Shutdown Day 28+15H: When Negotiations Fail, Add More Hostages

[NB: Check the byline, thanks. /~Rayne]

About 3:00 p.m. EDT — any time now — in a special address we’re supposed to hear from Trump what he is willing to offer in exchange for funding the wall based on negotiations led by Mike Pence and Jared Kushner (yes, he of the middle east peace negotiations, that fine negotiator). Mitch McConnell is supposed to be in the mix somewhere; it’s funny how little has been said about his presence.

Current speculation: the White House will offer concessions on the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program which had ordered terminated in September 2017, and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program in exchange for the $5.7B funding Trump has demanded along with funding and reopening government.

In other words, Trump is going to add more hostages to make the Democratic Party looks bad.

And in other words, the Trump organization may benefit directly if it seeks more immigrants laborers for its businesses.

At least one Trump-owned resort has had undocumented workers in housekeeping staff, like those working construction on the Trump Hotel-DC who qualified for TPS. There are likely others who have not come forward as two did who worked at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey.

Are there any DACA participants working in one of the Trump org facilities, too?

Trump and his team waited until after the Women’s March today to make this announcement, and until evidence of government workers’ desperation spread across the internet. We’ve seen copies of letters warning that rent was due in full — today in one case — regardless of the government shutdown, or eviction would begin. We’ve seen posts about food banks for federal law enforcement employees.

And now they want to add DACA and TPS hostages to this equation.

This doesn’t look like good faith negotiation to me. It looks more like an attempt to heighten tensions against immigrants, particularly undocumented immigrants.

No matter what terms Team Trump offers, George Lakoff is right:

Is it really too much to ask for a president and Senate Majority Leader to simply do the right thing by the country and reopen the government without fueling more  political conflict?

56 replies
  1. greengiant says:

    The GOP and the administration are infested with those who opposed the 2013 immigration reform bill. The politics of fear destroy America. Suspect the vast majority of Trump supporters believe “but the terrorists are coming through the border”. While Trump’s buddy KSA aids its criminal citizens to jump bail and flee the US. Righteousness will destroy this evil.,_Economic_Opportunity,_and_Immigration_Modernization_Act_of_2013

  2. JD12 says:

    Pelosi already rejecting his proposal—smart move I think. He knows he’s wasting his time but is committed to doing it anyway.

  3. Wajim says:

    I’m with ya, but I’d suggest that Trump took our DACA kids and TPS people hostage some time ago, long before Dems took back the house. This “new” offer is the same old offer, more or less, that Trump and Schumer agreed to during the so-called “Cheeseburger Summit” that Stephen Miller, et al, reportedly blew up. If this news is accurate (and the Miller crowd has somehow been sidelined by Trump), what do you want to bet that Rush and Ann won’t go ballistic again?

  4. rip says:

    I wonder if there are any parallels in how the russians deal with their (mainly) southern neighbors that they find offensive/dangerous. Since Stephen Miller and Trumputin seem to take orders from outside of the best friends of US democracy, it might make sense for us to look at demonizing “them”. I can think of the Chechens and others that might offend the pure-white leaders of russia and the US.

  5. greengiant says:

    You must not be from around here. The Nativist GOP has been going strong since the 50s. The don’t need any help. Miller was a racist when he was in high school. Not all people get it but when you demean other people for speaking another language you are discriminating on national and or ethnic origin and that’s racism.

    • Rayne says:

      There’s a very simple way to realize that wish: tell McConnell to allow a bill through to fund and reopen government. Presto, security for the SOTU as an NSSE.

      But that’s just too damned easy, I guess. Not enough grifting.

    • Rayne says:

      Ah, yes, thanks for the reminder. I’ll squeeze it in at the top now, was rushing to try and get this published before ferret-head finished pushing this latest hostages-for-government deal.

  6. Pablo in the Gazebo says:

    I was watching golf at the appointed time and noted that the major networks ignored him, what with the golf and pro and NCAA basketball.

    It was noted that he in turn ignored the 800,000 poor souls who are suffering from his shutdown.  Not a thought of them.

    • Wajim says:

      Golf? I, on the other hand, was scouring the nets like a good enraged Libtard trying to find the Dotard’s vid, and yet even Y-Tube seemed to ignore it.  Man, maybe I should take up watching golf.  It is rule-based, I hear.  People in chinos and polo shirts? No tiki-torches, I hope.

