Democrats Facing Blowback From The Left Over Deal To End Shutdown

The deal that led to the end of the Federal Government shutdown isn't sitting well with the progressive wing of the Democratic Party.

Fisghting Democratic Donkey

While the resolution of the three-day government shutdown that we saw yesterday was viewed as a positive development by the media, and generally hailed by politicians in both political parties on Capitol Hill, one group of people isn’t very happy at the moment and they could pose problems for Democrats in the months to come:

WASHINGTON — The decision by Senate Democrats to end the government shutdown on Monday in exchange for a promised immigration vote enraged liberals, who accused the lawmakers of betrayal and threatened to mount primaries against some of the Democrats who voted yes.

Regardless of what happens in the Senate, progressive and immigrant advocacy groups said House Republican leaders will never take up a bill that would offer legal status to young undocumented immigrants brought to the country as children without excruciating concessions on other immigration issues. They accused Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, and moderate Democratic senators of capitulating to protect senators up for re-election in November in Republican-leaning states.

“They blinked because they’ll always put the party and the success of the party first,” said Representative Luis V. Gutiérrez of Illinois, one of the leading Democratic advocates for immigrants, complaining that Hispanics got short shrift. “It’s the one word they know in Spanish: mañana.”

The hasty retreat by 33 Senate Democrats was particularly humiliating in the immediate aftermath of the anniversary of the Women’s March, which saw thousands of activists reconvene in cities across the country to protest against President Trump and congressional Republicans. Liberal groups such as MoveOn.org began urging members to sign up on Monday for rallies aimed at pressuring Republicans to protect the young undocumented immigrants known as Dreamers.

By noon, their own ostensible allies in Congress had buckled.

“The grass-roots are rightly furious with a slew of elected Democrats,” said Ben Wikler, the Washington director of MoveOn.org. “In the Obama years, Republicans learned to be more afraid of primary challenges than general elections. But Democrats are still operating as though the Tea Party is more powerful than The Resistance.”

The anger on the left was reminiscent of conservative unrest that fueled primary race challenges against sitting Republican senators accused of appeasing an opposition president, Barack Obama, and his congressional allies.

Mr. Schumer, determined to keep the fissures in his party coalition muted, used a meeting of Senate Democrats before the vote to urge the liberals in his caucus not to criticize those voting to reopen the government, according to one senator who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a private meeting.

And for the most part, the liberal senators who opposed the agreement held their fire. Democrats have largely avoided the internal insurrections that upended Republicans over the past decade. Mr. Schumer is not a figure of derision on the left as Mr. McConnell is on the right.

And Senate Democrats have crushed most primary election challenges easily. Senate leaders have intervened freely in a number of 2018 races — in states like Arizona and Tennessee — to anoint more moderate standard-bearer

(…)

But the patience of the left may be running thin. By appearing to retreat on Monday, Democrats have stirred new talk on the left about challenging incumbents who had previously given little thought to their own nominations.

Faiz Shakir, the political director of the American Civil Liberties Union and an adviser to former Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, said the group and its allies were actively exploring places to intervene in primary elections.

Mr. Shakir said of some Democrats that it is an “open question, still, whether they’re going to fight for Dreamers.”

Right now, only one Democratic senator faces a serious primary challenge: Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, who voted against the government-funding deal and complained privately that she and most of her colleagues had been asked to vote on Friday against a nearly identical measure to keep the government open.

Ms. Feinstein has tacked to the left since Kevin de Léon, the president of the California State Senate, announced his challenge to her in October.

Mr. de Léon said Monday that Democrats had made a grave mistake striking “another fingers-crossed bargain with Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell.”

Mr. de Léon said he had called and left a voice mail message with Thomas E. Perez, the Democratic National Committee chairman, and planned to convey that Democrats had sent a terrible message to “voters of color and millennial voters who feel like they’ve been abandoned.”

“Once again, the party’s leaders in Washington have capitulated, compromised and redrawn a line in the sand even further away from justice,” he said.

