Government Shutdown 3: Civil War

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Government Shutdown 3: Civil War

Postby Cobra-D » Sat Jan 20, 2018 6:12 am

Due to the inability to pass a stop gap measure to keep the government funded, the government will enter a partial shutdown lasting for as long it takes for both sides to come to an agreement, so probably just before the sun implodes, give or take.
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Last edited by Cobra-D on Sat Jan 20, 2018 7:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Government Shutdown 3: Civil War

Postby Deathclaw_Puncher » Sat Jan 20, 2018 6:27 am

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Re: Government Shutdown 3: Civil War

Postby cmsellers » Sat Jan 20, 2018 6:27 am

As I said on Discord, the thing I'm curious about is who people are going to blame for this. With Gingrich and Zodiac's shutdowns most people blamed the party that controlled Congress, which I think was reasonable. A lot of people also blamed the president for not working with Congress, however the net result was to make the president more popular.

Today, the same party controls the presidency and Congress and Yertle is trying to pin this on the Democrats. And you know, I could kind of see the argument for this if Yertle himself hadn't played hardball since 2009, or even if he hadn't insisted that he didn't need the Democrats' help to govern last year. But he did both those things, and I think it's perfectly reasonable for the Democrats to say "go ahead, govern without us, then."

If Yertle had balls he'd remove the filibuster for debt ceiling, and then the Republicans literally wouldn't need the Democrats' help to do this. Well, except that doing that would draw attention to the fact that the Freedom Caucus in the House is going to attempt to scuttle any attempt to raise the debt ceiling.

And as Kate pointed out, with politics as polarized as they are, I imagine that at least 40% of American voters will blame the Democrats, the same proportion who have within a few percent approved of Trump through thick and thin. The 40% of Americans who disapproved of Trump on inauguration day will pretty much universally blame the Republicans, as I am doing right now.

The interesting question is whether the roughly 20% of voters who gave Trump the benefit of the doubt when he was inaugurated but then swiftly abandoned him will think. If they blame the GOP alone I'd imagine his ratings and those of the Congressional GOP stay much the same. If they Democrats or both parties equally for the shutdown, Trump's ratings and the GOP's position on the generic ballot seem likely to approve.
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Re: Government Shutdown 3: Civil War

Postby JamishT » Sat Jan 20, 2018 6:50 am

Well if they look to the last time there was a government shutdown, the President should walk to Capitol Hill to talk to the Democrats, hang around for a little bit while the Dems talk, and then walk away. Then he should get their leader in a one-on-one meeting in the Oval and work stuff out there.

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Re: Government Shutdown 3: Civil War

Postby Aquila89 » Sat Jan 20, 2018 10:18 am

cmsellers wrote:As I said on Discord, the thing I'm curious about is who people are going to blame for this.


Well, back in 2013 Trump said that any government shutdown is ultimately the president's fault.

“Well, if you say who gets fired it always has to be the top,” Trump said. “I mean, problems start from the top and they have to get solved from the top and the president’s the leader. And he’s got to get everybody in a room and he’s got to lead.”


So I'm assuming he'll be consistent and take full responsibility.
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Re: Government Shutdown 3: Civil War

Postby Bromo » Sat Jan 20, 2018 10:39 am

Aquila89 wrote: So I'm assuming he'll be consistent and take full responsibility.

oh-wait-youre-serious-let-me-laugh-even-harder-we-14905523.png
oh-wait-youre-serious-let-me-laugh-even-harder-we-14905523.png (106.82 KiB) Viewed 815 times

But seriously, since when has Trump ever been consistent, besides being consistently stupid?
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Re: Government Shutdown 3: Civil War

Postby Deathclaw_Puncher » Sat Jan 20, 2018 11:10 am

Bromo wrote:But seriously, since when has Trump ever been consistent, besides being consistently stupid?

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Re: Government Shutdown 3: Civil War

Postby Aquila89 » Sat Jan 20, 2018 11:22 am

Bromo wrote:But seriously, since when has Trump ever been consistent, besides being consistently stupid?


I hope you know was being sarcastic...

He has been consistent on NAFTA; he criticizes it now and he's on the record criticizing it in 1993 when it was ratified.
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Re: Government Shutdown 3: Civil War

Postby Doodle Dee. Snickers » Sat Jan 20, 2018 1:39 pm

But hey, on the bright side, at least we finally did something bipartisan.

As for Sellers' question, I suspect Kate was right (though I'd put that number more in the mid to low thirties). Trump will probably become more unpopular because of this, and I imagine the Republicans will too, and maybe the Democrats also will. Though they shut it down over something pretty popular in both parties (DREAMers), that didn't help the Republicans when they shut it down in 2013 or whenever over the ACA, which was widely disliked.

