Majority Of Americans Blame Trump For Shutdown, Oppose Border Wall

New polling indicates that President Trump is getting the blame for the ongoing government shutdown.

New polling indicates that more Americans are blaming the President for the shutdown than any other party:

More Americans blame President Trump than Democrats for the six-day partial government shutdown, according to a new Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Thursday.

The new poll found that 33 percent of American blamed congressional Democrats for the shutdown, while 47 percent blamed Trump. Seven percent blamed Republicans in Congress. A little more than 12 percent said “other” in response to the options of who to blame.

Only 35 percent of those polled said they support including money for a wall on the Mexican border in a bill to open the government. Just 25 percent of those polled said they backed Trump for shutting down parts of the federal government over the issue.

The government shut down on Saturday after Congress and the White House could not agree to a funding bill that Trump demanded include $5 billion for his wall.

A second poll from Harvard University and Harris finds similar numbers, and also finds that the American public wants Congress and the President to reach a compromise to end the shutdown:

Most voters oppose President Trump’s demand for border wall funding, but think that the White House and congressional Democrats should compromise on funding for the president’s long-promised project, according to a new Harvard CAPS/Harris poll released exclusively to The Hill.

The survey found that 56 percent of respondents do not support the president’s proposal to construct a wall along the southern border, compared to 44 percent who do.

Erecting a broad security barrier along the border is only slightly more popular, according to the poll. Only 46 percent of respondents support that proposal, while 54 percent oppose it.

A majority of U.S. voters surveyed, 58 percent, said Trump should withdraw his demand for the border funding, while 42 percent said the president “should not give in.”

(…)

The Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll survey found, however, that a slight majority of U.S. voters polled, 51 percent, believe that Democratic lawmakers and the president should compromise and agree on a $2.5 billion funding package for border security. Forty-nine percent said that they should not compromise.

“While a plurality want President Trump to relent in terms of the shutdown, a majority want to see the Democrats and Republicans enter into a compromise with $2.5 billion in barrier funding,” said Mark Penn, the co-director of the Harvard CAPS/Harris poll.

“This suggests that Trump has room right now to wait out the shutdown as numbers are remaining stable even though most want him to cave and end it.”

What’s more, nearly two-thirds of respondents, 64 percent, see the current shutdown as a largely symbolic one. By comparison, 36 percent said they see it as a “real shutdown” that impacts their lives.

“Sixty-four percent said this is just a symbolic shutdown, and that means people see this more as political squabbling rather than something affecting their lives — at least at this point during the holidays,” Penn said.

“In the 1995 shutdown, the Republicans immediately lost support,” he added. “We are not seeing a similar pattern yet, but it’s early.”

Trump faces even longer odds of securing wall funding next week, when a new Democratic majority takes power in the House.

There appears to be little public support for a government shutdown over border security funding. The Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll survey found that roughly 40 percent of U.S. voters back the current funding standoff, while 61 percent oppose the notion of using a shutdown to secure money for border security.

An overwhelming majority of U.S. voters believe that security along the southern border is a problem, with 48 percent saying that it’s a “serious problem” and 38 percent saying it’s a “minor problem.” Only 14 percent said that border security is “not even a small priority,” the Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll survey found

These results are consistent with the results of a CNN poll released prior to the shutdown that found that a majority of Americans oppose the border wall and that they would oppose a shutdown precipitated by a lack of funding for the wall. In addition to this, polling has clearly indicated that the American public is largely opposed to the Republican Party’s current orthodoxy on immigration. Polling released earlier this year showed similar disapproval for the border wall and the rest of the GOP’s immigration policy. Throw into that mix the significant public opposition to the Trump Administration’s zero tolerance and family separation policies, both of which continue to be a source of problems on the southern border, as well as recent polling from National Public Radio and Morning Consult and it becomes clear that the President and the Republican Party are on the wrong side of this issue politically and that there really is no way that they can “win” this issue.

