Boyd Matheson: Shutdown insanity — political posturing at people’s expense

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  • Capsaicin Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 23, 2018 4:11 p.m.

    The term shutdown is overused and is a political ploy. There is no critical part of government that actually shuts down. The parts that do like NOAA politicize the shutdown via their website ...when the majority of their systems are automated.

  • L White Springville, UT
    Jan. 23, 2018 4:07 p.m.

    Are we so gullible that we can be made to believe that the 2017 Schumer's shutdown is comparable the 2013 shutdown? In 2013 Mr. Obama used his authority to inconvenience as many people as possible. He was ticked off because we rejected his promise that every family in America would save $2,500 per year in insurance premiums. He was ticked off because we didn't believe his promises that we could keep our doctors and choose our hospitals. He closed our parks and our monuments. He halted as many services as legally possible. In comparison, under Trump, there was no attempt to close airports. Parks and monuments were kept open when directors personally served the public. Trump is dong everything he can to make America great again by doing nothing to preserve Obama's legacy.

    Oh yes, one other thing, Obama and Senate Democrats refused to allow Republicans to add any riders or amendments to the bill under consideration, according to Forbes, Sep 30, 2013.

    Gruber has stated that Obama's promise to save $2,500 per year per family was not fiscally possible, i.e, it was a lie. Now, in 2018, Democrats put illegal aliens above citizens.

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    Jan. 23, 2018 1:33 p.m.

    This latest debacle won't even be remembered in 2 1/2 weeks when the whole charade is repeated again. I doubt there will ever be a deal on DACA. President Miller prefers no deal to a deal that allows more non whites to stay and others to come. Democrats need to leave Trump out of this issue, he knows nothing about it, and has little interest in it and unless someone tells him it will affect the lack of employees at his country club.

  • Res Novae Ashburn, VA
    Jan. 23, 2018 12:12 p.m.

    @J Thompson,

    "Are you pretending that the President voted? Are you pretending that he was in the Senate chambers?"

    I think it's clear from my comment that I'm doing nothing of the sort, but pointing out your belated realization of the same fact after conveniently ignoring it 4 years ago.

    The GOP-led House, led on by cheerleaders in the Senate like Cruz and your Mike Lee, were to blame for the shutdown. Making Obama into a tyrant and Trump into a hero because the former viewed national monuments as obviously non-essential in a shutdown is fixating on absolutely ridiculous trivialities compared with the greater effects of the 16-day shutdown.

    Regarding blame for Obama then, would you have agreed with this statement in 2013?

    "A shutdown falls on the President’s lack of leadership. He can’t even control his party and get people together in a room. A shutdown means the President is weak."

    If so, what is the difference when Trump is in office? Why does the same not apply to him? After all, the quote is his.

  • kolob1 Sandy, UT
    Jan. 23, 2018 9:52 a.m.

    With the recent shutdown we has a brief respite from Donald Trump's twitter nonsense. Would that we could shutdown the White House alone. I believe that all, Republicans and Democrats, could probably get some work done.

  • DonO Draper, UT
    Jan. 23, 2018 9:53 a.m.

    Boyd Matheson is spot on in his analysis. I join him in his frustration with politicians on both sides of the aisle who insist on putting party first, people and principles somewhere down the line...if they think of them at all.

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Jan. 23, 2018 8:53 a.m.

    In 2013, Obama was quoted by USA, Today: "President Obama insists he will not negotiate major budget issues with congressional Republicans until they vote to reopen the government and to lift the debt ceiling. ‘There are enough votes in the House of Representatives to make sure that the government reopens today,’"

    Reuters wrote: "President Barack Obama stressed to congressional leaders on Wednesday that he will not negotiate with Republicans over a government shutdown or raising the U.S. debt limit, the White House said…. "

    In 2018, CNN quoted Senator Schumer "The President needs to pull up a chair to end this shutdown."

    Senator Durbin was quoted by AP: "But at the end of the day, the president has to step up and lead in this situation,"

    - - -

    So, what do we see? In 2013 Obama said that HE would not end the shutdown until HE got what HE wanted from Congress. In 2018 Democrats told Trump that they would continue the shutdown until they got what they wanted.

