So, the government shut down is all about who’s to blame. Both President Trump and the Democrats on the Hill have made that clear.
Now, I get that politics often is about who’s at fault but this shutdown has seen more discussion about who’s to blame than how to solve it. That was clearest in the Oval Office meeting where Trump, in front of the media and the world, tried to pin Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi down – to blame them. Trump, though, never liking to be challenged – publicly especially – quickly said he’d own it, “I’ll take the mantle,” he said, whatever that means. Schumer smiled smugly knowing he achieved his meeting goal.
So... solved! Uh, no.
Trump, once it was explained to him off camera that he mucked up did what he always does – pretended that meeting never happened and moved on on to blame the Democrats.
Good, solved! Uh, no.
Government employees are the pawns in this game as are their banks, landlords and store owners who serve them. Even if some on the Hill think that no one lives paycheck to paycheck, and even if Donald Trump thinks all these employees are Democrats, thus who cares, these are men and women who do difficult jobs made all the more difficult by the current government leadership.
I worked in the government and among many very talented career employees. Were there some duds? Of course, as in any workplace. I got to be best friends with one in particular and, to this day – 35 years later – I don’t know if he was a Democrat or a Republican, or either. I didn’t ask. He didn’t tell. He just came to work every day and did his job. And helped me do mine.
I knew another employee, very senior, who was “banished” to a lesser office in our department because someone thought he was a Democrat. Honestly, it didn’t matter because even if he was a Democrat, and an active one, there was nothing he could do to change anything the Republican leadership wanted to do anyway.
The blame doesn’t matter. It’s who gets the job done that Americans, including those laid off or furloughed right now, judge their elected officials by.
Through no fault of their own, they can’t do their jobs right now, and probably for a bit longer. Over what? A wall? I think the wall is ridiculous for too many reasons to list here. If I were involved in the discussions right now I, though, likely would cave if I got something decent in return – like dealing with the Dreamers. Even if Trump gets the full $25 billion he’s said he needs to build a wall or steel slats (whatever), it likely will not be built and completed any time soon. Heck, they’ve had over a billion from this year’s budget and haven’t spent it.
It will not be completed by Election Day 2020, as Trump wants – few construction projects are finished on time, from small house jobs to building a wall on the southern border. And, with Trump in charge, based on his private sector performances, this one won’t be done on time either. But he’ll say it was, for sure, Heck, he’s even saying construction has already started. It hasn’t. He claims he awarded a big contract in the Oval the other day. He didn’t. If he had, his people would have released the details by now. Presidents just don’t award contracts (nor should they want to because favoritism will always be charged).
Give him the wall money and get something in return, the Dreamers. A deal that once was on the table and never consummated.
Just quit strategizing ways to blame each other and do something.🔷
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(This piece was originally published on The Screaming Moderate.)