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Democrats and Partisan Politics

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HUGH HEWITT: Morning glory America. That music means it is the last radio hour of the week. That means it is time for the Hillsdale Dialogue. Once a week, I sit down with one of the esteemed members of the faculty or staff of Hillsdale College in Michigan, and we talk about the issues that matter the most, that have always mattered the most in Western civilization. Often it is Dr. Larry Arnn, President of Hillsdale College. Today, however, it is Dr. Matthew Spalding.

He is the Director of Hillsdale College's Kirby Center. You can read everything about Hillsdale at Hillsdale.edu. Just go there and you'll get every free online course on the Constitution, on the Progressive movement, on Winston Churchill, and many wonderful things. You can hear every conversation I've conducted with a Hillsdale colleague since 2013, all collected at Hughforhillsdale.com.

And you can subscribe for free to the speech digest Imprimis, which will arrive in your mailbox monthly, as it does in the mailboxes of more than 2 million Americans, to edify and enlighten. You can do all of that at Hillsdale.edu. And you can also get a college application because that's where you want your son or daughter to go. Matthew Spalding, welcome. It's great to have you.

MATTHEW SPALDING: Good to be with you, Hugh. This is the first time we've talked in the new year, so happy new year.

HUGH HEWITT: Happy new year to you. There are three major issues. We're not doing a great work of Western civilization because we're at a great turning point. I really do believe we're at a great turning point. There are three big issues on the table, Matt. And I'll let you take them in the order you want.

Democrats are shutting down the government. And that's just a statement of fact. Democrats are doing this-- even though they've been offered regularization for the Dreamers, even though they've been offered a six-year extension of the S-CHIP program, which insures children, even though they've been offered a military spending deal, which is very good for the military, and even though the cost of it is only 700 miles of wall, not a "sea to shining sea" wall. That's number one. The Democrats' shutdown.

Number two, the House Intelligence Committee has made available to every member of the House to review a classified report on what the intelligence community did in the last year of the Obama administration, which has left those who have read it shocked and appalled at the politicization of it. We don't know what's in it yet. I can't characterize it. But it is a ominous turn and--

MATTHEW SPALDING: Right. Shocker.

HUGH HEWITT: Shocker. And then, three, we are in the middle of an economic boom. And it was pointed out to me by Kurt Schlichter that this is the first economic boom that people under 40 have lived through. You and I went through the Reagan boom. You and I went through the internet boom. But this is a real boom.

Apple announced this week they're bringing home $252 billion of stranded profits. They're going to write a check of $38 billion to the federal government. Gosh, our deficit is going to plummet this year. And then, they're going to invest somehow $200 billion in America. That's just one company. So Matt, in the middle of an economic boom, why are the Democrats committing political suicide?

MATTHEW SPALDING: Well, I think this is a-- you're right, it's a turning point. But this is a great moment in history here, right? I said before that the appearance of Trump has broken open politics. And now we're seeing politics before us in various ways. And I think one thing we need to do is step back here and look at the larger things going on.

I want to come back to this idea about the economic boom. I think this is a amazing thing that's going on. You mentioned Apple, but all the statistics are just powerfully suggesting what is going on. I mean, the markets are just taking off. The market's value is up $6.9 trillion. This is just amazing.

But in the midst of that, the parties-- the Republicans and Democrats in Congress-- are both trying to figure out how to tread on this ground. And the Republican Party is trying to figure out how to deal with this president. And I think, especially in the House, they've pretty much got that figured out for now. The House has done its bit on this keeping the government open, for instance.

But the Democratic Party, I think this is a sign of great internal division. They're fighting. They're holding together, but it's not strong. They think they've got enough votes to shut down the government. It's close. I think that's probably right, but it's not clear. And there's no deal-making going on here. The Democratic Party, I think, is very narrowly going back to its base. That's what this is a signal about. They're unwilling to deal.

The things are on the table for a possible deal. The pieces that are out there-- there are several possible deals that will be great deals for the country, accepted by both political parties, but they don't want to go there. They're fighting for the midterms, and they're fighting for the next political election. This is all about the direction of the country. This is all about the Trump administration. This is all about the future and the existence of those political parties.

