ChrisWeigant.com

Playing The Shutdown Game

[ Posted Tuesday, January 16th, 2018 – 18:09 PST ]

As Congress returns to Washington, the question on everyone's mind is whether the federal government will shut down Friday night or whether some sort of deal (whether long or short term) can be agreed to at the last minute. As of this writing, it's impossible to tell what the outcome will be, but then that is the very nature of such games of brinksmanship. If there wasn't an edge to be close to, then there wouldn't be any threat, to put it another way.

While the Republicans control the House of Representatives, the Senate, and the White House, they do not have big enough majorities to just pass whatever they want without Democratic input. They will need at least nine Senate Democrats to agree with any plan for it to successfully pass. This gives Democrats some major leverage in the negotiations.

Will the Democrats play hardball and demand that a DACA fix pass before any budget extension can be voted on? If so, it could indeed lead to a shutdown. So far, the Democratic leadership has shied away from making this demand explicit, although many rank-and-file Democrats in both the House and Senate have already sworn they will not vote on a budget bill until DACA is fixed. But no accurate whip count seems to exist as to how many of them feel that strongly. I did hear one Democrat proclaim that "a majority of the Democratic caucus" had taken this stand, but that may not be enough to block a last-minute deal.

On the Republican side, there is a similar divide between hardliners and those willing to accept a little compromise to get a budget passed. This is complicated, because there are hardliners on the budget and there are hardliners on immigration, both of which are on the table this week.

The biggest unknown in all of this is how it will play out politically. This is what makes both Democratic and Republican leadership leery of taking too hard a position at the moment. The political equation is also pretty complex, since it involves the politics of immigration, the politics of a government shutdown, and (to a lesser extent) the politics of the budget.

First, the politics of immigration. The "Dreamers" affected by President Trump's decision to end the DACA program are quite literally the poster children of the larger immigration debate. Brought to the U.S. as children -- through no fault of their own, in other words -- they have only known this country for most of their lives. In a rather biblical sense, they are in jeopardy of paying the price for the sins of their fathers (and mothers). Most Americans see their plight with sympathy, which is why support for allowing them to stay is so overwhelming (polling at 70 percent or even higher). They are seen as the least blameless in the entire undocumented immigration debate.

However sympathetic their cause, though, it would be politically risky for Democrats to shut down the government to force a deal, for two reasons. The first is that Republicans are already in a pretty xenophobic mood -- from the president on down -- and would spin the Democrats' effort as "putting other countries first, not America." Democrats (Republicans would say) will only dig in their heels and fight for one issue -- one that benefits people who aren't even citizens. This could resonate even among Democratic voters, who might wonder why Democrats in Congress haven't taken any other issue to the mat in similar fashion (such as raising the minimum wage, or net neutrality, or whatever else voters might feel more strongly about than immigrant kids). Then again, most other issues don't have built-in deadlines, as the DACA problem does.

The second reason Democrats could be at risk politically is that the public generally doesn't approve of government shutdowns, since they are symbolically the pinnacle of political gridlock. Democrats are also the party which generally approves of government services, so it would have a certain flavor of shooting yourself in the foot. Democratic leaders are terrified that a political backlash against a government shutdown might imperil what is shaping up to be a very good year for Democrats at the ballot box.

Maybe so, but then again maybe not. Both sides would be spinning as hard as they can that the other guys were to blame for a shutdown. Democrats would point to Trump dealing in bad faith on immigration (rather profanely), and would also point out that Republicans are in control of Congress. If they can't pass a budget, why should Democrats help them out? Republicans would be trying to hang the shutdown around the necks of Democrats, conveniently ignoring their own past shenanigans with government shutdowns. How the public would see things is an open question. In the past, Republicans have borne most of the blame for government shutdowns, but this time around things could be different.

Having said all of that, a shutdown might not be the political bombshell that everyone currently fears. After all, the last time the Republicans shut down the government, it didn't hurt them at all at the ballot box. Quite the opposite, in fact. They went on to a midterm sweep, roughly a year after the shutdown happened. The voters either had forgotten all about it, or didn't care because they were so intent on sending a political message that the shutdown just didn't matter much to them. The exact same thing could play out this year, too. The anti-Republican and anti-Trump groundswell might not be affected all that much by a government shutdown, no matter which party gets the lion's share of the blame. Democratic voters might even approve of Democrats taking a very hard line in Congress, because it would show they are willing to fight and fight hard. It'd just be another face of the resistance, to put it another way.

If I had to bet, I would lay money on some sort of deal being struck before the end of the week, but I wouldn't be very confident about making such a bet. Democrats have already compromised a lot on the bipartisan immigration deal that is being shopped around, so much so that some Democrats aren't even on board with the effort. Trump and the GOP laid out four things the deal had to do, and only one of them was a Democratic priority (fixing DACA). Two of the other three were initially a huge overreach by the hardliners, to completely end both family immigration policies and the diversity lottery system. The final item on the list was the normal "tit for tat" bargaining chip -- more money for border security, and possibly some funding to build token stretches of Trump's wall. But with Democrats giving so much up and getting so little in return, there is not a lot of room left to further compromise without losing a lot more Democratic support for the deal.

