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CA Dems don't budge on DACA as shutdown looms

The U.S. Senate is pictured on July 27, 2017 in Washington, DC.
The U.S. Senate is pictured on July 27, 2017 in Washington, DC.
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This week, on State of Affairs:



Rafe Sonenshein: This reminds me more of the Die Hard movies than it does of my political science classes, where someone's got a gun to the head of the hostage and you decide should you drop your gun, and the viewers in the audience are yelling, 'don't drop your gun, don't drop your gun.' 

At the same time, both parties will take a big hit from this. Incumbents will take a big hit, and I would argue that would hurt Democrats in the Senate and Republicans in the House, where the incumbents are more vulnerable in each party in those two houses.

A lot of bad things could happen if there's a shutdown. But for people like Senator Kamala Harris, who might be eyeing the presidency in 2020, is there a political opportunity here? Could she be seen as the person who stands up for DACA recipients?

Rafe Sonenshein: There's a difference between being known as standing up for the DACA recipients and wanting a shutdown.

Unlike when Newt Gingrich started this whole thing back in 1995, he was the only one who ever really wanted a shutdown — and Ted Cruz later on. Nobody actually wants a shutdown, but everybody wants to be known for standing up to the people who support their base. 

There's no benefit to anybody from a shutdown, but there's a lot of benefit to having fought the other side to a draw, so that in the next 12 hours, a reasonable deal is made — which, by the way, I think has a very decent chance of happening. 

Note: A Take Two listener pointed out after airtime that Newt Gingrich did not start government shutdowns:

Sonenshein clarified his statement later to Take Two producers:

There were definitely earlier shutdowns. I think it’s widely seen though that Gingrich pioneered the shutdown as a political tool.