Winners and Losers in the Latest Government Shutdown Battle

Asking which side won in the latest government shutdown is a question that often forgets to include the side that really matters – the American people. Even so, it does matter which side of the floor forced the issue this time because that probably is a good indicator of how things will play out over the next few years.

At first look, it appears as though, in spite of what the mainstream wants to make the narrative, Congressional and President Trump were the clear winners. For once, Republicans in the House and Senate held their ground. After all the hand-wringing and typical doomsday talk by Chris Dodd and the likes, Democrats were the ones to concede and back down from their insistence on making DACA a part of the budget conversation – for now.

Twenty-eight of the senators who caucused with Democrats changed their minds and voted to reopen the government until another vote on February 8th. But was there really a side that won? In truth, very little was resolved past the next two weeks.

Nothing had been decided definitively about the future of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and all Democrats managed to get from Republican leadership was their word that DACA would once again be part of the discussion in a couple of weeks.

All things considered, President Trump and Republicans prevented Democrats from holding the budget hostage until their opposition agreed to include DACA in the deal.

It is no surprise that is not the way most in the mainstream media called it. ABC News reported on Monday night after the temporary budget passed that its own Washington Post-ABC News poll reported that many Americans blamed President Trump and Republicans over Democrats.

The Wall Street Journal declared, “It’s tough to call a government shutdown on [President Trump’s] watch a win. It shut down on the first anniversary of his presidency.”

Surprisingly, The Washington Post disagreed when its editorial staff wrote:

Since there’s also a strong case to make that his party won the political narrative of this shutdown, Trump is ultimately a winner here. Democrats’ attempts to make this the “Trump shutdown” likely won’t stick, especially since Trump (mostly) kept his head down throughout and let the Senate work it out.

Democrats gave up significant leverage on funding Trump’s border wall as Senate Minority Leader Schumer told the president to name his price for in exchange for DACA dreamers.

Chuck Todd said on NBC Nightly News, “I would say this was a false start by the Democrats.” He went on to say that Democrats “had no explanation as to why have this fight now instead of in four weeks?

More in the favor of the President is that there is no hard agreement that the Senate will vote on a DACA bill or that the more conservative House of Representatives would even take one up if passed by the Senate. Add to that, it seems highly unlikely that Trump would sign such a bill if it made its way to his desk.

The bottom line is this – it’s far from guaranteed that dreamers will be safe from deportation when a deadline comes up in March.

It’s possible that Democrats may be bigger losers that it even appears to supporters of Trump and Republicans. Liberal activists are furious with Schumer and other Democratic senators who agreed to reopen the federal government without a concession on DACA.

Murshed Zaheed, political director of the liberal group CREDO Action, said Democrats’ decision shows Schumer’s willingness to betray progressives.

Ben Wikler, the Washington director of, slammed the compromise Democrats agreed to that he said will splinter the party further. He said: “What’s clear from today’s joke deal is that the grass-roots movement demanding unity and courage has a lot of work to do to ensure that the whole Democratic Caucus is ready to fight when the time comes.”

“Millions of people flooded the streets of every major American city to stand up to Trump this weekend,” tweeted Leah Greenberg, co-executive director of the influential activist network Indivisible. “Your constituents want you to fight. How can you possibly not understand that?”

Last November President-elect Trump confided that a shutdown might be “a chance to flex his [hard-line] muscles on immigration.” He later tweeted, Our country needs a good “shutdown”… to fix [this] mess!

~ American Liberty Report

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