In case you haven’t noticed, congressional Democrats are giddy about their 2018 prospects.
“History is on our side,” says House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. Her colleague, Rep. Ted Lieu, of California, predicts “a bigly blue wave” splashing in November.
Their optimism is not entirely unfounded. Historically, a newly elected president’s party has often lost midterm seats during his first term in office. In 2010, President Barack Obama’s Democratic Party lost more than 50 House seats as conservative candidates pounced on Obamacare and the scary reincarnation of Big Government liberalism.
Giddy Democrats also point to President Donald Trump’s approval ratings and generic ballot numbers as proof of the “anti-Trump wave” to come.
But if a Republican bloodbath is looming, as Democrats claim, then why push a politically risky shutdown of the government over illegal immigrants? Why risk such an unpopular political move?
Last Friday, House Republicans passed a short-term spending bill to avert a shutdown, not only funding the federal government for a month but also providing six years’ worth of funding to the Children’s Health Insurance Program that covers 9 million children across the country.
But the House bill died in the Senate within hours as Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-New York, and other Democrats did not cooperate. Why? Because the spending bill designed to keep the government open, fund the military and support impoverished children nationwide didn’t address the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. That’s right: Senate Democrats shut down the government to protect DACA recipients.
Although the shutdown has since ended, it won't be swept under the rug. The shutdown could have potentially left more than 2 million military service members unpaid, while sending 100,000 National Guardsmen home.
As you might imagine, the shutdown was anything but politically popular. According to a recent Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll, the overwhelming majority of Americans (58 percent) oppose a government shutdown caused by DACA.
It’s worth noting the poll was administered by former Clinton pollster Mark Penn, who asserts “a shutdown over DACA could well backfire as the public is hugely sympathetic to the ‘Dreamers’ but don’t think closing the government is the way to handle it.”
Even the media are blaming Democrats for putting pro-amnesty politics over country. A recent New York Times headline reads: “Democrats Seem Set to Block Bill to Keep Government Open.” Another Times story led with, “Senate Democrats, showing remarkable solidarity in the face of a clear political danger, blocked consideration of a stopgap spending measure to keep the government operating.”
“Clear political danger” is an understatement. As November nears, Democrats are left with several unanswered questions. Why even risk being blamed for a government shutdown if a blue wave is coming?
Whether they like it or not, all 2018 Democratic candidates will face the consequences of the shutdown that prioritized immigrants over American citizens.