Phoning It In ☎️

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You've got [voice]mail!
The White House changed its public comment line’s voicemail from the standard message to one that blames Dems for the government shutdown (listen here). It says that calls cannot be taken because of an ‘obstruction’ by the Democrats, and that they are holding funding ‘hostage’ until a deal on DACA is negotiated. The Trump administration has taken a hit over the voicemail, with critics attacking Trump’s negotiation and dealmaking skills, his ability to unite Americans, and his ability to lead effectively. Although, ‘first president to use WH voicemail for politics’ has a nice ring to it. 🤣

The people’s response? 
Americans have taken to Twitter to express their opinion. There is an article on Elite Daily composed entirely of Twitter posts with amusing commentary on the new voicemail. Some found this new message hilarious, while others thought that it was childish. Even fact-checking website Snopes joined in, because many Americans thought the story was a hoax. Or, you could say they thought it was phony. 🕿

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The right is going for the facts, only the facts, and nothing but the facts. They address the legitimacy of the voicemail’s claims - primarily, talking about how the disagreement over DACA has played a large part in the government funding issue. Right leaning media largely agrees that the shutdown is Democrats’ fault, and corroborates Trump’s claims. They do not mention anything about legal implications, or the response of the American people.

The left is calling this a ‘childish’ and ‘petty’ act on the part of the Trump administration. The Daily Wire even called Trump a ‘troll’. The left has focused on several laws that the voicemail may be breaching. Specifically, there is talk about whether or not the message is a violation of the Hatch Act, which limits ‘certain political activities’ by Washington employees. Trump’s use of federal resources for this partisan political voicemail is seen as a clear disregard for the spirit of the Hatch Act. Trump’s being called out . Sorry, last pun.


Has it really come to this? 
You heard right - the WH really is blaming Democrats for the government shutdown via public voicemail. While Democrats are partly responsible for the shutdown, Republicans have had an equal part to play in the negotiations and the current stalemate. It is also important to note that in 2013, Republicans did the exact same thing - shutting the government down to make a statement about their seriousness regarding policy issues. However, using a public voicemail for partisan politics doesn’t do any favors for the nation’s perception of the Trump administration and its ability to handle party disagreements with dignity.

 

Fine, one last pun

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