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By Tom Cushing

Salami, Salami … Baloney

Uploaded: Jan 19, 2018

Those GOP butchers at the Congressional deli are playing a losing game.

‘Salami’ is a set of competitive bargaining tactics. In it, the negotiator ‘thin-slices’ a series of demands, making each one appear small, and therefore easier to accept than if presented together. A variation on the theme slices-down a single large demand so that it may, in total, extract more concessions than if it were used all-at-once. Trouble is, it doesn’t work if you don’t own the meat.

Way last week, before their master negotiator threw the process into chaos with racist vulgarities and contradictory twittings about where, if anywhere, he stands, Congress was prepared to resolve urgent immigration/DACA, children’s health care and the government funding issues together. It was going to be good governance, and hallelujah.

With those hopes dashed on the White House rocks (or wall, or not-really-a-wall-but-sort-of-a-barrier), however, the GOP has resorted to a game of salami. Why deal with all three issues at-once, if we can just resolve the budget temporarily and add children’s health care (CHIPs) – leaving the 800,000 DACA dreamers hanging in a cruel limbo? Since the Dems want that, too, we can extract other concessions from them in return for that resolution down the road. If the Dems don’t agree, they’ll be blamed for a consequent government shutdown.

But there’s a problem – well, two really. The first is unnecessary human suffering, but that hasn’t mattered to the GOPers for many years. The more current dilemma is that they don’t own the meat – turning their salami into baloney.

You see, overwhelming majorities favor both immediate resolution of the CHIPs funding And the release of the Dreamers from their purgatory. Not only that, but it’s overwhelming majorities of Both Parties.

According to independent polling, fully 83% of all Americans want the Dreamers to be able to stay here, in the only country most of them know. And crucially, that landslide includes Both Democrats (94%) AND Republicans (67%). Add to that the seasoning that Everybody wants Congress to start solving problems, and the GOP’s dilemma becomes clear – they don’t own the meat. They are peddling baloney.

This morning’s Post-ABC poll confirms that Americans will blame the Trump/GOP axis for any shutdown – they’ve apparently had a belly-full of baloney:

“Americans by a 20-point margin are saying they’re more likely to blame Donald Trump and the Republicans in Congress than the congressional Democrats if one occurs. 48 percent in the national survey say they’d blame Trump and the GOP, vs. 28 percent who’d blame the Democrats in Congress. An additional 18 percent would blame both equally.”

So, the GOP gets blamed for a shutdown, almost two-to-one, AND 2/3 of the country wants Congress to get on with it. So GOPers, free the Dreamers - pass the better bill – call it good governance, even – you can do it! If you don’t, it’s just another link in the heavy chain you’ll carry in the fall Midterms. And that's no baloney.