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'Will Democrats Fail Dreamers Again?' Protests Erupt in Senate After Schumer Touts Deal With GOP


I agree that the continuing budget resolutions were a stupid place to entangle the DREAMERS - there simply is no end game that works with the shutting down the government threat. For me, the Democrats should have gotten on this issue much earlier. For example, I think saying a vote on renewing DACA must come before a vote on any cabinet pick overseeing immigration policy would have been a much smarter line in the sand. Doing that a year ago would have avoided having nearly a thousand people per week losing their DACA status like we do now.


Americans want a party to stand for something. If we take away the Dreamers in all of this, what exactly do Democrats stand for? What is their vision, their solutions? The Republicans are demanding a ton of things, things that are unpopular, and the Democrats ask for what exactly? Yes, Republicans have lots of power, but they got to this point because the Democrats are really bad at politics, and they benefit from the Democrats having no coherent vision or alternatives. And the Republicans would be doing lots more if they were in the Democrats position than the Democrats are. This is why things just continue, year after year, to get progressively worse. If Americans vote for Democrats, what the hell would the Democrats do with that power? At least Schumer tried to put together some economic ideas at some point, haven’t heard much about that recently.


Sorry, are you arguing that Democrats haven’t overwhelmingly supported policies that have led to decades of stagnating wages for most of the country, the explosion in inequality and private debt, among other things? Have they not put in place lots of policies that have benefited banks, insurance and drug companies, war profiteers, etc.? So they held on a horrible bill that was about as popular as cancer. Great, and they’re not as bad as Trump, and there’s other insanely low bars they clear too. It’s not good enough, and if you look at the long-term macroeconomic trends in this country, the policies your party has supported in recent decades and the impact of those policies, this isn’t something you can deny.


Yeah, and if you talked to labor leaders in the 19th century the idea of a 40 hour work week, child labor laws, the weekend, a minimum wage, and safe working conditions didn’t exist either. And if you talked to the SNCC in the mid 20th century, what they wanted didn’t exist either. Hence the need to create visions of the future, so you have something to organize towards.


Don’t forget, the Senate already passed immigration reform in 2013. It’s hardliners in the House, and House leadership’s deference to them, that killed it and keep killing it. And since there are no filibusters anymore on executive or judicial appointments, the Democrats have very little leverage barring substantial Republican support.

I find this whining—and I don’t mean you specifically—about Democrats to be tedious, frankly. They don’t control committees, they don’t set House and Senate schedules, and they don’t control floor votes. Trump dumped DACA and Republicans are refusing to do anything about it because they don’t want to. That’s the reason nothing is being done. And this wouldn’t be any different if you flipped the name Democrat to Green or Independent.


I agree with your sentiment that ethical principles and the spine to stand up for them matters to most people. But your first two sentences seem to contradict each other. And to be honest, having watched Chuck for far too many years now, I think he lacks both ethical principles AND spine. His agenda has been clear, as others note: both Wall Street and AIPAC must get what they seek.


My argument isn’t regarding this specific confrontation, rather the FACT that the power center of the Democratic Party is just as corporate servicing as the Republican Party, and thus form the legislative block no matter what party is “in control”.

I’m not clueless about this, I’m not unsophisticated about this. I’ve been a very close observer for decades.

I know you have argued that what happened way back when the DLC spawned Bill Clinton doesn’t matter.

Well, it surely does, today, matter. And Schumer is exhibit A.


Yes. Bingo!

I’ve argued previously that if the D’s wanted to use their bit of leverage (a budget resolution) for ANYTHING, it should have been for something much greater / of benefit to democracy itself…a game changer. Something that captured the hearts and minds of ALL Americans; something which proved that the D’s weren’t merely the “kinder, gentler” faces of the military-industrial complex, but actual champions of democracy.

Say, perhaps, demanding an agreement on forwarding a constitutional amendment(s) that specifically states that corporations aren’t people and the spending of money does NOT equal speech when it comes to constitutional protections.

Of course it wouldn’t fly. But putting such a stance front-and-center before the American public might just be worth the shut-down.


