Russia Stokes Shutdown Fire

#SchumerShutdown threatened to take over Twitter in the wake of the current US government shutdown. However, a little digging into the accounts pushing the hashtag found that they were predominantly Russian bots. Once again entangling the Trump and the Grand Old Party with Russia.

The hashtag regardless became a GOP and White House favourite as they attempt to push the blame of the shutdown onto Democrat minorities in the Senate. The hashtag followed the popular #TrumpShutdown which became worldwide number 1 trending hashtag.

#SchumerShutdown overtook, #ReleaseTheMemo which was the second highest trending hashtag at the time. #ReleaseTheMemo refers to a mysterious memo which supposedly confirms special counsel Robert Mueller’s bias against Republicans in the Russian interference investigation, despite himself a Republican appointed by George W. Bush. This hashtag is also massively popular amongst Russian bot accounts.

Midnight Friday 19 January, the US federal government was forced to shut down, as Congress failed to agree to President Trump’s budget. The shutdown poetically timed with Trump’s 1 year anniversary of becoming President of the US and running the government like a business. But, clearly not a successful business.

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Both sides were quick to blame each other, with Trump threatening Democrats with the “nuclear option”. Democrats responded blaming Trump’s inability to compromise on issues. With Democratic Senate Leader Charles Schumer likened negotiating with Trump to ‘negotiating with Jell-O‘.

However, as many including Fox News, have pointed out, its difficult to blame the Democrats for the shutdown when Trump and the Republicans “are in charge of everything“. The Presidency, the Senate and the House of Representatives are all controlled by the GOP. The last time the government shut down when controlled by one party, under Jimmy Carter in 1979, the Democrats lost it all at the next elections.

Good signs for the Democrats with midterms coming up later this year.

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