But at the end of the day, it's just hard to blame the other side when you control everything. It doesn't help that the GOP is widely seen as a party that's anti-government. *EDIT* And lest we forget, there was a loose agreement hammered out until Trump unilaterally torpedoed it, certainly not because Tucker Carlson started bitching about letting non-whites into the country when the informal agreement was made.

In terms of narratives, it's kinda hard not to notice that two government shutdowns came because of 1) Newt Gingrich's temper tantrum, 2) Ted Cruz' temper tantrum, and now the GOP holds the majority and it was shut down again. So it's kind of historically a thing with them, and it probably won't be hard to paint it that way.
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Re: Government Shutdown 3: Civil War

Postby cmsellers » Sat Jan 20, 2018 7:32 pm

Doods, what Kate said was that she expected people to blame whichever side they didn't vote for. The numbers are me and they're rather rough. Trump's disapproval ratings have never fallen below forty, while his approval ratings haven't been above it for a year. However since the polls include non-voters, who disproportionately don't like Trump, and they don't actually matter (if you want your opinion to matter, fucking vote), I'm rounding things in his favor.

The main point I was trying to make is that if Kate is right and people split blame based on who they voted for, that would actually help Trump's numbers. That would be consistent with previous government shutdowns, but since those shutdowns happened under divided governments it would also be irrational behavior. And while people are often irrational it wouldn't surprise me, but I wouldn't bank on it.

One think I implied but didn't say: this seems to be a risky move for the Democrats. I'm incredibly skeptical that this shutdown will cut into his floor, which seems to be about three points below where he's polling now (he seems to have gotten a very slight boost from the tax bill). So best-case scenario is Trump loses three points. But it's entirely possible that people will blame both parties equally, and if that happens the relative favorability of the GOP to the Dems could climb, which is very bad for their odds of taking either house of Congress.
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Re: Government Shutdown 3: Civil War

Postby Doodle Dee. Snickers » Sat Jan 20, 2018 7:56 pm

cmsellers wrote:Doods, what Kate said was that she expected people to blame whichever side they didn't vote for. The numbers are me and they're rather rough. Trump's disapproval ratings have never fallen below forty, while his approval ratings haven't been above it for a year. However since the polls include non-voters, who disproportionately don't like Trump, and they don't actually matter (if you want your opinion to matter, fucking vote), I'm rounding things in his favor.

The main point I was trying to make is that if Kate is right and people split blame based on who they voted for, that would actually help Trump's numbers. That would be consistent with previous government shutdowns, but since those shutdowns happened under divided governments it would also be irrational behavior. And while people are often irrational it wouldn't surprise me, but I wouldn't bank on it.

One think I implied but didn't say: this seems to be a risky move for the Democrats. I'm incredibly skeptical that this shutdown will cut into his floor, which seems to be about three points below where he's polling now (he seems to have gotten a very slight boost from the tax bill). So best-case scenario is Trump loses three points. But it's entirely possible that people will blame both parties equally, and if that happens the relative favorability of the GOP to the Dems could climb, which is very bad for their odds of taking either house of Congress.


First, his approval did actually briefly rise above forty recently, then dipped back down. Second, well, I have my thoughts on likely voters v. not likely voters (if all those likely voters were voting, I don't think Democrats would have won all that they have since 2017), but we'll see how that goes in the midterms and 2020. I don't think it'll help Trump's numbers, I'm just going to hit that one up point blank. If it held true that dysfunction should help him revert to forty, then he should've been at forty the last year. I was under the impression that both Obama and Clinton actually suffered in approval because of the shutdowns, so I have a hard time believing Trump will be the exception when his party controls both houses.

I also don't think his floor is that unshakably high. I think the only reason it is right now is because the economy is solid (sorta, I've shared my thoughts on that too), and he's very unpopular considering the health of the economy. If that goes, and there's a decent chance we see some kind of slump in the next three years given how long we've been going up, I'd expect that number to sit more around 30-33.

I actually think this is a risky move for exactly no one, except maybe Trump (more on that in a second). For the GOP and the Democrats, this is too far away from the midterms for it to particularly matter. Any disapproval will likely revert back to the mean before long. This could have more long-lasting damage to the GOP, in that they're already seen as a party that isn't serious about governance, but where the midterms are concerned, I think nobody suffers.

As for Trump, I think this could nullify any goodwill gained by the passage of that tax bill, and any future infrastructure bill is probably off the table for the year. This will likely continue to reinforce the narrative that he doesn't know what the fuck he's doing, that he's racist (that a popular DREAM act was the sticking point in all this, combined with the 'shithole' comments and the Charlottesville thing, etc), and he's frankly more an impediment to deal-making than conducive to it. Remember, he was the one who decided to get rid of the DREAM EO, and then when everyone had reached consensus on something he said he wanted to get done, he blew that consensus up again.

