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Trump Wants A Severe Shutdown & His Congressional Allies Are Working Towards Giving Him One

Trump's MAGA wing of the Republican Party has convinced millions of people that the norms of civilized society are part of a rigged system. Saturday evening I was at an event with loads of Members of Congress, spanning the intra-party ideological divide. I spoke with several of them about the same topic— whether their constituents are aware that the Republican Party is engineering a government shutdown. Judy Chu said something everyone I spoke with agreed with: aside from the activists, no one even knows that we’re a week from a government shutdown, let alone that the cause is entirely inside the GOP and has nothing whatsoever to do with the Democrats in Congress or in the White House.

Jimmy Gomez, who represents a chunk of L.A.’s east side was at the event last night and was out knocking on doors the next morning. I caught up with him when he was headed home from Washington Heights and Highland Park. He told me that the knowledge of the impending shutdown was pretty strong among the people he talked with. His office is working on getting the message out and he had just been on MSNBC talking about how the Republicans are using the sham Biden impeachment hearings to distract from the shut-down-the-government crusade members of the “Freedom” caucus are triggering.

Pittsburgh area Congressman Chris Deluzio was also there. “The contrast,” he told me “is astounding: when Democrats controlled both chambers of Congress and the White House, we passed policies to rebuild American infrastructure and manufacturing, to take action on gun violence, to honor our country’s bond with my fellow veterans, and so much more. Today, with just one chamber controlled by Republicans and extremists holding the Speaker hostage, it’s chaos. Republicans’ refusal to govern has us hurtling toward a dangerous shutdown that could leave people without paychecks and services they count on. It’s a disaster for the economy, and the American people ought to know.”

If you get some of your news from Politico you know… or if you listen to Thom Hartmann, Mehdi Hasan, Chris Hayes, Kyle Kulinski, Stephanie Miller, Nicole Sandler, David Pakman, Rachel Maddow, Ali Velshi, Randi Rhodes, Sam Seder, Brad Friedman… you know. But as Alan Graysona candidate for the Florida Senate seat held by Rick Scott— told me, he thinks the lack of general knowledge about the impending shutdown “is a good example of what Naomi Klein explained in The Shock Doctrine, i.e., that fascism operates by making the abhorrent seem normal. The first shutdown, in 1980 affected only one minor federal agency. The three Reagan shutdowns were all over within a day or less. Then the Bush shutdown lasted three days, the Gingrich shutdowns 5 and 21 days, and the Trump shutdowns 3 and 35 days. (In fact, Trump’s entire life is an experiment in desensitizing others to his psychopathology.) Essentially, the right wing has virtually complete control over political discourse, and if it’s not on Fox News or hate radio/podcasting or ‘the algorithm,’ then they would say that it’s not really happening. The blinders that lead us to ignore an impending government shutdown are the same blinders that lead us to ignore 110-degree heat in Phoenix every day for a month, and the same blinders that prevent discussion regarding why certain leaders did whatever they could to ensure that the spread of a fatal disease went unimpeded, while pushing snake oil as a remedy. Instead of talking about what is actually happening, we end up with the same polite chatter as the party-goers in Edgar Allen Poe’s Masque of Red Death, joyously celebrating the apocalypse.

Like Grayson, Pramila Jayapal wasn’t at that party Saturday but when I discussed the problem with her, she had a slightly different take than everyone else. She feels in her district— one of the most high-info districts in the country— people are aware of the impending shutdown and why we’re in this position. If you get her frequent e-mails, you know she’s been hammering on this for over a month. “But,” she said, “I find the mainstream media is a problem. They talk about the shutdown as if it is Congress’ problem, rather than Republicans who are causing it. Not sure what to do about that… These are things I just keep repeating over and over and over again— we really should never be calling it just a plain “government shutdown.”