All of this makes one wonder why the White House is persisting in this strategy of insisting on border wall funding notwithstanding the fact that the public is so opposed to the idea and the even more obvious fact that, regardless of how this shutdown crisis resolves itself, the President’s border wall is essentially dead once the Democrats take control of House in just five days. The primary answer, of course, is the fact that, while most Americans oppose the border wall, the opposite is true among Republicans and most specifically among the members of the President’s strongest base of supporters. For better or worse, the President remains convinced that all he needs to do is continue pleasing these people even though the midterm election results and his job approval numbers say otherwise.

FILED UNDER: Borders and Immigration, Congress, Donald Trump, Politicians, Public Opinion Polls, 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. Michael Reynolds says:

    Trump thinks this is all a TV show. He knows he won’t get 100% of viewers but figures a 40% rating is darned good. And it is, for TV.

    If he thought he was running a country he’d have a very different view. But he lacks the intellectual capacity to understand just what he’s bumbled his way into. The polls above basically just repeat the underlying consensus: about 40% of Americans think Trump is either wonderful or at least OK. About 50% of Americans think Trump is a walking, talking dumpster fire. And those numbers seem to be chiseled in stone. For now.

    What Trump is doing is playing to his existing audience and the more he does so the more he makes any growth impossible. As I’ve said to the point of tedium, with a strong economy and no new wars and very few body bags coming home, any competent president would be looking at well above 50%. At very least we should be seeing Trump’s numbers rise and fall, edging north of 50 occasionally, but nope: the 50% despises him and he has made zero converts.

    He lost the popular vote in 2016, he lost the mid-terms by 8 points, and he’s consistently 10 points behind with the public. The GOP base is an anchor in both senses of the word: it keeps their boat steady, but it also keeps it locked in place.

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  2. Kathy says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Trump thinks this is all a TV show. He knows he won’t get 100% of viewers but figures a 40% rating is darned good. And it is, for TV.

    I’m not sure if he thinks that, if he thinks at all, but people can logically follow illogical or irrational premises. The result, though, tends to be massive failure or complete disaster (see the USSR and Nazi Germany respectively; for a less controversial example, see the Confederate States of America).

    A reasonable question at this point would be, “What is easier for Trump, to obtain a wider following by moderating his rhetoric and implementing more popular policies, or to keep his current following by maintaining his campaign style and policies?” With the concomitant question being “How much of his base would Trump lose if he adopted more popular policies and/or moderated his rhetoric?”

    I think the answers are obvious: to keep his following, and a lot of his base would desert him.

    But there are other thing that can sink him. He has accomplished little, and has failed a lot. Best of all, for us if not for Trump, he can’t afford much of a drop in his base, or he loses the way he lost the midterms, if not worse. after all, Dennison is following logically irrational premises.

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  3. James Pearce says:

    Asking who to blame strikes me as a glaring example of “asking the wrong question.”

    @Michael Reynolds:

    He lost the popular vote in 2016, he lost the mid-terms by 8 points, and he’s consistently 10 points behind with the public.

    Why you think any of that is important I will never know. A) The presidency is decided on the EC, not the popular vote.

    B) His party “lost” the mid-terms by gaining seats in the Senate, arguably neutering the Democratic House gains.

    C) “Approval ratings” don’t matter to anyone but the pollster and the pundit.

    I think it’s likely that by the end of this, Trump will get his funding for “border security,” which means he’ll get the political victory.

    And you’ll be over here arguing that the Broncos should be in the Super Bowl because Philip Lindsey ran for a thousand yards this season.

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  4. Liberal Capitalist says:

    @Kathy:

    see the Confederate States of America

    Off topic, but interesting… Have you seen the film: C.S.A.: The Confederate States of America ?

    It’s a must see.

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  5. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    “Just 25 percent of those polled said they backed Trump”

    Riddle me this: does that number show that “the base” (i.e. wingnuts) is eroding or is it dying off? It seems to me that the previous %age was 27; a small shift, but a shift nonetheless. Why?

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  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    It’s a dick measuring contest between trump and Pelosi, and even tho she doesn’t have one trump is still going to come up short.

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  7. Scott F. says:

    For better or worse, the President remains convinced that all he needs to do is continue pleasing these people even though the midterm election results and his job approval numbers say otherwise.

    Mueller has the goods, so Trump’s legal goose is cooked. I think Trump understands his strongest base of supporters are the ones he will need to salvage any semblance of his former life after indictment. Some deal will need to be cut “for the good of the country” in order to sooth the unrest his criminal charges will bring among this sizable segment of the population.