One House Democrat is already under fire for not taking a stronger stance on behalf of immigrants: Representative Daniel Lipinski of Illinois, a moderate Democrat from Chicago who is facing a primary race challenger, Marie Newman, in March.

Ryan Koronkowski at Think Progress expresses much of what I’ve been seeing from the progressive wing of the Democratic Party since yesterday afternoon:

Senate Democrats agreed to vote for a continuing resolution on Monday to fund the government through February 8th, and possibly another continuing resolution on February 8, for the commitment to consider an unidentified immigration bill.

No immigration agreement was attached to the bill passed on Monday. McConnell’s deputy, Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) has already cast doubt on the idea of considering an immigration bill before February 8.

So all of this rests on McConnell’s word. Of course even if a reasonable immigration bill were to pass the Senate, there are no guarantees it would be supported in the House, or indeed even the White House.

But McConnell has promised many things in recent months and failed to follow through.

On the other hand, Eric Levitz at New York magazine argues that the left should be happy with what they got. and he also correctly points out that there is currently a nationwide injunction in place that bars the Trump Administration from enforcing the decision to end DACA. If that injunction remains in effect past March 5th, then the calculus behind forcing another shutdown changes signifiantly:

Put simply, it is hard to see how the tactical costs of postponing the shutdown fight — for three weeks — outweigh the substantive benefits of immediately ending a months-long children’s health-care crisis. As of Monday morning, Congressional Republicans had allowed the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) to go without long-term funding for 114 days. This malign neglect had already led many states to scale back their enrollment efforts, while a few were on the cusp of suspending their participation in CHIP altogether — a development that would have left thousands of children without access to affordable health care. By voting for a three-week continuing resolution, Democrats averted that disaster, and secured six years of funding for CHIP.

In my understanding, the case against accepting that trade-off goes something like this: Action is urgently needed to protect 700,000 Dreamers from deportation; a prolonged government shutdown is a surefire way to force such action; and Republicans would agree to pass a “clean” CHIP bill — in the middle of a government shutdown —before they would allow states to start suspending CHIP.

The first premise of this argument is true; although it’s a bit less true today than it was the last time Democrats voted to fund the government without a DACA replacement. The second premise seems suspect, and the third, laughable (these people do not care if poor kids lose access to health insurance — they spent most of last year actively trying to take it away from them).

if we could be certain that a prolonged shutdown would force Republicans to pass a DREAM Act in (relatively) short order, it would have been worth it for Democrats to stick their guns today. But we can’t be certain of that. In fact, there’s reason to suspect that shutting down the government is simply not an effective tactic for forcing the GOP’s hand on this.

The strongest source of Democratic leverage on DACA is, and always has been, the fact that the Republican Party is afraid to strip legal status from 700,000 American-raised, law-abiding, gainfully employed people — who have deep ties to American companies, churches, universities, and communities. The Breitbart right might applaud such a development, but polling suggests that no one else will. And once the dispossession of 700,000 Dreamers ceases to be a looming threat — and becomes a present reality — the backlash is certain to be immense. The risk of mass protest and unrest is high.

(…)

If hundreds of DACA recipients were still irrevocably losing their legal status every day, this gambit might not be sustainable. But in a context where the White House is accepting renewal applications — and there is no imminent deadline for when DACA actually ends — it’s hard for me to understand how an extended shutdown would put more pressure on Republicans to pass a DREAM Act, than it would on Democrats to reopen the government. Over the course of such a shutdown, the number of Americans inconvenienced by the Democrats’ obstruction would steadily grow, while the number of DACA recipients with no means of renewing their work permits would not.

It’s possible that the GOP, as the ruling party, would bear the blame for an extended shutdown. But if Republicans were constantly arguing for the urgency of funding the government — and of renewing CHIP — while Democrats were talking about immigration, it seems likely that the public would eventually side with the former.

So: The efficacy of a prolonged shutdown, as a tactic for forcing action on DACA is, at the very least, unclear. And the substantive harms of the tactic are considerable. There are furloughed federal workers who live paycheck to paycheck. There are Americans who do contract work for the government who could lose wages that they won’t get back. And countless Americans will be adversely impacted in ways we can’t even predict — during the 2013 shutdown, low-income Americans temporarily lost access to food stamps due to a computer glitch.