  • Republican shutdown

  • Republicans can’t govern

  • McCarthy has handed the gavel over to MTG and the extremists in his party

  • McCarthy is a weak leader who can’t control his own party

  • Republicans have not even been able to pass 11 of 12 of their own spending bills and they are in the majority.

Jim Himes also represents a very high-info district in the southwest corner of Connecticut, most of Fairfield County, and one of America’s wealthiest districts. He said he thinks most of his constituents are aware of what’s coming, “but,” he said, “it’s still an abstraction to most. When pictures emerge of young Marines standing at foodbanks and people unable to sign up for Social Security it will no longer be abstract.”

Katie Porter, an Orange County congresswoman in a swing district, currently running for the open California Senate seat, and meeting and talking with voters more than most incumbents do. She told me that “People feel that Washington is broken all the time— the corporate special interests, the partisan hijinks, and the corrupt or opaque practices like members trading stocks. So, when a huge crisis emerges in governing, like the Republican wreckage with funding the government this month, the public often thinks it is more of the same.”

Mike Turner is a garden variety, corrupt, mainstream conservative Republican, serving, for a decade, as the congressman for Ohio’s 10th district an R+4 district that includes part of Clark County and all of Montgomery and Greene counties. In 2020, Trump did win there— but with just 50.9%. Turner, the former mayor of Dayton (defeated by Democrat Rhine McLin in 2001), is an ally of McCarthy’s… and is electorally vulnerable. Yesterday on This Week, he said McCarthy is “in a very difficult position because the holdouts keep saying to Kevin McCarthy, ‘don’t bring bipartisan bills to the floor. We don’t want you to use Democrat votes to try to avert a shutdown. But they’re using Democrat votes to try to cause the shutdown. And these individuals, these Republican holdouts are voting with Nancy Pelosi against Republican bills that have been brought to the floor, that will— could trigger a shutdown.”

The media is reporting that McCarthy is trying to save the day— from his own extremist members doing Trump’s bidding— again. CNN reported that McCarthy lieutenant Garret Graves, a conservative Louisiana congressman, is “fed up with [neo-fascist] critics dangling the threat of McCarthy’s ouster, saying that he’s prepared to put the debate to rest by forcing a vote on the threat. ‘I don’t think the speaker is even remotely concerned about some of the theatrics going on right now,’ Graves told CNN’s Manu Raju. ‘As a matter of fact… I drafted a motion to vacate for the speaker as well. I’ve got it sitting on my desk right now. And I said, Look, if you’re going to keep hanging this over (his) head and playing these games, let’s just do it now, let’s get it over with. Get your little games over with and then we’ll get back to the things that actually matter.’ When asked whether he would make such a move this week, Graves indicated it was possible: ‘Perhaps.’ The Louisiana Republican also came down on the right-wing hardliners who have tanked the GOP efforts to pass a stopgap funding bill to provide more time to finish the House’s appropriations bills for the next fiscal year… ‘They’ve sort of created this quandary that we’re in right now, and it’s something that we have been trying to avoid now for months.’”

OK, so why doesn’t the public see this the way Pramila Jayapal has explained it (above)? One of the problems we’ve been discussing at DWT forever is that reluctance of the mass media to call a spade a spade. Readers get confused with how to keep track of the players when this is entirely within the Republican conference and when both sides are conservatives or even when one side is absurdly referred to as “moderates” when they are hard core conservatives and the other side are never distinguished as what they are, ie, fascists or at least neo-fascists. Even MAGA-Republicans might help a little, although McCarthy and his team are MAGA-Republicans as well. The way the media should do it is to call the McCarthyites “conservatives” and the Gaetzians “fascists,” “neo-fascists,” “neo-Nazis,” “Nazis,” or if those are too incendiary for media sensibilities… how about “Trump asslickers?”

