We endured a record shutdown. Somehow, the bridges didn’t collapse. The military didn’t cave in on itself, and the IRS kept collecting taxes without batting an eye. As much as the left tried to tell you that the shutdown was a crisis (and that it was manufactured by President Trump), America barely noticed.
In reality, this was another example of the ineptitude of Capitol Hill. Congress has long acclimated us to its ineptitude. This shutdown was just another showing. Despite that, mainstream media outlets are more determined than ever to tell you what to think. They’re very proud of the massive win they scored.
The Mainstream Narrative
If you saw a single headline in the past week, it probably said some version of the same thing. Nancy Pelosi is the greatest hero in the history of America. Not only has she saved us from the tyranny of Trump, she has also spared us from the dismal future of racist policy. There will be no immoral walls built today! Not in Pelosi’s America!
Past the headline sensationalism, mainstream outlets are mostly praising Pelosi for standing strong against the wall. They’re trying to reward her with claims that her approval rating has skyrocketed and that she is clearly the voice of America. You can imagine that this hyperbole is far from the truth, but even you are probably overestimating how well the shutdown went for Pelosi and the Democrats.
The Actual Loss
Let’s talk about approval ratings first. The most reliable poll right now was a joint effort between NBC and the Wall Street Journal. They compared approval ratings from before the shutdown to right after. While most of the media is telling you that President Trump’s ratings tanked over the shutdown, he actually only lost two points. Mitch McConnell did quite a bit worse, losing 12 points. Nancy Pelosi, however, came in dead last — even behind all of Congress and the Republican and Democratic parties. She lost 19 points in favorability.
The media wants America to believe that her crusade against Trump was a win. As far as support goes, it was the opposite. Every politician in Washington lost points over the shutdown, but Pelosi got his the worst. This shows that the American people actually gave her the most blame and don’t see her as a winner at all.
The Policy Actually Matters
There are two sides to the shutdown story. On the right, it’s easy to blame Pelosi and Democrats for the shutdown. We have wanted border security and immigration reform for 30 years. While they’ve stalled, bad problems have grown into full-blown crises.
In spite of that, President Trump’s request was pretty modest. He was willing to bench his grander border plans for a stopgap measure that was requested by Border Patrol. The “immoral” wall was so much less than Pelosi made it out to be. It was a desperate attempt to plug a few, well-known holes in the border that are causing major problems.
On the left, Pelosi actually did worse. The Democrats, claiming to be the party of compassion, have long fought for extended protection for the DACA and TPS programs. Trump offered both. Pelosi didn’t just flush those promises down the toilet; she did it without reading Trump’s proposal.
On top of that, the $5.7 billion that she absolutely refused to discuss was mostly earmarked for migrant processing. It was intended to expand Border Patrol’s capacity for processing asylum claims. The sick children and separated families could receive far better treatment under Trump’s request. Pelosi was the one who said no.
Mainstream media has long been going to bat for establishment Democrats. We saw it when they tried to rig the primaries for Hillary in 2016. We got eight endless years of it under Obama. The right has been wise to it and sick of it for too long, but now, even the voter base of the Democrats are learning. The media smokescreen didn’t protect Pelosi one bit. The left knows that she betrayed them, and they’re angry.
In the weirdest bit of irony of the last two years, Nancy Pelosi was the issue that Republicans and Democrats finally found common ground between them. We all despise her.
It might be naive to hope that this mutual loathing could grow into something productive, but at the very least, we can enjoy a moment of respite. We can stop fighting the bulk of the left for a few minutes and come together against a common enemy.