Americans Don’t Approve of Anyone’s Handling of the Shutdown


Michael Drew

Michael Drew is a Wisconsinite currently residing in Saint Paul, Minnesota. He enjoys thinking and writing about politics, history, and philosophy, listening to music and podcasts of all kinds, watching and occasionally playing sports, and playing the cello.

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12 Responses

  1. Avatar PD Shaw says:

    Regarding the CBS poll, a little more than twice as many are “not sure” whether or not they approve or disapprove of the Democrats handling of the shutdown. (21% vs. 10%) If you remove those without opinions, it looks like this:

    Trump: 39% approve; 61% disapprove
    Congressional Democrats: 42% approve; 58% disapproveReport

  2. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    The problem with polls like these is that they are more likely to show the inchoatcy of the electorate rather than anything else. Since most people are not political and don’t pay attention to politics, they usually lack any understanding of what is going on.Report

  3. Avatar dragonfrog says:

    What really matters is probably what people will think of each party’s actions in about two years.

    Bring seen as gutless compromisers without a principle in the world they’re willing to stand firm on hasn’t been kind to democrats in the past.Report

  4. Avatar North says:

    Yeah, basically the government is shut down. As long as the government remains shut down no one involved is going to get high marks. I think the Democratic Party is playing the situation about as well as they can:
    -They’re emphatically driving home the message over and over that Trump elected to shut down the government (with a big assist from Trump himself).
    -They’re passing bills to re-open the government, again, as visibly as possible though wiley ol’ Mitch in the Senate is roadblocking that to protect Trump from having to veto.
    -Message discipline seems on point so far. I haven’t noticed much in the way of cackling, gloating or other really publicly visible behavior by Dem party actors.

    None of the above is going to give them high marks from the public; as long as the shut down continues everyone is in the dog house; but if they stick to those themes I would presume that pressure will mount on Senate republicans faster than on congressional Democrats.Report

    • Avatar bookdragon says:

      Honestly, I’m surprised Mitch isn’t getting hammered for this. He’s the one refusing to allow a vote on a bill that is exactly the same thing that the Senate unanimously approved before the holidays.

      Someone is messing up the messaging. Yes, Trump is a self-absorbed jerk. Moreover, if he’s a Russian asset, whether consciously or only in the ‘useful idiot’ sense, it may make sense to focus on him to drive down support among his own party leaders and donors. But if the focus of why nothing is happening became Mitch, how long do you think he’d hold out?Report

      • Avatar Kolohe says:

        My guess is that since McConnell is already rather unpopular, but also has managed to defeat any and all opponents from either party, he feels he’s playing with house money now, so he doesn’t give a [Frankfort].

        Also, he’s won every game of chicken he’s played in the last few years, so why would he change his strategery now?Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

        McConell probably wants the shut down or at least doesn’t care.

        “If the US has someone whom historians will look back on as the gravedigger of American democracy, it is Mitch McConnell. He stoked the hyperpolarization of American politics to make the Obama presidency as dysfunctional and paralyzed as he possibly could. As with parliamentary gridlock in Weimar, congressional gridlock in the US has diminished respect for democratic norms, allowing McConnell to trample them even more. Nowhere is this vicious circle clearer than in the obliteration of traditional precedents concerning judicial appointments. Systematic obstruction of nominations in Obama’s first term provoked Democrats to scrap the filibuster for all but Supreme Court nominations. Then McConnell’s unprecedented blocking of the Merrick Garland nomination required him in turn to scrap the filibuster for Supreme Court nominations in order to complete the “steal” of Antonin Scalia’s seat and confirm Neil Gorsuch. The extreme politicization of the judicial nomination process is once again on display in the current Kavanaugh hearings.

