The spinmeisters are hard at work trying to create the illusion that it is everyone’s fault but Donald Trump’s that the government shutdown on Friday. As hard as they try, and the Trump surrogates believe, there is but one reality that is inescapable, it is Donald Trump’s fault that the U.S. military, federal workers and border agents aren’t getting paid. So, forget all the talking heads and the spin and focus on these undeniable truths.
First, both houses of Congress are controlled by the Republicans, the party that Donald Trump ran under. The Republicans hold 51 seats at the Senate. The Republicans hold 238 seats at the House, or 55.1%. In the Senate, 60 votes are required to adopt the budget, leaving the Republicans nine votes short of the votes necessary to pass the budget.
The spinmeisters want you to believe that nine Democrats are holding the government hostage. Nine Democrats is about 20% of the 47 Democrats. So, let’s work the math, to adopt a budget, the Senate needs to convince nine, or ten Democrats to vote along with the Republicans, or 20%. Depending on the budget negotiations, some Republicans might object and thus the vote count needed to pass the legislation fluctuates. This is where the Donald Trump lies comes into play.
Donald Trump ran on the platform of being an experienced businessman with superpower negotiating skills. Trump’s promise was that he was going to use his negotiating skills to get thing done. He offered his voters his “expertise.”
This gets us to the crux of the issue.
Donald Trump, as an expert negotiator, should be able to negotiate a plan that all Republicans should be able to buy into. At least 99% of the Republican’s, after all, it his party. Achieving that milestone would only leave the necessity to bring 20% of the Democrats on board. That’s about nine to 10 Democrats that are needed.
An “expert” negotiator should be able to achieve that.
Are we really to believe that the Democratic caucus has that much sway over its members that it can control 100% of them? Really?
The government has shutdown. That is the reality that no amount of spin can hide.
I am no expert negotiator, but this is what I would do to avert the shutdown. I’d pick some low-hanging Democrats and make a deal with them. Divide and conquer. Pick one or two Democrat Senators and find their single most important pet legislation that would make their constituents happy. Carve out that legislation for them in the budget and get their votes. If it happens to be a Democrat facing a midterm election, that much better. Go down the list until you get ten Democrats to join the Republicans.
But, but what about the House, the Senate cannot do it without the House and the House had already adopted a temporary budget. A negotiator doesn’t wait until the chaos to be reactive, an expert negotiator anticipates and plans ahead to fulfill their goal. But, what do I know, I’m not Donald Trump.
Donald Trump has failed the voters that voted for him.
The worst part is that Trump’s other great promise was border security. Guess what? The border agents are working for free today. How’s that for Making America Great Again?