In what has become a tradition over the last 20 years, Democrats wasted no time in shutting down the Federal government 22 days ago and counting. And though Democrats and their allies in the mainstream media would have us believe differently, Americans by in large don’t care.
Perhaps the reason is that shutdowns in the past, like the ones under Speakers Newt Gingrich in 1995 and 1996 and John Boehner in 2013, were quickly ended to avoid an impending national crisis. This one happened because Democrats like Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi refused to acknowledge one that already existed.
Now, CNN and MSNBC offer a constant parade of Federal employees who may not get paid tomorrow thinking this will sway those who support the President in his determination to “build the wall.”
Now, almost three weeks into the current governmental standoff, the average American could seem to care less if the Federal government remains closed for business as usual. As John Carney of Breitbart so apply notes, “The current shutdown … has barely shown up as a blip on the radar screen of our public life. Netflix’s claims about the viewership of Birdox garnered more attention and more controversy.”
Part of this could be because other headlines are just too positive to ignore. Consider these from the last two weeks:
- U.S. Weekly Jobless Claims Fall by More Than Expected
- U.S. and China Reportedly Narrow Differences on Trade
- Factory Job Openings Surge in November to Highest Level Since 2001
- Small Business Optimism Held Up Better Than Expected in December
- American Economy Added The Most Manufacturing Jobs in Over 20 years
- Jobs Growth Explodes Higher, Adding 312,000 Jobs in December, Far More than Expected
- Hiring Surged at U.S. Companies in December, Smashing Expectations
Even as the stock market went through several monumental mood swings, Wall Street did not seem rattled by all the doom and gloom in Washington. Those in the know on both sides of the fence in the finance world never suggested the plunge in the stock market had to do with the shutdown.
When the market rallied last Friday, Jerome Powell, chairman of the Federal Reserve and Jim Cramer of CNBC quickly retreated to a monetary policy much closer to that of the President. The shutdown could not have been more irrelevant to them. Even after Schumer and Pelosi revealed to reporters that the shutdown could last for years, stocks shot back up in a rally last Friday.
On Wednesday, President Trump addressed the nation giving what Lindsey Graham called the “most presidential” he had ever heard Trump sound. That address and responses to it illustrate why this shutdown hasn’t left ‘Joe and Jane America’ in a panic.
Trump calmly declared the “humanitarian and security crisis” had to be addressed before a budget deal could go through. He vowed to protect America “so help me God” while Democratic congressional leaders said Trump is working to “manufacture a crisis, stoke fear and divert attention from the turmoil in his administration.”
But Americans aren’t buying Pelosi’s rhetoric. Perhaps that is why Fox News’ coverage of Trump’s address eclipsed the competition. Its coverage averaged 2.4 million prime-time viewers, the highest ratings since launching 22 years ago. CNN came in eleventh overall that night behind the likes of HGTV and USA.
President Trump challenged Pelosi and Schumer to a sitdown the following day. When it became apparent neither of them had any intention of negotiating in good faith, Trump did what progressives still don’t get – he refused to play by their rules. Once the President realized Pelosi and Schumer weren’t serious about ending the shutdown he announced he was done playing nice with the Democrats and walked out.
As the government shutdown inches past the three week mark, the president visited the border wall in McAllen, Texas to seemingly show Democrats and unsure voters that in fact a wall can work. When asked by reporters about Democrats reaction to the aborted meeting, Trump replied that he didn’t want to “discuss a crisis on the border that Democrats say does not exist.”
Mr. Trump left open the potential of declaring a state of emergency that would enable him to bypass Congress to fund the wall. When asked about the likelihood of legal challenges should he make such a declaration, Trump didn’t back down saying, “If this doesn’t work out, probably I will do it. I would almost say definitely.”
While Pelosi and team posture about immorality and ineffectiveness, the President is visiting the front lines. It seems Americans care more about that.