Ed Morrissey at Hot Air posted an article today about the looming government shutdown. He comments on some of the strategies being used by the Republicans to avoid a shutdown and some of the strategies the Republicans can use to make the shutdown as painful as possible for the Democrats if a shutdown occurs.
The article reports:
Senate GOP leaders prepared to force Democrats into a series of uncomfortable votes, aimed at splitting their ranks by pitting moderates from states that Trump won against party leaders and the handful of outspoken liberals considering a run for the presidency.
For one, Republicans attached a long-term extension of the Children’s Health Insurance Program and delays to several unpopular health-care taxes. The bill does not include protections for “dreamers,” immigrants brought to the United States illegally as children or who overstayed their visas as children, a top Democratic priority.
That represented an election-year bid by the GOP to cast the spending vote as, in part, a choice between poor children and undocumented immigrants. Ryan, McConnell, and other Republicans also sought to highlight the potential erosion to military readiness that could result from a shutdown.
At a press conference this morning, Mick Mulvaney, Director of the Office of Management and Budget, referred to the possible shutdown as the “Schumer Shutdown.” Maybe the Republicans are finally beginning to understand the value of messaging.
I need to mention that in order to continue to fund the government, the Republicans need sixty votes in the Senate–that means that some Democrats need to vote to keep the government running. The Republicans do not have enough votes in the Senate to keep the government running by themselves.
The article suggests ways to make the shutdown work for Republicans:
But perhaps Republicans should shrug off the media headwinds here and allow Democrats to shut down the government. The White House has the upper hand in these stunts, as both Barack Obama and Bill Clinton proved, by picking and choosing which workers to furlough. Both Obama and Clinton made it as painful as possible; Obama locked veterans out of national parks in 2013, garnering huge headlines and generating lots of anger toward Ted Cruz and his fellow futile obstructionists.
Donald Trump and his team should take the opposite approach: make everything seem normal while shutting down the regulatory agencies Democrats love. Keep the national parks open, but shut down the EPA. Maintain military readiness, but close down the Departments of Education and Labor. Rather than look at the short-term public relations hit, the White House should keep their eyes on the long game by using a shutdown to remind Americans just how much of the government they could truly live without. And when all of those union-represented employees have gone without a couple of paychecks on top of that, wait for Democrats to come back to the table.
It’d be much better if Democrats didn’t obstruct the budget over DACA, of course. But if they do, it shouldn’t be Republicans panicked over a shutdown.
Hopefully, the government will keep running. It is ridiculous to give government workers a paid vacation that they didn’t earn–they may not get paid immediately, but they will be paid for the time they did not work.