  7. Jenny says:

    Trump’s art of the deal:  From Mexico will pay for the wall to shutting down the government to not paying federal employees until American people pay for the wall.

    No, not too much to ask for a president and Senate Majority Leader to do the right thing and choose people over party to reopen the government. However, these two don’t care about the people. 

    Inhumane, both of them. They lack value and respect for 800,000 government employees. Lacks value for the individuals who protect him everyday. Shameful!

    • Arj says:

      Trump himself has such serious personality deficiencies that it would be an interesting debate (in easier circumstances) to what extent he is really responsible for his own actions; but the more intelligent creeps such as McC. & Miller are something else.  The cynicism of using people as pawns, levers, hostages, is beyond despicable; I worry that the Dems will ultimately be forced into a Caucasian Chalk Circle retreat, without the happy outcome.

    • Anon says:

      Speaking of negotiating it is also intriguing that when he presented the deal he said that it wouldn’t be a wall from sea to sea but the creation and moving of barriers.  From a pure negotiating standpoint it makes some sense to attempt to minimize the value of your get so that your opposition is more inclined to give.  But for a president to publicly minimize his own goals, and those of his followers, in the same breath that he calls it a fix is impressively awful.

      It is either a sign of severe negotiating weakness, or basic stupidity.

  8. sand says:

    I listened to the remarks. What should the response be? I’ll offer a few possibilities. Feel free to say that these are dumb (and why) or to propose other potential responses.

    Response Option 1: NO. Fund the government. Then we’ll talk. (I’m flying Monday, so I’d take this at this point. I’d rather have TSA paid. I’m bringing Wawa gift cards to the airport.)

    Response Option 2: We’ll take everything in your offer except the wall. But if you reopen the government, we’ll commit to (at least) debate the wall.

    Response Option 3: Counter-offer: Give us DACA and TPS for five years (pick a number), everything else you said, and we’ll give you $1.5B for the wall (pick a number).

    Basically, I think Trump will have to take an ‘L’ unless he gets something for the wall. So he won’t go for Options 1 or 2. Should the Democrats give him anything more than zero for the wall? There’s a chance they could get a lot in return because Trump is such a terrible negotiator. He let the snake bite him, and now he’s negotiating for the anti-venom. It certainly seems that he’ll crack first, declare a national emergency and end up in court. Is that better? Or is it better to get as much as possible now for as little as possible to fund the ineffective wall?

    Hey, the Democrats could probably get a mural on the wall that says ‘Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.’ Trump won’t read the details of the bill anyway.

    • P J Evans says:

      The problem is that whatever he promises is a lie: he doesn’t have a history of following through. His history at this point is blowing up compromises, whether his own or put together by others, if he can’t get everything he wants at that moment.

      • Anon says:

        Right so a promise that he will hold off for three years on something he can do at any time just doesn’t mean much.

    • JD12 says:

      Those are good questions. I think Democrats’ position of no negotiations until gov is open is the right one. To close observers Trump is clearly getting desperate, but to people who don’t follow closely his stunt today may look like he’s making a good-faith effort to negotiate. Hopefully the media does a good job of clarifying, I mean if he were serious he would’ve consulted Dems and McConnell would be preparing to vote immediately which obviously isn’t the case. It sucks that the gov is closed in the meantime but that’s Trump’s fault and Pelosi and Schumer shouldn’t let anyone guilt trip them about it.

      • Anon says:

        Or he isn’t serious but he is trying to amp up the pressure on them by making it look like the Dems will keep Americans out of work to protect “Illegals”

    • Wajim says:

      ” . . . the Democrats could probably get a mural on the wall that says ‘Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.’

      On the facade of Trump Tower, and maybe I’d consider it, before saying “No.” Donny needs to grovel before us, which he is starting to (hence his “offer”).  As my Grandma Evelyn always said (mostly about door-to-door salesmen), “Fuck him to hell.”  I so miss her.

    • Anon says:

      For the record Schumer offered version 3 months ago and Trump angrily threw it off the table.  I’m not sure it would be a starter with everyone but it is interesting how he is inching that way.