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  8. Teve says:

    https://www.gofundme.com/TheTrumpWall

    It’s up to $18 million!

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  9. Michael Reynolds says:

    @James Pearce:

    Why you think any of that is important I will never know. A) The presidency is decided on the EC, not the popular vote.

    Gee, thanks for that insight. In the vast majority of cases the EC and popular vote match. An exception does not set precedent.

    B) His party “lost” the mid-terms by gaining seats in the Senate, arguably neutering the Democratic House gains.

    Um, no. He had the White House, Senate and House. He no longer has the House. Let’s see if you can understand. He already had the Senate. He still does. But he had the House and no longer does. See how that works?

    C) “Approval ratings” don’t matter to anyone but the pollster and the pundit.

    Much like your dismissal of Trump’s own statements, this is stupid. It’s data. Data may be more or less correct, no one should ever assume data means more than it does, but it’s equally stupid to dismiss data out of hand because you find it inconvenient.

    I think it’s likely that by the end of this, Trump will get his funding for “border security,” which means he’ll get the political victory.

    Oh? How?

    And you’ll be over here arguing that the Broncos should be in the Super Bowl because Philip Lindsey ran for a thousand yards this season.

    No, I won’t because as I explained to you on another thread, unlike you, I don’t bloviate on topics I know nothing about.

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  10. CSK says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    I think Trump believes that the rubes who show up at his rallies yelling “build the wall” and “lock her up” constitute most of the electorate. Didn’t he Tweet recently that he’d have a 75% favorable rating if it weren’t for the Fake News?

    Even if he doesn’t, deep down, believe it, he needs to believe it.

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  11. johnK says:

    We love you President Trump. Bogus “polls” like this are just more junk fake media. Say a prayer for the American citizens who have been KILLED by illegals.

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  12. Joe says:

    @Kathy:

    I think Trump is cornered by his base. If he takes one t00-moderate position, they may well eat him alive before he could moderate his way to any more tenable set of politics. I think he has really screwed himself on this wall and to this wall. If he had let the wall issue fade and taken “border security” money, his base might have concluded he was just another politician and liked him less, but that would be about it. But he continues to put it front and center. If he caves on the wall at this juncture, it could be the move his base impales him on. I think he understands how close he is to that, but he’s just trapped. Unless Congress can pass a veto-proof budget, Trump can’t compromise without not just losing his base, but having them turn on him.

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  13. James Pearce says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    He already had the Senate.

    Did he now? He had Mike Pence to break a tie, sure. But when McCain was around, when Flake was around, when you could lobby Collins, Trump didn’t “have” the Senate.

    He most definitely does now. He doesn’t even need Manchin anymore.

    He no longer has the House.

    Yeah, and I’m not too impressed by that, considering that the first order of business is going to be reinstall the Iron Queen and the second order of business is investigate Trump. It’s what you want, I know, but “regular” people are not as invested in the fortunes of the Democratic party as you. They want results. Not some “hero” they can cover for.

    Data may be more or less correct, no one should ever assume data means more than it does, but it’s equally stupid to dismiss data out of hand because you find it inconvenient.

    I don’t find it inconvenient, I find it irrelevant. Useful only to pundits and pollsters.

    How?

    Democrats are going to give it to him. It won’t be $5 billion and it won’t be for a “wall.” But that’s not going to stop him from bragging about it.

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  14. CSK says:

    @James Pearce:
    And who will be impressed by the bragging but his base?

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  15. moosebreath says:

    @James Pearce:

    “Yeah, and I’m not too impressed by that, considering that the first order of business is going to be reinstall the Iron Queen…”

    And you wonder why no one believes you when you say you are a Democrat because…?

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  16. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @johnK: And say 17,022,034 prayers for Americans killed by other Americans.

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  17. Michael Reynolds says:

    @moosebreath:
    Shhh, Pearce doesn’t like the bitchez. We’re not supposed to notice.

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  18. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @James Pearce:

    Did he now? He had Mike Pence to break a tie, sure. But when McCain was around, when Flake was around, when you could lobby Collins, Trump didn’t “have” the Senate.

