, etc. etc.

Well I haven't said anything personal aside from noting the ad hominem and comparing to your disagreement and explanations.

Back on topic, I'll have to see how this pans out, I'd like to see this place the Republicans in a trap but I'm not exactly sure what leverage has been gained here as the public opinion was already on the Democrats side. Is it to discredit McConnell further?

Some news: it's coming out now that Chuck Schumer offered Trump twenty billion dollars for his border wall as part of a proposed budget deal on Sunday, only to see Trump reject all of the parts of the deal except the twenty billion, i.e. the parts that the Democrats were getting in exchange.

If anyone was waffling over who was to blame for the dysfunctional negotiations - waffle no longer. It's Trump. Schumer literally came up to him and said "Okay, you've convinced us. We'll up the $1.6 billion in the previous deal to $20 billion." And Trump said no.

Why'd he say no? Is it that he can't do math and doesn't realise that twenty is a larger number than one-point-six? Was he hoping to get more?

Schumer has retracted the offer now that immigration negotiations are restarting, which has put the resurrected talks on a rocky start. But seriously, is there any doubt that Trump is the problem here? The guy wouldn't accept a deal that gave him an astonishingly generous sum of money for some dumb-shit border wall that the Democrats are otherwise adamantly opposed to and which would have brought them significant heat in the midterms. He literally won't take yes for an answer.

erttheking:
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Seanchaidh:
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As much as I love to see an extensive and detailed debate over classical Roman military history in my thread, I believe that the particulars of the Second Punic War are not super relevant to the current situation.

As a broad-strokes analogy, yes, the Fabian strategy is a useful reference. But we don't need to get bogged down in details about how effective Hannibal's army would have been in a siege or how important his cavalry advantage was to his early victories. It's a tangent.

bastardofmelbourne:

Why'd he say no? Is it that he can't do math and doesn't realise that twenty is a larger number than one-point-six? Was he hoping to get more?

Is there anything there to suggest Trump doesn't actually want to go through with the wall and is trying to sabotage it, in a similar fashion to the theory that May doesn't want Brexit?

bastardofmelbourne:
Was he hoping to get more?

Wouldn't you, if you had the Democrats to negotiate with? The Democrats were not strategic here. People like Joe Manchin and Doug Jones showed that the Democratic coalition in the Senate is not fully committed to protecting DREAMers. This is a loss. They took three days of bad headlines in order to come to an agreement that the Republicans were basically offering them before the shutdown. What good does it do to take CHIP off the negotiating table when the GOP has already said it wants it (and therefore it shouldn't cost the Democrats anything)? If you have to pay a price for the things your opponents want (or say they want or criticize you for not prioritizing), that's called losing.

And Chuck Schumer is confident that "images of DREAMers being deported" will shame the House of Representatives into action on DACA, meaning 1)he isn't going to stop those deportations from actually happening, 2)he may as well be huffing glue if he expects the House GOP are going to care about yet more evidence of the atrociousness of Trump's immigration policy (if the mainstream media even covers it that much).

And the brought-off wall-street crony Chuck Schumer caved because he is afraid of tanking the stock market with a longer government shut down. Screw those 700,000 dreamers who were brought in the US. All because the soul-less profit-seeking monsters in wall street who control both parties told the "moderate Dems" to do their bidding.

Heres what we know

1. Paul Ryan still hasn't committed to DACA

2. Mitch Mcconnel PROMISED DACA vote in the Senate. Just like he promised Susan Collins a vote on improving Obama-care.

3. Trump ran ads against the Dems saying they want to protect "illegal immigrants" who are all murderers

I mean CEOs in America love to be Socially liberal until it hurts their bottom-line.

Also as for government workers. They knew what they were getting into. Shutdowns have happened for FAR LESS.

Gergar12:
And the brought-off wall-street crony Chuck Schumer caved because he is afraid of tanking the stock market with a longer government shut down. Screw those 700,000 dreamers who were brought in the US. All because the soul-less profit-seeking monsters in wall street who control both parties told the "moderate Dems" to do their bidding.