A bigger battle is going and we shouldn't get focused down on the narrowness of this particular goings back and forth in Congress. Big picture, what's going on, and then behind that, the economy is booming. And I think Democrats are very afraid of that.

HUGH HEWITT: There is a list published by Americans for Tax Reform. And I just put the link out. The list of tax reform-- good news, it's done alphabetically. There are like 90 companies that have done something. For example, Kish Bancorp has base wage raised, $1,000 bonuses for full-time employees, $500 bonuses for part-time employees, $10 million in capital expenditure.

MATTHEW SPALDING: Walmart is changing their wages. AT&T is giving bonuses. It's just amazing. And your point about Apple, that $252 million is cash sitting overseas that they're going to repatriate. They're going to bring it back here. That gets pumped into our economy.

HUGH HEWITT: Yeah, I think it will be returned in stock purchases or a special dividend or some acquisitions, but they're not going to just leave it in the bank. This economy is going to be above 4% GDP. It's just going to happen.

MATTHEW SPALDING: That's right. It's already-- I mean, right now I think at third quarter it's at 3.2%, 3.3%. We don't know the fourth quarter numbers yet, let alone we're now in the first quarter of '18. The boom here and I know-- I mean, you should tell us-- but I know you were around for the Coolidge boom, as I recall.

But the effect of that we've not seen in our lifetimes, especially in our political lifetimes. What is the political effect of that going to be when people start actually feeling this in a way-- that we're seeing it now, but in terms of paychecks, in terms of things in their lives. I think this is actually quite revolutionary.

And it's an odd situation where in many ways the economic effect of this tax reform and other steps that have changed the economy-- that is going on despite the fact that politicians in Washington, who sometimes miss the big picture, are focusing our attention-- and the media is focusing our attention-- on what are actually quite narrow questions. It's like the political elite is having its own conversations about what's actually going on in the country and they're oblivious of the bigger picture.

HUGH HEWITT: I've been playing a game with Kurt Schlichter and Duane about democratic slogans for 2018. One of them is, who you going to believe, me or your lying wallet? Another one is break the boom, return Nancy to the speakership. Stop the growth, we're making too much money. We've got too many jobs. Because when Reagan's boom occurred, there was so much damage that had been done by the Carter era triple play of inflation, interest rates, and unemployment, it took a long time-- it took till 1984. But this tax cut is occurring on top of 2% growth, so it's really a motor oil, a rocket fuel.

At the same time, the Democrats-- and I want to go back to this, Matt-- have put themselves in a corner where they want the American people to believe the Republicans are being unreasonable. When Tom Cotton, and Donald Trump, and Bob Goodlatte, and a bunch of others have said, we will regularize the Dreamers, but we need a fence. That's not unreasonable. In fact, Lindsey Graham is the only-- Jeff Flake and Lindsey Graham are the only Republicans who want to go along with the Democrat amnesty. I don't-- why do they hate the wall so much?

MATTHEW SPALDING: I think it's mostly-- look, it's politics. The concept of-- we all have this debate about what exactly is a wall. This is one thing I find frustrating-- the rhetorical distinction here. The point is what's the objective? We want to control and secure our borders so we know who is coming in and out, who's crossing our borders on a regular basis, and have some control of that. That's a responsibility of a sovereign country.

Democrats and Republicans have voted for that over and over again over the years. This is not a new idea. How it will be done? Some places an actual wall, some places fencing. That differs. Trump has said as much, as have others. But the point is what's the objective? It is to secure this thing, and to be a known barrier that we control.

But the Democratic Party has really put itself into a really tough corner, such that they can't accept the kinds of reasonable deals that they would have not that long ago, in a very reasonable way. How this has developed, the way it's been positioned-- I think the problem they have now is the Republicans, the Trump administration, has put them into that corner. They've positioned themselves very nicely, such that they now are in a very strong position in those negotiations. So unlike before, in years past, there actually is the grounds for an actual deal here.

