Trump shut down the government, and he's rightly getting the blame for it.
Trump wanted to shut down the government and said he would be "proud" to do it — and a recent poll shows Americans are not shy about accurately blaming Trump for the ongoing government shutdown.
A new Reuters/Ipsos poll shows 47 percent of Americans blame Trump for the shutdown, while only 33 percent blame congressional Democrats.
The wall — which Trump repeatedly promised Mexico would pay for — is wildly unpopular, and Trump's decision to shut down the government over funding it is even less so.
"Just 35 percent of those surveyed in the opinion poll said they backed including money for the wall in a congressional spending bill," reports Reuters. "Only 25 percent said they supported Trump shutting down the government over the matter."
A separate late December poll by Morning Consult shows Trump's approval rating tanking ever since he agreed to take responsibility for the shutdown. It went from a paltry 43 percent approval rating in early December to 39 percent later in the month. His disapproval numbers soared to 56 percent.
Trump petulantly insisted he would shut down the government on Dec. 22, 2018, if he did not receive a $5 billion ransom payment to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
"I will be the one to shut it down," Trump told Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer in December, adding, "I'm not going to blame you for it." Since then, Trump has predictably tried to blame Democrats for the shutdown.
Even though Democrats were willing to fund the government with $1.6 billion allocated to border security, a proposal that unanimously passed the Senate, one of Paul Ryan's last acts as speaker of the House was to cower before Trump and help bring about the current shutdown.
In addition to hundreds of thousands of workers who will not get paychecks around the holiday season, Trump's shutdown stinks on many levels.
California's Joshua Tree National Park is forced to close campgrounds in part due to "human waste in public areas, driving off-road and other infractions," which are causing health and safety concerns, reports CNN. Similar human waste issues are impacting other national parks as well, including Yosemite National Park, due to the lack of staff available to work because of the shutdown.
From Michigan to Arizona, Trump's tantrum is also threatening the health care of Native American communities. In some areas, health clinics won't get federal funding. In other areas, roads covered in snow aren't plowed, meaning "people are now trapped in their homes, unable to make the 20- or 50-mile journey to buy water, groceries and medicine," reports the New York Times.
The incoming Democratic House majority, led by Speaker-designate Nancy Pelosi, has a plan to re-open the government, at least through Feb. 8, as the Senate previously agreed to. As soon as new members are sworn in on Jan. 3, Pelosi plans to bring forth legislation to fund the government, but not Trump's "stupid wall."
This week, Trump and his fellow Republicans will have yet another opportunity to do the the job the American people expect them to do and re-open the government.
Unfortunately, their track record suggests Trump's shutdown will likely continue for the foreseeable future.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.