Sen. Amy Klobuchar was instrumental in brokering the deal to end the shutdown — and that may come back to haunt her

REUTERS/Leah Millis
Sen. Amy Klobuchar, right, played a central role in the so-called Common Sense Coalition that brokered a deal to end the government shutdown.

On Friday night, with the federal government on the brink of a shutdown, the floor of the U.S. Senate was a hive of activity: groups of Republican and Democratic senators huddled, talking and negotiating animatedly, with some shuttling back and forth between their party’s leaders in the hopes of securing an 11th hour deal.

In the middle of the floor’s biggest scrum, as the C-SPAN cameras rolled: Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who stood among a dozen senators as they spent the wee hours of Friday night on Congress’ center stage, negotiating to avoid a shutdown.

That scene was an sign of things to come for Klobuchar: when the Senate floor talks sputtered and the government shutdown took effect at 12:01 AM on Saturday, Minnesota’s senior senator emerged as a key player in negotiations to reopen the government.

At the onset of the crisis, it appeared as if there could be an extended stalemate in Washington: Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, backed by the vast majority of his caucus, made it clear Democrats would not accept any legislation to fund the government that did not address the status of 800,000 undocumented youth, known as the Dreamers, whose lives hung in the balance after President Donald Trump terminated the program that permitted them to remain in the country.

Over the next 60 hours, Klobuchar and 20-some Republican and Democratic senators calling themselves the Common Sense Coalition convened in cramped Capitol offices to develop a framework for ending the shutdown, and ultimately, they pushed a bill to fund the government through February 8, accompanied by assurances from GOP leadership that they would put a bill on the floor to address the Dreamers.

On Monday afternoon, the Senate overwhelmingly approved that plan. Klobuchar, who often sings the virtues of bipartisanship and common ground, was touting the central role of this Common Sense Coalition in bridging the divide in the Senate.

The end of the shutdown appeared to be a vindication of Klobuchar’s carefully crafted brand of politics. In the vote’s aftermath, though, many progressives howled at what they saw as an epic collapse of political will by Senate Democrats, and castigated congressional supporters of a deal that they believe entrusts the fate of 800,000 young people with Mitch McConnell — and liquidates any leverage the Democratic minority had.

Though a crisis has been averted for now, another one looms just two weeks away — and how it unfolds could have significant consequences for Klobuchar, whose fortunes may now be linked to the deal she helped to broker.

Seeking a path forward

On Friday, progressives and immigrant advocates lauded Democrats for holding the line for the Dreamers: 44 of them voted against advancing the continuing resolution that Republicans put on the floor on Friday night. That measure would have appropriated money for the federal government through February 16, and extended funding for the federal Children’s Health Insurance Program, which helps nine million U.S. children access health insurance, for six years.

Though Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, the program Trump terminated, is not slated to expire until March, Democrats pushed hard to include a legislative solution for the Dreamers as part of any spending deal. But an immigration bargain collapsed with just days to go before government funding ran out, and Democrats largely did not trust GOP promises that DACA would be dealt with later on.

Shortly after the last-minute continuing resolution failed to reach the 60-vote threshold to advance, the shutdown took effect, and both sides plunged into finger-pointing to assign blame for the crisis. In an interview with MinnPost on Monday, Klobuchar says that the basis for a bipartisan working group to end the shutdown formed quickly, as ten members of the group were veterans of the 2013 government shutdown.

As both parties tried to win the war of public opinion over the weekend, Klobuchar says that the group — sometimes 15 senators, sometimes more than 20 — quietly met around the Capitol for several hours at a time on Saturday and Sunday. On Sunday, a group met for a few hours in Klobuchar’s smaller annex in the Capitol building to continue working out a way forward.

The New York Times, which reported on the group’s makeup, found that the Democratic contingent was largely made up of centrist members and those up for re-election this fall in states won by Trump. The Republican contingent included the GOP’s most dovish voices on immigration, like Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, and the party’s most liberal senator, Maine Sen. Susan Collins.

Klobuchar said the meetings were marked by cordiality and camaraderie. (CNN reported that Collins employed a “talking stick” strategy to moderate the group’s discussions.) “We went back and forth and back and forth to other members of the caucus and to leadership with ideas,” Klobuchar says. “The idea was to set up a process whereby we’d get a regular vote on a bill.”

Ultimately, Klobuchar, grinning alongside senators like Collins, took a victory lap on Monday, claiming that the group played a central role in moving the Senate toward a package to fund the government in the short term, while laying the groundwork for the GOP to hold a vote on DACA before the program expires — the key concern for Democrats. On Monday afternoon, the Senate voted overwhelmingly to approve those terms, by a margin of 81 to 18. (Klobuchar and Sen. Tina Smith were among 33 Democrats to vote yes.)

“This is the way forward,” Klobuchar said. “We had not had that commitment before firmly to move forward on DACA. The add-in here is that we, because of this group, have much more Republican interest than we had before, that they can see the light as well.”

Criticism incoming from the left

To many in the left wing of the Democratic Party, however, their senators’ willingness to accept this deal and put an end to the shutdown constituted a total betrayal of the Dreamers and of Democratic Party values — and underscored what they believe is the spinelessness of Washington Democrats.

Progressive activist groups, and progressive senators, spent Monday relentlessly criticizing Senate Democrats, particularly Schumer, for reopening the government in exchange for murky promises on DACA from Republicans. They envision a number of ways that a solution for the Dreamers could fall apart — from the House refusing to take up a compromise to Trump opposing it — and argued Democrats were naive in taking the deal, or were just desperate to get out of the shutdown bind.

To congressional aides and activists working the issue on Capitol Hill, Klobuchar was one of the key figures pushing Democrats on the framework the Senate approved on — if not the key figure.

According to Murshed Zaheed, political director of progressive organizing unit CREDO, Klobuchar showed a “shameful” lack of backbone in her role in the shutdown talks. “I can’t imagine the progressive heart of Minnesota, the state of Paul Wellstone, is going to be happy about it,” he said.

Klobuchar is often mentioned as a possible candidate to seek the Democratic nomination for the presidency in 2020, and Zaheed noted that the other likely candidates currently serving in the Senate — Sens. Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders — all voted against reopening the government on Monday.

In a statement after the vote, Harris — a freshman from California — summed up the position. “I refuse to put the lives of nearly 700,000 young people in the hands of someone who has repeatedly gone back on his word,” she said. “I don’t believe [McConnell] made any commitment whatsoever. And I think it would be fool-hearted to believe that he made a commitment.”

Echoing that point, Javier Morillo, president of the Twin Cities’ Service Employees International Union and a prominent local voice on immigration issues, criticized Klobuchar for her role in the shutdown talks and entrusting the Dreamers’ fate with McConnell.

“I would like nothing more than to have to apologize to Sen. Klobuchar in a few weeks and admit that her strategy to take Mitch McConnell at his word worked,” Morillo told MinnPost. “Right now, it is hard to be hopeful when we are asking Dreamers to believe someone who made the exact same promise in December.”

“I can’t imagine why Democrats want to own this,” he said. “If Republicans are intent on deporting Dreamers, stop giving them cover.”

Democrats’ ‘best bet’

After the House of Representatives voted later on Monday to approve the Senate plan, President Trump signed the spending bills into law, ending the shutdown and its attendant drama — for now. Funding for the government is scheduled to run out on February 8, giving Congress roughly a dozen days to move on immigration, not to mention an agreement to appropriate funds through the new fiscal year, something it has punted on multiple times since last fall.

Klobuchar was confident that Monday’s vote was the first step in ensuring these items, from DACA to appropriating funds for the military and federal programs, can move forward. Just minutes after the Senate voted on the CR, she acknowledged the emerging criticism from her left, but maintained that she took the path forward that put Democrats in the best position to negotiate on these issues.