HUGH HEWITT: There is, and when we come back from break, we will talk about why Democrats don't want it. Democrats are shutting down the government as we speak. This is a Schumer shutdown. And why they are doing so is just beyond me. It is so stupid. I'll be right back on the Hugh Hewitt Show with Matt Spalding.

22 minutes after the hour America. It is the Hillsdale Dialogue with Dr. Matthew Spalding this week. He is Hillsdale College's Director of the Kirby Center, that lantern of reason in the shadow of the Capitol. Dr. Spalding has been in DC for a number of years. And while Hillsdale has been in Michigan, he has been in DC watching this show before.

But we've had a number of different shutdowns. We had shutdowns in the Reagan years, which didn't seem to bother people too much, Matt Spalding. Then we had the shutdown of '95, which upset a lot of people. The Newt Gingrich shutdown. Then we had the shutdown of '13, which led to the Republican sweep of the elections in 2014. Shutdown politics-- what do you think about them?

MATTHEW SPALDING: Well, first of all, let's answer the practical question. I mean, nothing actually much happens when there's a shutdown, other than the things that are the most noticeable, like your national parks and whatnot. I mean, no one really notices these things. So to some extent, it depends on who controls the shutdown.

The difference here is really this is the first time in recent years, in quite some time, in the era of what I might call shutdown politics-- it happened under Reagan, but it was really a temporary thing. But now it's a part of the political game. But now it's happening when the Republicans-- in this case, Mick Mulvaney at OMB-- controls how this is going to operate. So I think the politics of this could be very different for the administration. I think Democrats are a little nervous about that. I think both parties are.

But if you recall under the Obama administration, even though it was perfectly reasonable, it didn't require anybody to be there. They were roping off the World War II memorial, so you couldn't actually enter it, because the government had shut down. Well, if you set it up differently-- which didn't happen when Newt Gingrich and Clinton was president or when Obama was president-- is anybody going to actually notice?

I mean, they shut down for a couple of days. They're going to be forced to put some pressure on them. I mean, part of it is the Republicans are putting pressure and they're exerting the pressure. And right now they're holding the others as a party to put that pressure on the Democrats.

HUGH HEWITT: Now I want to talk a little bit about that. I believe that Mick Mulvaney will manage this so that it is not a distraction for Americans. They will leave the war memorials open, the Washington Monument elevator might not be--

MATTHEW SPALDING: Oh yeah, right.

HUGH HEWITT: The Smithsonian might close for a few days, but you're going to be able to drive by and pull over and look at Mount Rushmore. I had friends who were not allowed to look at Mount Rushmore, because of the way the Obama-- so I don't think people are going to notice much.

MATTHEW SPALDING: No, that's right. I mean, last time I was driving up the George Washington Memorial Parkway to take my son to school, and the pull-offs on the side which overlooked the river were closed. There were police cars sitting there making sure you couldn't pull off the side of the road.

HUGH HEWITT: Isn't that remarkable?

MATTHEW SPALDING: This is ridiculous. So the shutdowns are completely political. Mulvaney is not going to allow that to happen. He's doing brilliant things at OMB. He understands all of this. He will make sure that doesn't happen. So the politics of this one, I think, will be very different.

HUGH HEWITT: So do I. And I also believe there's a fundamental-- this is an important issue of ethics. Journalists are called upon to report this. This is a Democrat shutdown. A number of journalists are saying Republicans control the government, so this is on them. That's simply not true. So it's a falsehood. There are three Republicans who don't like what the House passed and so there are only 48 Republicans to pass it, but you need to get the 60 votes.

So the three Republicans are not in fact-- they're necessary, but not sufficient. They may not even be necessary, because you need Democrat votes. And so it's a Democrats shutdown. Do you believe journalism will pass this test? Or is it so partisan--

MATTHEW SPALDING: Well, I don't know if you noticed it, but a few days ago there was a slip-up where a few things went out over the wire and the headline was, "Democrats say they have enough votes to shut the government down."

HUGH HEWITT: Right.

