January 28, 2019

Shutdown Ends

Editor's note: We couldn’t be more proud of one of our teammates, Isaac Rose-Berman, who penned his first op-ed this week in USA Today: “How college students can bridge American divides: 'Study abroad' in Alabama or New York.” Please give it a read, and share far and wide!

“President Donald Trump signed a bill Friday to reopen the government for three weeks, backing down from his demand that Congress give him money for his border wall before federal agencies get back to work.”
AP News

See past issues

From the Left

The left sees Trump’s concession as a victory for Pelosi, but worries about the long-term impact of the prolonged shutdown.

There are no two ways about it — Trump caved… Call it growing pains for Trump, but he is having a difficult time adjusting to the new power dynamic in Washington.”
NPR

“It’s… a reminder that although polls show Trump is more popular with his base than Pelosi is with her own, Pelosi’s enormous legislative acumen — sharpened by years of arm-twisting and friendly cajoling — dwarfs the political infighting skills displayed by the ex-real-estate mogul who’s long touted himself as the one of the toughest negotiators in the world.”
Politico

“For months, Trump’s overall approval rating has been an object of fascination for pundits… Almost nothing—not the steady drumbeat of damning news on the Russia investigation, not the chaos of the White House, and neither a strong economy nor a volatile stock market—seemed able to dislodge it… Yet the shutdown seems to have broken that equilibrium.”
The Atlantic

“The sharp rebuke [Trump] received from the public — and his decision Friday to reopen the government without winning concessions — could refresh a debate about the size and scale of government that has begun to frame the 2020 election… Will Republicans propose cutting programs that many Americans rallied behind in recent weeks? Will Democrats seek to expand a bureaucracy that has at times appeared difficult to manage by the country’s leaders?”
Washington Post

Many note that “from the National Park Service to Nasa, the Coast Guard to border patrol, the Internal Revenue Service to the Transportation Security Administration – federal agencies are now filled with workers with damaged credit ratings, missed mortgage payments, new debts and, especially, new doubts about their basic job security and the future… The blase attitude of Trump administration officials is a world away from the experience of federal employees.”
The Guardian

The shutdown revealed unflattering truths about Americans’ finances: Even neighbors and friends with steady paychecks and the markers of comfortable lives were suddenly surviving hand-to-mouth, teetering on the edge of despair.”
New York Times

Regarding future negotiations, “contrary to popular belief promoted by President Trump and his allies in this deeply partisan divide, Democrats have never opposed ‘border security’… Bipartisan majorities voted to fund physical barriers in 2006, 2013 and even last year… Risky as it is to make predictions about this most unpredictable presidency, I believe the past offers clues to where this wagon train is heading: into a debate, I believe, over what is meant by ‘a wall.’
Chicago Tribune

From the Right

The right mostly sees Trump’s climbdown as the best of the available bad options, and calls on Democrats to negotiate a border security deal in good faith.

From the Right

The right mostly sees Trump’s climbdown as the best of the available bad options, and calls on Democrats to negotiate a border security deal in good faith.

“House Speaker Nancy Pelosi emerges as the winner in this showdown, at least in the short term. We’ll now see if she’s serious about negotiating a deal on immigration or simply wants to humiliate Mr. Trump… Does she want to ease the deportation fears of more than a million residents, or does she want to spite Mr. Trump and flog immigration as a political issue through 2020?”
Wall Street Journal

Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) tweeted, “The President is yet again compromising. The consistent Democrat talking point over the last few weeks has been this: ‘we don’t mind discussing physical barriers, we just can’t talk about it with the government shut down.’ I hope they meant it.”
Twitter

“By removing the whole ‘holding Federal workers hostage’ from the Democrat vocabulary, Trump hopes to shift the political winds in the direction of at least some border wall funding. If he’s right, it’ll go down as one of the smartest political moves of his presidency. If he’s wrong, he had nothing to lose anyway, especially considering the fact that the public, rightly or wrongly, was blaming him for the shutdown.”
Townhall

Some critics, however, argue that “this week could be labeled ‘The Art of the Bad Deal’ for President Trump… There is no reason — historically, logically, or politically — that [Democrats] will ever compromise and let Trump build the wall. Trump’s cave-in let Pelosi win this battle and, with it, probably the whole border wall war.”
Washington Examiner

Others point out that “anyone observing our politics over the past month with an eye to how our system of government works would also have to be struck by the total absence of anything resembling a functioning legislature… Republicans basically waited around to see what the president would do, while Democrats used him as a foil, and there was essentially no negotiation between them… That it pretty much never occurred to any members of Congress to take things in hand and behave like legislators is no small part of the problem we have.”
National Review

“We’ve spent the past ten years saying ‘no’ to each other… Now President Trump has the opportunity to change things. He can be like President Clinton, who tacked to the middle in the second half of his presidency and worked with Republicans to pass landmark bipartisan bills such as welfare reform, or he can follow the example of President Obama, who dug in [and] refused to work with the GOP, choosing instead to use his pen and phone to try to bypass Congress with his executive authority. The direction the president chooses will likely determine the fate of his reelection campaign.”
The Resurgent

Others note, “I’d hate to be a Democratic member of Congress trying to convince Joe Sixpack that this is a whole new ballgame. The transcript shows Trump being Trump and Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky trying to ingratiate himself with the big dog by, for instance, mentioning that he stays at Trump hotels. Trump’s conversation is typically scattershot, wandering all over the field, leaving a reasonable listener puzzled about what the takeaways are supposed to be…

“I think Joe Sixpack’s response is going to be a hearty shrug. After all that has emerged about Trump so far, his approval rating is closely tracking Obama’s approval at the same point in his presidency. To get Mr. Sixpack’s attention you are going to have to do better than this.”
Kyle Smith, National Review

President Trump should be happy. As much as Warren is articulate, obviously intelligent, and energetically supported by Democrats, she would also be far easier to defeat than Joe Biden… Considering Trump's economy, the president is well placed to defeat Warren.”
Tom Rogan, Washington Examiner

A libertarian's take

“After adding in the ultra-millionaire’s tax and factoring in the other capital taxes Warren wants to levy — on financial transactions, on unrealized capital gains, on corporations — we’d be asking every billionaire to hand over more than two-thirds of their total wealth over a 10-year period. If the government actually managed to collect it, their fortunes would rapidly erode — and so would tax collections. The plan might be a good way to smash wealth, but it’s a terrible way to fund the nation’s health-care system…

“If Warren makes it to the White House, and tries to pass a plan, the Congressional Budget Office will eventually attach more reasonable numbers, with more defensible assumptions, sparking an even more spectacular political blowback than the one that greeted Friday’s announcement. Outside of the progressive Twitterati, there isn’t necessarily an enormous constituency for spending $20.5 trillion to herd every American into a national health insurance program; there would be even less support for spending what Warren’s plan would actually cost.”
Megan McArdle, Washington Post

On the bright side...

Gym for rattlesnakes opens to fight high obesity rate among captive reptiles.
Charlotte Observer

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