“The best bet is to get a strong vote in the Senate on Dreamers, and that puts pressure on the House,” Klobuchar said, arguing that Democrats did not give up any leverage by putting the shutdown to an end without any immediate resolution for Dreamers.

“We obviously have issues to deal with, including the long-term budget, and we felt it was the best way there. There was literally no momentum to get a Dreamers bill until this weekend. Now, there is momentum in the Senate.”

But immigration advocates and progressives believe Klobuchar has gambled here: if this deal does not lead to the passage of legislation to grant some kind of legal status to undocumented youth, there will be a lot of anger and frustration toward the members of the Common Sense Coalition.

Activists will remember that, CREDO’s Zaheed said, if Klobuchar moves forward with a 2020 presidential run. “For anyone with viable aspirations for 2020, this discussion is going to come up,” he said. “Were you there for us when it mattered? Not only was Klobuchar not there, she actively undermined the movement.”

“I think this is essentially akin to Hillary Clinton’s Iraq war vote in 2002,” he continued. “A total and complete betrayal of the Democratic base and the core convictions of the party.”

Steven Schier, professor of politics at Carleton College, said Klobuchar did not endear herself to the progressive base with her shutdown negotiating, but suggested she may have burnished her reputation as a dealmaker who looks for common ground with Republicans.

“She understands that there’s a lot of problems with the shutdown strategy if you’re a Democrat,” he said. “You shut down the government when you have a realistic chance of an important accomplishment. That has to be a part of her thinking.”

“Her style is not personally polarizing. She’s looking for ways forward,” Schier continued. “But all the problems that led to these differences are going to be back. The question is, what else can she do to move forward in such a challenging environment?”

Comments (97)

  1. Submitted by Frank Phelan on 01/23/2018 - 10:50 am.

    Klob’s House of Waffles

    Sen. Kobuchar seeks common ground with a party that does not want to compromise. Great strategy. This will give voters a clear choice between a party that want to deport Dreamers and a party that wants to keep Dreamers here, but not enough to actually do anything about it.

    When voters see how the Senate Dems took a bold, principled stand, and then caved after all of 3 days, that will inspire a blue wave this fall. This isn’t even a craven poll-driven decision, as the polls blamed Don Trump and the GOP more than Schumer’s gang.

    You could call it the Wet Tortilla Caucus, but that would rub salt in the wounds of some of the Dreamers. Maybe Wet Noodle Caucus?

    • Submitted by Ilya Gutman on 01/23/2018 - 11:00 pm.

      “Sen. Kobuchar seeks common ground with a party that does not want to compromise.” OK, let’s see how Democrats will compromise on the immigration issue…

      • Submitted by Frank Phelan on 01/24/2018 - 09:52 am.

        OK, Let’s Look

        The Durbin/Graham plan specifically prohibited the parents of Dreamers from becoming citizens, ended to lottery part of the visa program, and ended family (derisively referred to as “chain”) migration.

  2. Submitted by jim hughes on 01/23/2018 - 11:33 am.

    I’m a Democrat

    And I want to see a functioning government first of all. After that we can go back to endlessly hammering on all those “progressive” issues that are causing Democrats to lose elections.

    • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 01/23/2018 - 12:02 pm.

      Huh?

      You really think you just got a “functioning” government? It was the suppression of progressive issues and the dearth of liberalism among Democrats that cost them elections, and it will continue to do so.

      • Submitted by jim hughes on 01/23/2018 - 01:28 pm.

        onward!

        Yes! We march on to victory as the party of transgender bathrooms, #MeToo, and college for children of illegal immigrants. All are worthwhile issues, which generate low turnout for Democrats, but bring angry right-wing voters out of the woodwork in droves. Meanwhile, global temperatures continue to rise and a mass extinction is underway. But those things will have to wait – hey, let’s demand that Lake Superior be renamed Gitchi-Gami.

  3. Submitted by Ron Gotzman on 01/23/2018 - 11:19 am.

    the Dem split will be enhanced…

    The Dems are split between the “shut down, resist” activist and the slightly more responsible, realist democrats.

    The “unbiased news media” has chosen the “shut down” activist to run the democratic party.

    It was entertaining to see Tina Smith – the protégé of the ultimate shut down activist Mark Dayton waffle between her “shut down” roots and realism.

    Common sense finally carried the day and may have saved the dems from total irrelevance.

  4. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 01/23/2018 - 11:34 am.

    The deal

    …strikes me as a truce. No more, but no less.

    The DACA issue remains, and while I understand why Klobuchar critics on the left will castigate her for her role in this very temporary solution, I confess I just don’t see it that way. Dreamers are still an issue that hasn’t gone away, and temporarily funding the government to avoid a shutdown is not what I’d call a bad thing if you’ve given virtually nothing away to do so, and that’s the way I see it — Democrats have given little or nothing away.

    Yes, I trust Mitch McConnell as much as I trust Donald Trump, which is to say, not at all, but if the deal at hand was based on a McConnell promise, and he breaks that promise, Dreamers are **not** worse off than they were before. They’re simply stuck in the same limbo, or being threatened with an unconscionable deportation that was hanging over them before the deal was made.

    All that’s happened is that, on McConnell’s promise (he knows Republicans would – justifiably – get the blame for an extended shutdown), the DACA problem has been postponed for a couple weeks. Congress will still have to deal with it, and Republicans can still be flogged, justifiably, should either McConnell renege on his promise, or the GOP adopt what I view as a suicidal stance than every Dreamer must be deported to their parents’ country of origin. I know the GOP is currently being run by ideologues, but the death of the Republican Party hardly seems like a minor consequence of seeing that ideology put into practice.

    Trump’s idea of immigration policy, as expressed so far, is simply an exercise in bigotry, but I’m not opposed to revised immigration standards. Every country needs to be able to control its own borders, and Obama was doing a fair job of that by the time he left office. Punishing children (many now adults) for the sins of their parents, however, simply has no basis in law or ethics, and is indefensible except as an exercise in prejudice. Failure to find a solution that doesn’t punish immigrant children will be on Republican backs, since they control the entire government, and if Democrats have any political will at all, they’ll do everything they can to crucify the Party of Bigotry in the run-up to the fall election. Should that situation come to pass, I wish the Democrats every success.

    • Submitted by Bob Petersen on 01/23/2018 - 04:17 pm.

      Obama was doing a fair job?

      All of this is a result of the mess he led with. DACA was done by executive order, which is still being considered in the courts because the president cannot unilaterally make law. After all, it is titled Deferred Action and expired so conveniently after he left office.
      Don’t forget his instruction to many to NOT follow the law of the lands to where record number of illegals entered our country. All the while thumbing his nose at those coming to our country legally plus adding who knows how many people that commit awful crimes, Kate Steinle murder just to start by someone who was in a ‘sanctuary city.’
      Then Obama never signed any of the scores of budget bills the Republicans in Congress passed. All he wanted was these ‘clean’ continuing resolutions with nothing added because he knew that actual budgets mean the government needs to spend within it’s means instead of adding over $10 Trillion in debt our kids have to pay for.
      We could go on and on and on about Obama’s ‘fair’ job in office.

      • Submitted by Frank Phelan on 01/23/2018 - 08:23 pm.

        Then I Take It

        You were opposed to Bush (and Obama) fighting two off-budget wars.

      • Submitted by Dan Landherr on 01/24/2018 - 04:26 pm.