    I’ll give you McCain but he’s been dead for 6 months now and Jon Kyl hasn’t exactly been a concrete pylon in trump’s way since then. When it comes to Collins and Flake, when has either shown a spine more substantial than a squid?

    He most definitely does now. He doesn’t even need Manchin anymore.

    Not that he ever had to worry much about Manchin (W VA doncha know)

    Yeah, and I’m not too impressed by that,considering that the first order of business is going to be reinstall the Iron Queen and the second order of business is investigate Trump.

    Let me see, you aren’t impressed by an independent and coequal branch of govt with full subpoena power once again under the guidance of the most successful House speaker in decades aligned against the most corrupt president since… Dawg knows when (go ahead and google it if ya feel like it, it’s been awhile). You’re not a scholar of US governance, are you?

    And for the record, the 2nd order of business is to pass the CR that past the Senate 100-0 just a week and a half ago so that your hero Mitch can explain to America why it was the perfect thing to resolve this dispute then, but now it is the end of America.

    It’s what you want, I know, but “regular” people are not as invested in the fortunes of the Democratic party as you. They want results. Not some “hero” they can cover for.

    “Regular people?” Really? Now you profess concern for “regular people”?
    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA….

    Democrats are going to give it to him. It won’t be $5 billion and it won’t be for a “wall.” But that’s not going to stop him from bragging about it.

    Of course they are going to give him something, he’s going to give them something in return, and of course he is going to brag about it, but at this point in his presidency everybody knows nothing that comes out of his mouth has any relation to the truth. Not even his most diehard fans believe anything he says (including you)(OK, maybe not you), they just cheer him on because they think if he says something that pisses off the libtards, he owns them.

    But take note, right now, the GOP controls the Senate, the House, and the Presidency and they can’t get it done. Nancy becomes Speaker and all of a sudden it gets fixed.

    Who do you think should get credit?

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  19. Kari Q says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    I don’t know, but Nixon’s approval rating just before he resigned was 24%, so there’s some room left to fall.

    To be honest, I don’t think 25% versus 27% is really significant. Given margin of error as much as 28% could approve of Trump’s handling of the shutdown. But 27% would be a nice continuation of the crazification factor.

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  20. Kari Q says:

    @moosebreath:

    Iron Queen sounds pretty bad ass. I wish I merited that description myself.

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  21. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kari Q: My oldest Sis did, or as her boyfriend said, “She was a force of nature.” I truly miss Peggy.

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  22. Mister Bluster says:

    @johnK:..We love you President Trump.

    Everyone knows you love him because he’s a sexual pervert who grabs women by the pussy and screws porn stars to commit adultery.

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  23. CSK says:

    @johnK:
    And the really sad part is that Trump thinks you’re trash. He really does, you know. To him you’re just marks.

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  24. Teve says:

    @CSK: JohnK is the kind of guy who would order some Trump steaks, then spend some money on Trump university courses.

    for every Albert Einstein on the right hand side of the bell curve, there has to be somebody on the left hand side.

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  25. rachel says:

    @James Pearce:

    Why you think any of that is important I will never know. A) The presidency is decided on the EC, not the popular vote.

    The EC gets you the Presidency, but it doesn’t get you the trust and goodwill of the country. Since assuming office, Boss Tweet has been blocked and thwarted at every turn because the majority of the public never at any point agreed with his stated goals or had faith in his good intentions.

    His poor approval ratings matter because they are a picture of the general views of the public.

    His poor approval ratings matter because they hearten the opposing party. They make it easier for Pelosi, Schumer, and every other Democratic and Independent person to say, “No.”

    His poor approval ratings matter because they show members of his own party that defecting might be better for them, so he has to watch them too.

    His poor approval ratings matter because he can’t do what his base wants, and this endangers his hold on them.

    His poor approval ratings matter because his psyche is a black hole of need. He acts out — repeatedly — because he can’t endure the fact that so many are booing him. Which makes his approval ratings even worse, and opposition and defections more likely.

    His poor approval ratings matter because they fuel the vicious circle of ongoing crises that have bedeviled the Trump Presidency.

    “Approval ratings” don’t matter to anyone but the pollster and the pundit.

