The straw man is back
From this morning’s editorial, “Pass Budget, Then Act on ‘Dreamers,’” in the Wheeling Intelligencer*:
Democratic leaders in Congress seem more interest in political grandstanding than in keeping essential government services available. Their demand regarding budget bills that need to be enacted by January 19 makes that clear.
Achieving agreement on spending will be difficult enough. But Democrat leaders are throwing a monkey wrench into the machinery of accomplishing that.
They are insisting that provisions to prevent deportation of hundreds of thousands of immigrants be included in the budget bills. If that does not happen, the Democrats plan to block passage of spending packages, even if that means risking a shutdown of some government programs after Jan. 19.
Yes, it’s another “straw man” from the Intelligencer editor or whichever of the editors in the Ogden chain wrote this editorial (see next post down). Budgets are about negotiations and DACA is certainly a significant negotiating issue for the Democrats. But as any search reveals, there are other important issues as well. Here is what the Democrats want according to the New York Times:
Democratic demands are ambitious, topped by a legislative shield for the young undocumented immigrants whose Obama-era protection from deportation was ended by Mr. Trump. They are also pushing for broader intervention in the opioid epidemic, a boost for veterans’ care, disaster relief to hurricane-stricken areas, and financing for the Children’s Health Insurance Program.
The editorial writer appears to have chosen to attack the most controversial of the Democratic negotiating issues while ignoring the rest. Additionally, there is no mention of the important Republican budgetary requirements up for negotiation -- a significant increase in military spending. Why would there be? This editorial exists to frame the upcoming budget debate as about Democratic "grandstanding" rather than political negotiating. And of course, the Democrats are the guilty party.
The editorial made me wonder about the budget impasse and eventual government shutdown in 2013 while the Republicans controlled Congress. According to CNN back then:
House GOP leaders announced their intention Wednesday to pass a bill this week that would only keep the government running after September 30 if President Barack Obama's health care reform law is fully defunded.
I searched but could not find any criticism by our local “newspapers” of this “monkey wrench” thrown in by the Republicans. However, two years later when the Republicans threatened to do it again, the Intelligencer launched a pre-emptive strike when the Republicans threw in yet another “monkey wrench”:
Potential Shutdown Is Obama’s Choice
Yes, no matter who’s in power, it’s always the Democrats' fault.
*Note – no link for the editorial. For the first time that I have noticed, a morning editorial is not online. (This happens frequently with the afternoon editorials.) Maybe this is to keep the curious from tracking where the editorial ends up.
Along those lines, yesterday morning’s Intelligencer editorial about Iranian reformers ended up in today’s Lisbon (Ohio) Morning Journal. More journalism on the cheap.