Republicans face a different political calculus on the immigration deal. No matter what they get Democrats to accept, a certain portion of their base will see the entire thing as nothing short of "Amnesty!" They have been conditioned to this response for the past few decades, so this should surprise no one, really. However, the Republicans who are in fear of losing their re-election are generally not hardliners from ruby-red districts. Instead, they represent suburbs where voting for a DACA fix would be seen in a very different light. They could campaign that they "did the right thing" with their vote, in other words, and the cries of "Amnesty!" would not hurt them much, if at all. The one Republican who runs a big risk of losing a lot of voter support for an immigration deal is actually Donald Trump, which goes a long way toward explaining his erratic behavior on the issue. At times, he says he wants a deal, but then when other advisors bend his ear, he is totally against the entire concept. Both sides are likely warning him of what his base will think on the issue. If Trump signs a DACA fix, it could result in a backlash among his staunchest supporters, who are generally in the "Amnesty!" camp.

Right now, the Republicans are shopping around another short-term continuing resolution, to kick the budget can another month down the road. Normally, this wouldn't be all that contentious -- the two sides might squabble about how far down the road to kick the can, but in the end would come to some sort of agreement. However, Democrats have already done so once, which broke their own internal promise to the Dreamers to deal with DACA "before the end of the year." Having been put off once, this time around Democrats seem a lot more inclined to refuse to delay things any further. The DACA deadline is in early March, so the closer that date gets the more fraught the entire debate will become. Immigration activists are pushing hard for the Democrats not to agree to another delay even if it means a government shutdown this time.

Democrats' best play right now would be to announce that they will only be open to an extremely short-term budget deal, to avoid a shutdown. Democrats could offer an extension of only three or four days, or a maximum of a single week. This would keep the issue front and center, and not give anyone much breathing room. The threat of a government shutdown would remain, although the government would remain open for another week. If Democrats let it be known that this is as far as they are willing to go, then it would force the Republicans to deal with the issue without hope of another month's grace period.

But who knows how it will all play out? So far, Democrats don't have a character on their side like Ted Cruz, who pretty much singlehandedly caused the last government shutdown. Nobody is demagoguing the shutdown in a similar fashion now, perhaps because of the utter failure of the Cruz shutdown to get anything meaningful accomplished. But that's not to say there aren't a whole lot of Democrats who have absolutely had enough and are fully committed to withholding their votes for any budget deal before a DACA fix is signed into law. Democratic leadership hasn't taken such a hard line, but if enough of the rank-and-file Democrats do, then a shutdown could actually happen.

But while they haven't gotten much attention so far, it will be the Republican leaders who actually control what will happen on the floors of Congress this week. If they forced a vote on the bipartisan immigration deal, it might just pass as is. Nobody really knows how much support it would have, because so far nobody's publicly talking about a whip count of either Democratic or Republican support for the compromise. If the deal could pass Congress, it is pretty much guaranteed that Trump would sign it (he explicitly said so, last week, in fact). So that's the real indicator to watch for, as the week goes on. If Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan announce a vote on the plan, then it could pass on a very bipartisan basis. Some Democrats wouldn't vote for it because they felt the compromises were too high a price, and some Republicans wouldn't vote for it because of the whole "Amnesty!" thing, but enough from both parties might decide that the best thing to do in an election year would be to solve the DACA problem once and for all, so they could move on to other things on their agenda. If enough of Congress backs the plan, then the shutdown would cease to be a problem, since Democrats aren't ideologically opposed to a one-month extension of the budget battle if the DACA fix gets passed. I still have no idea what the chances of such an outcome currently are, but then again nobody has any real idea of what the chances of a shutdown are, either. Maybe Congress will surprise everyone and actually hold a vote on the compromise, which if successful would avoid the entire shutdown brinksmanship game.

-- Chris Weigant

 

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

88 Comments on “Playing The Shutdown Game”

  1. [1] 
    Kick wrote:

    Interesting. Will they or won't they?

    McConnell maneuvers to avoid a shutdown, stating: "It is clear that Congress has at least until March -- at a minimum, and maybe even longer -- to reach a compromise on the DACA question," citing the court order that froze the wind-down of the program and led to the administration taking new renewal applications. "There is no reason my colleagues should hold government funding hostage over the issue of illegal immigration," McConnell said.

    "Maybe even longer"? It's unreal how many years they've kicked this can down the road because nobody has the cojones to explain to the Tea Party morons that if they enjoy receiving their Social Security checks, they should stop pissing on the very people they're going to need in order to generate the funds in order to pay them.

  2. [2] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    "It'd just be another face of the resistance,"

    Why do you keep saying that?

    The only correct reference to the Big Money Democrats regarding the resistance is a FARCE of a resistance.

    Pretty sure I predicted this article the last time you wrote about deadlines and they kicked the can down the road. Expect more of the same.

    There is only one government shutdown that really matters and that is citizens shutting down the Big Money interests that control the show you keep writing about as if it was something real.

    It's time to throw out the formula script and try a little improvisation.

  3. [3] 
    Michale wrote:

    My guess is that everyone here will be all for a shutdown because it's the Democrats who are pushing it....

    Even though ya'all were all AGAINST a shutdown when it was the GOP who pushed it..

