Because we live in the dumbest era in human history, simple tasks like keeping the government open have become incredibly difficult. Ted Cruz famously shut down the government under Obama because he thought it would help him in his campaign for president (SPOILER: it didn’t), and every time we run up against the deadline for funding the government, the Republican Party finds an excuse not to. Here’s what the current fight is centered around.
The President of the United States said he will shut down the government in order to force Democrats to fund a monument to racism on our southern border. Not only did he make this threat, but he owned it, destroying the talking points the Republican Party was going to make that this was a Democratic shutdown. Now, the Senate GOP is going to vote on a short-term measure. Per the Associated Press:
The Senate is preparing to vote Wednesday on a short-term measure to fund the government through Feb. 8, a move that eases the risk of a shutdown and comes only after President Donald Trump backed off his demand for border wall funds.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced the quick turn of events, saying it was a “simple” bill but will show that Republicans, who have majority control of Congress, will finish the year by governing rather that prolonging a potential crisis.
McConnell is still toeing the party line, asserting that the Democrats—who do not have the unilateral power to keep the government open—are refusing to bend to an unpopular policy, saying, “It seems like political spite for the president may be winning out over sensible policy.”
The reality of the situation is that Republicans are not unanimously lining up behind financing a border wall. Mitch McConnell is playing from the only playbook he has, and blaming the Democrats for not supporting a policy that Republicans are not united around. This is what happens when a party hitches themselves to both an unpopular president and unpopular policy. The only way to make themselves look like the adults in the room is to literally distort reality.
Jacob Weindling is a staff writer for Paste politics. Follow him on Twitter at @Jakeweindling.