Monday, January 22, 2018

THE PRAIRIE EDITOR: Schumer's Shutdown Delayed?

Democratic Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer is
well-schooled in public relations tactics, and the first
thing he did when negotiations failed to keep funding the
government was to call it the “Trump Shutdown.”

A clever try, but it is obvious to everyone not part of the
ongoing partisan game in the nation’s Capitol that it is
Senator Schumer’s party. led by himself, that precipitated
and insisted on partially closing government activity in this

As long as the senior New York senator is putting labels on
it, he should admit the truth, that is, it was really “Schumer’s

That didn’t make it inherently wrong, but Mr. Schumer
knows well that if public opinion blamed him, it could have
been a political disaster. In fact, when Republicans were
perceived as responsible for the government shutdown in
1995-96, it was such a public relations “black-eye” for the
conservatives that it was brought quickly to an end.

This time, the Republicans are in charge of both houses of
Congress and the White House, but the law requires a
a super-majority of  60 votes to pass s continuing funding
bill. There are only 51 GOP senators, so, in reality,
Democrats control the situation for the time being.

Republicans felt that they had legitimate reasons in
1995-96 to shut the government down, and Democrats, in
their continuing quest to thwart President Trump and his
program for an economic recovery, have what they feel are
good reasons to do so now.

But it is the shadowy contest for public opinion, and not
political expediencies, where this outcome will be
determined. Senator Schumer wants it both ways --- to
shut the government down and blame the other side.
But he will have to win this contest with the shutdown
in his own name.

After only a weekend “flash” shutdown, the U.S. senate
has now agreed to temporary funding to keep the federal
government open until February when the confrontation
will reappear.

Vulnerable Democratic senators facing their electorates in
November clearly want to avoid another shutdown, and
noticeably played a role in keeping the “flash” shutdown

Let’s see what happens in the next round.

Copyright (c) 2018 by Barry Casselman. All rights reserved.

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