MATTHEW SPALDING: So it's obvious. It's clearly what's going on here. The problem is that once you get down into it-- and this is the nuance of how the Senate works, which is, of course, such an archaic institution in so many ways-- about filibusters and you needing 60 votes. The easier story, of course, is the Republicans control Congress, why can't they get this done? So that will be a little bit harder to play out.

But if anybody who studies this and knows what's going on, knows the Democrats are going to shut it down because they're not supplying votes and they're locking down their Party. But the Republicans are putting them in a hard spot, because the key votes here, which they're going after, are all those guys up this year for reelection in Trump states.

HUGH HEWITT: That's exactly. And we're going to expand on that with Dr. Matt Spalding from Hillsdale during the break. During the break visit Hillsdale.edu, or go to Hughforhillsdale.com. Everything you need to understand the Constitution is right there at Hillsdale.edu.

Welcome back, America. It is the last radio hour of the week. I am Hugh Hewitt. Thank you for listening to the Hugh Hewitt Show. I am joined this morning on the Hillsdale Dialogue by Dr. Matthew Spalding, Director of the Kirby Center, Hillsdale College's outpost of sweet reason in the shadow of the Capitol. Dr. Spalding has lived in DC for a long time. Hillsdale College has been in Michigan for a long time. But the two work together to bring the Constitution alive every single day.

Hillsdale.edu is where you find out everything about the college. And this weekend, as the government shuts down, you may very well want to revisit the online course on the Constitution and the online courses on the Progressive movement, because it is the Progressive movement that would have us believe the government is necessary. It is the Constitution that exists to prove that it isn't.

Dr. Spalding, before we go back to the shutdown, I've got to raise the question of this House Intelligence Committee report. Last night, Ben Shapiro, a very responsible guy, tweeted out, "People will go to jail," #releasethememo trends, as Republicans call for releasing shocking classified memo showing FISA abuses in Russia collusion investigation.

I have responded. I'm all for release of the memo, but we should be careful to wait for it to speak for itself. Don't oversell it, because we don't know what's in it. Yes, some congressmen report that they are very shocked, but that's not a reliable guide to public reaction. What say you, Matt Spalding?

MATTHEW SPALDING: Look, if things are in there that we expect to be in there-- as I've said before, if you put all these pieces together, this is a significant crisis. If it turns out that political appointees in the administration influenced the use of FISA warrants and unmasked and used them to go after political enemies or political opponents, that is a significant constitutional and political crisis in the Republic that should blow up. And it will blow up of its own.

They should be very careful to let that play out of its own and not politicize it in a way that would undermine, I think, the effect of that. But having said that, if that's there, that should come out. That is a significant violation of the use of warrants, which, I mean, the local warrant and the need for a warrant, going all the way back to Magna Carta, is a judicial protection against this kind of activity.

HUGH HEWITT: That is a fundamental issue. We do not allow the government to intrude into our realm of liberty without the express permission of a court. We especially don't allow them to use electronic surveillance to intrude into the private lives of Americans who are being picked up randomly, because we're following bad guys trying to hurt Americans. But I don't know what's in this report. I'm a little bit afraid that it will end up boring people, Matt Spalding.

MATTHEW SPALDING: Well, that's why they have to be careful. So you have to remember there are also two concerns here. On the one hand, you have our libertarian friends, of whom I always am very thankful that they are on our side, who are just nervous about privacy. That's a good thing. I'm glad they're there. But that's one question.

But then this other question is a separate one. Are political actors misusing those FISA warrants? Those are both high concerns, but they are two slightly different things. I don't want our libertarian nervousness about privacy to get confused with this other question. Because this other question-- if that's the case, that must come out because that is a fundamental misuse.

On the privacy side, we want to be careful with that, we want to be concerned about that. But that's why the courts are there, to protect that, and why that warrant is required. And that gets into the necessity of national security in a very dangerous world. It's a very fine thread here, but if it's been politicized for political reasons, that is something we must know about.