Given the seriousness of these harms, and the uncertainty of success, it’s not clear to me that launching a prolonged government shutdown next month is a good idea.

In retrospect, it seems clear on its face that the deal we ended up with yesterday, which in many ways was not dissimilar from the Continuing Resolution that the Senate rejected on Friday night before the shutdown, was the best that Democrats could have gotten no matter how long the shutdown extended. Even before the shutdown began, it seemed apparent that any plan that included the idea that Democrats would not vote to approve a spending bill until a DACA bill was brought to the floor and approved by the both the House and the Senate, and then signed into the law by the President, was simply not realistic. For one thing, both the House GOP leadership and the White House said from the outset that they weren’t willing to negotiate anything related to immigration or any other non-budgetary issue until the government was reopened. As long as that was the case, the most that Senate Democrats could have reasonably expected was basically what they got, a short-term government funding bill that gives them at least some leverage to hold over Republicans while the body is discussing and debating immigration and a commitment from Senate leadership that a DACA bill will be brought forward for discussion, debate, and a vote. As we saw with health care reform, Mitch McConnell can’t guarantee that such a bill, whatever form it may take, will pass and he certainly can’t guarantee that such a bill will be considered by and pass the House and signed into law by the President. The deal that Democrats got was most likely the best they were going to get under the circumstances, and reaching it sooner rather than later was arguably in the best interests of the party.

Even before the shutdown started, there were signs that the Democrats were taking a big political risk by insisting on action on a DACA bill as the price for agreeing to keep the government open. A CNN poll released last Friday, for example, showed that a majority of Americans said that DACA was not worth shutting the government down over. This despite the fact that repeated polling has shown that the vast majority of Americans, including most Republicans, support Congressional action to protect DACA beneficiaries and others who were brought to the United States as children and find themselves in the only country they’ve ever known branded as an illegal immigrant. Additionally, while there wasn’t any real polling released during what turned out to be a short-lived shutdown, there were several signs that Democrats faced the potential of being blamed for the shutdown if it turned into a longer-term matter. While it’s possible that this ultimately may not have mattered for the midterm elections coming up in just over nine months, Senate Minority Leader obviously didn’t want to take that risk and, most likely, neither did Democrats in red states that face already fought re-election battles this fall. The Washington Post’s political team summarizes much of that thinking, and the process that led Schumer to ultimately agree to the deal McConnell was offering that I’d recommend reading in full if you’re interested in finding out why Senate Democrats agreed to this deal. Taking all of that into account, it’s easy to see why the Democrats ended up agreeing to the deal that McConnell offered them.

What happens going forward is, of course, the open question. Many Democrats and many on the left are openly expecting and saying that they don’t believe that Mitch McConnell will live up to his commitment to bring a DACA bill to the floor. Perhaps their cynicism will end up being justified but I tend to doubt it. McConnell is smart enough to know that if he fails to follow through on his promise then he’ll end up with another shutdown on his hands after February 8th that will be much more difficult to resolve. Additionally, the Democrats would arguably have the upper hand in such a standoff given the fact that they would be able to point to the commitment that McConnell made yesterday as the reason for the shutdown. Given that, I expect McConnell will indeed bring up a DACA bill, although it is as yet unclear what form that bill will take and what will happen to that bill once debate begins and Senators from both sides seek to add amendments to it as part of the debate process. All of that is up in the air, as is the question of whether or not Congress can actually find the political will to act on DACA before it it is set to officially expire in March. For now, though, Democrats have gotten the best deal they could have expected and their progressive win would be wise to recognize that fact, accept reality, and concentrate on mobilizing support for the kind of DACA bill they favor and on the midterm elections in November. The alternative is the kind of circular firing squad that the Tea Party brought to the GOP during the Obama Administration, and that’s not a key to success on policy issues as long as their party is in the minority.

