President Donald Trump on Saturday tweeted that congressional Democrats gave him a present on the one-year anniversary of his ascent to the Oval Office: #DemocratShutdown.
Once upon a time in 2013, the government shut down while Barack Obama was president, and congressional Republicans were blamed for it.
Headlines from The Atlantic like “Republicans Shut Down the Government for Nothing” and “32 Republicans Who Caused the Government Shutdown” are a mere sampling of the response. The dispute then was ObamaCare funding and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) was a central figure in that.
“If we have a shutdown, it will be because Harry Reid holds that absolutist position and essentially holds the American people hostage,” Cruz said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” at the time. “[Reid] says, ‘I’m not willing to compromise, I’m not willing to even talk. His position is 100 percent of Obamacare must be funded in all instances. Other than that, he’s going to shut the government down.”
At the time, though, Donald Trump before he was president said that Barack Obama and his lack of dealmaking was to blame.
Today, Trump went on a Twitter spree and blamed Democrats for picking a shutdown and “unchecked illegal immigration” over the U.S. military and security. He also, like Ted Cruz, said that Democrats were holding something “hostage,” in this case the military.
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) echoed this response by saying Senate Democrats, in appeasing their base rather than coming to an agreement to keep the government open, committed a “dangerous political ploy.”
“Senate Democrats have let down our troops, our children, and all Americans. They will do anything to appease their base, even shut down the federal government,” Ryan said in a statement. “There is nothing in this bill to keep the government open that Democrats actually oppose, and yet they are blocking it nonetheless in a dangerous political ploy. All of this is just unnecessary. It is reckless. Senate Democrats have brought us to a shutdown.”
Republican Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) went so far as to say we are a nation run by idiots.
If you are interested in learning more about what a shutdown actually does, click here. If you are interested in comparing 2013 rhetoric from congressional Democrat leadership to congressional Republican leadership, there’s a source for that too.
While CNN released poll numbers in advance of the shutdown that said the public would blame Democrats more than anyone else, a cursory glance at Twitter yields much finger-pointing at Trump.
Others have reacted to the shutdown with a sense of humor.