Did you read melbourne's post above? Not a single Dreamer is (legally) being deported any time between now and when the 3 weeks are up.

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/jump/528.1036175.24195045

Gergar12:

Heres what we know

1. Paul Ryan still hasn't committed to DACA

2. Mitch Mcconnel PROMISED DACA vote in the Senate. Just like he promised Susan Collins a vote on improving Obama-care.

3. Trump ran ads against the Dems saying they want to protect "illegal immigrants" who are all murderers

I mean CEOs in America love to be Socially liberal until it hurts their bottom-line.

Here's what we knew on Sunday before this deal occurred

1. Paul Ryan hadn't committed to DACA.

2. Mitch McConnell had given no promise to have a DACA vote in the Senate, just like how he has never promised to vote on universal healthcare.

3. Trump ran ads against Dems saying they want to protect "illegal immigrants" who are all murderers.

4. CHIP was out of funding and with its very future being held in Republican hands as a hostage.

Huh... funny how the things that have changed are that children's health insurance is now funded for 6 years and no longer a hostage for Republicans to hold a gun to and that there's a promise for a vote (despite the unlikelihood of it being followed through on) where before there was absolutely nothing.

Gergar12:
Also as for government workers. They knew what they were getting into. Shutdowns have happened for FAR LESS.

For someone who has made claims to care about "the people" and rails against the elites on wall street, your giant "fuck you" to a significant number of workers who live paycheck to paycheck is hypocritical and despicable; I don't think a completely out-of-touch billionaire could have expressed a disdain for blue collar workers any better....

Avnger:
Huh... funny how the things that have changed are that children's health insurance is now funded for 6 years and no longer a hostage for Republicans to hold a gun to and that there's a promise for a vote (despite the unlikelihood of it being followed through on) where before there was absolutely nothing.

The Republicans offered to fund CHIP before the shutdown. And they've said that they want to. Why would you give them something to get them to do what they said they want to do? That's called losing.

Schumer went on television and said that he was confident that pictures of DREAMers being deported would move Congress to act; this is delusional and it betrays that he doesn't plan to protect them before they are deported.

edit:

Oh hey, what do you know... they're throwing DREAMers under the bus.

Politico reports that Senate Democrats are considering passing a DACA deal separate from the budget, in the hopes of getting budget talks moving.

This is a terrible idea. The pressing need to pass a long-term budget agreement is the only reason DACA codification is on the table to begin with. The Republicans couldn't care less about it otherwise. And while McConnell made a public promise to open the floor to debate on DACA in the coming weeks, McConnell is also a serial breaker of promises, both public and private. More importantly, the Senate has passed a comprehensive immigration reform bill before way back in 2013 - only to see it die in the House after Speaker Paul Ryan refused to allow it onto the floor for a vote. The exact same thing will happen to any DACA deal that goes to the House separate from the budget; either House Republicans will gut it to appease the Freedom Caucus, or it will simply never be put to a vote.

I know that government shutdowns are super unpopular, and I know Schumer really wants to avoid being seen as responsible for one, but he has to resist the temptation of going for the quick and easy deal in exchange for promises from guys with a long-standing record of breaking their promises. You cannot bind people like Trump or McConnell or Ryan to their promises without actual, substantial leverage, and that leverage comes solely from the eight Democrat votes needed to pass a budget in the Senate. That is the only reason DACA is being negotiated on at all.

bastardofmelbourne:
This is a terrible idea.

No kidding. Seems like a move (poorly) designed to maximize fundraising by veering into a series of events where, oh! they just don't quite manage to pull off protecting the DREAMers. Guess you've gotta elect more democrats like Joe Manchin and Doug Jones, what're you gonna do?