    Any reader can plainly see the difference between 2013 and 2018. Hopefully the voters will remember what Democrats did to America on election day.

  • pragmatistferlife Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 23, 2018 8:51 a.m.

    Again agree with Impartial. A pretty good piece. I'm pleasantly blame game.
    Instead Boyd did a good job of pointing out where the mess came from and the strategies involved.

    Clearly the usual blame game folks here on the right didn't read the article or just can't get out of their own heads to discuss reality. And the libs have a hard time not reacting in kind.

    If you're looking for who won or lost here you're trying to predict the final score at halftime.

    For once Schumer was brilliant in his strategy and he has McConnell in a box. Who knows how this works out eventually. If they get an open discussion, and a DACA bill (even if it has some other concessions such as chain migration etc.) they will be in good shape.

    If McConnell pushes this off again after the kerfuffle he and his cohorts are going to be in a bad place.

  • Nate Pleasant Grove, UT
    Jan. 23, 2018 8:21 a.m.

    We should have left it shut down. After 30 days, lay off everyone who wasn't missed.

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Jan. 23, 2018 7:59 a.m.

    Res Novae,

    Are you pretending that the President voted? Are you pretending that he was in the Senate chambers?

    Trump kept open the airports that Obama tried to shut down by telling us that air controllers could NOT work. Obama's attempt was stopped. Trump guaranteed that air traffic would continue.

    Obama shut down our monuments and partks. He succeeded in barring the WWII monument. WWII soldiers defied Obama by jumping the fence of THEIR monument. Trump guaranteed that monuments would remain open and that heads of departments, if necessary, would personally work those monuments and parks. Obama tried to hurt America and Americans during the 2013 shut down. He didn't care that people had saved their whole lives for a trip to see the monuments in Washington.

    So go ahead and remind us of what Obama did. Some people may have forgotten how Obama tried, and failed, to inflict as much pain as possible when he used every possible ruse to make it impossible for America and Americans to move forward in 2013.

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Jan. 23, 2018 7:45 a.m.

    Why did McConnell reject McCaskill's "amendment" ? Why not read what he said:

    “We passed similar legislation during the government shutdown back in 2013. My hope is that we can restore funding for the entire government before this becomes necessary. I’m going to object for tonight, but we’ll discuss again tomorrow.”

    Why did he postpone considering McCaskill's "amendment"?

    "Military paychecks are set for February 1. The Senate voted overwhelmingly to end the shutdown on Monday afternoon. If the House follows suit, there will be no disruption to military pay. But if something happens and the legislation does not end up on the president's desk, or legislation similar to the one proposed by McCaskill is not passed then military personnel will have to wait for one or the other to nab their check."


    When Democrats pretend that they were concerned with military families, why did they shut down the government? How many bullets could the military purchase with the government shut down? How many protective vests? How many gallons of fuel? How many repair parts?

    Democrats didn't care for our soldiers safety or lives. They voted to shut down defense.

  • Pragmatic One Mesa, AZ
    Jan. 23, 2018 7:37 a.m.

    It's quite simple really. The remedy for this mess starts with the individual voters who are fed up and should be banging the doors and jamming the phone lines at the State Capitals across the nation demanding an Article V convention of the states to amend the Constitution with term limits for the of the Capitol elites who have turned a citizen representation into a career opportunity. To amend the Constitution takes either the Congress to start the process (like that's going to happen) or the States to convene an Article V convention to invoke term limits on the legislative body.

    I find It infuriating to read that the Senate Majority Leader has the been sitting on the appropriations, and even more infuriating when you find that most Senators haven't even read the proposed legislation. That makes him as bad as his predecessor.

    So, if you don't mind Chucky wasting time with the microphone, or the inept "Frank Burns" of the Senate using appropriations bills for seat cushions then ignore it all and carry on. However, if you're fed up you need only to demand that your State Legislators add their voices to the growing movement for an Article V Convention of the States.

  • stevo123 Driggs, ID
    Jan. 23, 2018 7:23 a.m.