    Welcome to the wonderful hypocritical world of HHPTDS sufferers... :D

  4. [4] 
    Michale wrote:

    What's this???

    The President scored a perfect 100 per cent on the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) - a 30 question task created by medical professionals to test for dementia.

    It's designed to assess attention, memory, concentration, orientation, visual skills, calculations and executive functions.

    To the able-minded, the test may seem overly simple but they are some of the basic mental processes people with the disorder sadly lose.

    Trump's doctor earlier revealed how the president scored a perfect 30 on the test, where anything above 26 is considered "normal" and anything below is a cause for concern.

    BBBWWWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    First ya'all said Trump's health is failing.. Doctors said Trump was in perfect health..

    THEN ya'all said that Trump was suffering from dementia..

    President Trump aces the test that is designed to show dementia...

    My gods, you people are morons!! How many times do ya'all have to be wrong before ya'all recognize that FACT!!???

    :D

  5. [5] 
    Michale wrote:

    White House doctor peppered with questions as reporters hunt for evidence of a Trump illness
    http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2018/01/16/white-house-doctor-peppered-with-questions-as-reporters-hunt-for-evidence-trump-illness.html

    Oh look, JM...

    It's the Shapeshifter, giving President Trump a full and complete clean bill of health!!

    BBWWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHA

    Ya know, you would be better served (and better serve this community) if you would just shut up about President Trump..

    Because you are *ALWAYS* wrong....

    ALWAYS......

    :D

  6. [6] 
    Michale wrote:

    Yunno, if ya'all stuck to just POLICY issues and didn't constantly make personal attacks on President Trump and his family and his supporters, ya'all wouldn't look like complete jackasses all the time...

    All of ya'all's personal attacks on President Trump says a LOT more about ya'all then it does about President Trump..

  7. [7] 
    Michale wrote:

    Neil,

    THEN ya'all said that Trump was suffering from dementia..

    I spose you are going to deny that anyone said that President Trump suffers from dementia..

    Go ahead, bitch! I double dog dare ya!!! :D

  8. [8] 
    Michale wrote:
  9. [9] 
    Michale wrote:
  10. [10] 
    neilm wrote:

    ya'all

    anyone

    Do you understand the difference between these two words Michale, or should we show you a picture of a rhino and then declare you mentally sound?

    For the record, I think 45 is a complete moron and if he was demented it wouldn't surprise me. The fact that he can solve puzzles that we use to entertain kids on Denny placemats is a good sign, but we usually expect a bit more from people we place in the highest office.

  11. [11] 
    neilm wrote:

    Michale:

    Can you identify a picture of a horse? Can you join some dots and make a butterfly?

    Then you too can be President - you realize these tests are to ensure that you don't walk in front of cars if let out on your own, don't you?

    More to the point, if you think the suffixes "hole" and "house" make a blind bit of difference then you too can be a Republican Senator!

  12. [12] 
    neilm wrote:

    All of ya'all's personal attacks on President Trump says a LOT more about ya'all then it does about President Trump..

    This statement is about as clueless as Melania's online bullying campaign.

    You do realize, Michale, that you are trying to defend the source of just about every personal attack in the last election. Let me jog your memory:

    lyin' Ted
    low energy Jeb
    lil' Marco
    rocket man
    Pocahontas
    Sloppy Steve
    Jeff Flakey
    Liddle' Bob Corker

    So, since you are so adamantly opposed to personal attacks, will you stop being a fanboy and condemn your orange idol?

  13. [13] 
    Michale wrote:

    Do you understand the difference between these two words Michale,

    Do you understand that ya'all established that SILENCE GIVES ASSENT..

    So, if ONE of ya'all say something an no one challenges it, that is the same as ALL of you saying it...

    You made the rules, son... Don't blame me..

    The fact that he can solve puzzles that we use to entertain kids on Denny placemats is a good sign,

    Nice spin, but the MoCA is an accepted medical test..

    You just want to pooh pooh it away because it TOTALLY decimates the dementia claim ya'all rallied around..

    I notice you didn't deny that the claim was made... :D

    Point to Michale :D

  14. [14] 
    Michale wrote:

    You do realize, Michale, that you are trying to defend the source of just about every personal attack in the last election.

    OK, so you are conceding that ya'all are EXACTLY like you accuse PRESIDENT Trump of being..

    OK.. I accept your concession...

  15. [15] 
    Michale wrote:

    "You can't win!! I have GOD on my side!!!"
    -Max Von Sydow, NEEDFUL THINGS

    :D

    Sucks to be you.. :D

  16. [16] 
    neilm wrote:

    Michale:

    Do you think 45 plays too much golf?

  17. [17] 
    neilm wrote:

    I didn't deny the claim was made because I called him demented in the same post - I don't care if he can solve kiddies join-the-dots puzzles and identify a horse fairly regularly, he is still obviously demented.

    Is that clear enough for you - the man is demented - that is the only word for somebody who acts as he does.

    Confefe!

  18. [18] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    The problem with Trump has nothing really to do with fitness in the medical sense for the job of being president of the United States.

    No, the problem is that in the course of running for president (and I don't mean just in the last couple of years as he apparently has been thinking about such prospects for many, many years) and being president, his words and actions have demonstrated a paucity of common human decency, compassion and empathy, not to mention an unwillingness to learn about the issues and policies that he has been tasked to shepherd on behalf of an entire nation.

