As we move toward a federal budget adoption deadline of January 20, Democrats face a quandary.
With President Donald J. Trump using money for restoring the Child Health Insurance Program and the fate of young immigrant “dreamers” to try extorting Democratic votes for his wasteful Mexican border wall, Democrats face a risky decision.
If they refuse to bend to Trump’s will and the government goes into a partial shutdown, Democratic candidates could suffer in the 2018 mid-term elections, as Republicans did after forcing a shutdown under President Bill Clinton. But if they go along to get along, they could lose the votes of Democrats disgusted by the capitulation.
This time, I’d argue, the political dynamics could be different than in the 1990’s. Aided by the fallout from the best-selling “Fire and Fury” book by Michael Wolff, that portrays Trump in the worst possible light, according to his own backers and staff members, I think the majority of voters would see a Democratic refusal to knuckle under as a principled stand against an unscrupulous bully who will hurt anyone to get his way and satisfy his rabid backers.
Let’s face it, Trump’s promise to anti-immigrant voters was to build a wall paid for by Mexico, not by U.S. taxpayers. He has already failed to deliver on that promise used in multiple campaign rallies to build excitement for his campaign. The wall, with an $18 billion down payment, would be a huge waste of money. Tunnels can go beneath it and most contraband enters the country hidden in vehicles that use established, legal entry points.
Coming on the heels of a $1.5 trillion unfunded tax cut aimed primarily at the wealthiest Americans, $18 billion for the first part of the wall is even more ludicrous.
If he allows the government to go dark, destroys the health insurance for nine million children from poor families and forces deportation of 800,000 young adults brought here illegally as small children, I think Trump and Republicans in congress will bear voters’ wrath, not Democrats standing up for what is right and decent.
What do you think?