    @ Mike Richards, Sorry Mike the Republicans own it. 100%.

  • Copybook Headings Draper, UT
    Jan. 23, 2018 7:18 a.m.

    @viejogeezer - CARLSBAD, CA
    "Can you blame them for using it or should they all just go home and concede everything to the Republicans?"

    Perhaps they should go home and come up with better reasons for why people should vote for them instead of Republicans?

  • Lew Elton Jeppson Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 23, 2018 6:42 a.m.

    @Mike Richards "Those who still blame the President have been snookered by Schumer. It’s to be expected that they will try to blame someone, anyone, for their party’s weekend collapse."

    Nevertheless Schumer's Democrats did the right thing morally in trying to protect the Dreamer kids.

    I have no doubt blood lust among Trump supporters will force the Republicans to renege on this deal. What then? There will then be another shutdown. Democrats then will need to do the right thing again, regardless of the consequences.

    As to the 2018 election, by then the stock market bubble will have popped and you Trump lovers will be frantically trying to explain that as it brings on the next recession. Of this I have little doubt.

    Stream "The Ascent of Money" for an excellent description of speculative bubbles. Trump and Company are blowing bubbles!

  • unrepentant progressive Bozeman, MT
    Jan. 23, 2018 6:37 a.m.

    The words of many "Conservative" comments on this site and others display what is actually wrong with the way our Legislative bodies work.

    It is the language of winning or losing, always with a political bent. If one side wins, the other side is automatically a loser. "Loser" incidentally a word often used by the current resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

    Politics ought not be war, nor the art of making your political rivals look bad or "lose". Politics ought to be trying to convince a working majority that your view is best for the Entire Country, not just your narrow political interests.

    I will leave it to each individual to discern which party cares more for the welfare of the entirety of the US populace. However, those who agree that "all is fair in war and politics" ought be shunned for such crassness. It demeans our intelligence and morality in general.

  • Utefan60 Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 23, 2018 5:28 a.m.

    Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) offered a unanimous consent request so that there would be no interruption in the payment of the men and women in the military in service to our country.
    “I want to make sure that tonight we send a very clear signal that we don’t want one moment to pass with there being any uncertainty of any soldier anywhere in the world that they will be paid for the valiant work they do for our national security,” McCaskill said, calling for a resolution to pay the troops.
    Sen. McConnell, the Republican Senate leader, killed the effort and OBJECTED to her motion. FACT.

    FACTS seem to bother some letter writers here. The radical right loves their fake news and alternative truths.

  • Res Novae Ashburn, VA
    Jan. 23, 2018 4:34 a.m.

    @JThompson/Mike Richards,

    "There are those who actually think that the President votes in the Senate."

    I and others pointed this out to you ad nauseam when you blamed Obama for the 2013 shutdown. Now that your man is in charge, we are grateful for your sudden understanding of fundamental civics.

    "When they caved, they showed voters that they were willing to put our soldiers in peril for politics."

    Soldiers are neither more nor less in peril during an shutdown than they are normally. But where was your outrage about the military during the GOP shutdown in 2013?

    "Only after they saw the stunned disbelief on the faces of their voters did Democrats realize that they had burned a bridge that will not be rebuilt before November."

    That's what Dems said in 2013. The following year they lost the Senate. Don't count your chickens yet.

    "If anyone really thinks that the Democrats “won” this battle...."

    Democrats got CHIP funding, taking a major GOP chess piece off the board, and a pledge to negotiate in good faith over DACA. A tactical retreat has put them in a better position with more potential ammo for the next crisis in 3 weeks if McConnell goes back on his word.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Jan. 22, 2018 10:18 p.m.

    If anyone really thinks that the Democrats “won” this battle, they have not read the liberal media that has viserated Schumer and his ruined attempt to blame Republicans or to blame the President in an election year when doing nothing may have won some seats. Now that Schumer’s folly has shown America inside the hearts and minds of those marching lock-step with Schumer, the chance of Democrats gaining seats is somewhere south of nil and non-existent. Those who still blame the President have been snookered by Schumer. It’s to be expected that they will try to blame someone, anyone, for their party’s weekend collapse.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Jan. 22, 2018 9:34 p.m.

