So why would Trump get the blame for this historic shutdown? Well, because back in 2013 it was made clear that whenever there’s a shutdown of the government, the person at the top is ultimately responsible. Listen to these words:
"I mean you just have a President that is not leading and not getting people into a room and not shouting, and cajoling, and laughing, and having a good time, and having a terrible time…But, you know, all of these different emotions are things you have to do but you have to get people in a room and you have to just make deals for the good of the country."
“I mean, problems start from the top and they have to get solved from the top and the president’s the leader. And he’s got to get everybody in a room and he’s got to lead…when they talk about the government shutdown, they’re going to be talking about the President of the United States, who the President was at that time. They’re not going to be talking about who was the head of the House, the head the Senate, who’s running things in Washington. So I really think the pressure is on the President.”
Certainly one could use these very same words today to describe the absolute chaos in DC. In search of leadership…someone to lead, to get things done, to solve problems, to get “people in a room” and “make deals.” However, it’s doubtful that the same person who spoke those words back in 2013 would utter them…because the speaker back then was Donald Trump.
He said the same thing during the 2011 shutdown, too:
“I actually think the President would be blamed. If there is a shutdown, and it’s not going to be a horrible shutdown because, as you know, things will sort of keep going…If there is a shutdown I think it would be a tremendously negative mark on the President of the United States. He’s the one that has to get people together.
But let’s be fair. It’s not just Trump. It’s the Republicans, too. In fact, they may shoulder even more of the blame because shutdowns are their way of doing business.
Seriously, when was the last time a Republican Congress passed a bill that was “just this one bill?” OK, the gawd-awful Tax Deform bill of 2017 was one, but it barely squeaked by and they had to bribe convince several of their own to vote for this dreadful pile of garbage designed to float even more money to the richest 1% (and themselves). Usually their M.O. is to combine awful legislation with token support for stuff regular Americans want (DACA, CHIP, real tax reform, infrastructure support, higher wages, improved foreign relations, etc.). Or, they’ll sneak in stuff to must-pass legislation or omnibus bills because their crap can’t stand on its own merit. My poker buddies know that’s how RAWA was “passed” back in 2006, essentially killing the online poker boom at that time.
It’s how they operate. The GOP is a party that believes government should have a very, very, very small role in people’s lives…and they want to be the ones controlling that role. State’s rights are fine for their platforms, but marijuana sales, abortion rights, sanctuary cities? Nope, gotta have Federal control there, because…uh, something something yargle bargle blah. Why elect people who don’t believe in government to RUN the government? Remember the old saying about shrinking the government down to the size where it could be drowned in a bathtub?
On this, the one-year anniversary of Trump’s inauguration, the government has come to a screeching halt. It sits in the tub, waiting for someone’s small and stubby hands. It’s the GOP’s fault and his. Because, after all…
A shutdown falls on the President's lack of leadership. He can't even control his party and get people together in a room. A shutdown means the President is weak.
--- Donald Trump, 2013
This is why we march.
Not because “we lost” but because we’re all losing.