    SMH, you have no inkling of the ways this is completely wrong.

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  26. EddieInCA says:

    @James Pearce:

    Democrats are going to give it to him. It won’t be $5 billion and it won’t be for a “wall.” But that’s not going to stop him from bragging about it.

    Here’s what’s actually going to happen in the real world.

    Come Jan. 3, Nancy Pelosi is going to call for a vote on the Senate approved bill. It will pass. It will have zero for border wall construction. It, however, will be a bipartisan bill that will reopen the government. At that point, President Trump will have a choice. Sign it or veto it. If he signs it, the government opens. If he vetoes it, he will own the continuing the shutdown even more.

    THAT’S what’s going to happen.

    He’s already lost. He’s just too stupid to realize it. Everyone else knows it. McConnell knows it. Pelosi knows it. Schumer knows it. McCarthey knows it. Everyone, except for maybe Trump, Ivanka, Jared and Stephen Miller, knows it.

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  27. MarkedMan says:

    @EddieInCA:

    He’s already lost. He’s just too stupid to realize it.

    Frequent readers of this comment section know that I agree with you 100%. I often start out my Trumpian posts with “Of course, Trump is a moron…” because I think people on all parts of the political spectrum frequently underestimate just how much his basic stupidity affects his governance. But I also think there is something else going on in the last month or two. He seems increasingly unhinged and disconnected from the real world. I don’t know if it is age related, health related, stress related or prescription drug abuse related, but it is increasing. I suspect one reason that it hasn’t gotten the attention it deserves is that we try to interpret what he says and then respond to that interpretation. But if you look at what he is actually saying it is making less and less sense by the day.

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  28. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan:

    But if you look at what he is actually saying it is making less and less sense by the day.

    To be honest, as far as I can tell he’s made no sense since 2015. The rubes lap it up but there has been little to no coherence in any of his rhetoric.

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  29. JohnMcC says:

    From one of the quoted passages in the Original: …just 25% said they backed Trump (on the shutdown).

    Which of course made me think of the crazification factor. As it did several other commenters who got there first. But while I was using Mr Google’s machine to check my spelling, you know what I discovered?

    That 27% is also called the Keyes Constant.

    Fabulous.

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  30. James Pearce says:

    @CSK:

    And who will be impressed by the bragging but his base?

    Cable News. The NYT and the Wash Post. The foreign press. You know, the cretins who gave us “President” Trump.

    @moosebreath:

    And you wonder why no one believes you when you say you are a Democrat because…?

    Here’s something that cannot be refuted: Not all Democrats are in love with Nancy Pelosi.

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  31. James Pearce says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    And for the record, the 2nd order of business is to pass the CR that past the Senate 100-0

    When are they going to push through Schumer’s marijuana legalization bill? (And before this gets dismissed as just another pothead wanting to smoke dope, let me just say this: legalizing marijuana should be a priority for anyone concerned about illegal immigration from south of the border, tax revenue, criminal justice, militarized police, gang violence, racial inequality, urban renewal, economic opportunity, etc, etc.)

    @rachel:

    His poor approval ratings matter because they fuel the vicious circle of ongoing crises that have bedeviled the Trump Presidency.

    Re: the “bedeviled” Trump Presidency. I have never once though Trump ascended to the presidency because of his strengths. I have always thought it was because of the Dem’s weakness. And pointing to Trump’s toilet level approval ratings doesn’t change my mind.

    No one likes him. And yet that fatal blow never comes.

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  32. James Pearce says:

    @EddieInCA:

    If he vetoes it, he will own the continuing the shutdown even more.

    When I ride the light-rail into work, I sometimes look at my fellow passengers and try to imagine their inner lives. So I look to my train people now, imagining how they feel about “who owns the shutdown.” My guess is that they don’t really give a rip.

    He’s already lost. He’s just too stupid to realize it.

    I don’t really believe in jinxes, but man…sometimes I really do. My default position is this: He’s still president. Incumbents usually win re-election. His opposition is weak.

    This is not the post-credits sequence. It’s still the first act.

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  33. Barry says:

    @James Pearce: “His party “lost” the mid-terms by gaining seats in the Senate, arguably neutering the Democratic House gains.”