HUGH HEWITT: If the government is spying on its citizens for political purposes, that's a Waterloo moment. But if it isn't in there, I don't want to say that it's in there. I don't want to be the guy--

MATTHEW SPALDING: That's correct.

HUGH HEWITT: --if we cry wolf on this--

MATTHEW SPALDING: If that is in there, this is-- you think Watergate was a problem. This is a big, big question.

HUGH HEWITT: If, if, if, if.

MATTHEW SPALDING: But if it's not in there and we're just nervous about these other things, which is a concern, that's not the same kind of question, and you're crying wolf, and you've lost any grounds you have in the broader public to make this case.

HUGH HEWITT: Now Matthew Spalding, again, I want to go back to your long experience in Washington. Welfare reform passed, and you had a hand in that, after the big shutdown of '95. Do shutdowns clarify and purge the system of what become barnacles of politics so that we get clarity about where the parties are? Is that actually what happens?

MATTHEW SPALDING: Well, let me answer it more broadly for a moment. The government here doesn't govern anymore in the normal sense that you and I think of what it means to legislate. They don't pass budgets. We don't have appropriations bills. Everything goes down to these continuing resolutions. One big thing. As a result, a lot of pressure is put on that one vote. So if you're looking for ways to govern in this modern congressional atmosphere, it all comes down to that thing.

So that vote, which can cause a shutdown-- and it has in the past and it might this time-- becomes a clarifying vote. The effect of the shutdown, I think, is actually minimal and will be made more minimal this time because of Mulvaney. It is a clarifying vote. This puts people on the spot-- in this case, in particular, six Senators up for re-election. And that will force a reconsideration.

What is at issue here is you've got a president, and now a pretty unified party behind him, who is campaigning against government as usual, and he's broken it up. The effect of that, I think, will be clarifying if they can hold it together and have a clear message that politics as normal is getting in the way of us governing and getting in the way of this booming economy.

HUGH HEWITT: Now there is a headline--

MATTHEW SPALDING: That in 2018 will be big.

HUGH HEWITT: I agree. There is a headline at Politico right now. "Senate in disarray with shutdown hours away. The chamber couldn't agree on scheduling a vote, let alone passing legislation to keep the government open." I actually believe that the drama that is being ginned up by the beltway media is not shared in the country at large.

I believe people are going to work today and the million people that watch MSNBC and the 2 million people that watch Fox all day long, they're getting spun up. But the 327 million people who don't, are going to work and they're saying, what's going on now? And they look up and I think it will be framed this way, Matt. You tell me what you think.

So the Democrats shut down the government because they didn't get everything they wanted, even after the Republicans offered to regularize the DACA kids and even after the Republicans said we'll reauthorize the S-CHIP. And the Republicans wanted to get military spending secure, so our readiness problems are done. And by the way, the economy is booming. What's wrong with the Democrats? They think Trump is so toxic that they can get away with murder.

MATTHEW SPALDING: That's right. But they also think that the natural blame will go to the Party that controls the government. And I think their strategy is first of all, they need to be loyal to their base, which demands absolute purity on the DACA immigration question. No deals at all. But I think they're also looking to undermine any argument that the Republicans can govern.

And what the Republicans have going for them is having failed on health care, they then succeeded on tax reform. But they want to change that narrative. The narrative, if they don't change it going into 2018, is, look at what is happening-- we are governing, we're getting things done, the Democrats are in the way.

They want to suggest that these Republicans are incompetent. They can't run the place. They can't keep the government open. Oh, by the way, the economy is doing great, but that has nothing to do with this president, who is actually insane, because we all know that medical report was a bunch of nonsense.

HUGH HEWITT: And in the meantime--

MATTHEW SPALDING: The narrative is very different here going into 2018.

HUGH HEWITT: I know, but in the meantime, this is a fundamental question. Are Americans smart? Can we trust them-- does self-government work? And self-government is premised on the idea that citizens get the big things. And I always tell people, the Constitution is not very complicated. It was written by farmers for farmers.

