10 Dumbest Things Said (So Far!) by Dems About the Shutdown

Democrats are confused about the political wisdom or lack thereof with 'Schumer's Shutdown' — it shows in desperate blame-shifting

by Jim Stinson | Updated 22 Jan 2018 at 1:09 PM

As “Schumer’s Shutdown” began and the weekend wore on, congressional Democrats realized they did not have an exit strategy, according to multiple media reports.

They are nervous and likely to be blamed for the first federal government shutdown since 2013.

House Democrats could not stop a funding bill in their chamber. But by using filibuster rules, Senate Democrats succeeded late Friday night in starting a shutdown that began Saturday. But by Sunday, congressional Democrats were leaking their fears of being blamed for the shutdown. And they were stuttering and stammering when they explained they had to shut down the government, because President Donald Trump isn't meeting their demands, whatever those demands are.

So then they went before the microphones and tried to explain. And that's where it got silly. Thus, the 10 dumbest things we heard (so far) Democrats say about their shutdown:

1.) Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) compared important negotiations with the president to talking to food. Apparently, Schumer has experience talking to food, as he told reporters Trump was like a certain gelatin: "Negotiating with this White House is like negotiating with Jell-O ... It's next to impossible."

That's because it's Jell-O, Chuck. Try talking to people.

2.) Sen. Bob Casey (D-Penn.) is up for re-election in the Keystone State, a state Trump won in 2016. He is under pressure to win again, but the shutdown has him on the defensive. So what did he tell The Washington Post? What do Democrats normally say about Republicans? That they hate the people. Casey went back to the old Dem playbook, and said the GOP doesn't care about the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which the Republicans wanted to fund for six years as part of negotiations.

"They don't give a damn about these kids," said Casey. "If they gave a damn, they would have gotten it done in September, or October, or November, or December."

3.) Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-Ill.) is one of the more colorful characters in Congress. And it showed on Sunday when he went on ABC News' "This Week" with George Stephanopoulos and said he would accept building the wall on the southern border to grant amnesty to illegal aliens brought here as children, people known as dreamers.

On Sunday, a weary Gutiérrez admitted he would support a border wall if it meant paying off the "kidnappers," against whom he promised to retaliate later in the year.

"If that's what it's going to take in order to put 800,000 young men and women in this country, dreamers, and put them in a safe place and put them on a course to full integration in our society, if that's what the hostage-takers of the dreamers, if that's their ransom call, I say pay it and then," said Gutiérrez. "Next November, we'll deal with the kidnappers at the election at the polls."

4.) Shortly after the congressional Democrats shut down the government, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said she was "very proud" of them. Pelosi, the House minority leader and former speaker of the House, then took House Democrats out to dinner at the swanky Acqua Al 2 restaurant, according to Jake Sherman of Politico. So while border patrol agents and soldiers may suffer under the shutdown, Pelosi is enjoying fine cuisine.

5.) Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) was another Democrat claiming the GOP was holding CHIP hostage, even though Republicans want to reauthorize the program: "It is time for Republican leaders to stop holding CHIP children and families hostage to their failed budget process."

Brown said he would donate his shutdown paycheck to an Ohio diaper bank, according to WCMH-TV of Columbus. Brown is up for re-election in 2018 in a state that Trump easily carried, so maybe voters will decide it's time to change Brown.

6.) No list would be complete without Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the increasingly eccentric lawmaker who said shutdowns can be fatal.

"Shutting down the government is a very serious thing," Feinstein told CNN on Thursday. "People die, accidents happen ... Necessary functions can cease."

Then Feinstein voted on Friday night in favor of the shutdown.

7.) And another essential for this list is Sen. Bernie Sanders, the independent socialist from Vermont who ran for president in the Democratic primaries in 2016. Sanders took to Twitter to blame the usual suspects: "This government shutdown is part of the long-term, anti-government ideology paid for by the Koch brothers."

Then why did Sanders vote for the shutdown?

8.) Rob Reiner, the left-wing movie director and "Meathead" from "All in the Family," used an old card, denouncing the GOP on Twitter: "Make no mistake, this shutdown boils down to one thing: RACISM. GOP frightened to death of the browning of America. They will lose this last big battle of the Civil War."

9.) Just like the good old days, a Kennedy made the list. Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-Mass.), the grandson of the late Robert Kennedy, couldn't resist denouncing the shutdown while bringing up — you guessed it — Russia, on Twitter: "Russia is a real threat to our democracy. Dreamers are anything but. Why is POTUS willing to shut down government to deport 700,000 young Americans but won't even acknowledge a foreign adversary's attack on us?"

10.) In October 2013, Schumer warned against a shutdown, telling CNN: "It's a politics of idiocy, of confrontation, of paralysis."

One might say Schumer's shutdown principles are about as slippery as a bowl of Jell-O.

PoliZette White House writer Jim Stinson can be reached at jim.stinson[email protected]. Follow him on Twitter.

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