On Thursday, while speaking to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) once again showed off one of his greatest talents: the ability to say something remarkably daffy with a straight face.
Let him tell it, should the anticipated government shutdown occur, it will be the fault of his Democratic colleague, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL). Why? Because Durbin confirmed that President Trump did indeed claim immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador, and nations across the continent of Africa come from “shithole countries.”
“This was a private meeting,” Johnson claimed. “I think there would be an expectation that what was said behind closed doors in a passionate discussion would stay behind closed doors.” Never mind that it was The Washington Post who first break the story. Or that the White House has yet to ever formally deny that Trump made those racist remarks.
Still, Durbin directly faced this line of critique from The View’s Meghan McCain, who continues to serve as a walking PSA on the perils of nepotism. The same can be said of White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who, too, made the ridiculous claim that if the government shuts down over DACA, it will be the fault of Democrats collectively. Sanders is undoubtedly piggybacking off of the tweets echoed by her boss.
Then there is the House Republican conference, who have just unveiled a website called “Schumer Shutdown.” For much of the week, Republicans have been trying to pin blame of the potential government shutdown on Democrats. Unfortunately, I have heard select pundits and political reporters buy into “both-sidesism” and pretending to act as if a shutdown plays into the trite lil’ narrative that Washington is broken because both major parties refuse to cooperate.
Of course, that’s a lazy narrative that presumably helps drum up ratings as evidenced by the “Shutdown Deadline” clock on the side of various cable news stations.
However, for those of us less inclined to profit from farces, we remember this one important nugget of information: the Republican Party controls the White House and both houses of Congress.
That means if the party in control is so fractured that it cannot keep the government running despite unified control of Washington, it is not a commentary on Democratic Party but on the GOP and the GOP alone. Thanks to obscene amounts of money, overt racism, gross gerrymandering (also racist), voter suppression (racist, too), and various other nefarious means of amassing political power, the Grand Old Party controls most of the government. They should be able to get everything done — including the relatively easy task of keeping the government running at its most basic levels. Instead, we are to believe that Democrats are holding government hostage for the sake of protecting 800,000 undocumented immigrants.
Trump has babbled such musings on his Twitter feed, but like most remarks found on his timeline, there are strong stenches of stupid and fabrication emanating from it. True enough, there are some Democrats in the Senate with presidential ambitions who would do themselves no favors by failing to stand up for DACA. The issue of DACA is a disaster of his own making. He’s the one who put up some arbitrary date for the fate of those protected under DACA — majorly just to once again play the role of spoiler to anything created under former President Barack Obama.
Likewise, he’s the one who agreed to an immigration deal only to back out of it.
So it’s not the fault of Dick Durbin or Chuck Schumer, but of Trump. The same can be said of Speaker of the House Gargamel (Paul Ryan to y'all) and Senate Majority Leader all year. After all, it’s their inability to control the various crybaby factions within the GOP. Why blame Chuck Schumer or Dick Durbin if Tom Cotton is going to undermine Lindsey Graham’s bipartisan immigration deal because he’s an insufferable, cold-hearted, miserable man with the emotional intelligence of a flat tire?
Sure, the Freedom Caucus may agree to vote for a short-term resolution to fund the government for another month this time, but in recent years, didn’t past speakers like John Boehner have to routinely turn to Democrats to compensate for those hard-liners? And isn’t the Freedom Caucus’ newfound appreciation for acquiescence mostly due to members knowing the fate of a shutdown lies with the Senate anyway? These inhumane, incompetent, selfish, soulless somebodies in the Republican Party are lying like hell per their usual.
Yes, both Democrats and Republicans alike would like to keep the government running, but only one political party has the power to do so. So let's be clear about that.