Cardi B

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In the throes of the longest government shutdown in U.S. history, a new debate is brewing amongst democratic senators: to RT, or not RT?

The tweet in question is, of course, a 58-second video of Cardi B that can best be described as an explainer, highlighting the aspects of the shutdown that affects the most Americans: that roughly 800,000 federal employees are currently furloughed or working without pay. In the video, which was originally posted on her Instagram account before it was shared on Twitter, the rapper shares her outrage over the president's demand for $5 billion to fund a wall on the southern border and the impasse with congress that came in its wake.

"Trump is now ordering, as in summonsing, federal government workers to go back to work without getting paid," she says. She even gets a step ahead of any arguments comparing the present situation to previous shutdowns by referencing President Obama's 2013 government shutdown and explaining that it was due to negotiations on healthcare spending. Why were senators hesitant to boost her message?

As with all of her videos, this one is riddled with Cardi's passionate rhetoric: "I feel really bad for these people that got to go to fucking work to not get motherfucking paid."

Senators Brian Schatz (HI) and Chris Murphy (CT) publicly considered hitting the double arrow button, and even Bronx native's home state senator Chuck Schumer was curious about their decision, tweeting "Are you gonna RT Cardi B or not?" Ultimately, according to a response from Schatz, they concluded that it would not be senatorial.

Those surprised by Cardi B's political commentary shouldn't be; aside from sharing political opinions in the past, she made clear in a 2018 profile in GQ that she's always been interested in political science (she's a big fan of FDR and his New Deal).

Though it seems Cardi doesn't even understand the extent of her own influence. Her response to the senatorial publicity was a single question, posed to Twitter: "Why am I trending?"

Rebecca Linde is a writer and cultural critic in NYC. She tweets about pop culture and television @rklinde.

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