Shut It Down

Its pretty simple. Trump says he would approve of any bi-partisan bill on DACA. He said on camera that he would provide the political cover. A bi-partisan proposal was agreed upon – and Trump promptly said “no” along with a racist rant.

After the metaphorical “sh#t storm” subsided and work began anew on another compromise, Trump Tweeted another killer comment. Mitch McConnell complained loudly that they are still waiting on what the White House will approve to sav DACA. A third compromise was evolving to keep the government open, a continuing resolution that restored funding for CHIP – a program to help poor children to get vital health care.  Funding for CHIP was held hostage by the GOP (which is to say that these children were held hostage) as leverage to get additional tax breaks for the insurance industry. Once again, Trump vetoed the idea in another incendiary Tweet. So why did Trump sabotage the bipartisan attempts to address DACA and bring us to the verge of a government shutdown?

One theory is that Trump is doing some hard ball negotiating to get funding for his Wall. The idea is that even if the Wall is not funded as part of a DACA deal, he will swoop in at the last minute and be the hero keeping the government open. I have another theory. Trump wants a government shutdown. He said so himself in a 2017 Tweet. He publicly speculated that a government shutdown because the Senate could not generate a filibuster proof would be good for the Congress because it would end the filibuster. The GOP would only need 50 votes to pass any Legislation. This becomes even more important as the GOP majority in the Senate has been whittled down to 1 vote, and likely to change with the midterm elections. Yes… there is a method to his madness, though the method means an end that could be a disaster for the Congress (and the country).

We are only a few hours from the deadline, and the odds seem 50-50 for a shutdown, if the Dems show any spine. It’s a made for reality TV drama, ala Trump style of governing. Which means that the policy and economic implications of the manufactured chaos are secondary to the attention Trump needs. Its another reason why our country has become the laughingstock of the world while simultaneously a source of international angst.

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