— Matt Viser (@mviser) March 29, 2017
… The South Boston Democrat is among those who received a formal invitation to meet next week with Trump’s director of legislative affairs, Marc Short, as the White House makes a renewed push to cultivate moderate Democrats.
“I was asked if I would be interested in going over to the White House for a meeting,” Lynch said in a statement to the Globe. “They said they were looking for ‘moderate’ Democrats – which I am. But under the circumstances I felt like they were trying to divide our party so I declined the invitation.”
“My feeling is that the Trump White House has taken a ‘scorched earth’ approach so far,” he added. “I am usually someone who looks for middle ground, but Mr. Trump’s opening position, especially as reflected in his budget, has been so extreme that there is no middle ground. It’s a non-starter for me.”…
Lynch is the most conservative member of the Massachusetts delegation, and has in the past shown a willingness to buck Democratic Party lines. In 2010, he was one of the few to vote against final passage of President Obama’s health care bill.
Think of Steve Lynch as a low-profile version of Long Island’s Pete King; he’s got a job for life, as long as he doesn’t get crosswise of his base, whose strongest impulse is to reject anything not of its Tribe and its Tribal Traditions (aka ‘Southie Pride’). Lynch voters may not have been Trump voters, but they were at the very least Trump-persuadable. If Steverino is publicly spurning the outstretched Repub hand now, it means that Lord Smallgloves’ mojo has lost its magic, at least here in the redder reaches of the Peoples’ Commonwealth.
Which is a bit of a problem, if you read the Washington Post, company paper for the town whose monopoly industry is national politics:
Congressional Republicans are working aggressively to craft an agreement intended to keep the government open past April 28, but their bid to avert a shutdown hinges on courting Democrats wary of President Trump and skirting the wrath of hard-line conservatives and Trump himself.
The murky path forward on government funding sparked unease Wednesday within the business community and at the Capitol, where Republicans speculated that Trump’s request for money to build a wall along the border with Mexico and $30 billion in new defense spending may need to be delayed to avoid a shutdown…
But for the moment, neither House nor Senate Democratic leaders have committed to supporting a spending plan. Bipartisan committee negotiations are underway, and crucial elements of an agreement remain unfinished. Democrats, too, bring their own challenges to the negotiating table. They are under pressure from their liberal base to oppose virtually everything that Trump and Republicans do — especially, in the case of the budget, funding for a border wall. But they and most of their supporters also favor keeping government open, and they are vulnerable to being accused of hypocrisy if they are seen as playing a part in causing a shutdown after years criticizing Republicans for doing the same.
Meanwhile, several congressional aides said that Republicans are agitated by the lack of clarity from White House officials over a strategy to avert the awkward theater of a Republican-driven shutdown on the watch of a Republican president…
By writing off Dems, Trump put himself at the mercy of the Freedom Caucus. Now Trump gets that, but it's too late. https://t.co/RbOocm3MvI
— Josh Barro (@jbarro) March 28, 2017
But wait — this time, there’s a Plan B!
The White House is hoping black lawmakers could be the Democrats to play ball https://t.co/0k070SYY9B
— Brandon Wall (@Walldo) March 29, 2017
Why must everybody laugh at his mighty sword?