With the U.S. government in the middle of its longest shutdown in history, a lot can be said about where the responsibility for the impasse lies. Nearly 800,000 federal workers are not receiving their paycheck, while many more are not even able to make it to work due to a lack of funds. Blame has been apportioned everywhere, but it is Donald Trump who has himself taken responsibility for the state of affairs.
Fox News anchor Chris Wallace, who is known to be an admirer of Trump, believes that Trump is not the only one to blame for the stalemate. Democrats are refusing to budge over the $5.6 billion Trump demand for the wall on the southern border and it is looking increasingly likely that they will continue to hold their fort. In such a scenario, it is usually up to the president to find a solution, but Wallace thinks “both sides” must be equally blamed for the shutdown.
Wallace’s Fox News colleague, Shepard Smith, however, reminded him that Trump had repeatedly spoken about “owning” the shutdown, and pointed that Democrats cannot be blamed for this reason alone, as reported by the Huffington Post.
“This back and forth thing is just not credible,” Smith said. “The president said: ‘I’m shutting down the government. I’ll own the shutdown. I’m proud to carry the mantle.’ And he shut the government down. And that’s that.”
Wallace then tried to confront Smith, saying, “Well, I mean it takes two to tango.”
But Smith was having none of that, adding, “There’s no tango here. The president said, ‘I’m shutting the government down.”
Shep: This back and forth thing is just not credible. The president said I'm shutting down the government. I'll own the shut down. I'll carry the mantel, and he shut the government down. That's that.— Lis Power (@LisPower1) January 18, 2019
WALLACE: Well, I mean it takes two to tango.
Shep: There's no tango here. ???? pic.twitter.com/w4tpe4cRJW
Wallace still tried to argue his point home, saying that Trump had said that he would “shut the government down unless they gave him funding for the wall, and they refused to give him funding for the wall. Both sides are party to this.”
It was here that Smith seemed to make the most sense. Applying the same logic, Smith argued that Democrats cannot be blamed for the shutdown because this was one of their campaign promises during the midterms. Betraying that campaign promise would not hold them in good stead. Furthermore, Trump already knew what the Democrats had in mind and nevertheless wanted to check their resolve.
“They won 40 seats plus in the House of Representatives and they’re not giving him a wall,” Smith said, adding that Trump “can reopen it tomorrow just like he closed it down. It’s all on him, isn’t it?”
It remains to be seen how the government shutdown will progress, with Donald Trump set to make a major announcement later today, but there is little doubt that the squabble over the wall has cost America more than it should have.