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FILED UNDER: Borders and Immigration, Campaign 2018, Congress, Deficit and Debt, US Politics, , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Stormy Dragon says:

    Faiz Shakir, the political director of the American Civil Liberties Union and an adviser to former Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, said the group and its allies were actively exploring places to intervene in primary elections.

    Isn’t the ACLU supposed to be a non-partisan organization?




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  2. Mikey says:

    The decision by Senate Democrats to end the government shutdown on Monday in exchange for a promised immigration vote enraged liberals, who accused the lawmakers of betrayal and threatened to mount primaries against some of the Democrats who voted yes.

    I want to grab these people, beat them about the head and shoulders, and scream “STOP MAKING ‘PERFECT’ THE WORST ENEMY OF ‘GOOD ENOUGH!'” in their faces.




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  3. KM says:

    What exactly did they think was going to happen here? Dems aren’t exactly in a position of strength where they can strong arm their wishes through. It’s a negotiation and you have to expect you’re not getting your complete wish list, especially when you have little power to enforce your wishes at the table. Yes, DACA protection was high on the list but it wasn’t the only item on the list – add in that this isn’t the last we’ve heard of shutdowns since it only goes to Feb 8th! For all Dems know, there could be a better DACA deal to be had now that they don’t have to worry about CHIP and other must-haves!

    Dems fall in love, Republicans fall in line. This is the equivalent of getting pissed at your husband because he didn’t get the absolute best interest rate on your mortgage – there’s only so much negotiating room you have when you’re the one begging. If you wanted your way, maybe you should have ensured your party was in power.




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  4. michael reynolds says:

    The far left is long on passion, short on experience. This is a three week extension, DACA isn’t going away, and it has support from about 80% of Americans. No one is being betrayed. We’ve lost precisely nothing. In fact, we gained CHIP, a public promise to take up DACA and a moment where the Senate simply ignored Trump. These are good things.

    If Democrats expect to ride the immigration issue beyond saving DACA – which I expect will happen – they need to decide where they stand on immigration. They need a policy and they don’t have one. They haven’t had one for quite a while now, but you can’t beat something with nothing, so they need to get serious and not just oppositional.




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  5. pylon says:

    I am having trouble seeing the major loss to the Dem position. They got CHIP – a huge win. They got a promise to negotiate on DACA, a nothing but it gives them the high ground morally. And they gave in on only two and a half weeks of funding. If the GOP doesn’t come with a DACA fix, or something horrible, the Dems can say “we gave you a chance”.




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  6. Facebones says:

    @Mikey:

    I want to grab these people, beat them about the head and shoulders, and scream “STOP MAKING ‘PERFECT’ THE WORST ENEMY OF ‘GOOD ENOUGH!’” in their faces.

    Honest to god, the stupidity of some of these purity pony brigades is staggering. This part of how we got to President Trump. “Trump is an out and out racist, but Hillary said ‘super predator’ once in 1993, so she is obviously just as bad if not worse. Therefore I will be pure and vote for a fruitcake like Jill Stein.” Your purity of action just got us 30 years of Justice Gorsuch.

    It’s a win for Democrats. CHIP is funded. McConnell is on record promising a DACA fix by Feb. 8. If he can’t deliver or is lying, the evidence is there for all to see.




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  7. al-Ameda says:

    @michael reynolds:

    The far left is long on passion, short on experience. This is a three week extension, DACA isn’t going away, and it has support from about 80% of Americans. No one is being betrayed. We’ve lost precisely nothing. In fact, we gained CHIP, a public promise to take up DACA and a moment where the Senate simply ignored Trump. These are good things.

    Exactly right.
    Unless Trump, Ryan and McConnell suddenly and inexplicably became reasonable and honest, this was the best that Democrats could expect.