        We do not have record numbers of new illegal immigrants

        Check the Pew Research chart. The number of illegal immigrants reached it’s peak during George W Bush in 2007 and has been flatlined to declining ever since. The percentage of illegal immigrants in the country 5 years or less has been plummeting. All the data suggests the Obama administration was one of the most effective ever in addressing new illegal immigration.

        http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/04/27/5-facts-about-illegal-immigration-in-the-u-s/

        “In the 105 years between 1892 and 1997, the U.S. deported 2.1 million people — meaning that under presidents Bush and Obama, the number of people deported by the U.S. in the course of a century was more than doubled in just 16 years of consecutive presidencies.”

        https://www.snopes.com/obama-deported-more-people/

        Trump has made immigration his top issue but the status quo was the best it has ever been. I’m not sure why the Democrats are fixated on Trump’s issue when they could be addressing their own issues with the shutdown leverage.

        • Submitted by chuck holtman on 01/24/2018 - 05:21 pm.

          Well, indeed. Obama did some record deporting.

          The basic proposition used by Mr. Trump and his colleagues to manipulate the Republican base on its core issue is demonstrably false (how many times have we read comments here that the left favors “open borders”?). But when your base just wants a story it can use to hate those more shaded, it works just fine.

          And of course in 2013 Boehner employed the “Hastert rule” to deny a vote on a comprehensive immigration reform bill that would have passed both houses comfortably, because of pressure from his nativist contingent.

        • Submitted by Mark Kulda on 01/26/2018 - 12:36 pm.

          How do we know exactly?

          How do we know exactly how many illegal immigrants we have in this country and what the trend is? Do they like register or something?

  5. Submitted by Gene Nelson on 01/23/2018 - 11:53 am.

    Why so upset?

    I don’t get why some are upset. We got CHIP approved…the govt is running…for only 3 weeks. The repubs can no longer demand we choose between CHIP and DACA…now it’s just DACA, something the majority of the people and repubs support.
    If McConnell doesn’t keep his promise, which is entirely possible, approving DACA can be the price of not shutting down the govt again. To me…it’s a win for the Dems.

    • Submitted by Amy Wilde on 01/23/2018 - 04:47 pm.

      CHIP

      I agree. We got six more years of CHIP. Dems have been working on this and now it’s done, despite Republican control of Congress and the White House.
      Now let’s focus on DACA for the next two weeks. If Mitch McConnel breaks his promise, that’s more talking points for Progressives.
      The only solution to ending Trump measures and right-wing stupidity is to elect more Democrats to Congress. In the meantime, Dems like Klobuchar need to negotiate with the sensible Republicans who are left and broker compromises, one step at a time.
      We got CHIP. And that will help considerably with Minnesota’s deficit as we’ve been backfilling the CHIP cuts for months.
      As much as I want DACA and immigration resolved now, Dems need surgical strategy, not grandstanding at this time.

  6. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 01/23/2018 - 11:58 am.

    They have no deal. They just caved.

    There’s no “deal” here, McConnell won’t follow through and we’ll be right back here on Feb. 8.

    Frankly, this kind of “dealing” is one reason I have limited trust for Klobuchar, and would not want to see her on a presidential ballot. If electing Democrats means getting Republican policies what’s the point?

    We have a perfectly predictable scenario in front of us and I just hope it’s part of the Democratic strategy. Come Feb. 8 nothing will be done on immigration, and we’ll be facing yet another CR. I hope Democrats are planning for another shutdown because the only way to avoid it will be a complete betrayal at that point.

    I’m already living with Trump as a president. If the Democrats don’t fight for liberal values I will not vote for a Democrat in the midterms. If this is the kind of leadership they intend to provide, we need to create new leaders. So I hope they have a game plan here that will redeem them come Feb. 8 because simply keeping the government “open” for two weeks doesn’t actually meet minimal requirements.

  7. Submitted by Howard Miller on 01/23/2018 - 12:00 pm.

    DACA protections are big for Democrats and independents

    More than 70 percent of Americans support protecting DACA participants. Even among Republicans.

    If Democrats won’t hold strong for things that matter to the party …. and just about every one else in America, they won’t gain control of anything. Why should they? The Republicans have not been shy about insisting on getting their way during the Obama presidency. If Democrats can not match the Republican will to govern, watch Minnesota flip red in Fall 2018, with both Senate seats flipping to Republicans.

    Hold firm on getting DACA protection. Keep the CHIP protection just won. No money for a literal wall re Mexico. Reject the Republican assault on public health insurance, the social safety net. Give us a reason to turn out, support Democrats up and down the ticket. Caving in without getting what you want is not the path to that success. Just noting, Senator Klobuchar.

  8. Submitted by Stephen Dent on 01/23/2018 - 12:20 pm.

    Disappointed

    All I can say is that I am extremely disappointed in Senator Klobuchar for caving in to the Republicans. Call her a centralist all you want, these are not the times to be a centralist when we have the foxes (and fascist) at the doorstep.

    While, ultimately, I may have no other choice but to vote for her, reluctantly, as I have in the past, I sure wish Al Franken was still in office.

    • Submitted by Tom Anderson on 01/23/2018 - 09:31 pm.

      And therein lies the truth

      Senator Klobuchar will never lose any Democrat votes but can gain Independent votes with safe moves like these. While I think that only Minnesota pundits view the Senator as a Presidential contender, she is making sure that she stays in the ring. If by being one of 21 “instrumental” Senators creates positive press, all the better.

      • Submitted by Frank Phelan on 01/24/2018 - 09:54 am.

        Right

        And MN will always vote for the Democrat for President, right? Yup, it’s in the bag, and always will be. Ignore those 2016 results.

        • Submitted by Tom Anderson on 01/24/2018 - 06:26 pm.

          I’m confused again

          I thought that the Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton won all of the electoral votes from Minnesota. Please correct me if I’m wrong. I eagerly await the reply!

          • Submitted by Mike martin on 01/26/2018 - 04:02 pm.

            Trump won the popular vote in 90 per-cent of Minnesota counties

            Trump won the popular vote in 90 per-cent of the Minnesota counties and he won the popular vote in six of the eight Minnesota congressional districts. If Minnesota apportioned its electoral votes like Maine and Nebraska, Trump wins the electoral votes 6 to 4.

            Groupthink dominates Minneapolis and st. Paul Democrats. They are the only talk to other Democrats and they refuse to talk to anybody that disagrees with them. Dems claim anybody that disagrees with them as an idiot. Most Dems never actually leave the Twin Cities and talk to people in rural / Greater Minnesota long enough to find out what GM thinks, what they believe and what their concerns are.

            • Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 01/27/2018 - 11:57 am.

              You know

              We went through this in a different article: California has 2 senators for ~ 38 Mil people, Wyoming has 2 Senators for ~ 500K people, your argument suggests that if trees could vote! Sorry the constitution doesn’t work that way, Hennepin county population ~ 1.223 Mil, Ramsey county population 508,640, Anoka 344,151, so feel free to start adding in all those county populations. St. Luis Cty, ~ 200,431 (which by the way contains another Liberal bastion Duluth 86.3K and the Duluth Metro 279.7K , Becker ~ 33,386, Roseau 15,000 etc. etc. What we agree on is, yes the cities have a certain level of “group think”! Many of us metro folks have a long time ago learned to live with one another regardless of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, or for that matter legal immigration status!

            • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 01/28/2018 - 04:43 pm.

              Thank Heaven We Don’t Average our Electoral Votes!

              Geographic regions do not cast votes. Individual voters do. As much as you may despise big-city liberals, they are still individuals who have as much right to vote and have their voices heard as anyone else.

              Here’s a simple word-substitution on your second paragraph. What do you think?

              “Groupthink dominates outstate Republicans. They only talk to other Republicans and they refuse to talk to anybody that disagrees with them. Reps claim anybody that disagrees with them is a traitor, or has been brainwashed by the liberal media. Most Reps come only reluctantly and on rare occasions to the Twin Cities and talk to people in urban Minnesota long enough to find out what they think, what they believe and what their concerns are.”

