After airing a heartwrenching interview with a TSA employee, White House reporter Abby Phillip worried that *Democrats* won't compromise to end the shutdown. How quickly the goalposts move, and how rapidly memories fail.
During a panel discussion on CNN this morning, thoughts turned to the government employees -- TSA employees specifically -- who are being hurt in real time by this government shutdown.
The Very Vapid John King likes to frame things as pure politics, without regard for the morality of a thing, so for him it was about "who wins the messaging war." And we wonder why we can't have nice things.
At any rate, the center of this discussion was a touching interview with TSA employee Christine Vitel, who is truly suffering as a consequence of the shutdown. She's not going to be able to "make adjustments" the way Trump thinks people living paycheck to paycheck do.
"I am a single mom, I'm not getting paid," Vitel told CNN. "I just bought a house. I'm not going to be able to pay my mortgage, so yes, this is affecting me personally. Other people are married, they do have another income. I do not."
Like clockwork, King and his panel ignored the humanity on display and went right to the partisan political place.
White House correspondent Abby Phillip observed that all these stories will be just great for Democrats, but you know, she worries. Of course she worries.
"The question is to what extent do they stick with the message, which is that, we are not negotiating at all, we want you to reopen the government," Phillip said. "Or do they say, Mr. President, here's what we are willing to do and what we think is important to secure the border?
Apparently Ms. Phillip has forgotten that just last Thursday Democrats passed two bills in the House which were identical to the bills passed in the Senate the week before, which reopen government while giving some space to negotiate on border security. And she has also forgotten, I guess, that Speaker Pelosi firmly framed the debate: Walls are immoral and we will not fund one. Period. I know it's tough for CNN pundits to grasp this, but some things are just moral decisions. Principle, if you will.
It got worse. "Do the American people then push them perhaps to put something on the table to up President Trump?" she wondered.
Adding insult to injury, she didn't stop. "We don't know where the American people stand on this. We don't have an insta-poll right now on the shutdown."
HEY, ABBY!!!! CNN, your home base, has polls! I'm betting you could have looked at them, too. Not only are there polls, there are so many polls there is an average of polls! And you call yourself a reporter?
According to CNN, voters oppose the wall by a 15-20 point margin. This was true before the shutdown and is true now. Trump's approval rating is in the tank, and Americans blame Republicans for the shutdown by a 15-20 point margin. So yes, we have polls and they are consistently negative. As employees continue to suffer, those polls will turn even more negative for Trump.
Meanwhile, Democrats have an offer on the table, which is identical to what Senate Republicans found acceptable two weeks ago. It would be great if pundits, panelists and reporters could stop moving the goalposts because Republicans are recalcitrant anti-democratic thugs and start dealing in FACTS.
Trump calls networks "fake news" and they bend to his will when he demands they give him time. Democrats act responsibly and cable yakkers wonder what MORE they'll give Republicans. What's wrong with THAT picture?