The Political Benefits of Shutting This particular Down

Hi. Welcome to On Politics, your guide to the day in national politics. I’m Lisa Lerer, your host.

[Get On Politics delivered to your inbox.]

Cash-strapped government workers are worried about buying food in addition to doing rent. Trash in addition to human feces (seriously!) are piling up in national parks. Even the Secret Service will be feeling stressed.

in addition to yet, 19 days into what’s become the country’s second-longest government shutdown, there’s no compromise in sight, in addition to no additional negotiations scheduled.

The problem, of course, will be politics. The shutdown hinges on a border wall battle that will’s become about so much more than a wall. In many ways, President Trump’s fight for his “big, beautiful wall” will be a metaphor for the current politics of Washington.

You have a broadly unpopular Republican president, already operating under a cloud of investigations, obsessed with keeping his promises to his supporters ahead of what’s required to be a tough re-election race. in addition to you have a Democratic opposition equally driven by their voters to oppose him at every turn.

Those politics are the undercurrent for all the talks about the shutdown, in addition to they’re fundamentally at odds with each various other. in addition to each sides sees political benefit to holding out in addition to resisting any sort of compromise.

Here’s what Democrats see:

Midterm wins. Democrats won control of the House despite efforts by the president to turn the final weeks of the campaign into a referendum on undocumented immigrants. Mr. Trump couldn’t get his wall funded when he controlled both houses of Congress. Why should they give right now, Democrats argue, if his own party wouldn’t?

• The base. Yes, some Democrats have backed border fencing inside past. however Mr. Trump’s hard-line policies, which Democrats see as racist in addition to xenophobic, have pushed the party to the left. in addition to This particular’s harder to cut deals when the debate becomes about morality.

• The dealmaker has no clothes. Storming out a meeting after saying “bye-bye” isn’t a not bad look for any president, Democrats believe, however particularly one who ran on his ability to negotiate. The broader impact of the shutdown cuts through the theatrics the president typically uses to get out of tricky situations.

Jumpy Republicans. On Wednesday night, eight House Republicans broke with the president in addition to voted for a Democratic bill that will would likely reopen the Treasury Department. At least four G.O.P. Senators have expressed some support for reopening the government. The most jittery of all? Republicans up for re-election in purple states.

What the White House sees:

• The various other base. Mr. Trump measures his political success by whether he keeps his supporters happy. that will’s part of why he rejected a deal on the shutdown negotiated by his own aides in addition to G.O.P. leaders after conservatives voiced opposition. in addition to his base wants that will wall.

Mueller? Mueller? The constant focus on the shutdown provides Mr. Trump in addition to the White House that has a break through the story line that will actually makes them nervous: the special counsel investigation.

What Republicans see:

Opposition to Mr. Trump never pays. There are 19 Senate Republicans up for re-election next year in red states. A lesson many took away through the president’s support of primary challengers during 2018 midterms was that will Republican establishment doesn’t win by contradicting Mr. Trump.

A longer timeline. The decisions by the White House to pay out food stamps through February in addition to process tax refunds means Republicans have a bit more breathing room. Particularly in poorer districts, extending these programs provides essential cash infusions to large parts of their voting base.

The elusive deal. Senate Republicans have grown increasingly aggravated with the lack of clarity through the White House, leaving them unsure about whether Mr. Trump would likely even sign a deal they managed to cut with Democrats. that will’s part of why the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, has kept his distance through the talks. “This particular’s always difficult,” Senator John Cornyn told The Washington Post, “when the person you’re negotiating with will be someone who alterations his mind.”

however don’t forget This particular:

Elections are not won or lost on shutdowns.

In 1995 in addition to 1996, Americans blamed the Republican Congress for shutdowns. The party held onto its majorities inside 1996 election. In 2013, Americans Once more blamed Republicans for the shutdown. inside midterms that will followed the next year, the party gained seats inside House in addition to won back the Senate.

