If Dems stare down Trump in Dreamer shutdown showdown, they will win

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Senate Democrats should stand up for what is right, stare down President Trump and his GOP allies in Washington, and demand that the recently proposed bipartisan compromise to save the DREAM Act be included in the pending spending bill that would prevent a government shutdown.

If Senate Democrats stand tall, stand proud, stand together and stare down Trump with resolve in support of the Dream Act at this time, at this place, during this spending crisis, they will win. They will either win because Republican leaders will accept the bipartisan compromise now, or they will win because Trump and Republicans who control the White House and Congress will be roundly blamed for the shutdown and will then agree to save the DREAM Act.

Dreamers have overwhelming majority support from the American people. Last September, PolitiFact found that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was correct when she said that three-quarters of the American people support the DREAM Act. Since then, if anything, support for Dreamers has increased, and in some polls has risen to nearly 90 percent of the nation. 

Does President Trump, the most unpopular president after one year in the White House, want to force a government shutdown over an issue that 75 to nearly 90 percent of voters favor? Do Republicans in a Republican-led Congress that is disapproved by a huge majority of voters, and Republican leaders in the Senate and House who are widely unpopular, and Republican members of a Republican Party that is losing by landslide margins in generic polling for the 2018 elections, want to force a government shutdown over an issue where 75 to nearly 90 percent of voters disagree with their position?

{mosads}The answer to these questions, for any party not intent on committing political suicide, is no, they do not want to force a government shutdown over an issue that a huge and stunning majority of Americans favor.


If Senate Democrats go to the mattress over this issue, and if Trump and Senate Republican leaders force a shutdown because they will not accept a bipartisan plan to save DREAM Act, they will be annihilated by the high court of public opinion in our democratic nation.

The huge majority of voters who support the DREAM Act know that Republicans control the House, Republicans control the Senate, and Republicans control the presidency under the extremely unpopular Trump. So many voters will view all-Republican government as so incompetent and extremist that the power in party will be blamed for the shutdown, and the prospect will grow for the Democratic mega-landslide in the midterm elections that I warned Republicans about in my column this week.

The huge majority of voters who support the DREAM Act know that the president made despicable and sickening comments last week that were widely viewed as racist during a meeting to discuss this urgently needed bipartisan compromise to save the DREAM Act. They will hold Republicans accountable for the shutdown that will happen if the president’s contempt appears to be Republican policy on the issue a huge majority of Americans support.

The issue does not divide red states and blue states with support for the Dreamers so powerful, huge and dramatic that many Republican voters join independent and Democratic voters in support of the Dreamers. 

The cause of the Dreamers is about the heart of the American dream, the soul of the Republican Party, and the courage of Democrats who will prevail if they fight, because the cause of the Dreamers is right, just, moral, patriotic — and hugely popular with voters.

Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Texas) and former Rep. Bill Alexander (D-Ark.), who was chief deputy majority whip of the U.S. House of Representatives. He holds an LLM in international financial law from the London School of Economics.

Tags Democratic Party Donald Trump DREAM Act Dreamers Government shutdown Immigration Nancy Pelosi Republican Party

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