    In addition to that, he has an overabundance of mean-spiritedness, vulgarity and an uncommon need to elevate himself by demeaning others.

    President Trump is an example of someone who grew over time into an essentially bad person who is quite capable of presenting himself as a good person, if only for fleeting moments.

    Taken as a whole and based purely on my own personal observations and judgement of character, these are the reasons I feel strongly that President Trump is absolutely unfit for the office of President of the United States. I have also become resigned to the fact that he will remain in office until the American people decide that he should not remain in office or until Jan 20th, 2025 (God forbid), whichever comes first.

  19. [19] 
    Michale wrote:

    I didn't deny the claim was made because I called him demented in the same post - I don't care if he can solve kiddies join-the-dots puzzles and identify a horse fairly regularly, he is still obviously demented.

    Not according to medical professionals..

    You are WRONG.. :D AGAIN...

    Is that clear enough for you - the man is demented - that is the only word for somebody who acts as he does.

    In YOUR opinion..

    But your opinion is PROVEN wrong.. AGAIN...

  20. [20] 
    neilm wrote:

    OK.. I accept your concession...

    You got it - I personally think 45 is a complete moron ... the problem for you is that about 120 million other Americans think the same thing.

    Confefe?

  21. [21] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    What really distresses me, though, is the thought that President Trump would LOVE the comments sections at CW.com.

    Yeah, he would LOVE them!!!

  22. [22] 
    Michale wrote:

    The problem with Trump has nothing really to do with fitness in the medical sense for the job of being president of the United States.

    It sure did when ya'all accused him of having dementia...

    NOW that it PROVEN he doesn't suffer from dementia, NOW all of the sudden, that doesn't matter...

    You see how ya'all keep moving the goal posts *EVERY* time the facts prove ya'all wrong...???

    In addition to that, he has an overabundance of mean-spiritedness, vulgarity and an uncommon need to elevate himself by demeaning others.

    You are describing OBAMA perfectly....

    How come all that didn't bother ya'all then?? Ya'all LOVED it then...

    Taken as a whole and based purely on my own personal observations and judgement of character, these are the reasons I feel strongly that President Trump is absolutely unfit for the office of President of the United States.

    Many people felt the same thing about Obama..

    So what...

    I have also become resigned to the fact that he will remain in office until the American people decide that he should not remain in office or until Jan 20th, 2025 (God forbid), whichever comes first.

    You are correct.. President Trump will be in office until 20 Jan 2025....

  23. [23] 
    neilm wrote:

    Not according to medical professionals..

    Yup, and he isn't obese according to medical professionals, but he ain't getting a starring role on "Baywatch 15".

    Read the transcript of one of his speeches and tell me he isn't functionally demented, even if, like his obesity, he is 0.1 points from being medically classes as not a complete danger if he is let out by himself for a short walk in the park.

  24. [24] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    So what.

    So, nothing.

  25. [25] 
    Michale wrote:

    You got it - I personally think 45 is a complete moron ... the problem for you is that about 120 million other Americans think the same thing.

    You are entitled to your opinion... You do not speak for 120 million other Americans..

    If you think you do, that makes YOU the complete moron...

    Considering how ya'all have *ALWAYS* been wrong about President Trump, I think ya'all as "complete morons" has already been established..

  26. [26] 
    Michale wrote:

    So, nothing.

    Exactly.. It means nothing..

    It's nothing more than an opinion..

    And we know for a fact that it's an opinion based on the Democrat/Republican issue..

    Democrats LOVED Trump when Trump had a -D after his name.

    This is fact... Well documented FACT....

    President Trump will be President until 20 Jan 2025.. Ya'all better learn to accept that or things will NEVER get better for ya'all....

  27. [27] 
    Michale wrote:

    Read the transcript of one of his speeches and tell me he isn't functionally demented, even if, like his obesity, he is 0.1 points from being medically classes as not a complete danger if he is let out by himself for a short walk in the park.

    You can rant all you want.. You can be hysterical and scream to the sky in your pussy hat..

    But it's ALL for naught because the *FACTS* prove you wrong at every turn!! :D

  28. [28] 
    neilm wrote:

    You might trust him not to dribble on his tie when eating because a doctor told you he wouldn't, but I'm expecting somebody who can craft complex legislation when I vote for a White House occupant - not somebody who still has the skills I was proud my 2-year-old had when I showed him a picture of a zebra.

    You must be absolutely desperate to be excited because your orange idol can fairly reliably draw a picture of a cube!

    I mean, when I repeatedly asked you why you would vote for a complete racist, why didn't you add "and he can point to a picture of a bunny and say 'rabbit' on the first attempt" as well as saying you were excited that he'd let bad cops off the hook?

  29. [29] 
    Michale wrote:

    You might trust him not to dribble on his tie when eating because a doctor told you he wouldn't, but I'm expecting somebody who can craft complex legislation when I vote for a White House occupant -

    That's not the President's job..

    DUH....

    You must be absolutely desperate to be excited because your orange idol can fairly reliably draw a picture of a cube!

    Not at all.. I simply point out the FACTS that prove ya'all wrong..