And sometimes politics isn't very complicated. They understand what's going on here. They know that the Democrats are shutting down the government because they want an amnesty, not a border security plus DACA bill. That's what's really going on here. So the fundamental question is are we still capable of governing ourselves?

MATTHEW SPALDING: No, that's right. And what I think at large is being set up here is a question going forward-- it was there in 2016. It's now there. It's coming back. You now have a question of who governs? This is potentially a great moment for-- this is a Populist movement, which is pushing back against this elite rule, this narrow inside the beltway thinking about how government ought to work based on how it's worked in the past.

But there's a larger push here having to do-- which I think that the American people see this-- that well, government ought to be governed differently than how it has done. We're not to be ruled by these people, by these bureaucrats, by this form of government that is everywhere around us. Think about the big picture. What is going on?

Government should do certain things. It should do them well. One of them is the economy, which is becoming very self-evident, secure our borders, to do basic things. You'll like him or not, thin-skinned that he might be, this president I think still has a good sense of that. And on the politics of it, this is being set up in a way that I think that most American people will see through it, especially if the Republicans hold firm here and put it to them going into these elections--

HUGH HEWITT: Paul Ryan did that yesterday. Paul Ryan-- Now I have a theory of false positives, that they're crippling politics. And I want to try it on you Matt, and we'll come back after the break. Hillary Clinton lost the election because she won three debates. And she had a lot of polling data that said she was going to win, so she allowed false positives to impact her action and it was a disaster.

Right now the Democrats are looking at the Virginia election results, heavily influenced by the government class in northern Virginia, and the Alabama Senate race, which was a complete whack job meltdown. And they're using these as false positives for the politics of confrontation, not realizing that the biggest driver of everything is freedom and prosperity, and those are actually going pretty good right now. What do you think of my theory?

MATTHEW SPALDING: I think that's absolutely right. And I think they've misread-- I mean, both Virginia and Alabama were particular situations with odd candidates in many ways. I think you're right. I mean, the underlying statistics here in the economy and in politics generally and how things are moving, I think still suggest that we are misreading that electorate.

And this is what happens. When things are very messy-- we're in this period, this broad dealigning period and potential realigning period in American politics. The lines between parties, the lines about the issues, the lines that are maybe doctrinal and stuck in the past aren't the same anymore. I think the Democratic Party hasn't realized that.

HUGH HEWITT: Not yet.

MATTHEW SPALDING: I think the Republican Party has kind of and they're figuring out how to deal with it.

HUGH HEWITT: And we'll be right back with Dr. Matthew Spalding to continue the conversation about what comes next on the Hillsdale Dialogue. Hillsdale.edu.

Welcome back, America. It's Hugh Hewitt. I'm joined by Dr. Matt Spalding. He is Director of Hillsdale College's Kirby Center. As we complete our Hillsdale Dialogue for the week-- all things Hillsdale collected at Hillsdale.edu. If you've never been to the website, you should go. You should go and watch the courses there, partake of the vast number of offerings if you've enjoyed this conversation. All of our conversations, dating back to 2013, with Dr. Arnn, with Dr. Spalding, with all of their colleagues, Dr. Rahe and others at Hillsdale College are collected at Hughforhillsdale.com. Binge listen.

Before I let you go, Dr. Spalding, a friend of mine, Jeff Flake, made a speech this week. And it was kind of a silly speech. I like Jeff a lot. I really do. But he compared Donald Trump to Joseph Stalin. And a couple of my liberal friends sent me this. And I said back, Jeff Flake is a friend of mine. I campaigned for him. That is an absurd speech. Turns out you've written a column on the same subject.

MATTHEW SPALDING: I mean, John Adams once said, facts are stubborn things, but we can't let our passions get in the way. This is an example-- and he put himself out there as an example of this is-- the Trump derangement syndrome. He went after Trump on the press. Trump had used this phrase, "enemy of the people," by which he meant not all the press, but the fake news press. And he actually named them-- CNN, NBC, New York Times. And Senator Flake, I think, absurdly in my mind, used that to connect him to Stalin.