That might have worked in 2016 or before, but I think too many people are paying attention now: can't even credit it for being effective fundraising; they just look like vacuous assholes who ignore their base, enable the Republicans to ignore the majority of the American people and sell out the people who rely on them. This is beyond atrocious.

Avnger:

Gergar12:
And the brought-off wall-street crony Chuck Schumer caved because he is afraid of tanking the stock market with a longer government shut down. Screw those 700,000 dreamers who were brought in the US. All because the soul-less profit-seeking monsters in wall street who control both parties told the "moderate Dems" to do their bidding.

Did you read melbourne's post above? Not a single Dreamer is (legally) being deported any time between now and when the 3 weeks are up.

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/jump/528.1036175.24195045

Gergar12:

Heres what we know

1. Paul Ryan still hasn't committed to DACA

2. Mitch Mcconnel PROMISED DACA vote in the Senate. Just like he promised Susan Collins a vote on improving Obama-care.

3. Trump ran ads against the Dems saying they want to protect "illegal immigrants" who are all murderers

I mean CEOs in America love to be Socially liberal until it hurts their bottom-line.

Here's what we knew on Sunday before this deal occurred

1. Paul Ryan hadn't committed to DACA.

2. Mitch McConnell had given no promise to have a DACA vote in the Senate, just like how he has never promised to vote on universal healthcare.

3. Trump ran ads against Dems saying they want to protect "illegal immigrants" who are all murderers.

4. CHIP was out of funding and with its very future being held in Republican hands as a hostage.

Huh... funny how the things that have changed are that children's health insurance is now funded for 6 years and no longer a hostage for Republicans to hold a gun to and that there's a promise for a vote (despite the unlikelihood of it being followed through on) where before there was absolutely nothing.

Gergar12:
Also as for government workers. They knew what they were getting into. Shutdowns have happened for FAR LESS.

For someone who has made claims to care about "the people" and rails against the elites on wall street, your giant "fuck you" to a significant number of workers who live paycheck to paycheck is hypocritical and despicable; I don't think a completely out-of-touch billionaire could have expressed a disdain for blue collar workers any better....

And whose fault is it that there are people living paycheck to paycheck working in the government and the private-sector. When we don't have a 15 dollar minimum wage, widespread labor unions or labor union rights, and a plutocracy.

Mainstream Democrats like Bill Clinton who followed in Reagan's footsteps and helped him destroyed labor union rights and had a welfare reform bill that cripples lower-income people.

Also, the shutdown was our ONLY leverage against the Republicans because we lost both houses of Congress because Obama spent all of the DNC's money on those brainless poltical-consultants.

Also, why should the Republicans be allowed to shut down the government then gain the senate in 2014, but not the Democrats? Seems like we are playing with a handicap.

...So...Are the guys who were saying "Trust the democrats, they have a plan" going to want condiments now that the dems are forcing them to eat their words?

Because "We'll give up all our leverage, and trust that chronic backstabber mitch mconnell will let us put DACA up for a vote later and that paul ryan isn't going to kill the bill in the house" is not a plan. It's practically a suddender.

HashtagTheResistance at work, yet again, by giving the GOP 98% of what they want, and screwing their base, screwing the american people, and going "Oh, hey DREAMers? We know we told you to vote for us because we would protect you from the evil GOP...But we didn't, sorry! Keep voting for us though!"

And they WONDER why the party is bleeding support like an impaled buffalo.

Seanchaidh:
*secular talk video*

You listen to Kyle's take on politics too? Nice. :P

Seanchaidh:
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Gergar12:
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aegix drakan:
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Okay, back up.

What I see here is a risk that the Democrats will fall into an obvious pitfall: allowing a budget deal to go ahead and avoiding a potentially-unpopular government shutdown in exchange for the easy passage of a DACA bill in the Senate that will go on to die in the House.