    Ya'all claimed President Trump suffered from dementia...

    Ya'all were WRONG!!!! ***AGAIN***

    :D

    Yes.. I LOVE showing up you people for the morons ya'all act like. :D

    I mean, when I repeatedly asked you why you would vote for a complete racist,

    Yet, you have NO FACTS that prove he is a racist..

    Once again, you are utterly and COMPLETELY wrong.. :D

    AGAIN.... :D

    Face the facts, sonny jim.. All you have is hysterical and provably false bullshit.. :D

    And I have the facts...

    "You can't win!! I have GOD on my side!!!"
    -Max Von Sydow, NEEDFUL THINGS

    :D

  30. [30] 
    neilm wrote:

    It is 2018 and America is the richest country in the history of the planet. The complexity of our society is exponentially greater than anything ever seen. Yet Michale is ecstatic that his racist said "-house" instead of "-hole" and he can point to a drawing of a puppy and not say "beetroot" most of the time.

  31. [31] 
    neilm wrote:

    You might trust him not to dribble on his tie when eating

    That's not the President's job..

    Yup, but it helps in many social situations.

  32. [32] 
    neilm wrote:

    Yet, you have NO FACTS that prove he is a racist..

    Good one - tell us again the one where we are the name-callers and 45 never personally attacks people - that was hilarious.

  33. [33] 
    Michale wrote:

    "I can do this all day."
    -Captain America

  34. [34] 
    Michale wrote:

    tell us again the one where we are the name-callers and 45 never personally attacks people -

    Non-sequitor..

    Do you have ANY facts that prove President Trump is a racist??

    No you do not...

    So, go ahead.. Throw up another irrelevant response..

    Your impotency simply proves my case... :D

  35. [35] 
    neilm wrote:

    Ya'all claimed

    No, we all didn't. You are making up a fantasy world to get yourself excited again.

    What have we all agreed on when you do that:

    1. sit down and take a few deep breaths

    2. check you've taken all the meds your doc prescribed now that Obamacare has got you coverage

    3. remember that reality is the thing that you don't make up in your head

    4. check you can reliably identify a giraffe in a toddler's picture book (have a 5 year old help you with this one)

    5. stop typing drivel on the internet

  36. [36] 
    Michale wrote:

    . Yet Michale is ecstatic that his racist said "-house" instead of "-hole" and he can point to a drawing of a puppy and not say "beetroot" most of the time.

    And again with more lies..

    First off, you have NO FACTS that prove PRESIDENT Trump said either shithouse OR shithole..

    Second, it was xanaxed-brained nervous breakdown Paula who made the distinction between shithouse and shithole..

    Fer christ's sake, Neil..

    Get yer frakin' facts straight!!! :D

  37. [37] 
    Michale wrote:

    No, we all didn't.

    Yes, ya'all did. Either by commission or omission ya'all made the claim...

    This is fact...

    Once again, get yer facts straight, son.. :D

  38. [38] 
    neilm wrote:

    Do you have ANY facts that prove President Trump is a racist??

    Yes. And so does everybody else except those who are determined to not see what is in front of their faces.

    What do you call somebody who insists he doesn't want black people counting his money, only Jewish ones?

    "Black guys counting my money! I hate it. The only kind of people I want counting my money are short guys that wear yarmulkes every day.

    Or who creates a culture where black people are removed from their workplace when the boss is coming round because he only likes to see white people on his casino floor?

    “A well-educated black has a tremendous advantage over a well-educated white in terms of the job market. … If I was starting off today, I would love to be a well-educated black, because I really do believe they have the actual advantage today.”

    Or condemns all immigrants from Mexico:

    “When Mexico sends its people, it is not sending their best. … They’re rapists.”

    Proof? Proof 45 isn't racist? That burden is on you my friend - and 45 is making that an impossible task for you.

  39. [39] 
    neilm wrote:

    Yes, ya'all did. Either by commission or omission ya'all made the claim...

    So we didn't all say anything, so we said it.

    Wow, you are so desperate you'd be happy to vote for a President who can point to a picture of a frog and says "it hops and makes croaking sounds".

  40. [40] 
    neilm wrote:

    Well my proof points that 45 is a racist had quotes from 45 that were so vile the nanny filter blocked them.

    Even the internet thinks some of the things 45 says are too racist for repetition.

  41. [41] 
    Michale wrote:

    So we didn't all say anything, so we said it.

    Just like President Trump (according to ya'all) didn't say anything about Charlottesville so that means he said he supported the Nazis in Charlottesville..

    Ya'all make the rules, Neil..

    I simply kick ya'all's asses by them :D

  42. [42] 
    neilm wrote:

    Next year, if 45 can still help the princess find her way out of the maze and escape the evil toad, should we have a new public holiday?

    Instead of Presidents' Day we can have "A deliberate racist, medical dementia isn't an excuse" Day?

    You might want him to fail to identify pictures of tigers (you know, big cats with stripes) - it can be your excuse for all the racist things he says.

  43. [43] 
    Michale wrote:

    Ridicule all you want, Neil..

    But the simple FACT is, ya'all accused President Trump of dementia..

    The *FACTS* prove you wrong..

    You *CAN'T* admit ya'all were wrong, so you have to ridicule the medical test...