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  8. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    I don’t have a problem with how this is playing out…and that’s key…this is still playing out.
    Republicans still haven’t managed to do their number one job…fund the Government.
    Democrats put up a good drive but were forced to settle for a field goal…now they have to play defense, get the ball right back and finally score.
    Millions of kids have insurance that didn’t last week.
    DACA isn’t done…it’s just been kicked down the road three weeks.
    I don’t trust McConnell or Ryan so all of this has two big caveats:
    ~Democrats have to make sure they don’t get fvcked by Republican leadership.
    ~Democrats have to figure out how to spin this in their favor…because it is a win on some levels.
    And lastly…Democrats have to point out loudly and clearly that Textbook-Generic-Donnie is demanding funding for the wall that he claimed Mexico was going to pay for.




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  9. grumpy realist says:

    Sometimes the antics of some people who call themselves Progessives really really make me want to pound my head against the wall….

    Haven’t any of these people learned anything about STRATEGY? Or TACTICS?

    But NOOOO it’s always “we should WIN because we’re Pure and Good and the Other Side is Evil and Horrid!!”

    One of the reasons that the Sicilian Vespers was the only peasant’s revolt that actually managed to pull it off in the history of Western Europe. Because the leaders were pragmatists, realized that morality doesn’t count for beans against armies, managed to play off all the powers-that-could-crush-them off against each other until everyone got so sick and tired with what was, by then, a fait-accompli, that the high powers said “ok, let’s just forget about all of this and by the way, never mention this embarrassing episode EVER AGAIN!!!.”




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  10. PJ says:

    If the Democrats had held out for just a week, Bernie Sanders would have become President! Also, unicorns!




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  11. Kathy says:

    Do we need another party so beholden to its base that it follows only radical policies?

    IMO part of the reason DACA hasn’t been addressed by Congress despite overwhelming popular support, is that the Republican base opposes it. Another part is that it will be seen as a Democratic victory, which for the base it’s a fate worse than death.




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  12. JKB says:

    Oh, look, Democrats “got” CHiP funded….by stopping their holding legislation funding CHiP hostage. How did they get CHiP extended for 6 more years? By voting for the legislation Republicans had repeatedly proposed that funded the program. Upside, the original funding proposed was for 5 years and now it is for 6 years, so bonus.

    From CNBC:

    Last fall, Republicans proposed a plan to extend the CHIP program for an additional five years. But that plan included a series of deeply partisan spending cuts to cover the costs of extending CHIP — such as slashing Obamacare programs and Medicare — and Democrats refused to support the bill.

    This left the program in budgetary limbo, and the Trump administration scrambling to send emergency funds to the states that were closest to running out of money (all states had some money left over from their last budget to keep running the program, but the amount varied significantly from one to another).

    Congress did pass a short-term funding patch for CHIP in late December but that only secured funding through mid-January, creating another funding cliff that collided with the entire federal government’s budget running out.

    Republicans proposed a second plan to fund the CHIP program in mid-January: attaching a six-year extension of the CHIP program to a four-week continuing resolution that would fund the rest of the government.

    But Democrats initially rejected that plan as well because it did nothing to address the end of the DACA program, which allows unauthorized immigrants who came to the US as children to live and work without the threat of deportation. DACA protections run out by March 5. Senate Democrats insisted that any funding bill would also need to include a deal on the immigration issue as well. This lead to the government shutdown that began Saturday morning.

    Oh, and also a “win” for Democrats:

    The deal struck by Democrats and Republicans on Monday to end a brief government shutdown contains $31 billion in tax cuts, including a temporary delay in implementing three health care-related taxes. — NY Times

    But do take the win that DACA will be debated, which was what Trump wanted all along by putting an orderly end date on the program. Move the program from unconstitutional to properly settled by the legislative body.




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  13. Monala says:

    @JKB:

    Last fall, Republicans proposed a plan to extend the CHIP program for an additional five years. But that plan included a series of deeply partisan spending cuts to cover the costs of extending CHIP — such as slashing Obamacare programs and Medicare — and Democrats refused to support the bill.

    Those terrible Democrats, refusing to rob Peter to pay Paul! While the Republicans were saying, “Hey, we’ll give poor kids healthcare by taking it away from their parents and grandparents!”

