When the name “Rand Paul” began trending on social media this afternoon, many on the left (and some on the right) were hoping that it meant that the controversial Senator was the latest Republican to announce that he was quitting Congress. But there was no such luck, as it turned out Paul was making news of a different kind. As it turns out, Rand is making a move that is going to totally – and immediately – screw Donald Trump.
Trump has become so desperate for even the faintest whisper of a victory as his failing presidency unravels, he was willing to go along with a budget deal which made several key concessions to Democrats. The trouble: self-described libertarian Rand Paul doesn’t like the deal. So he’s decided that he’s going to single handedly kill it off, which Senators can do on these kinds of votes if they’re willing to take the heat that comes with it. In other words, we’re headed toward another government shutdown at midnight eastern time tonight.
This means the Democrats won’t get what Trump and the GOP offered them. But in political terms, it’s not a loss for the Democrats, because they’re not in charge anyway, and they can start throwing their own weight around once they presumably take majority control after the November election. This is, however, a major loss for Donald Trump. When the government was briefly shut down a month ago, polls showed that the majority of Americans blamed Trump and the GOP, and not the Democrats. The public will look upon the second shutdown as even more embarrassing than the first shutdown, and based on the numbers they’ll once again blame Trump and his party for it.
In other words, even as Donald Trump was on the verge of finally snatching a rare – if hollow and faint – victory, a member of his own party just snatched it away from him. We’re still confused why Rand Paul has such a problem with the deficit spending in this budget bill after he had no problem with the deficit spending required to pay for December’s Republican tax scam for the wealthy. He seems to be fine with government spending, as long as it’s going into the pockets of his wealthy donors.
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Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report