  9. Taxidermist says:

    @ sand 4:47pm
    Option 4: admit publicly on the house floor that Trump is a willing participant in a transnational crime syndicate and move forward with impeachment, and refuse any of his bullshit deals.
    I’m not trying to be a tinfoil hat alarmist, but do we have to withdraw from NATO to see that we’re negotiating with a man who is not working for the interest of America?

    • Marinela says:

      House dems sent many bills to the senate to debate. From a procedural perspective, anything can be done so that the senate at least takes votes on these house bills?

      I am thinking there needs to be a way for the house to say, listen, we need to act on the shutdown, let’s move with voting.

      It has to be something in the constitution to mediate a deadlock like this.

      The bills originate in the House, as I understand it. So when senate is opposite party, and senate doesn’t take a vote on any of the house bills, and there is an emergency, like the shutdown, what is the constitution solution?

      • Marinela says:

        The political presure doesn’t seem to work on most GOP senators, cannot shame the shameless.

        A procedural gimmick or legal manuvering or constitution rule, may be some odd option 5.

        Can the democrats in the house call for a referendum on the wall?

        A wall referendum today will probably have no support.

        • P J Evans says:

          As far as I know, there’s no legal way to have a referendum on the wall. (In the US, voting is run at state and local levels. No actual federal elections are held. We actually vote for electors, not presidential candidates – and electors are state-level.)

        • Jenny says:

          Well said Marinela, “Cannot shame the shameless.”  I hope you don’t mind, I will be using that line.

    • Greenhouse says:

      You got a big mouth and I’m happy to see
      Your foot is firmly entrenched where a molar should be
      If you talk much louder you could get an award
      From the federal communications board

  10. Taxidermist says:

    @ marinela 6:29, or others:
    I’m not clear if you raised a question or a comment (the format is really weird when I try to post so I’m not judging). Yes the House has passed and sent multiple bills, including that the GOP senate has already agreed to.
    McConnel barely shows his face and won’t bring any vote to the floor without trump preapproval, full stop. The American people are growing more suspicious and less accommodating to the motives of some of our leaders.
    I guess my Q is: how do we remove Mitch? There are maybe 6-9 GOPers left who will go down with the ship, but I think the rest can be moved to vote for their constituents, who haven’t taken NRA/Russian campaign money or had their personal email hacked.

    • Rayne says:

      You need a majority of the 53 GOP senators to demand he step aside as Majority Leader.

      19 Class II senators who are up for re-election in 2020
      2 Class II senators who are retiring (nothing to lose)
      1 Class III senator up for a special election (to seat they hold now) in 2020
      22 GOP senators who may be prone to pressure

      Need 6 more GOP senators who are in safe seats, and/or are Class I just elected and have some time to rebuild, and/or closet NeverTrump (looking at you, Romney).

      Sic ’em.

      By the way, if Dems and Independents vote together as a bloc, 28 GOP senators is more than enough for a veto override.

      • Eureka says:

        I have to admit I am discouraged after the sanctions vote.  That is certainly no cause to give up, and in ways could be seen as a victory that even some GOPers came to and kept their senses.  But a discouraging turn nonetheless.

        Thanks for continuing to beat the drums, and lifting us with eloquence and energy.

      • quake says:

        OR you need 4 Repub senators to pull out of the Repub caucus, declare as independents, caucus with the Dems, and elect Schumer majority leader. Easier to get 4 to turn on Mitch than to get 27 to turn on Mitch.

        • Rayne says:

          Could try that but there are a bunch who’ve already broken ranks and they still can’t get their heads together.

          It’s also important for people to see the problem is the GOP which acts not like a political party but like organized crime. Pick out a few and the organized criminals will only double down.

  11. Taxidermist says:

    Thank you for the answer Rayne. I will read it again tomorrow with coffee and a map.
    Is the consensus that the GOP will never cross the few (possibly compromised) leaders? I find that so depressing it’s not easy to comprehend.

    • Rayne says:

      They’re all compromised. The question is to what degree, and whether each individual senator has some shred of conscience left to overcome the compromise.

      It’s up to constituents to make it hurt figuratively speaking if their senators continue to cave in.

    • Rayne says:

      Scroll down the post at this link and you’ll find a map and a list of the 21 Class II senators. Add McSally of Arizona because apparently she’s running in 2020 for the seat she’s filling by appointment.

