Deal or No Deal?

Three gangsters.


Though “partial,” the government shutdown will soon begin to cause all manner of destruction and hardship.

What should leaders on the progressive side do about the situation?

Stand on Principle about Border Security

First, be sure everyone knows their position is not to just allow anyone to walk across the border who wants to walk across the border. And, as a corollary, agree that it makes sense to have fencing where that is necessary and appropriate to keep people from just walking across the border.

Establish the Facts about Border Security

As Greg Sargent put it, “restore a reality-based conversation around the topic of how secure the southern border really is” by, among other things, formally requesting “that the Congressional Research Service do a comprehensive report on the current state of border security.”

Act in Accordance with Principle and Reality

It it is clear that more money would create more border security, vote to appropriate the money. If it is arguable that more money would create more border security, vote to appropriate the money. But where it is not even legitimately arguable that more money would create more border security, don’t appropriate the money.

Don’t Try to Negotiate with Trump

Three reasons.

(1) Trump has never negotiated, about anything, in good faith.

(2) To the extent Trump has any coherent aim, it is not to secure a wall, it is to have a fight about a wall.

(3) Trump is rapidly sinking into incoherent mental decline, and the White House is shutting down along with him. Trying to negotiate with a crazy person is a fool’s errand.

Trump is a mad man. See the immediately preceding post. (I think that, by putting this up on New Year’s Day, the boys and girls over at Politico are sending us a message about Trump’s decline.) See also Beyond ‘no comment’: The White House has no response — at all — to many media questions. Dear Leader is shutting down, so there is not much more his sockpuppets can do for him.

It’s Up to the Republican Senators

With the Democratic House having stated a principle, gathered relevant information, and acted on that information to go the second mile to support border security, it will be up to Mitch McConnell and his colleagues to decide whether to override a veto or not.

Draw a Line in the Sand

If the Republican senators refuse to act rationally, then so be it.

Because giving in to a protection racket never turns out well.