    You were wrong.. Man up and quit acting like a little pussy...

  44. [44] 
    neilm wrote:

    Just like President Trump (according to ya'all) didn't say anything about Charlottesville so that means he said he supported the Nazis in Charlottesville..

    Um, did you forget the part where he said the Nazis included "some very fine people"?

  45. [45] 
    neilm wrote:

    Hey Michale, what age did you stop getting excited when your toddler could point to a picture of a bunny and say "rabbit" - 3? 4?

    Yet you are over the moon that the person you voted into the White House can achieve the same level of challenge at 71!

    And I'm the one with a credibility problem?

    Also, how many tries did it take him on the horse (tough one, might have been a donkey, or as he would say - "looks like the ass I see in the mirror every morning").

  46. [46] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    The problem with the presidential physical is, they have a test for high blood pressure, they have a test for diabetes, they have a test for cholesterol, they even have a test for dementia, but the medical profession has never devised a test for assholeitis.

  47. [47] 
    neilm wrote:

    I, too, can reliably identify a drawing of a banana, but I'm not a racist - does that mean I don't get to be the Republican nominee in 2020?

  48. [48] 
    Michale wrote:

    Um, did you forget the part where he said the Nazis included "some very fine people"?

    Once again, you dodge the issue because you are wrong..

    You can never give a straight answer because the FACTS show you are wrong...

  49. [49] 
    Michale wrote:

    The problem with the presidential physical is, they have a test for high blood pressure, they have a test for diabetes, they have a test for cholesterol, they even have a test for dementia,

    Yep.. And President Trump passed ALL those tests....

    But people like Neil et al can't concede that they were WRONG... AGAIN...

    So they have to go on a bender and bring up nonsensical and completely irrelevant crap because they can't HANDLE the fact that they were wrong.. AGAIN...

  50. [50] 
    neilm wrote:

    So Michale, now you've ruled out dementia as you excuse for all the racism, how do you rationalize your continued support for 45?

    You'd have been better off if he'd pointed to the picture of the puppy and said "da-da".

  51. [51] 
    neilm wrote:

    Yep.. And President Trump passed ALL those tests

    He studied really hard, read all the books, and passed his diabetes test.

    Well, I'm impressed!

    I'd have been happier if he'd got the picture of the banana right on the first time, but you can see why he might have thought it was a tree and an airplane, and at least he got it right on the third attempt when he was given the "you peel it, you dimwit" hint.

  52. [52] 
    neilm wrote:

    We used to think 45 just cheated at golf, but now we know he does. He has proven that he can count to '8' yet still records it as '4'.

  53. [53] 
    neilm wrote:

    Don't give up now Michale - explain to me once more why you are so excited that 45 can often spot an apple on the page in front of him - I'm having a great time laughing at your hero worship of a serial fruit identifier!

  54. [54] 
    Michale wrote:

    So Michale, now you've ruled out dementia as you excuse for all the racism,

    Easy.....

    You don't have a case that proves Trump is a racist..

    explain to me once more

    OK I'll explain it to you ONE MORE TIME.. Please try and pay attention. I won't use big words..

    You accused President Trump of suffering from dementia..

    There is a standardized test that doctors administer that shows indications of dementia...

    Doctors administered that test and discovered that President Trump shows absolutely NO SIGNS of dementia...

    You were WRONG, as you *ALWAYS* are wrong.....

    Do you need me to dumb it down any more for you??

  55. [55] 
    Michale wrote:

    Getting tired of pushing buttons, Neil??

    My apologies if I hurt your feelings... :D

  56. [56] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Someone should let President Trump know about this place.

  57. [57] 
    Michale wrote:

    Someone should let President Trump know about this place.

    You REALLY want President Trump here?? :D

  58. [58] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    He already is.

  59. [59] 
    Michale wrote:

    He already is.

    Why, thank you!!

    That's the nicest thing you have ever said to me... :D

  60. [60] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Seriously, he has been here, in spirit, for a very long time now ...

    He would love all of the name-calling and truth-bashing that have become two of the hallmarks of the comments sections.

    He'd be right at home here.

    Btw, Jeff Flake made a very fine speech on the Senate floor today. Hopefully, Chris will write about it this week.

    Until then, I'm done here. (Neil, that just means, as it always has, I'm outta time, nonsense or no nonsense!)

  61. [61] 
    Michale wrote:

    He would love all of the name-calling and truth-bashing that have become two of the hallmarks of the comments sections.

    Well, if ya'all would cut out all the name-calling and lying and being wrong ALL the time, then things would be better around here..

    But ya'all can't, so it won't be....

  62. [62] 
    Paula wrote:

    Democrat Patty Schachtner won a special election in Wisconsin yesterday, taking a seat in a RED district where President-Unfaithful-Sh!thouse won by 17 points.

    She was outspent by her GOP rival, but won anyway.

    Blotus intends to make campaign appearances for GOP candidates heading into the mid-terms. Please, Blotus, appear, appear, appear! Get your disgusting racist followers to come out and wave their nazi banners and threaten people! Do your big ugly orange thing Blotus! Make all the GOP candidates wilt behind your 300lb fat ass while you tell everyone - again - that you won the electoral college vote! Do it, do it, do it!