              Divisive? Feeding off of liberal stereotypes? Fake news? You tell me why that paragraph is any less valid than the one you wrote.

    • Submitted by Keith Webster on 01/25/2018 - 08:45 am.

      Franken

      Yes, Franken’s presence is already missed. It’s too bad the Dems were buffaloed into meekly turning on him. We can only hope that Klobuchar and Smith learn and grow from these mistakes. Will Smith follow in Klobuchar’s centrist footsteps, or will she actually say something? Time will say, but we need to hear from her soon.

  9. Submitted by steve carlson on 01/23/2018 - 12:24 pm.

    Results, Not Grandstanding

    We Minnesotans are practical people. While we may enjoy drama occasionally, we mostly
    prefer results.
    Senators Klobuchar and Smith are in the minority in the Senate, and there are limits to what the minority can accomplish.
    I want to thank them for keeping their eyes on the ball and moving the progressive agenda forward against a nasty President and Senate majority leader.
    I am hopeful that by February 8 they will have proved that their no-drama tactics can yield real success for the Dreamers without excessive concessions.
    It may even be that Senators Collins, Flake, Graham and others on the Republican side will now start to vote against the President, rather than just talking an occasional good game. That may be an illusion, but who would have thought they would have come as far as they have by now.
    Let’s keep pushing!

  10. Submitted by Matt Haas on 01/23/2018 - 12:33 pm.

    While I get the objections

    What exactly is it that folks were looking for here? Dems have literally zero power in any of this but that granted them by Senate Republicans. Should McConnell wish it, the filibuster could be gone in 5 minutes, and all of this is moot. That CHIP funding was secured, and an opening to shut it down again for the Dreamers preserved, can be seen as nothing less than a win. We can rail, on and on, about backbones and conviction, and what have you, but ultimately the Republican position, that both medical aid for poor kids be eliminated and Dreamers be deported forthwith has been at the very least delayed. Given the utter lack of any REAL power by Democrats in Congress, that’s an outcome I think we should at the very least, live with.

    • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 01/23/2018 - 01:40 pm.

      Flawed logic

      You can’t claim that Democrats have no power while taking credit for concessions they’ve secured. If they had enough power to secure those concessions then they obviously are not completely powerless. Just because you have a weak hand, doesn’t mean you have no hand at all. And being in the minority doesn’t mean you have to vote with the majority. Democrats have their votes and votes are power even if you’re in the minority.

      The issue here is simply trust. When Democrats betray their constituents they promote distrust. Democrats seem to think they can betray their constituents and coming back for more votes, this is how Trump got into the White House. Here we have a situation where Democrats voted en mass to open a government that’s damaging the nation. Now they say have a promise to have a vote by Feb. 8. But if that doesn’t materialize liberals and progressive will hold the Democrats responsible and consider this “deal” to have been a act of colossal stupidity and betrayal. No doubt there will be those who will make excuses but we are here now telling you this is predictable and it’s being predicted so there will be no credible excuses.

  11. Submitted by Connie Sullivan on 01/23/2018 - 12:45 pm.

    I’m afraid the Dreamers are toast.

    Trump only wants a win, on anything. He doesn’t have a policy idea in his head and is not committed to any position vital to our country. He wants what will enable him to say how great he is.

    McConnell only said he’d let the DACA-saving bill actually be presented on the Senate floor for a vote. He won’t work for it, and the GOP will make sure it dies in the Senate. The House Republicans will never vote in favor of permitting the Dreamers to stay here, no matter what the public might poll as believing.

    When the Dreamers are no longer protected by law (which is what Trump removed from them last fall and Congress will agree to) they will not be deported en masse or in any way that makes a negative PR splash: they will be arrested and deported individually and in dribs and drabs so the public doesn’t notice.

    The extraordinary cruelty of the Republican party’s ideology and implementing policies extends from a will to destroy health care for the poor and near-poor to removal of the Social Security safety net and that includes “eliminating” as many Hispanics as possible from our population. Scorched earth is their way.

    What Amy Klobuchar is doing is consistent with her political positioning since she was elected Senator and it’s why she got elected and re-elected and has hopes of another re-election. There is nothing new in her strategy of bi-partisanship. It won’t help the Dreamers, of course.

    • Submitted by Ilya Gutman on 01/23/2018 - 11:02 pm.

      “Trump only wants a win, on anything. He doesn’t have a policy idea in his head and is not committed to any position vital to our country” His immigration position is very sound – you just don’t like it.

      • Submitted by Frank Phelan on 01/24/2018 - 09:55 am.

        Sound! Ha!

        He had a televised meeting on immigration where he took the opposite side of his own party, and he had to be corrected.

        That was before he said “I’ll sign whatever bill you send me.”

      • Submitted by Max Millon on 01/24/2018 - 10:56 am.

        DACA

        Do you really believe it is ethically or politically sound to hold millions of DACA recipients hostage for a border wall that is functionally unnecessary and prohibitively expensive?

        The wall could cost up to $40 billion (a middle-ground estimate by MIT, other estimates are substantially more) and would provide little additive benefit to current border protections. Yet for this we are holding hostage millions of people who were raised in the American school system, work for American employers, and pay American taxes are are functionally American citizens in every possible way imaginable except for the fact that the came here as children, at no fault of their own? How is that even remotely ethically or politically sound? It’s madness. The vast majority of Americans recognize this, even among conservatives the support for DACA is dramatically higher than support for the wall. How are we even discussing this as a serious political trade-off?

        • Submitted by Ilya Gutman on 01/24/2018 - 12:27 pm.

          “Do you really believe it is ethically or politically sound to hold millions of DACA recipients hostage for a border wall that is functionally unnecessary and prohibitively expensive?” the wall is just a part of other things that should be done.. and I hope not the main one. If I were him, I would give it up after a while if everything else is done.

  12. Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 01/23/2018 - 12:49 pm.

    Perfect Example

    Of the far lefties saying we want it all or noting and willing to lose everything instead of gaining something. They wanted 100% Bernie and were not willing to settle for a 80% Bernie with a Clinton, and now have a 100% “T” which is a -100% Bernie. Appears they haven’t learned a thing from their 2016 blunder! There is always another day and always another war. Drucker 101: Continuous improvement.

    • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 01/23/2018 - 03:05 pm.

      The 2016 blunder…

      The blunder of 2016 was centrism. Clinton was not a progressive or leftist candidate, we all voted for her anyways, she lost. There’s a difference between being “flexible”, and betraying your constituents.

      • Submitted by Bob Petersen on 01/23/2018 - 04:22 pm.

        The blunder…

        was not centrism. It was the Democrats put out…or should I say rigged out…a candidate that was much more unlikable and dishonest than the Republicans did.

        • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 01/24/2018 - 08:02 am.

          Clinton was the centrist candidate

          Hillary Clinton WAS the centrist candidate. Her entire political career and campaign was calculated to capture the middle ground… that’s why she lost.

      • Submitted by Pat Terry on 01/23/2018 - 06:46 pm.

        Nope

        People really need to stop with the fantasy that this country is secretly progressive. Clinton was a crummy candidate, yet the answer is an even worse candidate in Sanders who lost her by millions of votes even after benefitting from voter-supressing caucuses? Um, no.

        Martin O’Malley probably would have won. Too bad he wasn’t the alternative to Clinton.

        • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 01/24/2018 - 08:01 am.

          It’s no secret

          If you drill into any given issue from abortion to health care you will find that the American people are more progressive than the Democratic party. Centrists are a minority.

