(Dan here…..lifted from an e-mail via iphone and I am tossing it out to the fray)
by new deal democrat
A few thoughts, hopefully from 30,000 feet, about the shutdown:
1. It looks like Schumer is getting rolled again. The reason the Bush tax cuts became permanent, even when the Dems held almost all the cards at the end of 2012, is that Obama failed to take a vacation to Hawaii and come back January 2 to negotiate from the new, more favorable status quo, but even more importantly because Schumer offered McConnell a deal to extend the Bush tax cuts if the GOP would agree to sequestration, thinking McConnell would never take the deal. Since the GOP holds tax cuts for billionaires sacred, though, McConnell took the deal (realizing he could roll Dems on the Pentagon spending cuts later). That fact alone should have made Dems realize they didn’t want Schumer as their dealmaker.
2. Never show weakness to a dishonest negotiator. We all know Trump always welches on deals. This is now the third time he has done so with Dems on the issue of the Dreamers. Reagan’s negotiator, Jim Baker’s mantra was “nothing is decided until everything is decided.” Once Trump went back on his word the first time, it should have been made clear that all Dem concessions were off the table. Even if they decided to give Trump a second chance, once he welched on Durbin and Graham a week ago, Schumer should never have offered any further concessions. With a dishonest negotiator, that just leads to a dynamic of “Jump Higher! HIGHER!!!” as s/he coerces maximum capitulation. A dishonest negotiator must be told that they must come back to the bargaining table with a concession before talks can resume.
3. It turns out the GOP didn’t even have 50 votes of their own. Under those circumstances, I wonder if the Dems should have switched their votes to “ayes” on the cloture motion. Let the bill itself come to a vote and fail, based entirely on the GOP’s inability to get to 50. Then it’s clear that the blame rests with the GOP.
4. Both of the last two welches have been orchestrated, it appears, by General Kelly. Once the Dems leave the room, he gets the last word, and changes Trump’s mind. In this latest round, going back to the dishonest negotiator rubric, what happened is that Schumer capitulated on point A (funding for the wall), and now Trump and Kelly have moved backward, from Z to Z+ — a whole host of new conditions.
5. Use the President’s Room. How do you keep Trump at his word, and cut Kelly out of the loop? There is a little-known room in the Capital called “The President’s Room,” designed to be used by the Chief Executive when he is doing business with the Congress. Woodrow Wilson used it to great effect during his first term in order to get progressive economic legislation passed, meeting with legislators there almost weekly.
Not just the Dems, but even the GOP, should invite Trump to make use of the President’s Room, selling it to him with glitz and glamour and obsequious praise. Once Trump agrees to a deal, the measure can be voted on immediately in the same building while members who aren’t needed on the floor babysit Trump and prevent Kelly and others from reneging. He can even sign the passed bill right there on the spot.
6. If this impasse isn’t resolved quickly, I don’t think it is going to end well for Democrats. That’s because there are about 10 times the number of kids who are on CHIP vs. Dreamers. The worst that could happen to a Dreamer is, they get deported (and maybe can come back effective January 21, 2021), and enforcement doesn’t have to necessarily occur. But the kids on CHIP need medical care, and some of them need it *NOW* to avoid permanent injuries or even death, and the program is on the verge of running out of $$$. Having horror stories of CHIP kids going without care is going to crush the Dems. If we are heading that way, then Dems have no choice but to capitulate as cleanly as possible first.
Sent from my iPad