We are now in Day 2 of the government shutdown, and things are not moving favorably for the Democrats, and they know it.

One sign may be that some leading Democrats are talking about capitulating on funding a wall on the Mexican border.

The Wall is symbolic in many ways.

It’s a campaign promise Trump made to the derision of Democrats and Mexicans. Whether it’s a physical barrier the length of the entire border, or a physical barrier covering just most of the border, it’s more than a physical barrier politically.

The Wall goes to the heart of the open border dispute – liberals don’t want it because they don’t want a border, and a wall symbolizes a border. It will serve as a reminder of U.S. sovereignty in a world where a generation of students have been schooled that U.S. sovereignty is racist.

So The Wall has become a test of political power. Trump wants it, Dems don’t want it.

Trump has made The Wall a non-negotiable point in DACA negotiations, and it has driven Dems to near madness because it forces them to choose between two irreconcilable demands from their base: No border and a DACA deal.

The government shutdown is not working to Democrats favor, and they know it. When it comes to funding the budget, Democrats put DACA ahead of the rest of the nation, including the military. That is a losing proposition, and Democrats are squirming when even loyal Democrat newspapers frame the shutdown as created by Democrats in the Senate.

Against the backdrop of The Wall and shutdown dispute is the fact that generic ballot polling, which had been used to predict a Democrat landslide in November 2018, is tightening substantially since the tax reform bill. CNN reports:

As the midterm election year begins, a new CNN poll conducted by SSRS finds the Democratic advantage on a generic congressional ballot has tightened to a narrow 5 points among registered voters, but those voters who say they are most enthusiastic about turning out to vote this fall favor Democrats by a wide 15-point margin.

The new poll’s 49% Democrat to 44% Republican margin among registered voters is almost identical to Democrats’ standing in January of 2006, the last midterm election year in which they made significant gains in the House of Representatives.
But it represents a large shift from CNN polls conducted in the past three months, in which Democrats held double-digit advantages over the Republicans. Preferences among all adults have shifted less dramatically, but are also tighter than last fall, with Democrats currently 10 points ahead of Republicans among all Americans.

The CNN finding is consistent with other recent generic ballot polling, as The Hill reports:

Democrats’ lead in House generic ballot polling for the 2018 midterm elections has fallen to single digits according to a poll released Thursday.

An NPR—PBS NewsHour—Marist poll found that when voters were asked which party’s candidate they’d more likely vote for in their district, 46 percent of registered voters said Democrats, while 40 percent went with Republicans. Nine percent are undecided.

That shows a sizable decline from December polling, which found Democrats leading by 13 points on generic ballot polling.

Thursday’s poll found more welcome news for Republicans among registered voters who identify as independents.

Among those voters, Republicans led by 2 points, with 38 percent of those voters saying they’d vote for the GOP candidate, while 36 percent said the Democratic candidate. In December, polling found that Democrats were leading among independent voters by 11 points.

In short, what just a couple of weeks ago seemed like a growing Democrat wave, now looks like a reversal of fortune. So Democrats are desperate to find a way out of their DACA and shutdown quicksand. And that way out appears to be capitulating on The Wall.

Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) has publicly capitulated:

“It’s not about a wall. We’ll build him a wall. Tell us how high you want it. But free the dreamers”


There also are conflicting reports that Schumer offered Trump $20 billion in wall funding, though that is not confirmed:

Senate Minority Chuck Schumer said Friday that he offered to include funding for President Donald Trump’s wall along the Mexican border as part of a deal to avoid a government shutdown.

During a speech on the Senate floor after the government officially hit a funding lapse, Schumer told members that a deal he offered to Trump would have given the president some funding for the long-promised wall in exchange for the codification of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) immigration program.

The president rejected the offer, according to Schumer.

“In exchange for strong DACA protections, I reluctantly put the border wall on the table for discussion,” Schumer said. “Even that was not enough to entice the president to finish the deal.”

The terms are disputed:

Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union,” while discussing the government shutdown, White House budget director Mick Mulvaney said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) offer on the border wall was only to “authorize” funding, not “appropriating” the money.

Mulvaney said, “The president is absolutely interested and wants to get DACA fixed but what with you’ve just read really bears a close read which is what the Senate minority leader said was to authorize $20 billion. I know it’s getting real deep down in the weeds. You can authorize left and right but it’s appropriating the money that makes the difference. He wants to authorize the wall to be built but doesn’t want to spend the money to get it built. There was money authorized in 2006 that Mr. Schumer voted for for a wall that still hasn’t been built because that money hasn’t been spent.”

Schumer was moaning and groaning that negotiating with Trump was like negotiating with jello, no fixed positions.

I view it differently, it’s getting Democrats to bid against themselves, by not committing to anything yourself.

Now Democrats have offered The Wall, but it’s not going to be enough to resolve the shutdown, because Trump will not negotiate about DACA while the government is shut.

So Democrats have all but capitulated on The Wall, and they will capitulate further, on chain migration and the immigration lottery, other terms Trump has set as prerequisites.

The big issue is will Democrats get some form of amnesty (pathway to citizenship) in return for this capitulation.

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