The risk here isn't that the Democrats will sell out the Dreamers. That's a super-simplistic way of putting it. The risk here is essentially that the Democrats will choose to take the path of least resistance rather than play a dangerous game of brinkmanship. This news from Politico raises the possibility that Senate Democrats (House Democrats still vigorously want DACA tied to the budget) will choose the option that gives them a DACA bill that they can point to and say "look, we passed this" and which avoids a potentially-costly budget showdown. I think that's a bad idea because, as anyone can see and as Chuck Schumer surely knows, the budget negotiations in the Senate are the entirety of the Democrat's leverage here. In every other respect, the Republicans hold all the power, and I do not believe they will ever voluntarily pass and sign a DACA bill without the pressure that comes from needing to pass a budget.

On a related note: The White House has finally outlined what exactly it wants from a DACA deal, and it is not entirely pleasant. On the plus side, under the White House's proposal, roughly 1.8 million Dreamers - more than twice the number of currently-registered DACA recipients - would receive protection from deportation as well as a path to citizenship over 10 to 12 years. That's good!

The negative: Trump is asking for $25 billion for his big stupid wall, as well as the elimination of the visa lottery and new restrictions on chain migration. That's bad!

New question, maybe worth its own thread: is a $25 billion boondoggle of a border wall an acceptable price to pay to get protection for the Dreamers? And can Trump even be trusted to properly enact his own proposed legislation? The path to citizenship described by the White House is reliant on the vague criteria of "work history, the right amount of education, and good moral character," which coming from the mouth of Stephen Miller translates to "we will deport these guys because they jaywalked one time, natch." Should the Democrats agree to shell out $25 billion and just hope that Trump gets booted out in 2020 and replaced with a guy who doesn't have a hard-on for concrete barriers of a Latino persuasion?

Update: the federal government has shut down once again, due to a stunt from Republican senator and professional shit-starter Rand Paul.

The possibility of this had been brewing all week, after Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnell announced a long-term budget deal that - in an apparent surrender from Schumer - did not include an agreement on DACA.

Democrats in the House disagreed with that, and Nancy Pelosi took the impressive step of holding the floor of the House for eight straight hours to read out the names of Dreamers who would be deported in the absence of a DACA fix. It should be mentioned that Pelosi is 77 and was wearing high heels the entire time.

Pelosi has the power to sink a budget deal in the House, due to the expected but inconvenient opposition of the House Freedom Caucus (i.e. the Tea Party Republicans) to the substantial spending increases - about $500 billion - in the Senate deal. without the Freedom Caucus, Speaker Paul Ryan would need Democrat votes to pass the Senate's budget deal, and House Democrats were insisting that Ryan give the same commitment that Mitch McConnell did - a public promise to bring a DACA bill to the floor for a vote, where it would likely succeed.

The expected standoff was to be between Pelosi and Ryan, right up until Rand Paul threw a wrench in the budget proceedings in the Senate by refusing to vote on it without the incorporation of an amendment authored by him. I'm not exactly sure what aspect of the Senate's arcane procedural rules gives Rand Paul the power to unilaterally shut down the government, but apparently he can do it.

This particular shutdown is expected to be short, and probably resolved overnight. But there's still the looming question of whether Nancy Pelosi will marshal House Democrats to oppose the bill, and whether Paul Ryan - who has stated that he won't let any bill that doesn't have the President's approval onto the floor - will be willing to make such a promise.

The fate of DACA literally rests in Pelosi's hands, because if a budget deal is passed without a commitment from the Republicans on DACA, it's highly unlikely that anything will happen before the program expires on March 3.

bastardofmelbourne:

The possibility of this had been brewing all week, after Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnell announced a long-term budget deal that - in an apparent surrender from Schumer - did not include an agreement on DACA.

Schumer needs to be put in a sack and thrown out to sea. So much for the "but they didn't lose anything by not backing DREAMers the first go-round" theory. Buncha useless fucks.