Have you been personally affected by the shutdown? Tell us about This particular: Our inbox will be always open!


After a day of fruitless negotiations over the wall, President Trump traveled to a border town in Texas today to make his case. We decided to check in with Linda Qiu, The Times’s fact checker, in addition to test the veracity of some of the president’s recent talk about the border.

Lisa: In his prime-time address on Tuesday, the president said the southern border was at a crisis point. What do you make of that will? Have things gotten considerably worse down there?

Linda: Mr. Trump said the word “crisis” six times in that will nine-minute address! however there’s not actually a not bad case for a border crisis. Illegal border crossings have been declining for about two decades. I’ll bore you with some numbers right now: through the 1980s to mid-2000s, apprehensions at the southwest border were between 1 million in addition to 1.6 million annually. Last year, the number was just under 400,000. right now, there has been an uptick in monthly crossings in October in addition to November, to about 50,000 apprehensions each month. however compare that will to 2000, when the monthly number was between 70,000 in addition to 220,000.

This particular’s also interesting to me that will Mr. Trump has sort of stopped trying to use data to support his arguments. Instead, he’s talking more about “Angel Families” — people whose loved ones were killed by undocumented immigrants — as he did inside speech on Tuesday night in addition to during a round-table today. (in addition to some of these families actually appreciate the president advocating on their behalf!) however certainly, This particular’s more beneficial for him to highlight these specific tragedies than talk about the body of research that will shows that will immigration does not lead to more crime, in addition to that will immigrants are actually less like to commit crimes than native-born Americans.

So at the end of the day, This particular’s an emotional appeal, rather than a statistical or empirical argument about any “crisis.”

Lisa: The appeal to emotions reminds me of the migrant caravan, which the president helped turn into a national story ahead of the midterm elections. What happened to the caravan? Did the migrants ever come to the U.S.?

Our colleague Astead Herndon, who covers national politics, sent us This particular update today on the latest through a big-name 2020 hopeful.

Senator Kamala Harris continues to ready her likely presidential campaign, in addition to This particular week came with significant clues on what to expect through the California Democrat as she prepares for the national circuit.

Ms. Harris held several media appearances as she hawked her pointedly timed brand new book, “The Truths We Hold,” including guest spots on not bad Morning America, The View in addition to several late night talk shows. The message: She’s a unifier in a time of deep polarization in addition to division.

“We’re at an inflection moment, not only inside history of our country however the history of our world,” Ms. Harris said on ABC’s not bad Morning America. “There are a lot of people who rightly feel displaced. They are wondering: Where do they belong? Are they relevant? Are they seen? Are we thinking about them?”

“We need leadership features a vision of the future in which everyone can see themselves,” she said.

Though Ms. Harris will be required to announce her presidential candidacy inside coming weeks, a source close to the senator said there’s no imminent plans on when that will will happen. Ms. Harris will be in brand new York City Friday, for a book event at the famed 92nd Street Y on the Upper East Side.

This particular week she also tweeted a call for nationalized legal marijuana in addition to said incarcerated persons who were convicted on nonviolent marijuana-related charges should have their records expunged.

Ms. Harris has, at times, come under fire through social justice activists who say her tenure as California attorney general did not match her progressive rhetoric. This particular will be one of several challenges facing Ms. Harris’s candidacy, which will be one of the first viable campaigns for president launched by a nonwhite woman.

[Sign up here to get On Politics in your inbox.]


Scientists have found that will the oceans are heating up 40 percent faster than a U.N. panel estimated several years ago, in addition to that will ocean temperatures have broken records for several straight years.

Video games as a varsity sport? At several high schools in addition to colleges, there are leagues, practice, spectators — even scholarships.

Her fiancé helped orchestrate the raid on Osama bin Laden. He received a Purple Heart. He thwarted a bioterrorism attack in brand new York City. Or did he? The title of This particular piece in Marie Claire says This particular all: “I Almost Married a Con Man.”