Well get set for more tedium.

I wake up every day thinking it is 1996. Is Bill Clinton still President? “Third way” echoes in my chicken brain, stuck like a bad song with a wretched hook.

Maybe Joe Lieberman will make me feel better about everything. Hmmm, I’ve already forgot the name of his DLC redo think tank formed to control messaging so the Corporate State Democrats can best incrementally screw the masses, so they can work effectively with Ryan and the Trump wrecking crew.



Democrats haven’t given them any votes on their major priorities, healthcare and tax cuts. In the past, guys like Lieberman would’ve given bipartisan cover to those efforts. Zero votes and we are stuck in 1990s era PTSD land here at CD.


You know, you can take that insult and ______ it.

By the way, you are talking to a person who has PTSD.

And that condition hasn’t kept me from seeing the big picture regardless of how some with less vision choose to parse it.


This is one of your biggest problems. People try to get you to understand how your employer, the Democrats, has supported tons of policies that have harmed them. They try to get you to understand that it isn’t just about each individual issue that comes up, each piece of legislation that comes up, it is also how bad they are at fighting against the right wing in general, how often they support the policies of the right, how bad they are strategically, their lack of clear alternatives (which is huge, since they have nothing to run on, they often just run against the right wing), their corruption, and you just don’t have it in you to see things from their perspective. You call things whining and that alone shows you to be tone deaf. Do you realize the long-term macroeconomic trends in this country? Do you acknowledge that your party has had a huge, sometimes dominant, role in getting us here? Cause it doesn’t come across in your posts at all. Instead of seeing the big picture you argue small minute points all the damn time, you seem to lack empathy, and you should be more up front about your personal connection to the party. You have a personal incentive to provide cover for the Democrats, and again, you are mostly communicating with people that have to deal with your party’s failures. People aren’t whining by trying to get you to understand how your party’s failures have real world consequences, even if the party allows YOU to have a nice standard of living. You’re whining when you stomp your feet in response to people pointing out the ways in which your party sucks.

The Republicans demand a huge list of things, whether they are in or out of power, and those things are deeply unpopular. The Democrats ask for a few things that have broad support, they rarely get what they want, and they don’t challenge the right wing on most things because the truth of the matter is that many Democrats and most of their donors want those things too. And again, the impact of this whole thing is costing people lives, creating mass misery and is leading us to environmental collapse.

Bill Black was one of the people in charge of going after financial crooks during the S & L crisis, is a professor at UMKC and wrote a book on controlled fraud called “The Best Way to Rob a Bank is to Own One.” The basic logic now applies to your party. The best way to loot a party and all those that depend on that party is to control the party, to control its finances, and to use its resources to the benefit of those that control the party. Those in charge make decisions that harm working people, their own party and their rank and file, but they don’t care because the party is their cash cow and their access to power. My guess is that this applies to you too, but I can’t prove that.


Didn’t mean to insult you personally. Apologies.


As important as that issue is, I don’t think Constitutional amendment proposals excite too many people - and the process for them is too long-term to use it as a leverage in a short term budget battle.

I would just make that issue one of a small number (say 5 or so) that progressives keep hammering on as their message.


I hadn’t seen you mention that before. I hope you are receiving good care and support.


Dennis, admittedly, my focus is on the fundamental problems. So, generally, the more superficial or narrow the benefit of legislation is, the less I think it is worth.

My suggestion re. Constitutional amendment was informed only by my personal observations.But I did find this, in terms of public opinion about fixing the role of $ in politics: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/06/02/us/politics/money-in-politics-poll.html; and http://billmoyers.com/2014/11/21/majority-americans-want-money-politics/ These polls suggest overwhelming public support. Of course, framing is of great importance.

Yes, the process for actual amendment itself is long; and no such proposal has been brought to the Congressional table. Yet considering that the ONLY likely way it will ever happen (given the difficult requirements) is if Congress is willing to move it. Putting such a challenge before the R’s would show clear differentiation on a matter of BROAD public interest…clarifying who the Parties actually serve.