  13. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 01/23/2018 - 01:21 pm.

    Betrayal and mediocrity are not “results”

    This is the ultimate celebration of mediocrity, it’s not leadership, and it doesn’t really qualify as results.

    Our government is supposed to be “open” 24/7 365. A two week “deal” is no excuse for celebration and no occasion to claim “results”… dropping the bar and floor and stepping over isn’t an accomplishment of any note.

    I think it’s obvious that you cannot claim to have a deal with people who lie, and have lied in the past. Two Senators who thought they had deal for their Tax vote are still waiting for McConnell to follow through. If you parse out McConnell’s “promise” it’s got more holes than a chunk of Swiss cheese. Does Klobuchar really think that her idea of a level playing field is the same as McConnell’s? McConnell and his colleagues have no shame or integrity and Democrats think they just made a deal? And can McConnell deliver the House votes? Whatever.

    I hope I’m wrong but I predict we will arrive at Feb. 8. with no follow through by McConnell. At that point Klobuchar et al will either shut the government down again or we will know that they betrayed their constituents and governed stupidly. You can call that “results” if you want, but it’s not a liberal result, it’s a democratic result, and it’s not a good result for the nation. We may as well admit we have nothing but Republicans in congress and move on to create a third party of some kind.

  14. Submitted by Henk Tobias on 01/23/2018 - 01:30 pm.

    2018 is shaping up to be a big year

    For Dems. The left is energized as seen by the massive Demonstrations this weekend. This action by Amy her Democratic and Republican pals is just the first in a long line of things that Democrats will do to screw it up. They need to understand that there is a wave building, if they can”t get on board then need to get out of the way.

  15. Submitted by Joel Stegner on 01/23/2018 - 02:27 pm.

    Grow up people

    If you believe in bipartisan politics, which Klobuchar does, you seek a way to get around the reality that the Republicans control the fate of the dreamers. Most Americans want dreamers to stay and so does every Democratic politician I know.. They just vary on what tactics have the best chance of success.

    All 800,000 will not be deported Day I. The public will be horrified when it starts to happen and Drmicrats must idnsurd tvat the Trump gang gets all the blame, so the awful process stops before much happens. And please remember – only Republican members of Congress cannot make this not happen.

    This is not about litmus tests of debating points, and fighting between Democrats just shifts public sentiment against us. Let Republicans be the party of group think. Make this a situation where they get the blame for holding children hostage to satisfy Thr racists in their base.

    • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 01/23/2018 - 03:33 pm.

      What I believe in…

      I believe in economic, gender, social, legal, and economic justice and equality. I believe in fighting for these things (non-violently) whether such battle can be won on a bipartisan basis or not. I don’t believe in throwing human beings under the bus for the sake of bipartisan illusions that move the nation towards inequality and injustice. So you throw Dreamers or anyone else under the bus at the altar of “bipartisanship” you will find me on the other side of the barricade and you will not get my vote.

      If McConnell doesn’t through for Klobuchar she (and her fellow Democrats) will have demonstrated stupid and untrustworthy leadership.

      • Submitted by Matt Haas on 01/23/2018 - 06:52 pm.

        But sick kids?

        Don’t qualify? Look I get it, I want to help the Dreamers too. Help me understand why that should be my only focus.

        • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 01/24/2018 - 08:46 am.

          Sick kids?

          Dude, the CHIP amendment was a Republican amendment that was already in the bill, not a Democratic victory wrung out of reluctant Republican hands by determined centrists. That CHIP amendment was in the last CR so there’s no question that it was already in place regardless. Klobuchar doesn’t get credit for CHIP.

          Obviously Dreamers aren’t the only focus, if you think Dreamers are the ONLY problem with Republican budgets and priorities I’m afraid I can’t help you. And in any case anyone who’s willing to throw 800k people under the bus isn’t going to get my endorsement for any kind of “leadership” position. Specially when your throwing those people under the but to secure an amendment that’s already in the bill.

          • Submitted by Matt Haas on 01/24/2018 - 06:32 pm.

            Sure

            Like that wouldn’t be the first thing chucked to the wayside as soon as a few hardliners object. You don’t actually think Republicans give two you know whats about poor, sick kids do you? You understand that literally no one outside of the politically engaged even cared that the shutdown was happening (a great many I spoke with didn’t even know it was occurring) much less what CHIP is or that it was losing funding. It would have cost the Republicans nothing to abandon it, and if your response is any indication, many on the left would have let them for the sake of the Dreamers. This would be the only realistic outcome that could have gotten Dreamer protection. and honestly I’m not convinced the Republicans will ever move on it, they were and will be content to let any shutdown drag on indefinitely. Problem is, for someone who complains regularly about magical thinking, you sure seem to be blinded by the hocus pocus that tells you Democrats, despite holding no power but that of an ephemeral filibuster, can somehow bluster their way into Republicans giving them EVERY policy item they want, while giving up nothing in return. This, despite being as corrupt and incompetent (by your own description) as politicians could possibly be. There was never going to be a situation in which a victory would be had on both fronts. I’ll take protection for the vital health care needs of 8.9 million kids over protection from deportation for 800k adults every time, I just will.

            • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 01/25/2018 - 10:41 am.

              Let me clarify

              People don’t expect their champions to win every battle, but they do expect their champions to fight the battle. Win OR lose I expect Democrats to fight for those they promise to represent, there’s nothing unrealistic about that expectation. Even if the Democrats can’t get DACA, I expect them to fight for it, I expect them to fight for the people they promise to represent, there’s nothing magical about that. If they lose I’m OK with that, I’ll keep voting for them. But if they abandon and betray those they promised to fight for, I’m no longer voting in my best interest when I vote for them, because while it may be Dreamers today, it can well be me the next time.

              What’s “magical” is the expectation that Democrats can keep tossing the people and policies they promise to represent under the bus and expect to keep getting votes in future elections. If McConnell decides that Klobuchar’s political future isn’t his problem, a very predictable decision- and Democrats simply move on without DACA, I’ll never vote Klobuchar again, and my estimation of the Democratic party will be further diminished. Not because they “lost”, but because they refused to fight.

  16. Submitted by Curtis Senker on 01/23/2018 - 02:44 pm.

    Hopefully, the SCOTUS will take up the issue of Obama’s unconstitutional usurpation of congressional authority and vacate the 9th CC’s futile stay.

    Then, ICE can quickly process these folks and get them on their way ba k home to their families.

    The whole issue becomes a moot point, and our Congress can focus their attention to the needs of US citizens for a change.

    • Submitted by Matt Haas on 01/23/2018 - 06:53 pm.

      We get it

      Life and death of these folks mean nothing to conservatives. You’d think they would have the decency to mask their antipathy.

    • Submitted by Howard Miller on 01/24/2018 - 01:22 pm.

      every recent US president before Trump …

      …. from Reagan through Obama, found a way to authorize people in DACA like circumstances to stay in the USA, using powers Congress extended to the POTUS. When W Bush did it, that was his compassionate conservative soul shining, Republicans suggested. No one has declared Obama’s DACA program unconstitutional, or it would have been gone already. We’ll see what a SCOTUS with Gorsuch does.

      And the larger point is, DACA participants are exactly the sort of immigrants conservatives WANT to come to the USA ….. hard-working, law-abiding, highly productive, well-embedded in our neighborhoods and communities across the USA. Kicking out more than 700,000 highly productive people seems pure folly by Trump and anti-immigration folks.

      • Submitted by Curtis Senker on 01/25/2018 - 12:53 pm.

        “from Reagan through Obama, found a way to authorize people in DACA like circumstances to stay in the USA”

        There’s a new sheriff in town, and he intends to enforce the law. Thankfully, the wild West days are over for border violators.

        • Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 01/28/2018 - 05:07 pm.

          New Sheriff?

          You really mean, laws for everyone else but him? Guess when it comes to corruption everyone else is guilty, except the corruptest of them all! Do you really want to go there? Perhaps we can start with the “Emoluments Clause”! But the wild west days aren’t over for corruption, and we all know who leads the back!

          • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 01/29/2018 - 09:10 am.

            We May Never Know

            “But the wild west days aren’t over for corruption, and we all know who leads the back!”

            The Independent Counsel is in jeopardy, and Republicans in Congress aren’t showing a lot of enthusiasm about protecting that office.

  17. Submitted by Mike Schumann on 01/23/2018 - 03:00 pm.

    Republicans for Dreamers

    The left wing spin that all republicans want to deport all of the dreamers is totally off base. All the republicans I know believe that young children brought into this country by their parents 20 years ago should not be deported to a country to which they have no connection.

    However, the vast majority of my friends also believe that we need to fix the immigration system so that the focus is on legal immigration for people who have skills that can help our country, and put an end to handing out visas with a lottery or on the basis that you have some relatives who are already here.

    That’s not to say that you shouldn’t be able to get green cards for a spouse or your minor children. However, that doesn’t mean that your grandmother or your brother or some secondary relative should be able to immigrate just because you are already here. They should be able to come and visit you on a tourist visa on a regular basis, as long as they don’t stay for more than 6 months within any 12 month period. What’s wrong or racist about that?

    Hats off the Senator Klobuchar for supporting a common sense bipartisan solution to the problem.

    • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 01/23/2018 - 03:56 pm.

      Mike

      You’re essentially advocating an end to legal immigration rather than reform. Most of the features you describe are already in place, the reason we have so much illegal immigration is that we’ve made legal immigration so difficult, you just want to make more difficult.

      My experience with people like you and your friends isn’t that you’re not bad people, but you have no idea how the immigration system actually works, who immigrants are, or what the effects of immigration actually are. I find that the majority of complaints about illegal or legal immigration are based on stereotypes rather than reality, and many of those stereotypes are based on racist assumptions.

      Just for one example lets look at your suggestion that immigrants should demonstrate that they can contribute to our economy society etc. This suggestion is based on the mis-perception that many immigrants are currently a drain of some kind, that they come here or the hand-outs and welfare etc. That simply isn’t true, that’s a right wing stereotype. Potential immigrants already have to demonstrate a work history and meet certain financial requirements unless they’re refugees. All these requirements do is discourage legal immigration.

      And what kind of free country tells a citizen that they can’t unite with their family in their own homeland?

      Anyways if we look at any other “problem” you want to associate with immigration either legal or illegal we’re find little more than ill-informed stereotypes behind them. While none of these “solutions” will actually produce any measurable benefit for the nation or it’s citizens, they all have the potential to tear families apart and ruin lives.

      • Submitted by cory johnson on 01/23/2018 - 05:47 pm.

        Interesting logic

        So if something is difficult to accomplish we should forgive people for breaking the law? Does that mean it’s ok if I steal a mercedes because i’m not happy with my Nissan? Dems need to admit it’s all about getting new voters. https://www.scribd.com/document/368752696/Memo-On-Dreamers?irgwc=1&content=27795&campaign=VigLink&ad_group=1726779&keyword=ft500noi&source=impactradius&medium=affiliate

      • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 01/24/2018 - 09:33 am.

        Correction…

        I meant to say in my comment above: My experience with (people like Mike and his friends) is that they are not bad people, they just have no idea how the immigration system actually works. That got messed up and I ended up saying my experience is that they ARE bad people… sorry for that.

        • Submitted by Mike Schumann on 01/25/2018 - 01:14 am.

          I’m Clueless about Immigration????

          Don’t be telling me that I don’t know anything about how the immigration system works. My parents immigrated legally to the US in 1956 when I was 5 years old. My father was a physicist who got recruited to come here because of his technical expertise.

          Outside of my parents and my brothers, none of our other relatives came to the US. My grandmother came over for extended visits on numerous occasions. We frequently visited my relatives overseas. To this day, I stay in touch with many of my cousins.

          The concept that it is cruel to prevent people from bringing over their entire clan when they immigrate is ridiculous. You should be able to bring over your spouse and your minor children, but there is absolutely no reason that anyone beyond that should automatically get admitted just because you got here, when you have the option to invite your relatives over for extended visits using a tourist visa.

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 01/23/2018 - 04:41 pm.

      Dreaming of Republicans

      There is a strong, vocal segment of the Republican Party that wants ICE to “quickly process these folks and get them on their way back home to their families,” so the idea that Republicans want to deport all dreamers is not terribly far off base.

      DACA is set to expire in February. The insistence on comprehensive immigration reform according to Republican ideas before any action is taken on DACA is the same thing as advocating the deportation of all dreamers.

      • Submitted by Curtis Senker on 01/23/2018 - 09:14 pm.

        Dreaming of respect for law.

        In 1986, Ronald Reagan extended amnesty to 3 million illegal immigrants in exchange for increased border security.

        Today, our border is as porous as ever, and we have 12 million people, young and old, in the country illegally.

        I’m aware that leftists find the idea of a nation’s right to respect for it’s sovereign borders alien, but that argument is not worth debating with them, in my opinion. What is worth arguing is that if we do not enforce one law, all of them are weakened.

        I’m not an expert on the leftist thought process, but I dont think anarchy is part of it.

        • Submitted by Frank Phelan on 01/24/2018 - 09:58 am.

          More Pourous Than Ever

          Net migration on the Mexican border has been zero since the Bush Recession.

        • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 01/24/2018 - 10:13 am.

          “Respect for the Law”

          I’m sorry, but when I read that it was all about Republican respect for the law, I had to look at my shoes to see what I had stepped in. The four most corrupt/lawless administrations in US history (Grant, Harding, Nixon, Reagan) have been Republican, and the current President seems on course to add his name to that honor roll (or do you support a full, untrammeled investigation into the Russian affair?).

          Let’s remember who the Dreamers are: they were brought here by their parents. They had no choice in the matter, but they have built lives in this country. DACA gives them only a right to lawful residency. It is not a path to citizenship, and you can rest assured that they will be ineligible to cast votes for the “Democrat Party.”

          Most Americans favor the continuation of DACA, and favor its continuation by large majorities. Unfortunately, the majority sentiment is not driving this debate. There is a vocal minority driven, although they will deny it indignantly, by racism. The DACA Dreamers are overwhelming brown or black. The faction of the Republican Party that gets in a tizzy over the fact that white people whose native language is English will soon be a minority (not that it’s a racial thing for them, no, no, no) are using the pious language of “respect for the law” and “sovereign borders” as a cover.

          Sorry, I’m not even pretending to buy it.

    • Submitted by Henk Tobias on 01/23/2018 - 08:21 pm.

      Party Leader

      Apparently you and your Republican friends didn’t listen to the guy you voted for. The leader of your party Donald J. Trump, campaigned on deporting 11 million undocumented immigrants, he didn’t distinguish, he said he was going to deport them all and his followers cheered. He hasn’t changed his tune. I’ll never understand why his followers, and the yahoos in the media, don’t take him at his word

      • Submitted by Bill Willy on 01/24/2018 - 08:39 pm.

        Minor correction (or addition)

        Stephen Miller and his former boss, Jeff Sessions, need to be given way more credit than they’re getting for making immigration THE “Most Important Issue” of the 2016 campaign and keeping it there (not to mention their tireless and stepped up ICE-guiding work on dragnet arrests and detention of young mothers and their children coming out of hospitals and all the other rapists, drug dealers, killers and assorted bad bad hombres they’re cracking down on every day).

