When Jimmy Kimmel wants to make a point, he trots his toddler out in front of the cameras. When Democrats need political cover, they trot out Kimmel.
Beginning with the debate over repealing Obamacare and culminating in a gritty technical fight over government funding, the host of ABC’s "Jimmy Kimmel Show" has transformed from a well-meaning funnyman, to a policy advocate, to finally a partisan flak.
For whatever reason, Kimmel on Wednesday night felt qualified to lecture a low-level Paul Ryan aide on Twitter about a short-term, stop-gap continuing resolution with an attached six-year reauthorization of the Children’s Health Insurance Program but without permanent reform to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. Or as Kimmel oversimplified, making kids “a bargaining chip.”
Shame on you for making CHIP a bargaining chip, shame on you for tying our children's lives to immigration and shame on you and @SpeakerRyan for doing ANYTHING other than funding CHIP cleanly and IMMEDIATELY.— Jimmy Kimmel (@jimmykimmel) January 17, 2018
Altogether Kimmel got somewhere around fifty-thousand likes and retweets for his platitudes because apparently the public thinks it’s normal to get parliamentary analysis from comedians. But they got duped.
Whether Kimmel realizes it or not, the shutdown drama surrounding DACA and CHIP has nothing to do with sick kids or immigrant kids without papers. It has everything to do with politics. The statements and the subsequent silence of the senior Democrat senator from Ohio bear this out.
Shortly before Christmas last year, Sen. Sherrod Brown declared that CHIP reauthorization was “ready to go” and added that if Majority Leader Mitch McConnell “put it on the floor today, it would pass. There is no excuse for this delay that is hurting families.” Less than a month later, that legislation is rolled up in the CR and waiting. Brown is conspicuously silent.
Inherently bipartisan, the package gives both sides what they want: reauthorization of the CHIP program for six-years and more time to negotiate government funding and DACA reform. Everybody wins. Except it’s become clear that Democrats like the idea of a government shutdown otherwise they’d help Republicans reauthorize the program.
The children that Kimmel seems so concerned about are just sideshows, a pretense for slandering Republicans and shifting blame should the federal government go dark. Kimmel will help them do it.