        Whatever secret reservations McConnell and other traditional Republican leaders have about Trump’s character, governing style, and possible criminality, they openly rejoice in the payoff they have received from their alliance with him and his base: huge tax cuts for the wealthy, financial and environmental deregulation, the nominations of two conservative Supreme Court justices (so far) and a host of other conservative judicial appointments, and a significant reduction in government-sponsored health care (though not yet the total abolition of Obamacare they hope for). Like Hitler’s conservative allies, McConnell and the Republicans have prided themselves on the early returns on their investment in Trump. The combination of Trump’s abasement before Putin in Helsinki, the shameful separation of families at the border in complete disregard of US asylum law (to say nothing of basic humanitarian principles and the GOP’s relentless claim to be the defender of “family values”), and most recently Michael Cohen’s implication of Trump in criminal violations of campaign finance laws has not shaken the fealty of the Republican old guard, so there is little indication that even an explosive and incriminating report from Special Counsel Robert Mueller will rupture the alliance.”Report

      • Avatar North says:

        Mitch only cares about his caucus and you can be very sure that currently the GOP caucus likes it very much that Mitch is taking blame and they’re being spared having to vote. If you want to move the GOP caucus and try and break Mitchs’ blockade targeting Mitch himself is a fools errand; that wily ol turtle has a thick shell and thicker skin and doesn’t give a rip about what anyone outside his voters and his caucus think of him. Targeting the GOP senators up for reelection in 2020 is a much better bet.

        This ends one of three ways.
        The economic pain hits voters and connected folks that matter more to the Democratic actors so hard that the Dems finally give in and give Trump his wall funding.
        The economic pain hits voters and connected folks that matter more to Trump so hard that the Trump finally gives in and lets bills through without wall funding or;
        The economic pain hits voters and connected folks that matter more to the Republican actors so hard that the GOP finally gives in and joins the Dems in overriding Trump.Report

  5. Avatar DavidTC says:

    With a larger percentage (45%) of those opposing wall funding wanting Democrats nevertheless to compromise on it in order to get the government running again than the percentage of all Americans who currently approve of their handling of the shutdown (33%), it is difficult to see how the number supporting the kind of approach the Democrats have taken so far so far will grow as the shutdown drags on.

    So people think the Democrats should accept the President’s compromise of…huh. The President hasn’t actually offered them anything, has he? He’s offered to do exactly the same thing they don’t want, but slightly less of it? Or the same amount, but cheaper? They seem unlikely to agree to be punched in a face just a little, with a discounted puncher.

    I don’t even understand how ‘compromise’ is supposed to work here. There’s not some competing interests here…the President wants to do something that the Democrats in Congress think is a negative and the Republicans in Congress literally don’t care about and think is stupid, but don’t want to fight over. The President has to, at minimum, get some Democrats on board by offering them some additional thing they want but would be hard to get. (And then hope the Republicans fall in line.) A while back the Democrats had DACA on the table, how about offering that? He might need more on the table…how about some work shoring up the ACA?

    I mean, this is basic politics. He wants something from the Democrats, so he offers something to the Democrats, and that’s literally what ‘compromise’ means in politics. Surely they can come to some deal…oh crap, I just remembered.

    The President in Donald Trump, isn’t it? The guy who literally has no idea how to manage anything and his entire concept of ‘dealmaking’ is ‘threaten the other guy and then breach the contract as much as you can get away with and then move on to another guy to threaten’?

    Sorry, I was accidentally analyzing the behavior of ‘the President’ like this was a sane and normal and moderately competent administration.Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

      People don’t really pay enough attention to politics to understand fully what is going on and understand the situation. They want cupcakes, unicorns, and rainbows. Though eventually Democrats will have more to lose than gain as workers don’t get paid than Republicans. The not-paying federal workers is a feature, not a bug.Report

    • Avatar DavidTC says:

      Well, the President has finally offered a compromise, and it even involved DACA!

      Of course, it’s not ‘Actually protect those people via law’, it is just ‘I’ll stop trying to abruptly end the program for a short period of time’, which a) is obviously an idiotic trade for a _permanent_ border wall, b) something the Courts have already done, and c) as far as I can tell, merely something he’s promising to (not) do, not an actual law he’s going to sign, so he could change positions at any time.

      Oooh! So close! And by close, I mean ‘Well, at least this time you released the bowling ball at the bottom of the swing instead of hurtling it into the nacho machine. Now we just need to get you into the actual bowling area, and at the line, and the ball going down the alley, and maybe you’ll eventually hit a pin!’Report