Again, if "his best means" is a sword that will cut his hands off if he grips it too tightly, his choices in the matter are rather limited. Resisting hard enough to make it clear that he does not approve, then letting a bad thing happen and pointing out what utter shits the Republicans are being, may be a better strategy than committing seppuku in protest of something he can't actually stop.The Romulan Republic wrote: ↑2018-02-13 05:29pmSchumer isn't at fault for the Republicans breaking their word, but he arguably is at fault if he trades away his best means to counter them when they predictably do so, in exchange for small or non-existent gains.Simon_Jester wrote: ↑2018-02-13 03:47pmOkay but see, if you're going to say "the Republicans, not the Democrats, are responsible for a shutdown brought about by a Democratic filibuster, due to this filibuster being a reaction to Republicans not keeping their word," and then say "Schumer is to blame when the Republicans don't keep their word," it's an inconsistent standard.
The point is that if the Republicans simply continue being fuckwits, which is just as predictable if not more predictable than their habit of false dealings...I'm not sure that I follow.Either Democrats have agency and should be able to predict Republican intransingence, or they don't and shouldn't.
Democrats should expect Republicans to play false. Logically, then, we have two choices that follow from that:
1. Expect that we will get played and get little or nothing, and accept that.
2. Retain what leverage we can to use against the Republicans.
Yes, we know that using that leverage might lead to a shutdown, and all its negative consequences. However, it is also the Republicans' choice to let the government shut down rather than give us a fair deal. If we say "Deal with us fairly and honestly, or we wont' fund your government", and the Republicans choose a shut down over a fair compromise, I'm sure how that makes it the Democrats' fault.
A situation is reached where the sound of the Democrats scoring some kind of abstract moral win by insisting on fair deals is drowned out by the sound of the American people saying "Mom? Dad? Stop fighting." And the Republicans win anyway, probably in the form of red-state Democratic senators caving because they know damn well that their constituents are propagandized enough to vote them out of office over whatever cute nickname Fox News pins on the shutdown.
You use the phrase "retain what leverage we can." The thing you seem to be skipping over is that using every possible avenue of obstruction maximally is not necessarily the best way to retain leverage.
Again, the Republicans do in fact hold pretty much all the cards here, and are limited more by their own disorganization and fuckwittery than by lack of the power to accomplish what they want. If the majority of American voters have a problem with things like "cancelling the DREAM Act" and "tax cuts that benefit the rich forever and the poor for like three years before raising poor people's tax rates," then the majority of American voters can goddamn well stop voting for Republicans.
Until the time when "is the party of ethnic cleansing" becomes sufficient to actually keep a major party out of power, the Democrats have to balance their short-term and long-term strategy.
[Please do not give a cute reply about Hillary Clinton's popular vote majority, you know what I mean.]
So just accept that 800,000 innocent people, who are Americans in every sense but a legal technicality, are going to be deported for the sake of racism and xenophobia?The thing is, I don't think this was ever an issue the Republicans were going to fold on, especially not if they knew they could maneuver the Democrats into a position of having to look like the goons wrecking the government for a change. Donald Trump is a dickhead. Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan are assholes. They can keep being obstinate and pushing a frankly evil and horrible policy much, much longer than anyone else can keep up a good reputation while getting down into the mud with them.
Okay, can you psychologically comprehend the mindset:
"I know this is happening, I do not approve, I do not accept it, I know perfectly well that I cannot actually stop it, I might be able to significantly delay it if I roll the dice and take a high risk of self-destructing. If I self-destruct and fail to stop it, more and just as bad will continue happening for a long time to come, and the people who actually want this are far more likely to remain in power."
Do you understand this mindset, yes or no? Is it somehow alien to you to NOT gamble on self-destructing?
Because if so, you are probably not a good person to run large organizations, or comment on how large organizations should be run.
Since this is very literally a case of "damned if you do and damned if you don't" if BOTH mindless middle voters AND Democrat-hating lefties are too foolish to correctly attribute blame under the circumstances...Indeed.The thing is, when your head is in the mouth of a tiger, you cannot negotiate, but at the same time, ALL your strength must go into extricating yourself from its jaws. There is nothing left over for any lesser purpose. If all you have is a dinky, badly outgunned position, you pick your battles very carefully, or you lose that position and lose everything else along with it.
Extricating our heads, in this case, means winning in 2018 and 2020. So the question, if you want to leave principle aside and put it coldly in terms of short-term pragmatism, is:
Will being possibly perceived as responsible for a shutdown hurt us more with the electorate than having failed to protect the Dreamers? Keeping in mind that one of the most damaging narratives used against the Democrats (however unjustly) is that they are weak compromisers, or "No different than the Republicans."
I do not want to see depressed progressive and Latino turnout in November because the Democrats are seen as having caved on DACA.
Fuckit, I give up. I'm not going to try to decide one way or the other, and as a commonsense precaution I default to the strategy that preserves the institution so that another battle can be fought on another day. I consider the idea of threatening indefinite shutdowns as a way of ensuring ANYTHING to be a terrible strategy, so likely to backfire that it becomes a fool's errand to try. It is therefore not a thing to be pursued under any circumstance where there is a tomorrow, especially not if the alternative is something like "the Republicans speculatively might renege on a promise to hold a vote."
Not gonna lie, any left-leaning voter out there who is still stupid enough to believe Democrats are identical to Republicans because Democrats don't seppuku hard enough for them... I've written them off as irredeemable. Too stupid to be worth listening to in politics.Or it could be spun the other way, as the Democrats not really caring about minorities, being no different from Republicans, etc. There is a large and receptive market for that sort of narrative already.Or Schumer may have a different long range plan, or may have notions that he can make Mitch McConnell's failure to keep his word bite him in the butt in the long run. I can easily see that happening, for instance, if a number of Republican senators who are probably already tired of being treated like 'useful idiots' by McConnell get "I know rights" from the Democrats.