Mitch McConnell is a sycophant

In the first part of this article we examined the basic institutional conditions for the shutdown, which are included in the strategy of the Republicansare justified in overriding democratic norms and using the instrument of budget reconciliation processimplement two huge bills: the abolition of Obamacare and a large-scale tax cut for the rich. The first of these projects failed in spring 2017. The Republicansthen set about carrying out their tax robbery.

They also planned on their second attempt Republicans, the budget reconciliation processto use and thus without any voice from the Democratsget along. This one-sided uncompromisingness required the again budget reconciliation process- and a revenue-neutral law. That was a problem though. Since the Republicanswanted to cut taxes unilaterally, a revenue-neutral reform - which may increase the deficit for a maximum of ten years - was practically impossible. Since the RepublicansHad circumvented this problem under George W. Bush in this way, so that the tax cuts for millionaires automatically expired after ten years (and were not extended under Obama), Paul Ryan wanted - crusader for the lowest possible taxes and as little state activity as possible - make the cuts permanent this time.

To do this, however, it was necessary that the trillions of planned cuts for the rich and companies of one's own tribe were somehow at least nominally counter-financed - which requires gigantic budget cuts. As with the Obamacare repeal, it turned out that the Republicansdidn't have a finished plan in their drawer. So in the summer of 2017 they started knitting on one with a hot needle. The internal contradictions in the party that emerged during the Obamacare debacle were also evident this time. They weren't nearly as strong though, because this time it was about them conditia sine qua nonof the entire republican existence since 1994: tax cuts.

Since these made up the ideological core of the party, it was hardly to be expected that the company would receive serious internal opposition. In fact, the resistance of individual MPs such as Susan Collins or Marco Rubio quickly turned out to be mere spectacle, which was endured after a news cycle. The internal policy of the Republicanswas therefore not the biggest obstacle. The CBO, on the other hand, is even more so.

To get around this problem, the Republicans came up with the brilliant idea of ​​simply not making the respective draft law available to the agency in time for an analysis to be carried out. The Republican MPs would therefore vote on a true black box: it was completely unclear what would actually be in the law. The CBO grew beyond itself and published analyzes in record time (the brave analysts probably put on several night shifts) what the Republicanscountered by changing the designs at the last second.

The final draft of the law then required a final trick in order to formally meet the legal requirements: the tax cuts for the middle class would expire in ten years, while those for millionaires and of the Republicanspampered companies were permanent. In addition, the Republicansthe centerpiece of Obamacare: that individual mandatesthat makes health insurance compulsory for everyone. In mathematical terms, the elimination of subsidy payments to poor health insurers therefore results in spending cuts, so that the law was completely acceptable. Only a few other democratic norms remained on the path to destruction, which is what the Republicansbut as is well known, little bothers.

It is worthwhile to linger at this point, because the tax robbery is a strange law at first glance. From the start of the negotiations, it was hugely unpopular, even among supporters of the GOP: the law achieved just 18% approval in society as a whole, making it one of the most unpopular laws of all time. Even the unpopular Obamacare legislation never slipped below 40% approval and is currently stable at over 50%. With midterm elections coming up this year, the law is a massive millstone around the Republican MP's neck.

The senators and representatives were also surprisingly open about why they pushed the law through: their financiers demanded it. But that's not the only reason. As mentioned, tax cuts of this magnitude were the ones raison d'êtrethe party. It was her ultimate goal. In this they are comparable to the Democrats2009. It was evident even then that Obamacare was going to be a huge burden for the midterms. It was passed anyway because the Democratswanted to introduce health insurance for everyone for decades. It was worth it to them. Making the rich richer was it Republicansvalue.

That is not a breach of norms, that is normal in a democracy. It is bad luck that 65% of Republican voters are now against the law that their representatives pass. The party has made no secret of its plans, any more than they have Democratsdid that in 2008. Elections have consequences. Everyone could have known what they were Republicanswould do, and if one chooses them anyway out of ignorance or accepts it, one cannot complain about it later. The same principle applies to politics in any democratic country. That is the responsibility of the electorate, and anyone who does not do it is not doing his or her own duty in the democratic system. But I had already written about that.

With the successful passing of the tax robbery, the second shot of the budget reconciliation processconsumed. The next pieces of legislation for the beginning of 2018 would therefore have to pass the Senate with a majority of 60 votes, if one wanted to filibusteravoid. What is needed is a compromise with at least some Democrats(among which there are options, as can be seen from the voting result presented at the beginning). And the subject area of ​​such a compromise was also made abundantly clear. After tax cuts and the destruction of Obamacare, only a large field was left from the 2016 election campaign (you can see from the right wing identity politicsoff, but they're more of a permanent one work in progress): the immigration policy.

We remember: Trump entered with the promise to build a wall. Only, walls cost money, especially if they are supposed to secure a border several thousand kilometers in length, partly through mountains. That money would not be available for tax cuts and, as noted above, that has never been a serious compromise for the party. Every ridiculously small building of the wall must therefore inevitably be done with democratic votes, because the budget reconciliation processwas reserved for the actual Republican Heart Project.

The Democratsweren't as averse to that as one might think. From the beginning, they offered the Republicans to finance at least part of the wall if, in return, the reform of the DACA process, which has been delayed since 2013 (Deferred Actions for Childhood Arrivals) would be addressed.

