The Government Shut Down Overnight; Is Back Open

There is a lot of anger at the Democrats for not forcing a shutdown over DACA. I will just reiterate what I said yesterday: That is misdirected ire. The anger should be directed squarely at the Republicans and their despicable president, who talk about undocumented immigrants like vermin, have zero compunction about tearing people from their homes and ripping families apart, and utterly refuse to exhibit an infinitesimal trace of compassion or decency, preferring instead nativist malice.

The fact is, the Democrats are in the minority. There is nothing they can do legislatively if the Republicans don't want a DACA deal, and they don't.

What the Democrats did do: Nancy Pelosi did something truly extraordinary, something historical, to try to convince her Republican colleagues to give a fuck about DREAMers. Her party went for a shutdown the last time, and polling showed that there was not widespread support for that strategy. To the contrary, public support was moving away from the Democrats, threatening their electoral chances in November.

They were left with the choice to force a shutdown now to try to get a DACA deal that the Republicans were never, ever, going to give them anyway (in no small part thanks to a media who both-sides everything to the Democrats' disfavor), or call it a loss now and bank on trying to win in November, and stop the onslaught against undocumented immigrants from a majority position.

Those are two terrible choices, because neither of them help DREAMers who need help now.

But there simply isn't some secret third choice the Democrats could have made and just refused. That doesn't exist.

Too many people expect the Democrats to do something by magic. They are the minority party. Republicans hold the executive branch, the legislative branch, SCOTUS, most state governments, and increasingly the federal courts. And the reason is because Republicans have been cheating their way to total dominance for five decades, because they have undiluted contempt for democracy.

Be angry at that. And if you haven't paid attention to politics or protested the Republicans' cheating until now, be angry at yourself for checking out as a citizen. Be angry at the media that failed to inform you about what was happening to your country.

But don't be angry now at the Democrats for not having any good options.

We are living in an authoritarian state with one-party rule. The Democrats aren't perfect — I wish, for example, that they would stop hesitating about leaking critical documents, because it's pointless to keep playing by rules that don't matter anymore — but they are hardly the target for our ire in this moment.

It feels better to direct our anger and disappointment at them, because they are the only ones who still care about it. It feels futile to direct it where it actually belongs — at a party of indifferent sociopaths, off of whom our frustrations and fears bounce without even leaving a mark.

I am incandescently angry that this nation is not merely failing but harming undocumented immigrants. I hate it. It makes me shake with fury, and it makes me scared.

I am part of an immigrant family and I am full of fucking rage. And that rage is directed at the governing party and its disgusting president.

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