But then even more importantly, he associated him with this rise of authoritarianism around the world and tied him to other people like Assad as well. It's just really crazy to think that-- sometimes we've got to step back. And you disagree with this guy, you don't like this guy, but gosh, these guys are killing people. And Stalin, if you put together all the different things he did-- from the famines and the purges, to the massacres, to Eastern Europe-- he's responsible for somewhere between 20 and 40 million deaths. Come on. We got to keep perspective here. I thought that was just way over the top.

HUGH HEWITT: Well, that's what I told my friend. Mao is last century's greatest killer. But number two was Stalin. Number three was Hitler. Number four was Pol Pot. And we got a pretty clear rank order of killers. Donald Trump has arrested no one. Donald Trump has said nasty things. He does mean tweets. I mean he does a lot of mean tweets. And he's been cruel to some people and I have upbraided him about that. But this is--

MATTHEW SPALDING: He's also-- remember, the courts have gone against him several times, and he's never disobeyed them.

HUGH HEWITT: Right.

MATTHEW SPALDING: And on the big things-- taxes, immigration, health care-- what has he done? He's put the ball back in Congress' court. That's the separation of powers. That's the rule of law. So Senator Flake and others in the Congress who are uncomfortable should be asserting their power as an institution to pass laws.

HUGH HEWITT: If they wanted to. Now, I want to close--

MATTHEW SPALDING: If they wanted to.

HUGH HEWITT: I want to close with the most important thing-- messaging for Republicans. I think the message is clear. The Democrats are closing the government. They are doing so because they do not want to bring the DACA children in under a regularization program that denies them the right to bring their family. They are turning down an S-CHIP extension for six years, which is on the table, in front of them right now. And they are not taking care of the military.

This is a Democrat shutdown. They can't say that enough. Do you think they'll have message discipline, Matt Spalding, and how would you alter the message that I urge them to give?

MATTHEW SPALDING: Well, I think you're right. They need to show that the Democratic Party is unreasonable on all of the things you went through. They're not willing to work to solve these problems. But they've got to do that. They've got to play this right to get back on their messaging as well. This is taking them away from the larger undercurrents going on in American politics that they need to be talking about more.

I mean, President Trump yesterday gave a good speech in Pennsylvania talking about the economy. They've got to get back on that message and show they can govern. The Democrats don't want that to happen, which is why, in addition to holding the line, being absolute on immigration, they want this shutdown, so they can try to blame it on the Republicans. This is 2018 and 2020 politics at work here.

HUGH HEWITT: Sure it is.

MATTHEW SPALDING: We're all well into that.

HUGH HEWITT: But I looked at my pre-market screen-- the S&P up 2.75, the NASDAQ is in green 20 points, the Dow's up 29. Every international market-- the Japanese stock market up, Hong Kong up, England up, the German index is up a percent today. The world is on fire with economic growth, powered by a backwards role of government. That's what the Republicans have to talk about.

MATTHEW SPALDING: That's right. But we're also seeing signs that this is now playing into the pocketbooks of normal everyday Americans. There are the markets, but also jobless claims, the trade deficit is changing, the numbers on a lot of these underlying things are changing as well. That's going to play out as we go into this election.

HUGH HEWITT: I couldn't agree with you more. Matt Spalding, always a pleasure. Have a wonderful weekend in cold DC. As the government shuts down, I know the heat stays on. But the conversation is going to be never-ending and I will be continuing it tomorrow morning on MSNBC at 8:00 AM, America. Do tune in on the east coast. I'll be bringing you my point of view, which may be a little bit unique on MSNBC tomorrow because this is a Democrat shutdown.

The Democrats are shutting down the federal government. And I want to remind you-- every Republican is in favor of regularizing the DACA kids in exchange for border security. The Republicans have put forward a six-year extension of the S-CHIP to insure children. And the Republicans have put forward a fully funded military to protect our men and women in uniform across the world. That's the Republican position.

I don't know what the Democrats' position is, except they don't like Donald Trump and they want to shut the government down. The Democrats shutdown-- we'll talk about it on the next Hugh Hewitt Show
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