    FYI, about a year ago I heard a presentation by a doctor from a community health clinic on the benefits of the ACA. Prior to the ACA, they saw lots of children supported by CHIP and Medicaid. With the ACA, they’re now able to serve their parents as well–resulting in health care gains for the kids, too. “It’s very hard to keep kids healthy when their parents aren’t,” she said.




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  14. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    @JKB:
    When you imagine yourself having sex with your Dear leader…is it textbook generic?




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  15. JKB says:

    @Monala:

    Obamacare was a benefit for those who qualified for Medicaid, but it was that by taking from working families through massive health insurance cost increases.

    I understand you are probably one who is very happy with using threat of violence by the government to forcibly take property from some and give it to others. Others tend to favor limiting the amount of ‘official’ theft and redistribution.




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  16. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    They are. Faiz likes to shoot from the hip, and has never tempered his language which causes problems for the ACLU. What the ACLU has announced they are doing is the same thing they’ve done for a few Presidential elections, but at a local level: analyze a candidate’s civil rights record, and whether or not their campaign rhetoric creates civil rights problems.

    In 2016 they released memos on both Trump’s and Clinton’s problematic campaign promises. They want to do the same with congressional and senate candidates.

    It’s decidedly political, but it’s not partisan.




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  17. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    I can’t seem to edit the post, so let me continue a bit more:

    The ACLU took a stance in Philadelphia’s district attorney race, including the primary. In that race the ACLU-PA (and I think ACLU Nationwide) published information about where candidates stood on Criminal Justice Reform, the death penalty, etc. It’s likely their education campaign shifted the primary fight in favor of a pro-reform candidate.

    It’s my understanding they’ll be doing the same thing in select primary congressional primary fights. “Candidate X stand against DACA, is pro-criminal justice reform, and has problematic views on Muslims in America. Candidate Y is for DACA, but is also for greater sentences for drug abuse…etc., etc.”




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  18. Monala says:

    @JKB: Oh, so you are of the mind that all taxation is theft? Rather than the costs that all of us contribute (yes, all of us, because even poor people pay taxes) to have a civilized society?

    And Obamacare was a huge benefit for my working, not able to qualify for a subsidy family. My husband was a full-time worker but uninsured, and unable to obtain insurance due to pre-existing conditions. (My employer provided employee-only insurance). Obamacare saved my husband’s life, literally (and if he hadn’t been uninsured for so many years, thanks to our screwed up health care system prior to the ACA, he would have been able to get help to manage his diabetes and high blood pressure, and may not have needed his life saved). And I know a lot of working, not on Medicaid folks for whom Obamacare saved their lives, too.




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  19. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    @JKB:

    Obamacare was a benefit for those who qualified for Medicaid, but it was that by taking from working families through massive health insurance cost increases.

    That’s just pure and utter BS. You have these strongly held convictions that are based entirely in fiction. You really should try to…you know…learn things.




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  20. george says:

    @JKB:

    thers tend to favor limiting the amount of ‘official’ theft and redistribution.

    Privatizing the army and police for instance, because using taxes to pay for them is theft? Both have been tried at various times, so its possible. Just make sure your enemies con’t pay more than you can. Should be safe against Russia, not so sure about China, given the amount of American debt they own.

    Of course, a private army with nuclear weapons is probably able to fund itself by asking for donations. Might end up costing ex-taxpayers more than simply paying taxes.




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  21. SC_Birdflyte says:

    @Daryl’s other brother Darryl: One possibility would be for Schumer and Pelosi to agree to fund the full cost of the wall on one condition: a reinstatement of the 39.6% top rate on the federal income tax. Given that polls showed that most Americans weren’t happy with the recent tax cut bill, this might have some unexpected advantages.




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  22. JKB says:

    @george:

    I notice you didn’t use free birth control and abortions as your examples. Neither did you offer up free higher education for individuals illegally in the country. Or even support for the NEA or NEH?

    As you might notice, I said “limiting” that taken. The military and police benefit all via enhancing security. See the saying was No taxation without representation and all taxation for the benefit of all.

    It’s all about priorities and overall benefit to the entire populace, i.e., politics.