What is this about? It is well known that there are several million undocumented immigrants in the United States. The US authority ICE (Immigrations and Customs Enforcement), which under Trump has received more staff and, above all, protection against the consequences of breaking the law and human rights violations by its agents. The maximum number of deportations that the authority can carry out per year is around 100,000. The consequence of this is that many undocumented immigrants sometimes live in the USA for decades before they suddenly end up in the deportation machinery, a problem that is well known to us in Germany.

Obama addressed part of this problem by implementing an evergreen liberal immigration policy. The idea is to give legal status to young people who know no other life than that of the US and who are fully integrated but are undocumented and open a path to citizenship. Specifically, it was about children of immigrants who came to America at a young age - that is, they are not to blame for their status themselves - and who meet a number of criteria.

Specifically, they had to have come to the country before 2007 and with a maximum of 16 years of age, were not allowed to have any previous convictions and had to either attend high school or a higher school form or serve or have served in the military. In this case, under the rules of DACA, they could apply for a residence permit that was valid for two years and could be renewed after it expired. In the meantime, this allowed the applicants, the so-called "dreamers", to legally take up a job, get a driver's license and the like. ICE meanwhile was able to concentrate its capacities on cases of criminal undocumented immigrants.

It was a typical Obama reform: well thought out, limited to a clear area, with improvements for those affected and practically no costs for the rest. Of course, they opposed Republicanswith full force against it, so that DACA was passed by Obama as Executive Action in 2012. It was an administrative matter, not a law - and could simply be repealed by the next president.

As the RepublicansLost the 2012 election and Obama won his second term, strategists for the GOP wrote the famous autopsy report, noting that the Republicanshad become a party of the minority of disgruntled whites and urgently needed to change its xenophobic policy if it did not want to take a permanent minority position. As a result, some senators, such as John McCain and Marco Rubio, tried together with their democratic colleagues ("Gang of Eight") to bring about a non-partisan reform of immigration law and to settle the issue once and for all, among other things by changing the DACA Would be convicted right.

As is well known, things turned out differently. The extremists in the party, who were once again strengthened in 2012, brought the project down. The party focused on mobilizing white anger voters and disenfranchising voters Democrats(by disenfranchisement or gerrymandering). The arcane regulations of the various US electoral systems earned them the presidency; they have remained a minority party. And the Dreamers still had no legal certainty.

Now, in and of itself, there would be little reason to change anything in the existing system. ICE is already busy, its decisions are erratic and by no means only make the "very bad people", which Trump intended to address. Changing the legal status of the Dreamer would therefore only mean throwing them into a sphere of uncertainty - a deportation is practically not feasible at all, except in the completely arbitrary cases in which a Dreamer for some reason falls into the extensive network of ICE. To take away your DACA protection would be as cruel as it is pointless.

No wonder, then, that Trump and the Republicans are drawn to the idea. The latter see in the dreamers a hostage for the negotiations with the Democrats: "Give us what we want or we will destroy the existence of 800,000 people!" It is a cynical and brutal power game, but nothing that one is not used to from the party. Trump, on the other hand, presumably does it out of sheer desire to hurt people and out of revenge. Unable to see relationships, business and politics in any other way than in personal terms, he uses the DACA process to take revenge on the Democratic Senator Feingold, who first televised negotiations (at Trump's instigation!) Through her sheer, informed and professional existence made it clear what an absurd cretin sits in the White House. The president threatened his own party with a veto!

The Republicanshad maneuvered themselves into the trap. The Democratsoffered a clean household if DACA were secured from Trump's access. Such a deal would happen with all Democratic and a few Republican votes, reviving the budget negotiations of the Obama era, in which Boehner and Ryan were successively unable to maintain a majority for a (any) budget without Democratic votes despite a majority in the House of Representatives to put on its feet. But where Obama signed the resulting compromises, Trump threatened with a veto as if he were not part of the government, which he thereby cut off from its sources of funding. It is not entirely absurd to assume that the connections are not completely clear to him.

In this area of ​​tension, the majority leader rejected the Republicansin the Senate, Mitch McConnell, passed a bill to deal with DACA. As expected, this draft failed yesterday with 51:49 votes in the Senate. The government has run out of money and has to send all "non-essential" employees on unpaid leave and stop all "non-essential" activities. Anyone who is somehow dependent on proper government action - be it because they have to file an application, no longer receive a salary or are waiting for a decision - will feel the consequences immediately.

After the last shutdown in 2013, the Republicansbecause the population overwhelmingly blamed them for the condition and there was nothing to be gained. The first polls show a 50:20 majority in the population that the GOP is to blame for this shutdown. Given that the Republicanscontrol all the arms of the government and all of them fireassociated with the shutdown, this should come as no surprise.

The Democratskeep their hand outstretched on a DACA compromise. The offer is of course a poison pill for them Republicans. If you accept a compromise, make yourself traitors in the eyes of your extremist base - and your extremist president - in the face of the upcoming primariesis not a pleasant prospect for the midterms. On the other hand, the functioning of the government is solely its responsibility. In almost ten years of irresponsible extremism, they have maneuvered themselves into this impasse.

As I have already stated before, the party is fundamentally incapable of governing. The shutdown is just another example of this; there has never been one when the same party controls the White House and Congress. Would have Republicansif they did not circumvent the democratic processes last year, they could now budget reconciliation processfor what it is actually there for and preserve the government's ability to act. Since they chose to use it as a weapon to beat a minority program through parliament, this option is no longer open to them. Hopefully this haunt will end in November.