Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Both Sides Do It, Forever

The useless Ron Fournier literally blames both sides within the first 20 words of his piece on the Republicans shutting down Homeland Security in order to kill Obama's immigration orders.

Who's at fault for the looming Homeland Security Department shutdown? Everyone in power. Let me count the ways.

And who's at the top of his list?  President Obama, of course.

1. President Obama and Democratic congressional leaders punted on immigration reform while controlling the White House and Congress in 2009 and 2010. Choosing politics over the policy, they wanted immigration as a point of attack against the GOP in the 2010 midterm elections.

Never mind that Republicans trashed their own immigration plan under Bush in 2007, it's Obama's fault for not passing immigration reform in 2009, despite the fact that when Obama wanted to work on immigration, the GOP blocked the bill.

2. Just weeks after voters repudiated his administration in the 2014 midterms, Obama granted temporary relief from deportation to more than 4 million illegal immigrants. He did so without congressional approval, despitewarnings that such action might be illegal and would almost certainly worsen polarization and dysfunction in Washington. (The fundamental promise of his 2008 election was to break gridlock.)

So at this point it's literally all Obama's fault. Somehow, he made the GOP tie DHS funding to immigration executive orders.

3. Incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell promised the new GOP Senate would not allow a government shutdown. "So I think we have an obligation to change the behavior on the Senate and to begin to function again," he said.

This is somehow third in a two-party blame game.  That tells you all you need to know about Fournier.

5. Congress approved the annual federal budget in December, but Republicans held back funding for the terrorist-fighting agency known as DHS. They wanted leverage against Obama's immigration action. The DHS budget was extended only to February 27.

Now, this is the actual cause of the impending shutdown, but it's not listed until fifth.  Again, classic Fournier.

9. McConnell proposed to "get the Senate unstuck" by decoupling the president's immigration action from the DHS funding bill. Likely outcome: The agency would be funded; Republicans would register a symbolic vote against the president; and Obama would protect his immigration action with a veto.

This is somehow the last "cause" of the problem, the fact that this was all for show and always was. It rather neatly erases the other 8 "causes" but again, this is last.  Fournier ends with this:

The fact that both sides are wrong doesn't mean they are equally wrong. Most voters are likely to conclude that Republicans are a bit more culpable than Democrats. "As we learned during the last government shutdown," according to NBC's First Read political analysis, "the side that's using government spending to demand changes to existing law or directives is going to be the side that gets blamed if the government (or just part of it) shuts down." 
After the 2013 government shutdown, Republican approval ratings plummeted, and yet that searing example of government dysfunction was all but forgotten by the time Republicans stumped Democrats in the 2014 midterms. 
In 2013, voters viewed the GOP as the worst of two bad choices. In 2014, the coin flipped and Democrats were the most-worse option. If DHS shuts down this weekend, it almost doesn't matter who get blamed in the short, medium, and long terms. Both parties will be failures. Again.

So literally two paragraphs after noting that most Americans will blame the GOP because both parties are not "equally wrong", he then ends with "it doesn't matter" and "both parties are equally wrong."

Fournier, folks.

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