Like his relative Amy Schumer, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has never been widely regarded for his sense of humor. So it's hardly surprising that after another round of negotiations to end the government shutdown - now in its 15th day - ended with "little progress" on Saturday, a clearly frustrated Schumer lashed out at President Trump, demanding Trump stop with the memes and also stop "hurting people".
In a response to Trump's latest "Wall is Coming" tweet, which incorporated imagery from the popular HBO drama Game of Thrones. Schumer demanded "enough with the memes."
Enough with the memes. Just quit hurting innocent people and re-open the government. https://t.co/7cW20gFriH— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) January 6, 2019
Of course, by refusing to compromise with Republicans, Democrats bear some of the responsibility for the shutdown that is leaving cash strapped government workers in an increasingly precarious financial position (though President Trump insisted on Friday that lenders and landlords should go easy on gov't employees, by guaranteeing that they would be "good for the money").
And while Schumer continues to reject anything with the word 'wall' in it...Trump's 'hand of the king', Mick Mulvaney, appeared to offer a semantics-based compromise during an appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press". During the interview, Mulvaney said that the president has shown a "willingness" to compromise with Democrats to reopen the government, which has remained partially closed for 15 days.
"[The president] was willing to agree, and he mentioned this at the Rose Garden press conference, to take a concrete wall off the table," Mulvaney said.
In a separate interview on CNN's State of the Union, Mulvaney said that the latest round of negotiations with Democrats had been "disappointing" and that they were there largely to stall on reopening the government.
Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney says the latest meeting with Democratic leaders was “disappointing,” adding that they were there to stall on negotiations to end the government shutdown and “we did not make much progress.” #CNNSOTU https://t.co/ZkzltvrxYk pic.twitter.com/LDpyAJBssv— State of the Union (@CNNSotu) January 6, 2019
But instead of focusing on Trump's penchant for meme warfare, Schumer and his Democratic colleagues might want to instead focus on explaining what exactly has changed since the days when they, too, advocated for stricter immigration policies, including - you guessed it - a wall along the Southern border.
In case they had forgotten - or hoped that everybody else had - President Trump reminded them in a series of tweets on Sunday where he dredged up quotes about border security and the wall uttered by President Obama and Hillary Clinton.
“We simply cannot allow people to pour into the United States undetected, undocumented, unchecked...” Barrack Obama, 2005. I voted, when I was a Senator, to build a barrier to try to prevent illegal immigrants from coming in...” Hillary Clinton, 2015.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 6, 2019
....The only reason they do not want to build a Wall is that Walls Work! 99% of our illegal Border crossings will end, crime in our Country will go way down and we will save billions of dollars a year! A properly planned and constructed Wall will pay for itself many times a year!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 6, 2019
This isn't the first time Trump has pointed to the Democrats' border-wall hypocrisy. And in case readers thought Schumer might have been an exception, allow us to confirm: He isn't. Here's a video from 2009 where Schumer declares "illegal immigration is wrong."
In fact, before Trump supported tighter border security, tougher scrutiny for illegal immigrants and building a wall across the Southern border, Democrats openly supported both measures.
Dems pre-Trump:— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) January 5, 2019
-Hillary: Supported border wall
-Obama: More border security, illegals must speak English, go to back of line
-Schumer: Border walls work
-Reid: Offering benefits to illegals = insane
-Feinstein: US can't be Mexico's welfare
-Clinton: Illegal immigration is wrong pic.twitter.com/11AjuuOYbj
In a press conference on Sunday before heading to Camp David where he planned to discuss border security with his aides, Trump boasted that he could solve the shutdown in 20 minutes during talks with Schumer and Pelosi. Given their past statements, it's somewhat surprising that they haven't already reached a compromise. Though, we can think of a few reasons why the Dems wouldn't want to be seen "caving" to the president so soon after retaking the House.