The government officially shut down on Friday night. Not pretty. Since then, though, it’s been a heavily politicized blame game from both Democrats and Republicans, with #TrumpShutdown and #SchumerShutdown competing on Twitter. Last time I checked, #TrumpShutdown had a fairly massive lead of 2.6 million tweets vs. a little less than one million in support of #SchumerShutdown.
Yesterday, both parties engaged in a smear campaign toward the other party in the second day of the shutdown. Shortly before the government came to a partial halt, it seemed Trump was willing to compromise with Democratic senators over DACA, since he invited Senate Minority Leader Chuck “Chuckles” Schumer to the White House, but then it seemed that any possibility of a deal was sternly walked back by White House aides.
Who specifically to blame then? Stephen Miller is one of the architects of Trump’s hardline immigration stance, hardening the POTUS when a flicker of compromise appears on the horizon. Despite the efforts of Republican senator Lindsey Graham to support a more “mainstream” approach, along with various Democrats, Trump fell in line with Miller’s ideological standpoint.
A vote to re-open the government is being held at noon, but it’s far from certain whether or not there will be enough support in the Senate to pass a spending bill/immigration compromise.
Trump has long been pulled by various factions in the White House, and Stephen Miller’s influence goes back to the beginning of Trump’s presidency. He was one of the main forces that helped to persuade Trump to end DACA. Now, when it comes to a bipartisan agreement, Miller pushes for continuing the hardline solution. Looks like Miller has placed “Master of Political Chess” Mitch McConnell, the rest of the GOP, and Democrats into a deeply frustrating corner. Are they clever enough to find an exit from the political trap they’ve in part put themselves in?
Government shutdowns can be quickly forgotten, but if left unsolved for weeks or longer, they can be just another grudge that voters carry with them to the midterms.