Democrats in the House disagreed with that, and Nancy Pelosi took the impressive step of holding the floor of the House for eight straight hours to read out the names of Dreamers who would be deported in the absence of a DACA fix. It should be mentioned that Pelosi is 77 and was wearing high heels the entire time.

[insert joke about a 77 year old women fighting for the DACA longer than the entire batch of Senate Democrats here]

altnameJag:
Schumer needs to be put in a sack and thrown out to sea. So much for the "but they didn't lose anything by not backing DREAMers the first go-round" theory. Buncha useless fucks.

They really didn't lose anything the first go-round. From a purely strategic perspective, their move made sense. I think what happened was they lost the PR battle after the fact, when the dominant media narrative was "Democrats caved," and now Schumer thinks he doesn't have the credibility to push for a second shutdown. (Which is dumb, because he has exactly the same leverage he had three weeks ago.) Either that or he's just given up on negotiating with the President. Or he really, really trusts Mitch McConnell for some reason.

Or, he's a secret asshole. That's also a possibility. Really, I'm confused as balls at what the Democrat's strategy is right now.

bastardofmelbourne:

altnameJag:
Schumer needs to be put in a sack and thrown out to sea. So much for the "but they didn't lose anything by not backing DREAMers the first go-round" theory. Buncha useless fucks.

They really didn't lose anything the first go-round. From a purely strategic perspective, their move made sense. I think what happened was they lost the PR battle after the fact, when the dominant media narrative was "Democrats caved," and now Schumer thinks he doesn't have the credibility to push for a second shutdown. (Which is dumb, because he has exactly the same leverage he had three weeks ago.) Either that or he's just given up on negotiating with the President. Or he really, really trusts Mitch McConnell for some reason.

Or, he's a secret asshole. That's also a possibility. Really, I'm confused as balls at what the Democrat's strategy is right now.

These are the same people that looked at the surge of left wing support after Trump got elected and decided to double down on peeling away GOP voters who tend to think the Dems are one step away from satanic child pornographers.

You know, being the centrist pull of a two party system. If the Freedom caucus puts aside their ideals, and the GOP is great at that with the flimsiest of justifications, DREAMers are screwed.

And "we had to allow the government to get more money to build the wall, deport all the illegals, and stop the Dem-voting brown people from importing their Dem-friendly brown families enmasse to protect real America" is a hellava justification to the "right" sort of people.

it must be wonderful to be a DREAMer realising your existence is relegated to nothing more than a bargaining chip for people who will never understand or care what it's like to be in such a position. Much respect for Nancy Pelosi though, especially when contrasted to Rand Paul's deeply self-serving "Somebody's got to stand up and fight" justification for his protrusion. Fucking wow

bastardofmelbourne:
Or, he's a secret asshole. That's also a possibility. Really, I'm confused as balls at what the Democrat's strategy is right now.

Their actions make more sense if we assume that the Democratic Party is a controlled opposition in service to maintaining our political, media, and business establishment's particularly odious form of capitalism.

When the "left" party throws immigrants under the bus, it undermines solidarity among the working classes, as some of the working classes don't really care about immigrants while others do care about or are immigrants: division over priority rather than union from shared interest. If we assume that immigrants are more likely to vote for more left-wing policies (or even more generally, policies which would tend to be more disruptive to existing power arrangements), a controlled opposition interested in maintaining capitalism would naturally want to self-sabotage and prevent such people from gaining citizenship.

But they can still claim to be better than the GOP on this issue. The appearance of the Democratic Party as well-meaning incompetents is an ideal position to advance the interests of their donors while soaking votes from any potential challenge to those interests (because "where else are they going to go?").

This idea also has a lot of explanatory power when it comes to Democratic Party funding from private prisons, payday lenders, and the military industrial complex, why it seems so utterly committed to a strategy based on getting funding from rich people and using that money to promote a message consisting entirely of vapid platitudes, and why there has been basically no movement from the party on allowing felons the right to vote: it's about crushing the poor. The whole political and economic structure of this society is about crushing the poor.

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