Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Matt Cartwright On Prospects Of GOP Shutdown: "Yes, They’re Going To Do It Again, Because They’re Still Here And It’s What They Do"


A day or two ago I saw a scare headline in Politico: "CHANCES OF A GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN ARE SKYROCKETING… There’s been next to no progress on a deal to lift mandatory government spending caps that take effect in January, so aides in both parties have said they believe that a shutdown is becoming more and more likely. Remember: Funding expires at the end of September." That seemed ominous. I reached out to a few members who follow this kind of thing closely. One told me that the Republicans are planting this kind of crap because they are trying to create a narrative that allows lifting of the debt ceiling without agreeing to budget caps which will be a no go for us. She said it was just "a bit of yammering."

Another trustworthy congresswoman-- also off the record-- told me she feels there's a "50% chance of a shutdown. Trump will be looking to distract from impeachment, Dem presidentials, and I believe, an economy that will soon falter." That isn't very encouraging, especially coming from one of the 3 or 4 most fiscally literate members of Congress. Ted Lieu, always the practical voice in the House, reminded me today that "The irony on the looming debt ceiling fight is that we now have less time to deal with it because of the Republicans' ridiculous tax cuts. According to the Bipartisan Policy Center, we could hit the borrowing cap in early September due to lower than expected tax revenues."

Another congressman who was willing to speak on the record though was our old friend Matt Cartwright, a straight-shooter from northeast Pennsylvania, who Roll Call referred to recently as "a notable exception among Democrats in Trump districts... someone who doesn't stick to the middle."

He repeated the essence of the question: "Is there going to be another government shutdown?" And then went into a story of what happened in his life on Tuesday:
Yesterday I was on a plane ride back to Washington after the Independence Day break. In the seat next to me was a young life sciences engineer, who had never been especially political, but who this day was taking the opportunity to ask some questions that he had been wondering about.  Why is there so much dysfunction in Congress? Why does it seem that the partisanship is particularly toxic now, more than ever?

I asked him what he thought the answers were.

The young man hesitated as he thought about it. Then he turned to me and said, “my impression is that the Democrats in the House are passing a lot of common-sense legislation that will be good for a tremendous amount of people in this country, but it’s McConnell in the Senate just blocking everything, to kiss up to the right-wingers, and the White House.”

I told him all of that was exactly right. That we Democrats have passed bills shoring up protections for people with pre-existing conditions, voting rights, gun safety, election security, and bringing down the skyrocketing costs of prescription meds. And that not only has Sen. McConnell’s Republican Senate blocked all of that and more, but he himself, Mitch McConnell, has called himself “the Grim Reaper,” because he enjoys that role, the role of obstructionist on anything that House Democrats produce, no matter how helpful and popular it is for ordinary Americans.

And, what’s more, there is every indication that there will be another government shutdown later this year, because this same faction of half-crazed nihilists, people who have joyously shut down the government several times during my six-and-a-half year tenure, people who love a government shutdown with an ecstasy approaching rapture, men and women who at such times if you look carefully you can see they have small bits of foam just visible at the corners of their mouths, because these people ran for government jobs with the intention not of figuring out a way to make government work better for everybody, but with a plan to make it all crash and burn. Because they hate it.

I’ve been calling them “the shutdown crowd,” and the thing is, they’re still here, and some are working in the White House now. They were the ones ginning up the President to take proud ownership of the monthlong shutdown at the start of this year. And they are the ones already feverishly collecting the kindling for their next demented shutdown bonfire, and once more enlisting frenzied participants to engage in their manic dance around it.

So, yes, they’re going to do it again, because they’re still here and it’s what they do.
Goal ThermometerBy the way, Matt's district went for Trump 53.3% to 43.7%. The GOP immediately sprung into action and ran a far right multi-millionaire against him, John Chrin. Chrin put $1,687,182 of his own money into a smear campaign against Matt-- and spent a total of $2,276,322 against him. The NRCC threw in another $625,778 but in the end, Matt beat him 135,603 (54.6%) to 112,563 (45.4%), winning the 3 counties that supply the most votes in the district, Luzerne, Lackawanna and Monroe, while losing in the more rural Pike and Wayne counties. This cycle the GOP appears to be running the Luzerne County District Attorney, Stephanie Salavantis against Matt. If you'd like to make sure he is reelected, please click on the 2020 worthy incumbents thermometer on the right and contribute what you can.

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At 6:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Trump will be looking to distract from impeachment . . ."

Oh, really? And just WHO is going to conduct this impeachment? Please don't insult my intelligence and suggest that the Democrats are going to do this. That would be such a terrible development by affecting Nancy Pelosi's power over her party by slashing corporate donatiions. It will therefore remain off the table, just like everything else of importance for the past 40 years.

At 8:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

trump wants:
1) to shut down and make the democraps cave again on something like tax cuts or border wall or concentration camp money or war with iran.
2) when the democraps cave, AND THEY SHALL cuz that's what THEY do, then he looks strong, the democraps look like the pussies they are, and he wins 360 electors in 2020.

trump knows there won't be impeachment. But he never stops trying to humiliate his enemies... and in the democraps, he has truly easy marks.
he's an idiot. but he does know this much.


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