When did Republicans become the party willing to play a game of chicken with our national security? In their ceaseless drive to undermine President Obama at every turn, they have now backed themselves into a corner with no easy way to get out. With funding for the Department of Homeland Security set to dry up at midnight Friday, they are now openly entertaining the prospect of shutting the department down unless they get their way. You read that correctly--the party who prides itself on national security might shut down the department responsible for keeping our nation safe unless all of their demands are met.
How did we get to this place? It all started back on November 20, 2014 when President Obama delivered a nationally televised address
and told the nation that he was using his executive authority to defer deportations of certain undocumented immigrants and directing immigration officials to use the limited resources Congress provides them to focus on deporting convicted criminals. The President instructed Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials to go after "felons, not families. Criminals, not children. Gang members, not a Mom who's working hard to provide for her kids."
Not surprisingly, Republicans were not happy with President Obama's order and started plotting ways to fight back. So in the lame duck session of the 113th Congress, Republicans came up with passing two separate must-pass spending bills. One that would keep nearly the entire Federal Government funded and another that only provided funds for the Department of Homeland Security until the end of February. They thought that they had a better shot of forcing President Obama's hand once they took over both chambers in Congress. How badly they were mistaken.
So here we are. One day away from watching the party that prides itself on their national security bona fides shutt down the department that is tasked with keeping our nation safe. You are not alone if you find that rather difficult to wrap your head around.
Can you imagine if the roles were reversed and it was the Democrats who were playing this dangerous game of chicken? How far would the Republicans go to paint the Democrats as playing politics with American national security in this scenario? I can only imagine the talking heads on Fox News lampooning the Democrats for their unpatriotic and dangerous behavior. They would have a field day.
This is the world we now live in. A world where the party who claims they are the party of national security is openly threatening to shut down the Department of Homeland Security if they don't get all of their demands met. That is not the way a national party who is in charge of both chambers of Congress is supposed to govern. The security of our nation is too important to be playing childish games over.