    The trump shutdown (in the past he's all but demanded they be blamed on the president) is over for now. The dealmaker sat on the sidelines and watched while it got patched up for a few days.
    In the past he promised us these would be a major failure if he were in office.
    He's in office.
    The internet really does bite both ways.

  • my_two_cents_worth university place, WA
    Jan. 22, 2018 8:45 p.m.

    @Mike Richards

    "All spending bills MUST originate in the House."

    And amendments to spending bills can come from the House, the Senate, and the various committees.

    "including withholding pay from every soldier’s family."

    Not to worry, every bank and credit union within a stones throw of any military installation has always credited the accounts of their military customers the amount of their salary during past shut downs and I suspect they would not hesitate to do so during this shut down.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Jan. 22, 2018 7:49 p.m.

    Anyone who honestly thinks that new legislation could be introduced mere hours before the Democrats voted to shut down the government to exempt the military from that shutdown know nothing about Congress. All spending bills MUST originate in the House. The House did not originate a bill to exempt the military from the actions of Schumer’s Democrats. The House did not vote on a bill to exempt the military. There was no legal bill before the Senate that had been approved by the House.

    Schumer and his Democrats voted to shut down government, including withholding pay from every soldier’s family.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Jan. 22, 2018 7:24 p.m.

    Re: "Shutdown insanity"

    It should be said upfront -- I don't see shutdowns as insane, and I have no particular aversion to shutting down governmental insanity. "Who governs least, governs best," and the less time and opportunity government has to "fix" our problems, the less likely it is to further foul things up for us.

    But, fair is fair -- the only people that could have avoided this shutdown were all Democrats. And, most prominent among them was Chuck Schumer. My biggest regret is that the shutdown didn't last longer. But, that said, it should be attributed properly -- to Schumer and Democrats.

    Further, the Senators least concerned about those that elected them were all Democrats. Again, full disclosure -- I have no aversion to a dreamer solution, so long as it assures there won't be a new influx of them. But, no "dreamer" legally cast a single vote for those invoking their "plight" to justify demagoguery. Even when handed an opportunity to do so, Democrats still refused to assist "dreamers," unless they could also assure open borders and an unlimited supply of them into the foreseeable future.


  • L White Springville, UT
    Jan. 22, 2018 7:04 p.m.

    Mr. Matheson did NOT vote to shut down the government. Mike Lee and all but 5 Democrats voted to shut down the government. Mike Lee and all but 5 Democrats voted to put every soldier in America’s military family in despair knowing that they would not be paid because Mike Lee, not Boyd Matheson, voted to hold the pay from each of those families. Every American can easily find the names of Mike Lee and every Senator who voted to not pay the military. No one in America will find Boyd Matheson’s name on that list, no matter how Mr. Matheson’s detractors wish that they could smear him for something that he did not do.

  • AZ Eagle ,
    Jan. 22, 2018 7:00 p.m.

    The New York Times, Associated Press and Bloomberg News all agreed that the Democrats shut down the government over DACA.
    Three days later the Democrats blinked and surrendered because Americans realized they had cut funding to our troops on the front lines and to the wives and children of military families back home. Nobody won, but the Democrats lost.

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 22, 2018 6:52 p.m.

    @Mike Richards
    "The mother's and father, brothers and sisters, and every American who respects the military will not forget that our soldiers were used as pawns by Democrats. "

    McConnell blocked a Democratic attempt to keep their pay going.
    Republicans shut down the government for 13 days in 2013, do you think they use soldiers as pawns?
    The Senate was working on a bipartisan deal on immigration that would've averted the shutdown. Trump rejected it and McConnell refused to hold a vote on it.

  • Bob67 Glenn Dale, MD
    Jan. 22, 2018 6:50 p.m.

    I am tired of all the partisan analysis of events as if that were the most important factor. When I watch France24 I get a perspective that is not biased by U.S. political parties, but by what our leaders say and do. We are not looking very good to the French, and nobody blames "mainstream media" for our challenges.