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  23. grumpy realist says:

    @SC_Birdflyte: forget a 39.6% top tax rate–let’s go back to the 90% tax rates of the 1950s.

    Well, if it was so great back then and we want to go back to it, we need to go back to the tax rates used then as well, right?

    (grin)




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  24. jpe789 says:

    They got CHIP – a huge win.

    Which was in the Republican bill that they voted down on Friday. So their “huge win” was voting for the Republican bill.




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  25. the Q says:

    I wrote this two weeks ago on another thread predicting correctly (as usual) the outcome if the Dems shut down the gov’t over DACA:

    Since the Dems are so out of touch on immigration issues (which Trump rode all the way to the White House) those neolibs who think that the elderly and other recipients of gov’t programs won’t clearly blame the Dems on shutting down the gov’t and delaying their checks are deluding themselves.

    Trump will proclaim that the liberal sanctuary states are holding hostage 325 million Americans over 800,000 illegals. He will demagogue this to death as he has in the past and the Pelosi/Schumer dinosaurs will have whiffed again on their strategy.

    Immigration is the current Tom Bradley effect – on the surface, people are slightly positive on immigration, but scratch the surface and folks just don’t like line jumpers and benefit cheaters. And Trump has been highly effective in promoting that message (again, the loon is President).

    Of course, the out of touch neolibs on here will flame my comments but lets have this discussion in two weeks if there is a shut down.




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  26. wr says:

    @grumpy realist: “Haven’t any of these people learned anything about STRATEGY? Or TACTICS?”

    As annoying as I generally find the Purity Police, here they’re doing exactly what they need to do It’s not the job of activists to compromise or think about strategy. That’s what the senators need to do. It’s the job of the activists to keep pressure from the left to counterbalance the pressure from the right. The Dems need to be able to say to McConnell, gee, we’d love to do what you want, but our base won’t let us — exactly the way the Republicans do.

    If there aren’t people out there pulling our elected leaders to the left, then the whole country will continue to drift to the right…




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  27. wr says:

    @the Q: “Of course, the out of touch neolibs on here will flame my comments but lets have this discussion in two weeks if there is a shut down.”

    I love your notion that the people who are fighting for equality and justice for all Americans are “neolibs,” while you, who seemingly want to restrict all progress to white males, are the real liberal in the bunch.




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  28. george says:

    @JKB:

    So you’re saying taxes are fine for things you think are important, but theft for things you think are unimportant. Would you be okay then with everyone deciding what (if anything) they pay taxes for?

    For instance, you might decide to pay taxes for the military but nothing else. Someone else might decide to pay for public health care but nothing else. A third person might decide to pay for nothing.

    Because that at least would be consistent with your belief that taxes are theft – the only way they could ever not be theft would be to have them voluntary. After all, thievery for things you believe in is still thievery. Or are you going to put caveats on calling taxes ‘thievery’?




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  29. the Q says:

    wr, as usual, vapid comments that proves my point of the utter cluelessness of the modern liberals who never saw a working man (or woman) that they can understand.

    And while the smug wr champions the neoliberals who have been so concerned with all things just and fair, the wingnut loons have captured 34 state legislatures, (they controlled 14 in 2010) 32 Governorships, the House, the Senate,the Supreme Court, the Presidency, the inheritance tax, corporate taxation etc, but in the meantime 8 year old elementary school children can pick the bathroom of choice.

    WR, you’re an idiot that can’t admit it and the Dems constantly shoot themselves in the foot. WR, argue the facts and not your mental flatulence.

    The point was simple and Schumer was smart to acknowlege it. DACA alone gets 80% approval, shutting down the gov’t to pass it was only backed by 44%, so this was a losing strategy from the get go and the longer the shutdown lasted, the worse would be the Dem blowback. All of this could have been avoided and wasn’t because dipschits like wr make policy.

    And now we have Trump the lunatic in the Oval office as a total repudiation of wr’s naive, simplistic assumptions.




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  30. wr says:

    @the Q: The naive, simplistic assumption that minorities and gays deserve the same rights as straight white men?




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