      List of states by senate classes can be found at Ballotpedia.

      I think we are approaching the point where senators will begin to revolt. I just hope it won’t take a major failure before they do so.

  12. Anon says:

    Rayne, with respect to this point:

    Is it really too much to ask for a president and Senate Majority Leader to simply do the right thing by the country and reopen the government without fueling more  political conflict?

    As I have argued before I strongly suspect that the driving issue here is they don’t consider that to be the right thing.  Or at least they don’t consider the shutdown all that wrong.  If you look on the sites of movement conservatives they see shutdowns as a positive argument for the failure of government.  That they are themselves causing it is not only immaterial, it is beneficial.  On some level of course I think that they get that services have to run, but their sense of urgency is unfortunately not the same.

    • Rayne says:

      Sometimes what’s written isn’t for the GOP, at the GOP. Sometimes what’s written is for the opposition which is still by numbers the majority of this country who need to vent, validation, and a prod to action.

      The logic of unlocking and opening all the existing doors and leaving them open because a new door with a new lock can’t be obtained is fucked up — even some GOP know this and simply don’t feel ashamed enough to stop the madness. They also need the prod.

      And Ann Coulter’s voice shouldn’t be left uncontested when the majority of the country doesn’t want the wall or the shutdown.

  13. Ed Smart says:

    Polling consistently shows that Americans want DACA recipients to be treated humanely, and be given a decent pathway towards citizenship.  Its not exactly a high value trade to concede to (and only temporarily) to overwhelming popular opinion.  Ann Coulter may think its a big deal, but she’s pretending to be behind popular opinion when she isn’t.

  14. Marinela says:

    @ Anon
    The tragedy is that you have people getting elected that are not interrested in governing. They are more interrested in “distroying the administrative state”.
    And they are responding to donors, not the constituents.

    So if they don’t believe in governing, why even go in politics, if you are planning to cause a government shutdown in purpose as a way to advance unpopular agenda?

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      You might start with money and power.  Usually answers a lot of questions about politics.  From the perspective of an oligarch, American or Russian, running government is a far different thing than being subject to it.

  15. Anon says:

    @Rayne, I get that it isn’t being written for the GOP, and for the record I agree that reopening is the right thing as I have said before. I worked for the federal government after the Clinton/Gingrich shutdown and I saw good people who were still trying to make up for that a year later and who didn’t deserve the pain they went through.

    What I was getting at was that the trouble we face in this instance is that two of the key players just don’t see right and wrong in the same way. Nor do many of their flunkies as the response from my own senators has made clear.

  16. Anon says:


    I honestly don’t think that they think of this as “not governing” the scary part to me is that when I have spoken to comitted libertarians and freepers is that they view “starving the beast” and “shutting it down” as the height of governing. In effect once you have decided that government *is* inherently wrong then you act with a prophet’s zeal to show it one way or another.

    As a case in point an old friend of mine was a committed libertarian and he spent a fair amount of time trying to convert me. Ultimately however his argument, every single time, devolved to the idea that “once we shut it down, the market will work.” In effect telling them that the fact that the market does not work is not a problem because from their view it is government that is preventing that and only shock treatment will change that. Ultimately I could never dislodge him from what is basically a postulate of faith.

    So that is really the problem that we face, people who have an ideological commitment to destruction or at least an ideological opposition to pragmatic solutions, and who operate on the ever shriller tones of the self-involved in the face of empirical opposition. I wish that I had a good answer for it I *truly* do, because replacing one faction for another does not seem to last until you can convince people that their basic beliefs are wrong, or at least oversimplified.

    • Rayne says:

      You know what hastens conversions? Getting stuck on a plane overnight in subzero temps because there’s no customs personnel. I’m actually surprised this didn’t happen in the U.S. but it’s only a matter of time before something like this happens, trapping some captain(s) of industry in first class.

      U.S. Chamber of Commerce is beginning to revolt — maybe they will get through to the ferret-headed freak the way us fungible peons can’t.

      • Anon says:

        Agreed.  Unfortunately I am afraid that things won’t change until there is some disastrous and costly failure so bad that it wholly discredits the ideology even to its believers.  I hate to imagine what that would be however since thousands of separated kids at the border didn’t.

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