    Except for budgetary authority and investigative/subpoena authority,….

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  34. wr says:

    @James Pearce: “When I ride the light-rail into work, I sometimes look at my fellow passengers and try to imagine their inner lives.”

    And shockingly, their inner lives exactly match your opinions every time!

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  35. CSK says:

    @James Pearce:

    Reporting on the bragging doesn’t mean being impressed by the bragging. Far from it.

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  36. moosebreath says:

    @James Pearce:

    “Here’s something that cannot be refuted: Not all Democrats are in love with Nancy Pelosi.”

    Here’s something else which can’t be refuted. Nearly everyone who refers to some people and not others by juvenile nicknames are people who oppose the policies of those they give juvenile nicknames to, and don’t give juvenile nicknames to those they support.

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  37. EddieInCA says:

    @James Pearce:

    This is not the post-credits sequence. It’s still the first act.

    Only to you. You’re sitting in the theatre wondering what happened to the movie, while everyone else is in their cars going home, or at the bar next to the cinema, talking about how bad the movie was.

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  38. Barry says:

    @James Pearce: “Did he now? He had Mike Pence to break a tie, sure. But when McCain was around, when Flake was around, when you could lobby Collins, Trump didn’t “have” the Senate.”

    Meaning three Senators who cast 99% of their votes for hm.

    Although I am pleased with you retroactive shrinking of Trump’s victories.

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  39. Michael Reynolds says:

    @wr:
    I know. Was that not one of the most revealing things ever written here? It’s like he printed out a schematic of his brain circuitry and we could all see it was a Commodore 64.

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  40. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Barry:
    You lack Pearce’s uniquely brilliant political insight wherein a total loss of the House is balanced by a 1% difference in Senate voting patterns.

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  41. wr says:

    @James Pearce: “And before this gets dismissed as just another pothead wanting to smoke dope,”

    No worries, Pearce. No one’s going to dismiss this as just another pothead wanting dope. We’re all going to dismiss it as possibly the most ludicrous example yet of Pearce, being completely humiliated in yet another argument, deciding to move the goalposts all the way to a different stadium.

    In this case, from “Dems suck because Trump is going to declare victory on the wall funding and this proves they’re losers” to “Dems suck because they’re not moving on something that has absolutely no relation to anything that’s being discussed here or anywhere, so even when they completely kick Trump’s ass here I’ll be able to keep insisting that they’re the real losers.”

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  42. Michael Reynolds says:

    @wr:
    Not to mention that he’s complaining about the minority leader’s inability to ‘push through’ a bill. Because that’s all it takes, you see, some pushing through. He literally does not know that bills cannot be moved without the support of the majority leader, and that would be Mitch McConnell.

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  43. MarkedMan says:

    The discussion above is a good indication of a problem that has grown worse over the last several decades: the belief that only Democrats have agency. The so called main stream media is a large part of the problem. The Republicans have had control of both houses and the presidency for two years, yet have been unable to pass a single major bill in the face of a Senate filibuster (the tax bill was passed by simple majority vote due to reasons). Yet I have not heard a single line of questioning about why the Republicans cannot actually govern. It is implicit in every conversation that “Leave No Republican Behind” is a rational strategy and should not be sacrificed to their actual responsibilities as majority leaders. Let’s be realistic. They could dump the 20-25 most deluded and irrational of the House tea partiers and 2-3 of their brain damaged kin in the Senate and crafted any number of filibuster proof bills with major impact. But the press just accepts that this disjunction and abandonment of responsibilities is the natural order… when it’s Republicans in charge.

    On the other hand, when Dems hold power the same press starts with the assumption that the business of the country should be handled by those in control, and question and probe accordingly.

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  44. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @James Pearce:

    When are they going to push through Schumer’s marijuana legalization bill? (And before this gets dismissed as just another pothead wanting to smoke dope,

    Just getting it thru the House? Or the House, the Senate, and signed by a President? I don’t know about the House but turning it into law probably won’t happen for 3-4 years. I don’t smoke MJ (had a bad experience with a dipper in HS) but anything we can do to ratchet down the “war on people who use some drugs” is a good thing.

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  45. Jake says:

    Ya, new polling says Hillary is going to win the election 2016.