        And when it comes to getting a good look at Clinically Certifiable People in Positions of Way Too Much Power, can’t too strongly recommend doing a search on “Stephen Miller interviews youtube” and spending a few minutes taking a look at America’s Head Immigration Whisperer.

        (This Jake Tapper “Late Night” interview gets the main point accross pretty well and is fairly easy to take: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8KfxGwZo-kM)

        Why the guy is allowed within 200 miles of the White House (or anywhere American decision makers gather) instead being confined to an institution is a question “the media” should be asking Sarah Sanders and the president every day until there’s some kind of at least semi-intelligible explanation or until the guy is gone gone gone — whichever would come first.

  18. Submitted by Joe Musich on 01/23/2018 - 03:06 pm.

    We will…

    see by Feb 8th. The dems have not had total control or a long time. They do not seem to want it.57 percent still approve of Bernie as do I. If Democrats go progressive that would be the dream.

  19. Submitted by chuck holtman on 01/23/2018 - 05:56 pm.

    I don’t think much

    of Schumer’s wheeler-dealer corporatism or Klobuchar’s focus-grouped, reaching-across-the-aisle small-ball. However, best I can reason, I think this was a decent tactical outcome for the Democrats given the position in which their historical fecklessness has placed them.

    With the eternal readiness of the establishment media to catapult the Republican messaging and apply the Both Siderism that obscures all culpability, the Democrats’ ability to sustain the shutdown necessarily would have deteriorated quickly. The fact that 40% already blamed the Democrats for the shutdown was testament to that. Thru the deal, the Democrats have secured CHIP funding for six years and eliminated the chief Republican talking point, however dishonest and odious, that the Democrats were holding 9M “American” children hostage for 800K “illegal immigrants.”

    Of course it’s unlikely that McConnell will keep any “promise” made – my critique would be that the Democrats might have stipulated more extensively the procedural guarantees for both bodies to consider a DACA bill. But the Republicans, lacking an interest in a functioning society, unconcerned about harm to real people and being able to deflect responsibility for a shutdown, would not have blinked on the shutdown for quite some time. Decisive elements among those who need to agree to a DACA outcome – at the least, the Miller-Kelly-Sessions-Cotton cadre that gives Trump his marching orders – in fact favor ethnic cleansing as both long-term political strategy and atavism, and will do whatever possible to prevent a humane and reasonable outcome.

    So the only course is to make the Republican stance on DACA as politically damaging as possible. By clearing out the obscuring elements and establishing the expectation of reasonable bipartisan behavior on DACA within the next three weeks, Schumer and Klobuchar have set the stage to force a slim majority to a decent outcome; to prompt another shutdown, which may be laid yet more clearly at the feet of the ruling regime; or at least to add another straw to the camel’s back in advance of the 2018 elections. Of course succeeding requires, ultimately, a continuing, consistent and forceful Democratic political strategy which, we all know, is a thin hope indeed.

  20. Submitted by joe smith on 01/24/2018 - 05:10 am.

    Tying DACA to a spending bill is typical

    DC politics. Democrats basically said the fate of 800,000 people here illegally is more important than the Government being open. If they funded the military, I would be ecstatic with the DC elites being shut down (couldn’t do any more harm). With DACA polling positive, the Democratic leadership tried forcing Trump into a corner, bad move by them. Folks want a fair resolution to the DACA issue but not at the expense of hurting actual American citizens. Once the tide turned on Democrats, with the majority of folks blaming them for the shutdown, they decided DACA was not that important, typical day in DC.

    • Submitted by Frank Phelan on 01/24/2018 - 09:43 am.

      Military Funding

      Dems wanted to fund the military during the (sort of, partial) shut down. GOP senators would not allow it to come up for a vote. It made for a nice talking point. “Those left Dems hate our brave military!”

      • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 01/24/2018 - 10:30 am.

        Well, what’s so special about the military anyways?

        Not to wander too far off topic but I don’t see why military spending is more important than any other government spending at the moment. The CDC, NIH, FDA, and Medicare save more American lives on a daily basis than the military does in a decade. Why would the military be more important than the Post Office or FEMA? Combat troops were considered essential so their pay wasn’t in jeopardy anyways.

        Military spending didn’t protect us on 9/11/01 and it won’t protect us form N. Korean missiles. Military families are no more “vulnerable” than poor children and their families, or the homeless, or senior citizens in dangerous nursing homes. All government employees have families, mortgages, rents, grocery’s, etc. This idea that just because you wear a uniform of some kind makes you more important than everyone else get a little weird at some point.

        • Submitted by Frank Phelan on 01/24/2018 - 12:13 pm.

          Totally Agree, Paul

          I just want Joe to know exactly who to blame for not funding the military and that conservatives threw their beloved military under the bus for a cheap talking point. So much for supporting the troops. (I never call it “defense”, most of our assets are overseas.)

        • Submitted by Tom Anderson on 01/24/2018 - 09:37 pm.

          Every Democratic candidate needs to repeat this

          “This idea that just because you wear a uniform of some kind makes you more important than everyone else get a little weird at some point.”
          Repeat it over, and over, and over!

  21. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 01/24/2018 - 08:42 am.

    Racism under the guise of abiding law

    Let me explain why all these complaints about the illegality of immigration are essentially racist.

    Look at the people issuing these complaints. I don’t think I have to describe the demographic beyond noting that the vast majority look Donald Trump (without the hair for the most part).

    Next look at the political demands, expectations, and complaints that characterize this group for the past several decades. The primary and most durable complaint being that the governments too “big”.

    What are the features of a “too big” government? Law enforcement out of control. Examples: Wako, Ruby Ridge, endangered species laws, environmental laws, laws that let people get married and go to the bathroom. We’re forever on hairs breath away from a government that going to take all our guns away. We have a regime in power right now that’s ignoring the laws and issuing illegal presidential orders on a scale never seen before.

    The FBI is out of control. The ATF is out of Control. The EPA, FDA, BLM, and IRS… all out of control because you simply cannot trust the government!

    But ICE? ICE is perfect, ICE can do no wrong. Bring on the bureaucrats, hire more government agents with guns, unleash the army because… we cant trust the government, it’s the infallible protector of our rights and freedoms as Americans.

    This isn’t about being “legal”. Are you telling me that all of these anti-immigration people are the most law abiding citizens in the nation? Where’s the demand to shut down all the pot selling and growing that violates federal law? Where the demand to enforce federal environmental laws?

    All you have to do is look at the targets of Immigration laws… do they look like the Branch Davidians? Do the look like the ranchers who are illegally grazing cattle on federal land? Do they look the oil executives who contaminate our environment? Do they look like the folks who are demanding all this “law enforcement”? The government simply cannot be too big to round up people of color but it’s out of control EVERYWHERE else.

    Apparently our immigration laws are perfect and should be enforced with the heaviest hand the police state can bring to bear. But EVERWHERE else the government’s too big and out of control. That’s not just irrational and hypocritical, it’s racist.

  22. Submitted by joe smith on 01/24/2018 - 09:11 am.

    The Government is totally

    out of control but the one thing they are in charge of is protecting citizens of the USA. Military and border control are 2 areas that fall into that. Most everything else is left up to the States, not Federal Government. Not racist at all, it is just the way Founding Fathers set up our Republic. 95% of the other stuff DC does is not how our country was designed to run. That should upset you not ICE enforcing border laws. Totally hypocritical to want Big Government to do everything for you but not protect you.

    • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 01/24/2018 - 09:54 am.

      Immigration isn’t an invasion.

      If immigration were a military assault you might have a point Joe.

      • Submitted by joe smith on 01/25/2018 - 10:01 am.