So yeah, I don't think either of the parties will be harmed, but Trump could be and the GOP might see more people hardened against them in the long run, but I don't think this changes much about the midterms. Most of my last post was simply my thoughts on who's likely to be blamed on this (even though the answer is: everybody, in unequal amounts).
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Re: Government Shutdown 3: Civil War

Postby iMURDAu » Sat Jan 20, 2018 9:16 pm

Both bodies of Congress and the White House are controlled by one party.

The government shut down under their rule.

I place blame on the President who should be a leader of his own party and able to get deals done. But he's not a politician, right?

I think that if it were generic Republican President instead of Trump the Dems would cave as usual. I'm not going to be surprised if they do but I was a bit surprised to see them act tough and take a stand.
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Re: Government Shutdown 3: Civil War

Postby aviel » Sat Jan 20, 2018 10:56 pm

The 2013 shutdown was comparably so much simpler. Republicans said they'd shut down the government unless the ACA was repealed. The ACA wasn't repealed, so they shut down the government. Pretty easy to see what was going on there. In this case, though, there are some complicating factors. First:

  • The same party controls both houses of Congress and the Presidency. That makes it difficult for them to avoid blame, even when the filibuster allows a minority party to block legislation. Technically, Republicans could get rid of the filibuster, but unless you're advocating for that, I don't think it's fair to say they have complete control over the process. That said:

  • Even if there were no filibuster, there weren't 50 Republican votes to pass a short-term continuing resolution. Lindsay Graham (R-SC), Mike Rounds (R-SD), and Rand Paul (R-KY) all said they'd refuse to vote for the House's continuing resolution.

  • Chuck Schumer talked a little bit about how they got here. The problem, according to him, is that the Senate can't trust Trump enough to agree to negotiate DREAMer legislation after a budget resolution is passed. Previously, Senate democrats have agreed to continuing budget resolutions because Trump said he'd be willing to discuss a legislative fix for DREAMers. But every time that they arrived at a deal with Trump as to the specifics of that legislation, Trump would publicly denounce it the next day. They can't pass a resolution contingent on Trump's promise to negotiate a DREAM act, because that promise means nothing.

How do all these factors add up?

In 2013, Republicans were able to unilaterally stop a budget from being implemented, and so it's fair to say that they were proximally responsible for the shutdown. Similarly, Democrats are able here to unilaterally stop a budget from being implemented, so I think it's fair to say that they're proximally responsible for this shutdown as well. I wish they hadn't caused one, in part because I'm not convinced it will help get DREAMer legislation passed.

The blame game gets complicated here when considering whether Democrats' justifications are stronger than Republican ones. I tend to hold the view that, in general, a shutdown is an illegitimate means of pursuing other legislative goals. Does the fact that the White House reneged on its promises multiple times change that calculation? I'm not sure. Hopefully the whole thing will be over in a couple of days anyway.
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Re: Government Shutdown 3: Civil War

Postby cmsellers » Sun Jan 21, 2018 12:40 am

aviel wrote:Technically, Republicans could get rid of the filibuster, but unless you're advocating for that, I don't think it's fair to say they have complete control over the process.

As I've said before, I'm opposed to the filibuster in principle and would like to see it done away with entirely. Does this mean I'm allowed to place all the blame on Yertle after all?
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Re: Government Shutdown 3: Civil War

Postby Doodle Dee. Snickers » Sun Jan 21, 2018 1:17 am

aviel wrote:The blame game gets complicated here when considering whether Democrats' justifications are stronger than Republican ones. I tend to hold the view that, in general, a shutdown is an illegitimate means of pursuing other legislative goals. Does the fact that the White House reneged on its promises multiple times change that calculation? I'm not sure. Hopefully the whole thing will be over in a couple of days anyway.


The thing is, I'm kinda divided on this. On the one hand, I hate seeing the govt shut down.

On the other, however, we have a president who lost the popular vote and is unusually unpopular, a Congress with both houses taking a loss in 2016 and a razor thin margin in the Senate, a very unpopular party...and they've basically been running this country with one-party rule anyways. They're just jamming through legislation alone no matter how unpopular it is, gutting regulations that are rather popular and entire institutions (such as the State Department), overturning popular legislation and estranging allies, and to top it all off, Trump's got a metric fuckton of judicial appointments McConnell withheld from Obama in a way that was very undemocratic, though not explicitly unconstitutional (which should be the motto of the GOP, really: "Undemocratic, but technically not unconstitutional"). If this ends up working out as a game theory-esque thing where the Democrats buy themselves more bargaining power by showing that they're committed enough to shut down the government, then I'll actually be fine with it.
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