One of the Nazis, self-proclaimed government shutdown fanatic Tim Burchett of Tennessee said on CNN he’d move to oust McCarthy if he works with Democrats to keep the government open. Meanwhile his extremist brethren are putting crazy conditions into every attempt the leadership is making to pass any of the spending bills. Want to vote for the Republican agriculture bill? It has a clause that bans mifepristone (the abortion pill). TheDefense appropriations bill alone has 180 amendments that are approved for votes! Marjorie Traitor Greene won’t vote for anything that makes Putin sad. It is virtually impossible to keep the government open as of next week without a CR and Gaetz has organized a groups of Trumpists who have pledged to oppose a CR no matter what. This is what Trump wants— the chaos and dysfunction, on Biden’s watch, that will result in a government shutdown.

This morning, Louisville Congressman Morgan McGarvey told me that “We’re heading toward a catastrophic government shutdown because a handful of Republican Freedom Caucus members want play political games with Americans’ lives. It’s our job as legislators to pass a budget, and my Democratic colleagues and I are ready to vote on government funding legislation that’s free of extremist policies. A Marjorie Taylor Greene-led shutdown would impact many of my constituents who rely on government services. Last week, I hosted a telephone town hall where I spoke with several thousand constituents about this potential shutdown, and my office will continue communicating with Louisvillians to keep them informed.”

Pervez Agwan is a Bernie-grade progressive running for a House seat in the Houston area. “Republicans are threatening to shut the government down as a political stunt,” he told me. “They're holding the American people hostage at a time when we need level-headed governance. As someone running for Congress, I can't think of anything more selfish or irresponsible.” It's a very blue district and Agwan is running into voters who are aware of what's happening in Congress. "They know who to blame," he told me. "At the end of the day, stunts like this are going to hurt Republicans."

Maxine Waters, on TV yesterday, hit the messaging nail on the head: “The Republican Party is in complete disarray. It is chaotic. The speaker is on his knees begging, but he sold his soul when we had 15 roll calls that was taken in order for him to get to be speaker, and now he has no control. We’re headed for a shutdown.” I hope Hakeem Jeffries and his team are listening. Getting this message out is their first big challenge. So far I’m not thrilled with how they’re doing.

Nebraska Republican, prominent former state Senator John McCollister noted yesterday that “The ‘crazy’ wing of the GOP has accumulated so much power because the ‘responsible’ Republicans (often called ‘moderates’ even though they’re not) didn’t call out Trumpism when they should’ve (years ago). Now the cancer inside the GOP has metastasized. Blame the fake moderates.” And here are their marching orders from their Führer, clear as can be... "Whoever is president will be blamed." He admits why he wants a shutdown:

Doyle McManus is based in DC and writes for the L.A. Times. Yesterday he warned that Trump has an agenda if he’s elected to the presidency. It’s probably darker than you imagine. He noted that in speeches, interviews and campaign videos, Trump has mad some ugly promises:

  • Use the military to participate in the largest deportation of undocumented immigrants in American history;

  • Order the National Guard into cities with high crime rates, whether local officials want it or not;

  • Prosecute Californians who protect minors coming to the state for gender-affirming care;

  • Impose a 10% tariff on almost all foreign goods, increasing prices for consumers;

  • Appoint a special prosecutor to “go after” his political opponents, beginning with Biden;

  • Purge the federal civil service of anyone who questions his views.

“Some of those pledges may turn out to be illegal or impractical, but they’re more than bluster. Most of them reflect views Trump has held for decades; he’ll try to act on them even if laws and judges get in his way.”

And this time he and his crew know how to do it. Things will get a lot worse if he's elected. He posted this late yesterday afternoon:

1 Comment

Sep 25, 2023

Like I keep saying, your "intrepid" democraps refused to structurally fix this to PREVENT shutdowns but are more than eager to campaign against the nazis when they actually do it.

Will this strategy work this time? Well, if it does, look forward to more shutdowns every time your "intrepid" democraps think they need a little boost to fail to lose another election.

Your democraps won't fix anything... and the nazis just can't help themselves... and real pain will be inflicted until y'all wise the fuck up. But that won't happen... will it?

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