« Politically, what's next? | Main | No shit? »

January 23, 2018


Rather than “time to cut his losses”, it was “time to consolidate his gains”, e.g. CHP funding and a DACA vote in the near future. As the minority party, the Democrats have a very limited ability to direct policy; they had gotten what they could from the shutdown and it was time to move on to the next battle - coming up in about three weeks.

Boy that captured it in a nutshell. It is the duty of all Democratic politicians to do only what the least reliable faction of the the party demands. I wonder if Goldberg will ever realize what she what she wrote or Levin said. I doubt it. The threat is still there as it always was, the great progressive threat. If you don’t fail now we will not support you!

With regard to your post about following the Republicans down the path of stupidity, these are the same people who think this is what democracy is all about and that the way forward is to redraft the Democratic Party as a tool of their point of view only. To be fair this does not describe anyone who really is a progressive. But it does describe the amateurs who think they are.



You mean a party of rigid ideology with no room for dissent? Don't we already have one of those?

And what do the Michelle Goldbergs of the world suggest the democrats were supposed to do? Keeping the caucus together and "standing up for progressive values" seems rather vague. Just like far left fantasies of free college and single payer health care. Just goals with no details about how to achieve them. DACA is now squarely on the republicans. Parents who rely on CHIP for their sick children now have six more years of at least some peace of mind. You can't get any progressive policies achieved if the party who to any extent agrees with them keeps losing elections.

You do indeed. And there are people who think you fight stupid with stupid. Their problem is they have no faith in their own beliefs. Do you believe Americans by a wide margin want a fair deal for Dreamers? They do. So do I. I will bet you do too. But if you believe that then you must also believe screwing over the Dreamers will have severe consequences. And that is what Trump’s base demands. So he either disappoints them or he gives them what they want.

My money is on Trump behaving like a lab rat pressing a pedal to get a food nugget. Which means Fox News will conflate what is in their economic interest, feeding racism, with what they recommend Trump do. And that is what he will do. Clearly Trump is already very sympathetic to white supremacists. And what he wants to do, get positive reviews from racists, is well within his executive authority.

Gosh I wonder if their could be any repercussions from the Ryan plan of not letting other Republicans tell them what to do?

That's okay Anne. They often don't know what they mean either. Which means that self-styled progressives often demand completely contradictory things. Irreconcilable things that can't come true. Which is not to say that reducing the cost of higher education or a comprehensive basic health care plan aren't worthy goals. I would not dispute that their hearts are often in the right place. Which is why I am more sympathetic to them then I am to their ideological foes. But boy can they be total pains in the ass.

High five.

"But political cowardice carries its own risks. It emboldens your enemies and disheartens your allies" so saith Michelle. To which I must ask, how do Pyrrhic losses help? There being no way to secure so much as Pyrrhic victory on DACA by means of a government shutdown. (I am pretty sure none of the progressive activists who are so disappointed were people who weren't going to get their paychecks.)

But a more pregnant question arises from this statement. Two maybe. What is this "victory" for your enemies going to embolden them to do? And what use are you if you, and I do mean Michelle et al, are so easily disheartened.

Unlike PM, I am not willing to conclude that the shutdown was a "miscalculation of striking stupidity to begin with". And believe me, this is coming from one who has precious little respect for Chuck Schumer.

As others here have noted, we got a significantly long CHIP extension, free of poison pills. We have the issue of "dreamers" front and center with a "commitment" for a Senate vote on something or other. It will be noticed if McConnell doesn't follow through with this. (By the way, it could be argued that McConnell saved Democratic asses by allowing that vote on a short-term extension so soon. His political advantage lay in dragging this out and making Democrats pay for a long shutdown.)

If there was any miscalculation by Schumer, it was about how his own base would react. Unfortunately, with unexpected outrage. Moralistic posturing by those infected by Bernie Sanders' disease.

"I am pretty sure none of the progressive activists who are so disappointed were people who weren't going to get their paychecks."

Such as military personnel, and the families and dependents of this very large and politically significant part of our population.

Maybe not. But only because they had and used an escape plan when public sentiment was changing against them. They got CHIP because the Republicans knew how bad not funding CHIP was going to be for them. Politics is fluid. DACA is very much a Republican problem now. And there is no in between policy on DACA that will not alienate either the Miller faction of Trump's base or, let us say, the Establishment faction who know how mass round ups and deportations are going to play. It is up to them to offer a solution that must result in an internal civil war.

As PM pointed out, McConnell's concerns are chiefly about his Senate colleagues. Which is why he was more than happy to hand the flaming bag of dog crap to Ryan. And I can't wait to see how that man of steely irresolution handles it.

In front of me is the print NY Times. Goldberg makes no mention of CHIP. Her piece is mostly a disappointing content-free rant. David Brooks calls this a Democratic fiasco and in general his piece, like most, is unreadable. No mention of CHIP.

During the Iran Treaty debate I lost all respect for Chuck Schumer. What a coward. And a tool of AIPAC and Likud; he coulda been a contenda. But on our current situation he's handled thing better than the "progressives" are able to see. (Are Schumer and Pelosi playing bad cop /good cop here?). Unlike Goldberg, at least our host gets the need to provide some cover for our red state senators up for reelection in 286 days. I really dug Goldberg when she wrote for Slate but so far she is disappointing in the Times.

Who, I beg you to note, disproportionately support a party that has yet to find a reason not to give the military more money regardless of need. Mind you the Democrats aren't much better. Who wants to seem less than committed to providing the best and the most to the military?

When this shut down was posited just about my very first comment was that it was a bad idea. In particular it was a very bad idea to ask a whole lot of Democrats to endure a shutdown on behalf of the Dreamers. All it was likely to do was erode the support for the Dreamers. And that is what the polls showed was happening. It pained me to say it and still does that the best strategy is to let the Republicans do their worst. Let everybody see who and what the Republicans stand for.

Like when they went in guns blazing to repeal ACA. Some people just have to actually see republicans in action before voting against them.

I share your concerns about Shumer with regard to that Treaty debate. But I also agree he did the right thing at the right time this time. Recovering lost support for Dreamers was not going to be easy. And silver linings are nice. I am somewhat shocked that the Republicans agreed to fund CHIP as long as they did. But I suspect they discovered that holding American children hostage was not a popular move. Even they seem to agree that those hostages were not good hostages to threaten to shoot.


The Republicans don't give a rat's ass about children. Be assured whatever calculus they make at any given time, the well-being of children in never, ever part of that equation.

Josh Marshall has a realistic take, along with some key data:


As does John Cassidy:


Cassidy in particular renders the "progressives" pretty foolish. Michelle Goldberg, among many others, is so focused on the narrative she won't see how you actually have to play this game, especially since we are, you know, the minority power.

Maybe the outrage was expected. Schumer is coordinating with Pelosi; you see no actual daylight there. It probably won't matter in a few months, when the battle will be really joined, and it would not surprise if there is no longer talk of staying home on Election Day. The Dreamers are coming back on the agenda. The progressives will not prevail over Jeffrey Beauregard Sessions, Stephen Miller or Trump. But of course this is why the term "Unicorn Left" has such power. And if they choose to stay at home on November 6, they can go to Hell. Absolutely fuck them. We probably need to prepare for this contingent; go hunting where the ducks are.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Screen Shot 2018-12-16 at 12.31.37 PM
Your host, P.M. Carpenter (photo credit: L. Reeves)

Recent Posts and Archives

B v. t