Of course, if we exclude from our discussion what the D’s should have done and focus instead only on what they can do at this immediate point (as the time approaches for the spending bill), then of course my suggestion is moot.

The point I’m trying to make is this:
The D’s have almost no leverage. By tying their assent to the spending bill to fixing DACA, they are spending a huge amount of capital on something that does NOT have the breadth of support that, say, overturning Citizens United or even single-payer / medicare for all health care would have. (See, e.g., https://www.cnn.com/2018/01/19/politics/cnn-poll-shutdown-trump-immigration-daca/index.html )

Further, by making DACA their price for agreeing to a monstrously bloated defense increase (over an already bloated budget base), the D’s risk furthering public cynicism among all but die-hard D’s and the Dreamers’ families.

That is, there is the attendant risk that many will perceive that they were willing to shut down government (& hurt many) primarily for shallow political reasons, i.e. in order to “pander to” one constituency that they believe is important to their election chances. I think the potential for such backlash is significant. This is not to argue that fixing DACA is not important nor that it isn’t urgent.

A counterpoint to this is that one could say the D’s should simply ask for whatever small thing the R’s are willing to grant; and that as DACA has broad public support and some within the GOP itself, that’s what they should seek. But it should be kept in mind that the D’s blinked once on even that issue and the GOP may not be willing to give them ANYTHING that the GOP doesn’t itself want; and if they don’t want DACA, they have the aforementioned polls to bolster their confidence.

Again, If the D’s want to use their very limited leverage, it should be something that broadly interests the public, and which shows they’re the champions of (ALL) the People. They might lose the battle, but they will have won big politically…maybe even win back some of those many old D’s who’ve defected as well as some of those I’s who couldn’t hold their nose any longer.


I agree with most of that. As I stated above, I certainly agree with DACA being inappropriate for the shutting down the government threat - basically for the very reasons you cite. I also agree with the idea that overturning Citizens United is a good message and one that the public strongly agrees with the progressive position (I just don’t feel that even that is useful as a counter-weight to shutting down the government).

The party that does not hold the White House always comes out poorly in these government shutdown situations - even in the situation where the occupant of the White House is as misguided as in the current situation.

Newt Gingrich demonstrated that in the 90’s. He had implemented a brilliant focused strategy to take the House in 1994 with the “Contract with America” but then blew it with the government shutdown politics.
That lesson is still pretty valid - A focused agenda that you continue to hammer on works. Risking the public perception that you are holding the country hostage does not.
Messages like
"Corporations are not people and dollars should not equal votes", “Work should be valued by a living wage”, and “Health care is a fundamental right that demands an improved and expanded Medicare”,
resonate well with the public if you say them, mean them, and stick to them.


I think we’re in substantial agreement. The framing is itself important, but for those (like us) who perceive the difference between mere rhetoric and actual meaning/outcome, the former (framing) is not enough. Maybe we don’t represent a majority of Americans, but your last clause is worthy of emphasis:

Peace & health to you, brother. (btw, my closest brother was also named “Dennis”.


Like your comment. I actually think DACA activists should be focusing on Paul Ryan and Republican leaders who pretend like they want to do something. They aren’t, and I believe are giving Republican hardliners more strength as a result.


Well thank goodness it isn’t anything extreme for me, but rather comes up at times many years after the two events that rewired my brain a bit. Was held up at gunpoint twice, both times my life being threatened and both times the threat seemed absolutely more likely than not to end my life, and both times the threat came out of nowhere, no “seeing it coming”.

So, mostly it’s not reliving that moment these decades later, but rather simple things that cause my heart to race for a few moments, take my breath, rush of pressure in the head, etc.

Typically it is when I’m surprised by someone from behind, or if someone comes out of nowhere. When it happens in situations that are everyday, or with even friends or family, I try not to relay what just happened, or if they see that shock expression on my face as I react, once I catch my breath I’ll try to relate to them that it’s not their fault, and sorry “you just scared me, but it’s just me”. That sort of thing. Once it’s hard wired, it seems to just stay there.