People For the American Way

The Progressive Happy Hour: The Trump/Republican Shutdown

News and Analysis
The Progressive Happy Hour: The Trump/Republican Shutdown

It’s been 20 days since Trump shut down the federal government, and the effects of this shutdown continue to pile up: Hundreds of thousands of furloughed federal workers and government contractors are missing paychecks, and without access to federal services and resources, the lives of low-income families across the country are being increasingly destabilized.

In the January 11 episode of “The Progressive Happy Hour,” cohost Drew Courtney and guest host Diallo Brooks talk to People For the American Way Senior Fellow Peter Montgomery to discuss the Trump administration’s racist fearmongering and blatant lies, the immediate and long-term impacts of the shutdown, and why Trump and Republicans are equally to blame for the damage the shutdown has caused.

Trump doubled down on his racist lies about the security crisis at the U.S./Mexico border in his January 8 speech. Peter noted, “There’s that old expression: ‘The fish rots from the head. Trump’s model is [to] lie about everything, never take it back or apologize, just repeat the lie … And we’re all becoming a little bit numb to the fact of just how much he lies and just how damaging that is; how it increases our cynicism … It’s terrible for the country in a long-term way.”

If Trump declares a national emergency, as he is expected to do, it would set an alarming precedent, Peter said. He continued, “Everybody who knows about this knows there’s no national security crisis at the border … It’s going to be another moment when Republicans in Congress have to look at themselves in the mirror and say, ‘Is there no end to the damage I will let this man do? Is there a moment in which I will stand up for the country?” Drew added, “I would say the country and the Constitution. If you look at the most essential parts of the Constitution … Congress spends the money … For Republicans to go along with that is for Republicans to say, ‘The Constitution doesn’t matter anymore.’”

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