GOP Senators Show Trump Who's Boss On Shutdown, Just Kidding It's Susan Collins
Remember watching now-former Nevada GOP Senator Dean Heller twist in the wind for the past two years, desperately trying to appear moderate while dodging shit-tweets from Trump, all the while knowing he was a dead man walking? Well bye bye, Dean! and HELLO CORY! Colorado GOP Senator Cory Gardner is heading into a 2020 campaign in a state that went for Hillary Clinton by five points, and in 2018, flipped its state senate to the Democrats, gave the Democrats a sweep in a bunch of state races, picked up a new Democratic congressman in the Denver suburbs and elected Jared Polis to be its openly gay Jewish Democratic governor. He's already in trouble, but pissing off Trump enough that he aims the fire hose of abuse at him or backs a primary challenger means certain death. Just ask retired South Carolina Congressman Mark Sanford!
So what's a GOP squish to do? The Hill reports:
Gardner is the first Senate Republican to call for ending the partial shutdown even without a deal on Trump's demand for $5 billion to fund a border wall.
"I think we should pass a continuing resolution to get the government back open. The Senate has done it last Congress, we should do it again today," he said.
Ooooooh, TOUGH GUY takin' a real stand! Gardner would maybe sort of like Mitch McConnell to let the Senate vote on some of the stuff they all agreed to two weeks ago, when they voted unanimously to fund the government without WALL money. But that was before Senators Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter called Trump a limpdick and triple-dog-dared him to shut down the government, which Trump was PROUD TO DO, as he announced on national television.
With polls showing the public blames Trump and the GOP for the shutdown, even "moderate" Maine GOP Senator Susan Collins is tut-tutting and brow-furrowing at the prospect of 800,000 government workers going without a paycheck, telling Politico, "My goal is to get government reopened as fast as possible. And six of those bills, we've got agreements on and so I'd like to see those signed into law."
By amazing coincidence, Collins just announced her intention to run for re-election in 2020. Her as-yet-undetermined challenger is already sitting on a $3.6 million war chest, because SUSAN COLLINS KNOWS WHAT SHE DID, AND WE DO NOT FORGET. Democrat Janet Mills just took the Maine governor's mansion by seven points, so maybe Collins is worried enough to do something for real this time to buck Trump and the GOP establishment.
For his part, Mitch McConnell has retreated into his shell. How even does governing work, he wonders! He's just a simple country Senate Majority Leader, so how can he possibly force his own caucus to vote on the exact same thing they voted for last month? Politico reports:
"It's not complicated. I was in this role when Obama was president," McConnell said. "[Vice President Joe] Biden and I did deals because they needed some of my votes. So now, the role is reversed. Ultimately the solution to this is a deal between the president and Nancy and Chuck, because we need some of Chuck's votes, and obviously, we need Nancy's support."
McConnell's position is that Trump, as a Republican president, doesn't need help getting GOP votes. Those senators will be there for the president. It's the Democratic leaders who have to find a compromise with Trump and then deliver their colleagues' votes for that accord, according to McConnell.
"I haven't been sidelined," McConnell added. "There's just no particular role for me when you have this setup."
Cut the crap, Yertle! We were all there, and we remember that Harry Reid played an active role in those negotiations. And the reason Minority Leader McConnell could cut a deal with Vice President Biden was that Barack Obama wasn't a lying maniac. And when Biden proposed budget terms, he wasn't just flashing his pearly whites, unlike Mike Pence, who offered to take $2.5 billion for WALL, only to be immediately undercut when That Lunatic went on camera to shit all over any proposal for less than $5 billion.
Besides which, McConnell could pass that CR any day he feels like it. Two weeks ago, he had 100 Senators voting for it. He could also get two-thirds of the chamber to override a presidential veto -- he just doesn't have the stones to walk into the White House and threaten to do it if Trump doesn't climb down and agree to re-open the government. There's a big difference between having "no particular role" and being a sniveling coward who refuses to do his job.
So now we wait, while the garbage piles up in the parks, home sales are delayed because the IRS can't verify income, much less prepare for tax season, the Violence Against Women Act has expired, and no one in DC can even get a marriage license. We are beginning to think -- and we know it's a stretch -- that Republicans are possibly just terrible at governing?
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.