        Paul, what would call 3.2 million

        (Total dreamers in USA) Russians crossing the Montana, N. Dakota border into the USA? How about 3.2 Iranians? Maybe 3.2 Chinese? Would it be racist to demand they get proper documentation? Would you call 50 people (you don’t know or vetted at all) putting up tents, using your water, kitchen and house an invasion or a camping trip?

        • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 01/25/2018 - 11:00 am.

          It’s called immigration, not just by “me”.

          I can see that immigration frightens some people for a variety irrational reasons, but it’s how we got to be who and what we are as a nation. Immigration simply is not an “invasion”. The fact is that neither documented or undocumented immigration poses any threat to the US or it’s economy. Most studies reveal a net benefit from both documented and undocumented immigration.

          As for the “demand” for proper documentation I think I addressed that in my comment above.

        • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 01/25/2018 - 12:12 pm.

          They’re Called “Children”

          When we talk about dreamers, we’re talking about people who were brought here as children.

          We’re also talking about people who have demonstrated no ill intent towards the United States. Or is this just concern about la reconquista?

          • Submitted by joe smith on 01/25/2018 - 01:14 pm.

            Average age of dreamers is

            25…. Big children.

            • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 01/25/2018 - 02:02 pm.

              Which Means . . .

              Dreamers were brought here as children (no older than 16 years). It’s a funny thing about children: as time passes, their ages increase proportionally. Yes, it sounds incredible, but someone who is now 25 was once younger.

              • Submitted by Ilya Gutman on 01/25/2018 - 10:37 pm.

                Some were brought as 14, 15, and 16 year old – teenagers, not children… and they definitely knew their native language and their native countries… and some were not even brought in but came on their own…

                • Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 01/26/2018 - 10:56 am.

                  And

                  Some were brought in as babies with no to low knowledge, of language, custom, country, What’s the point, once branded illegal treat them all the same?

                • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 01/26/2018 - 01:26 pm.

                  Legally

                  They were children, and presumably did not make the choice to come here illegally.

                  • Submitted by Ilya Gutman on 01/26/2018 - 10:54 pm.

                    Yes, legally they were children but there is a big difference between a 5 year old and a 15 year old who, as anyone who has raised children up to that age knows, is quite likely to be fighting for independence and think that old folks have no clue and may insist on staying behind with other family members and friends so I appreciate your choice of words.

                    But my main point is that those people remember very well their country of birth and its language and can go back… especially if they came alone without their parents.

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 01/25/2018 - 03:19 pm.

      Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes?

      “Totally hypocritical to want Big Government to do everything for you but not protect you.” In a democracy, who gets to decide from what we are protected, and what level of protection we receive?

  23. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 01/24/2018 - 09:20 am.

    Just to summarize

    I apologize for not producing a more succinct comment previously, but here it is in a nutshell:

    Here’s the problem with centrism and “bipartisanship” is this: If bipartisan leadership yields policies and government that’s toxic to the nation and damaging to it’s citizens, why you want to be a “bipartisan?”

    This isn’t just about DACA, this is about a trend towards increasingly toxic polices and government that’s crystallized in the form of Donald Trump. That is a trend was produced by centrism and bipartisan “leadership”. Instead of making a stand Democrats followed Republicans ever closer to the abyss and we are.

    The liberal and progressive outrage on display here isn’t just about DACA, it’s about EVERYONE that centrist Democrats have thrown under the bus over the decades. Women, people of color, labor, LBGT, etc, all betrayed multiple times under the guise of “bipartisanship”.

    You can’t look at the Trump presidency and claim victory for bipartisan leadership.

    For some reason Democrats assume that amnesia is central feature of political life, it isn’t… people remember. So when we see Democrats make a “deal” that throws yet another group they pretend to represent under the bus… we get upset. When the people you claim to represent loose every time you “win”… you have a problem- I don’t know how to make it any clearer than that.

  24. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 01/25/2018 - 08:25 am.

    By the way…

    Someone should point out that If the assumption here is that Democrats can throw dreamers under the bus and get away with it, because dreamers are less important than some other issue or constituency… THAT assumption may itself be a racist assumption, it certainly looks like one.

  25. Submitted by Howard Miller on 01/25/2018 - 10:42 am.

    no more hand-wringing

    Many commentators note that Republicans have control of the WH and Congress, suggesting that Democrats have no power.

    But the real power in this nation is not in Washington DC, it’s on Main Street USA. Republicans consistently ignore large majority-held positions on public issues from DACA to tax cuts for the wealthy to voter suppression to sensible gun regulation.

    Perhaps it’s time we dusted off an old protest phrase from the Vietnam War protests … “No more business as usual” …. and we take to the streets using active nonviolent resistance methods after Gandhi’s model until those in Congress begin honoring the will of We, the People instead of the few very rich people who bought the Congress they wanted.

    We can and should use such methods to force Congress to be responsive to voters not donors.

    • Submitted by Matt Haas on 01/26/2018 - 07:11 am.

      To steal an arguement

      Its not 1960. That era is over, all street protest does is create animosity amongst those who simply don’t care to inform themselves on the issues being addressed, yet still wield considerable force as a voting bloc.

      • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 01/26/2018 - 01:25 pm.

        Protest

        “That era is over, all street protest does is create animosity amongst those who simply don’t care to inform themselves on the issues being addressed, yet still wield considerable force as a voting bloc.” The animosity towards street protests has always been there. It’s a feature, not a bug.

        How did the Tea Party manage to become so influential? It was through their protests and rallies. I’m sure most of us thought they looked ridiculous, with their misspelled signs telling the government to keep its hands off Medicare, but they had some success. The protests made them a force to be reckoned with, and that translated into electoral wins.

        Street protests force discussion of an issue many would rather ignore, for whatever reason. Would economic inequality be an important topic if the Occupy movement hadn’t forced it out into the open?

        • Submitted by Matt Haas on 01/28/2018 - 08:22 am.

          I don’t think

          Of the scheduled “astroturf” rallies of the tea party in the same breath as I do women’s marches, or the various labor movement captiol takeovers or BLM freeway shutdowns, do you? Street protest is about disruption, not holding hand made signs in a group. That’s where its power lay, and that’s why its era is over, too many are too complacent and too comfortable to be disrupted. All such protest can do now is create new and more numerous opposition.

      • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 01/27/2018 - 08:30 am.

        It depends on the type of the protest and the tactics.

        Demonstrations can still be incredibly effective mechanisms for energizing support, and they can mobilize disparate organizations and promote cooperation. However, demonstrators in the US have a tendency to withdraw from the political process as if demonstrations are an alternative to politics, rather than a part of the political process… the difference between demonstrations and movements.

        The other problem with demonstrations in the US is simply the size of the nation. Demonstrators can actually shut down a country the size of France or Germany, but that’s almost impossible in the US.

  26. Submitted by Edward Blaise on 01/25/2018 - 07:41 pm.

    Well…

    Will we see an ICE Agent arresting and deporting an active duty soldier walking patrol in Afghanistan? How about frog walking out a first grade teacher from her classroom as her students look on? The negative impact of potential images of enforcement are not lost on the Rs and they understand the need to favorably dispatch an issue that has 80% approval before enforcement begins. They do not care about the right or wrong of deporting soldiers, teacher and other civic role models. They do care about finding the best way to resolve DACA in a publicly acceptable way and throw a few red meat bones to the 20% minority Trump fanatics. And that will get done before the March 1 deadline: DACA Restored and a lifeline of initial support thrown to building the wall so that Trump can get his picture taken with the Golden Shovel, excavating the first shovel of dirt for HIS wall.

  27. Submitted by Lyn Crosby on 01/28/2018 - 08:27 am.

    Smith

    How did Smith vote?

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