After the disastrous 35-day Trump shutdown, even Republicans want to stop Trump from inflicting more harm upon the country.
Trump's obsession with a border wall caused untold harm to thousands of families across the country, and now even Republican, who should be his allies, don't want to see a repeat of Trump's shutdown blunder.
Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID) told Politico, frankly, that "shutdowns don't work, and they're stupid." Simpson was one of the very few Republicans to support Speaker Nancy Pelosi's repeated efforts to reopen the government.
An exasperated Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) was not happy about the possibility of another shutdown either. "I want to be able to say that: 'no, it's not possible that we would go back into another shutdown,'" she said. "But I didn't think the first one that was 35 days was possible either."
Even former Massachusetts governor Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT), a fan of Trump's most vile anti-immigrant instincts, is not a fan of another shutdown. He told Politico, "It goes almost without saying that shutdowns are a very bad idea. And we should not use them as a political weapon."
In late December, Trump initiated what would come to be the longest shutdown in American history — lasting five weeks — by throwing a tantrum, demanding $5.6 billion for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. When Democrats refused, Trump resisted reopening the government for over a month.
As Trump pouted, his actions caused massive pain and suffering across the country. Thousands of federal workers, denied their paychecks, visited soup kitchens and food pantries. Airline workers warned of unprecedented risks for air travelers while the FBI warned of risks to national security. Due to lack of personnel to work at then, national parks were severely damaged and may take centuries to recover.
After forcing people to endure 35 days of a shutdown, Trump finally relented and endorsed Pelosi's plan to reopen the government. However, the agreement only provided funding for three weeks, and is set to run out on Feb. 15. During that time, congressional negotiators need to see if they can come to an agreement on border security. If they can't, Trump is already contemplating plunging the country into yet another shutdown if he doesn't what he wants.
When asked if Trump was prepared to shut down the government in mid-February, White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said yes. When Trump was asked if he would support an agreement with less than his desired amount for a border wall, he said, "I doubt it."
While Republicans run to the media after seeing the damage Trump caused with the recent shutdown, many were cowardly accomplices in helping Trump maintain the extended shutdown. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) showed a severe lack of leadership, and many other Republican senators were too afraid of Trump to even contemplate voting to reopen the government over his objections.
Republicans may call another shutdown a stupid idea — which it is — but that doesn't guarantee most of the party won't run and hide if Trump goes down that path in a few weeks.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.