    Go cheer for your team. Forget the facts

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  46. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jake: Yeah, but Hillary’s not running again. Gonna have to find a new witch to do the nose… and the hat… and SHE’S GOT A MOLE!!!! but does she weigh as much as a duck?

    Facts? You don’t need no stinking facts! Yer still stuck on Hillary!

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  47. Teve says:


    Texas GOP Activists Fight to Purge Local Official Because He’s – Gasp – Muslim
    By Ed Kilgore

    Keep plucking that bigotry chicken, republicans. 🙂 🙂 🙂

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  48. JohnMcC says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: You could show some respect ya-know? That jake creature probably rides light rail and doesn’t care at all the Trump is the dipshit that shut down the government and stopped paying the Coasties. And we have someone here who will stand up for him, by God!

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  49. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @JohnMcC: Sigh… It probably goes right over his head (British humor? from the ’70s?)

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  50. Gustopher says:

    @James Pearce:

    When I ride the light-rail into work, I sometimes look at my fellow passengers and try to imagine their inner lives.

    You can’t just hear their thoughts like a normal person? Is this a common problem?

    (checks internet)

    Wait, people can’t do that? Then all those voices have been in my head all along? I’ve been ignoring their insane commands for years, because they were clearly just trying to get me into trouble, but if they are my own voices… should I pay attention?

    So I look to my train people now, imagining how they feel about “who owns the shutdown.” My guess is that they don’t really give a rip.

    This is the weird part. The voices in my head are mixed on this subject. About 30% don’t even realize there is a shutdown, of the ones who do, it’s about 27% chortling about the Schumer Shutdown, 40% blame the President, and the rest are those annoying both-siders that everyone hates.

    “They’re all useless,” one man appears to be saying (although apparently this is just a voice in my head), “you might as well expose yourself on this bus. A plague on both their houses, all those politicians are the same. Hey, why are you staring at me? My god, put your pants back on!”

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  51. DrDaveT says:

    By the way, did everyone hear about the mad scramble that ensued when Trump realized that he’d just shut down the Coast Guard without pay?

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  52. MarkedMan says:

    @Gustopher: I encourage you to share your polling results with fivethirtyeight.com. What with the cell phone problem and the fact that only an idiot answers a number they don’t recognize, pollsters are desperate for new demographics who will respond.

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  53. KM says:

    @MarkedMan:

    The discussion above is a good indication of a problem that has grown worse over the last several decades: the belief that only Democrats have agency.

    I’m going to take this a step further: the belief is only liberals have agency and conservatives just exist to set the norms. It’s literally baked into their philosophy that change is less preferable to reverting back to some mythical golden era. Change requires agency, intent and willpower. Status quo doesn’t require agency; it abhors it. Reverting or maintaining doesn’t require any of the three because they assume their preferences to be the default status of existence – that’s just “how it is”. They consider themselves the norm so they can’t really be dysfunctional is they’re the baseline, can they? Of course they don’t view themselves as having agency or the responsibility that goes with it. They just *are* and liberals keep trying to tell them what to do and why they are wrong. How can normal be wrong?

    It’s like little kids vs adults, you know? Adults exists to do things and be the boss of you. They have all the agency but are the source of all the bad things that happen to you like being forced to clean your room, eat vegetables, go to school, be a civilized human being, etc. Kids just want to be kids – they don’t want to work or do everything it takes to make life work. Hell, they don’t understand it all if they’re even if they are aware of all the effort it takes. But kids resent adults that tell them what to do and swear when they’re in charge, it’ll be different – they know what’s important and they’re not lame like old people are! And yet…. if you leave kids in charge, they pretty quickly want an adult to come back and do the hard work eventually. It’s fun to have a messy room until it gets really gross or something catches on fire. Rare is the child who gladly embraces an adult’s responsibility and everything that goes with it – most will gladly leave adults to do the hard stuff while they play all day and complain that Mom’s a tyrant for demanding a clean house.

    Liberals are expected to have agency because we are implicitly viewed – by conservatives and liberals – as the adults who insist on unfun and hard things like a clean environment, being nice to everyone in the room, not being allowed to hurt others and being responsible for the future. Conservatives just want to keep doing what they’re doing even if it’s destructive and cruel because that’s “normal” and how dare someone tell you to pick up your mess and have manners!

