Politics of Division

The US Government shut down about 24 hours ago, for the first time in about 5 years. What makes it particular?

  • Sens. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) had a meeting with Donald Trump on Jan 11th where a bipartisan agreement on immigration, previously agreed upon during a phone call between Dick Durbin and Donald Trump, was supposed to be a departure for a more comprehensive coöperation towards passing a budget. The meeting which was supposed to be held between Trump, Graham and Durbin eventually came to have other attendants as well, who happened to be the members of GOP notorious for their negative opinions on immigration and DACA. According to the Senators, who were in the Oval Office to present the bipartisan deal, and had actually gone to the Oval Office because of Donald Trump’s phone confirmation of the agreement two hours earlier, the President started the meeting out by stating he would not be accepting the deal. The discussion continued to get more heated until the infamous “shithole” was uttered by Donald Trump. The opposition to the President’s change of mind, surprisingly, came not from Durbin but from Graham.
  • The objective, for the time being, is not analyzing Donald Trump’s mental stability and how, or why, he might have changed his mind over such a matter in a space of two hours.
  • The last time US Govenment came to a shutdown was in 2013 when a faction of the House GOP, mainly composed of the newly elected Tea Party members, led by Senator Ted Cruz decided to block Government funding unless the Government would defund the ACA. Such a decision heavily devided the Senate GOP, in minority back then, and Mitch McConnell stormed at Ted Cruz and the wing that he had opted to establish on the Senate floor. The shutdown lasted for 17 days and it had high atrocities. Democrats, back then holding the Senate, took advantage of the division emerged in the GOP and had the Government restarted without any concession, calling some 20000 employees finally back to work. The Tea Party faction and the GOP, detested by the public having caused the Government Shutdown, surprisingly bounced back in 2014; They won more house seats and gained the Senate majority.
  • It’s the first time that an American Government shuts down with one party in control of The White House, The House of Representatives and The Senate. The White House is laying the blame on Democrats while the Senate vote shows clearly that, in contrary to previous heated debates such as the GOP Tax Cuts, there are no party line divisions here. Five Dem Senators did vote in favor of keeping the Government funded; the GOP votes against it determined the game. Lindsey Graham, who took the bipartisan deal to the Oval Office, Jeff Flake, whose comments on Trump’s attitude towards media faced hostility from the White House, and Rand Paul, who had previously called the short-term spending bill unsustainable were the prominent GOP members to turn the bill down. John McCain who’s on LOA had warned against Trump’s attitude towards immigration and called for a budget to be passed through comprehensive measure. It’s not the Democratic filibuster or a party line divided Government that has led to such a shutdown. It is a shattered GOP that is more divided than ever through Donald Trump’s deeds.
  • Donald Trump’s divisive rhetoric continues through the shutdown as well. Trump’s campaign today published a video insisting on the necessity of the Border Wall construction and called Democrats complicit in the crime committed by immigrants.
  • The GOP leaders and Senators are calling Dems as hostage takers. Apparently holding the majority is leading them to making a grave mistake through their aggressive rhetoric. Mitch McConnell has already called for a Senate vote on Monday at 1 AM. Having called a vote an hour earlier before the deadline on Friday evening, he’s now calling for an early vote again. Such a decision, not wise enough, is a proof of GOP’s lack of coherence in decision making. However, the blame for consequences of these decisions is going to be laid on the Dems’ shoulders.

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