  63. [63] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Paula, he's not REALLY here, you know.

  64. [64] 
    Michale wrote:

    Paula, he's not REALLY here, you know.

    Xanax-Girl is a little confused about reality.... Best not to disturb her.... You know how fruitcakes are...

  65. [65] 
    Michale wrote:

    President-Unfaithful

    President John F Kennedy...

    'nuff said...

  66. [66] 
    neilm wrote:

    I'm proud to say that the leader of my country can, often on the first attempt, identify pictures of puppies, bunnies and even vegetables (only the common ones, not broccoli or anything difficult). I'd just like to throw the gauntlet down to s-hole countries like Europe or Paris and ask them if their President knows his giraffe from his jellyfish!

  67. [67] 
    goode trickle wrote:

    One thing the physical did confirm is that Trump is in fact a draft dodger....

    Not one single mention of those pesky bone spurs.

  68. [68] 
    Paula wrote:

    [62]-[63] OOOOH, Elizabeth does the set-up and the spigot goes for the payoff, thereby detracting from Elizabeth's status and making clear the spigot needs assistance in his trolling.

    I've often thought the two of you made a cute couple! Although I suspect Liz would be horribly disappointed with the spigot in reality. It would be like Stormy Daniel's comments about Blotus "chasing her around the room in his tightie-whities".

    And meanwhile Scott Walker tweets that the special election in Wisconsin is a wake-up call for republicans. Hopefully rank and file republicans will react exactly like the spigot. Keep up the good work Spiggie!

  69. [69] 
    Paula wrote:

    [66] goode trickle: no mention of the bone spurs. Good catch!

  70. [70] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Michale,

    Personally, I am thrilled that his doctor says he isn’t suffering from dementia. As I told you the other day, I fear that he will try to use it as a defense if charges are brought against him.

    If you don’t want to blame his inability to form complete thoughts when he speaks on medical problems, then I guess we will have to just assume he is coked out of his skull, which causes a person to exhibit similar problems as someone with dementia.

  71. [71] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    "She was outspent by her GOP rival, but won anyway."

    If a Democrat can win in a RED district spending less than their GOP rival then they certainly should be able to win in BLUE districts running small contribution campaigns. It may even help them win some more RED districts in 2018.

    And it would be a major improvement over electing Big Money Democrats or Republicans.

  72. [72] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Regarding Trump’s physical, I am pretty sure that Reagan’s doctors also said he was in great health his final year in office. The thing to remember is that doctors can only say what the patient will allow them to say about their medical condition.

  73. [73] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Anyone here catch David Letterman’s interview of Obama on Netflix? It was so refreshing to hear a president that could have in depth conversations without repeating himself every other sentence!

  74. [74] 
    Kick wrote:

    Paula
    67

    I've often thought the two of you made a cute couple! Although I suspect Liz would be horribly disappointed with the spigot in reality. It would be like Stormy Daniel's comments about Blotus "chasing her around the room in his tightie-whities".

    *LOL*

    OMG, can you imagine letting that needy propagandizing praise-seeking gluttonous soul-sucking vomitus mass anywhere near you?

  75. [75] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Paula[67]

    What a great example of the personification of the hyper-sensitization of America.

    I always used to hate it when Bill Maher referred to the phenomenon as the "feminization of America" ... perhaps, a bit sensitive on my part. Heh.

    In any event, 'feminization' seems apt enough.

  76. [76] 
    Paula wrote:

    [73] Kick: OMG, can you imagine letting that needy propagandizing praise-seeking gluttonous soul-sucking vomitus mass anywhere near you?

    I know! Euuuuuww!

  77. [77] 
    Kick wrote:

    Paula
    67

    And meanwhile Scott Walker tweets that the special election in Wisconsin is a wake-up call for republicans. Hopefully rank and file republicans will react exactly like the spigot. Keep up the good work Spiggie!

    How about that Wisconsin. She didn't just barely win either; she beat her Republican challenger by 9 points where Trump had won that area in 2016 by 17 points. That's quite a massive turnaround, and the data show that the GOP is losing independent and educated women in droves.

    Walker is up for reelection in November, and if this turnaround doesn't turn around:

    Bye, Felicia.

  78. [78] 
    Paula wrote:

    [69] Listen: Agreed -anyone thinking Blotus "passing" the obviously rock-bottom-minimal cognition test and lying about his weight is some kind of "win" is delusional. All this particular episode has done is made the MD look bad, and made Blotus look obvious and desperate. I feel for the MD - like all who come in contact with President-Unfaithful-Sh!thole, he has been diminished. Everyone (except the deranged deplorables) knows they're lying about Blotus' height/weight. Twitter is rife with images of Blotus next to athletes who ARE 6'3" and 239 lbs, OR 6"2', 6'1" or 6" and 230 lbs. and Blotus is observably fatter.

    If the MD lied about height/weight, he then casts in doubt everything else he says.

  79. [79] 
    Paula wrote:

    [76] Kick: Yep!

  80. [80] 
    Paula wrote:

    OR 6"2', 6'1" or 6" and 230 lbs.

    I meant: and 239 lbs.