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  54. James Pearce says:

    @Barry:

    Except for budgetary authority and investigative/subpoena authority,….

    Trump’s a demagogue and a populist. If we were all sitting at a long table in a dark smoky room figuring out how to lose to this guy, “Congressional shenanigans” would be my first suggestion.

    @wr:

    And shockingly, their inner lives exactly match your opinions every time!

    No, the point is that they almost never do.

    Also:

    “Dems suck because they’re not moving on something that has absolutely no relation to anything that’s being discussed here or anywhere, so even when they completely kick Trump’s ass here I’ll be able to keep insisting that they’re the real losers.”

    The Dems suck because they want to claim Black America despite having hardly any presence in the South. The Dems suck because they want to claim criminal justice reform as their big issue and they won’t do anything about marijuana legalization. (We gotta investigate!) The Dems suck because they’re sitting on a mighty high horse looking down on the rest of us with barely concealed contempt, thinking they own the world when it’s Donald F. Trump who’s sitting in the White House.

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  55. James Pearce says:

    @CSK:

    Reporting on the bragging doesn’t mean being impressed by the bragging.

    When the media says, “The president says X” and X is a bold-faced lie –which is to say, always— they’re not “reporting.” They’re signal-boosting. They’re spreading lies.

    We need a media that is less interested in getting comments and more interested in getting facts.

    @Michael Reynolds:

    He literally does not know that bills cannot be moved without the support of the majority leader, and that would be Mitch McConnell.

    Mitch McConnell doesn’t have to hold up Schumer’s marijuana bill. Bills that don’t leave the press conference don’t make it to a committee.

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  56. James Pearce says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    I don’t know about the House but turning it into law probably won’t happen for 3-4 years.

    It may be longer than that, since it’s not much of a priority. I think Republicans -some of them- are amenable and there are opportunities for true reform. To be fair, I think Kanye and Kim Kardashian are going to be way more influential on that score than…Congressional Democrats.

    What a world, huh?

    @Gustopher:

    You can’t just hear their thoughts like a normal person?

    It’s called empathy, and I assure you, normal people have it. (Normal people also have a sense of humor, and that was pretty funny. Up voted.)

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  57. wr says:

    @James Pearce: “The Dems suck because they’re sitting on a mighty high horse looking down on the rest of us with barely concealed contempt, ”

    That’s not “the Dems” looking down on you with contempt. It’s just anyone who’s ever read anything you posted.

    But thanks for the unwitting insight into your incredible sense of victimization. No wonder you come across sounding like a Trump voter most of the time. No matter where your positions end up, your starting point is always “waaah, I’m not getting the respect I deserve even though I’ve never done anything to earn it.”

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  58. Andre Kenji de Sousa says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    I’ll give you McCain but he’s been dead for 6 months now and Jon Kyl hasn’t exactly been a concrete pylon in trump’s way since then. When it comes to Collins and Flake, when has either shown a spine more substantial than a squid?

    The point is not the Senate, the point is that Democrats’ weakness among Men, Whites in general and in Rural Areas makes them politically vulnerable. Sure, Nancy Pelosi can effectively counterbalance the White House, but Republicans can use the Senate to confirm judges.

    Besides that, the same vulnerabilities that defeated Donnely and McCaskill can be used to defeat Democrats in the House or in a Presidential race.

    We keep hearing people saying that everything is well, that Hillary was unbeatable, that Trump could not be elected, an so one.

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  59. Michael Reynolds says:

    @James Pearce:
    OK, I surrender. Your stupidity is invincible.

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  60. Teve says:

    OK, I surrender. Your stupidity is invincible.

    😀 😀 😀

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  61. CSK says:

    @James Pearce:

    So tell me how that equates to the media being “impressed.” Your word. Not mine.

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  62. Scott O says:

    @James Pearce: About a year ago a lot of your comments were logical, or mostly so. Now, not so much. Has something happened in your life?

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  63. James Pearce says:

    @Scott O:

    Has something happened in your life?

    Yeah, a few things. Things going swimmingly for you? Cool.

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