    With regard to the government shutdown, we look very disorganized. I think we need to "Make America C . . . Again." Suggested C-words include competent, compassionate, civilized, or consistent. There are lots of good alternatives to the prideful "great," a word that seems to imply we must dominate, as our highest goal.

    Our current crop of politicians are seeking partisan domination, and are not doing what is best for America.

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 22, 2018 6:49 p.m.

    "Democrats in the Senate had the opportunity to be bipartisan and vote to keep soldiers paid."

    Actually Republicans did when Claire McCaskill wanted to bring up a vote solely to keep them being paid during this shutdown. McConnell refused to hold a vote on it.

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Jan. 22, 2018 6:20 p.m.

    There are those who actually think that the President votes in the Senate. There are actually those who believe that the President can write legislation. Those people are wrong. They either haven't read the Constitutin, or they reject it.

    Democrats in the Senate had the opportunity to be bipartisan and vote to keep soldiers paid. They rejected our soldiers' needs in order to demand that illegal aliens be treated as citizens. They followed Chuck Schumer's lead and showed America their contempt for the military and for every American citizen who depends on the government. Only after they saw the stunned disbelief on the faces of their voters did Democrats realize that they had burned a bridge that will not be rebuilt before November.

  • homers Provo, UT
    Jan. 22, 2018 5:56 p.m.

    Interesting that Boyd's old boss, Mike Lee, is the kiing of the government shutdown. Boyd was even his chief of staff the last time Lee and his ilk shut it all down.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Jan. 22, 2018 5:49 p.m.

    Republicans offered three versions of the Bill, each of which was totally rejected by Democrats. A vote was taken, requiring at least 9 Democrats, even if Lee had not voted to shut down the government. Only 5 Democrats joined with Republicans to keep the government open. It was not the fault of Republicans. By themselves, on this type of bill, Republicans could do nothing. Expecting either Republicas or Democrats to change the way the game is played in an election year is a joke. Both parties laid it all on the line. The Democrats blinked and lost big time. When they caved, they showed voters that they were willing to put our soldiers in peril for politics. The mother's and father, brothers and sisters, and every American who respects the military will not forget that our soldiers were used as pawns by Democrats. No Utahn who supports our troops will forget that Lee also voted to deny soldiers their pay.

  • viejogeezer CARLSBAD, CA
    Jan. 22, 2018 5:44 p.m.

    For the last year we have had one party rule in this country. Democrats have not been allowed any consent or even any input in any significant legislation. This is the only time Democrats have had even a particle of leverage. Can you blame them for using it or should they all just go home and concede everything to the Republicans?

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    Jan. 22, 2018 5:41 p.m.

    Re: "The government shutdown was first and foremost about congressional dysfunction, and both parties are to blame"


    It was first and foremost our President's fault.

    Just ask Donald Trump . . .

    “It always happens to be the top. I mean, the problems start from the top and have to get solved from the top . . . The president is the leader, and he’s got to get everybody in a room and he’s got to lead.” - Donald J Trump 2015

    Face it: This President is incredibly incompetent. He is the laughing stock of the entire world. Our allies disprespect him.

    “World's Approval of U.S. Leadership Drops to New Low" – Gallup News

    If you read that Gallup News article, you will notice that while our allies disapprove of Trump, our traditional adversaries (like Russia and China) are happy with his leadership.

    Why? . . . Because Trump is easily played, and he weakens American competitiveness.

    Shutting down the government is consistent with the anti-government ethic of the anti-American Republican Party.

    . . . And Putin approves.

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    Jan. 22, 2018 5:30 p.m.

    I'm surprised. Pretty fair piece from Matheson. He's acknowledging what most Americans already know. Mitch McConnell is an obstructionist, pure and simple. He started when the day Obama was inaugurated, he vowed to make him a "one term President". He spent the next 8 years blocking anything Obama, no matter if certain things were good for America. He's so conditioned to saying "No" that he can't function now that the GOP controls the House, the Senate and the White House. Time for Republicans to remove him from power.