  81. [81] 
    Kick wrote:

    'In Touch' Explosive Interview With Stormy Daniels: Donald Trump Cheated on Melania With Me

    Updated: Jan 17, 2018 3:45 pm

    http://www.intouchweekly.com/posts/stormy-daniels-affair-donald-trump-151571

    In the new issue of In Touch, on newsstands today, Stormy (given name: Stephanie Clifford) confirms in her own words that she had sex with Donald Trump in his Lake Tahoe, NV, hotel suite in 2006 — a story that was corroborated to In Touch in 2011 by her good friend Randy Spears and supported by her ex-husband Mike Moz. Stormy also took and passed a polygraph test at the time of the interview.

    Stormy told In Touch, “[The sex] was textbook generic,” while discussing the fling they had less than four months after Donald’s wife, Melania, gave birth to their son, Barron.
    _______________

    Trump liked her because she reminded him of his own daughter. Now just imagine the kompromat Putin has on this sick bastard.

  82. [82] 
    Kick wrote:

    BREAKING NEWS

    Kelly calls some of Trump’s campaign pledges on immigration, wall ‘uninformed,’ meeting attendees say

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2018/01/17/kelly-says-some-of-trumps-campaign-pledges-on-immigration-wall-uninformed-meeting-attendees-say/?utm_term=.70bef95cf958

    During the meeting, Kelly repeatedly said that Trump supports enacting permanent legal protections for young immigrant “dreamers” and that he has helped the president evolve on immigration policy.
    _______________

    White House Chief of Staff calls BLOTUS "uninformed."

    And cue Donald Trump to deny all this in 3-2-1...

    Neil... break out that "guess" list. ;)

  83. [83] 
    Kick wrote:

    Kelly also said that there will be no wall “that Mexico will pay for.”

    Who knew?

  84. [84] 
    neilm wrote:

    Exciting:

    thestig: 8/21/17
    paula: 8/25/17
    listen: 10/1/17
    JM from Ct: 10/20/17
    altohone: 10/31/17
    CW: 11/12/17
    balthasar: 1/6/18
    nypoet22: 1/20/18
    BigGuy: 4/1/18
    kick: 5/11/18
    neil: 8/1/18
    Don: 1/20/21
    liz & JFC: abstain

    nypoet22 is currently closest - and will be for several weeks

  85. [85] 
    neilm wrote:

    If Kelly is fighting with Jarvanka then this is fantastic ammunition for them. I've not seen much negative press from the Jarvanka machine about Kelly similar to the hatchet job they did on Bannon, so he might be keeping the peace, but if we see some stories appearing there is likely only two sources from within the White House: Jarvanka's PR team or 45 chatting to his late-night buddies.

  86. [86] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Paula, [77]

    If Trump is 6’3 and 239#, then I definitely want to use his doctor! Heck, he might even be willing to knock a few years off my age.

    ”He is actually six-five, with the afro, six-nine.” [Fletch]

  87. [87] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Don Harris [2] -

    Who died and made you King Of Defining The Resistance?

    Just wondering...

    Michale [4] -

    Have you looked at the actual test? It's pretty darn easy...

    Michale [6] -

    This whole article was on policy and politics. Nary a word about the Trump health report. YOU brought that up, not me or any commenter. So why are you complaining about the subject that YOU brought up?

    Just wondering...

    neilm [12] -

    Good one! Burn...

    neilm [17] -

    Um, I think you meant "covfefe"...

    Heh.

    LizM [18] -

    You go, girl! Excellent post all around, just had to say that!

    :-)

    LizM [21] -

    I am chagrined that I apparently didn't even make the running for Trump's fake news awards. Oh, well, I'll have to try harder this year...

    (snerk snerk)

    :-)

    Michale [29] -

    No facts? Seriously?

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/inside-the-governments-racial-bias-case-against-donald-trumps-company-and-how-he-fought-it/2016/01/23/fb90163e-bfbe-11e5-bcda-62a36b394160_story.html?utm_term=.4d934d4c1ab4

    And that was way back in 1973. Need links to the Central Park Five ads, too?

    neilm [39] -

    I will check this out. The filter is for spam logins, not vile racist stuff, although there is indeed some crossover. I'll try to free your comments, sorry about the delay.

    Michale [40] -

    Have you retreated into your own private universe, or what? "There were some very fine people on both sides." Direct Trump quote, praising neo-Nazis.

    C. R. Stucki [45] -

    OK, now that was funny!

    :-)

    Michale [53] -

    I'd be a whole lot more impressed if Trump had been given (and had passed) the MMPI, personally.

    LizM [55] -

    You sure he's not already here?

    Heh.

    LizM [57] -

    Oh, OK.

    neilm [65] -

    You know your culture from your trash
    You know your plastic from your cash

    -Peter Gabriel, Steam

    Just popped into my mind when I read your comment...

    Heh.

    goode trickle [66] -

    Good(e?) point! Heh. Must have been those "mysteriously disappearing bone spurs, after the threat of being drafted has disappeared," eh?

    Cue Michale defending a draft dodger in 3... 2... 1...

    ListenWhenYouHear [72] -

    Agreed, although Dave has GOT to get rid of that beard (shudder...).

    OK, gotta run, it's been fun...

    -CW

  88. [88] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    neilm -

    OK, freed your filtered comment. Sorry 'bout that...

    -CW

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