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Unfashionable Thinking About the Shutdown

Might there come a point where Democrats should consider giving the president the least he will accept on funding for his wall boondoggle, extract what they can in exchange, and get the government reopened to alleviate damage done to the country and harm to innocent individuals? Might there come a time when knuckling under to the would-be tyrant would be a lesser evil?

One falsehood after another has been rolled out to justify the president's demand for a wall to address border security and a crisis that is largely of his regime's own making. Whether that demand stems from tyrannical impulse, delusional conviction, or judgement that there is a political imperative to deliver the promised wall to his base is of no relevance to the difficult circumstances in which federal employees furloughed or forced to work without pay find themselves and their families. Responsibility for the shutdown rests squarely on a president for whom negotiation means that the other side acquiesces to his demands. No false equivalency about apportionment of blame, no blather that would present this as in any way a normal negotiation, changes that.

None of this eases the misfortune of those affected by the shutdown through no fault of their own. Nor does it diminish the damage being done to the federal government in ways that will not be easily undone.

I am not arguing that Democrats should yield. I do however believe we should be honest with ourselves and acknowledge that our actions have real-life consequences for the men, women, and children who are taking the hit. Those consequences are in no whit lessened by assigning responsibility where it rightly belongs, with the president. It is something I think about.

A counterargument might go something like this: If Democrats give in, the president will conclude that he has hit on a tactic that works. Need we ask how likely it is that he would go to it again to impose his will? Another nail would be hammered into the coffin of constitutional government.

It is a terrible situation.

Is it unfair to suggest that some Republicans are untroubled by the government shutdown? That they would prefer to see most of government shut down permanently, preserving only those functions that serve to safeguard the personal wealth of those who have it in abundance? I am thinking here foremost of the House Freedom Caucus, whose leaders Mark Meadows and Jim Jordan have the ear of the president.

When Senator Lindsey Graham dubbed the president's prime-time address presidential and claimed everything Trump said was true (FoxNews video), he stepped up to the plate and showed himself for the miserable toady, the unprincipled, scrofulous lapdog, the backbiting, calumniating garlickeater, (T)rump-licking, running dog, lickspittle lackey, whoreson, wantwit, and weasel that he is.

Indivisible Tuesday January 15, 2019

Meeting with staff from Senator Jeff Merkley's office to thank the senator for shining a light on the Tornillo prison camp which led to its closing and to ask him to pressure Mitch McConnell to do his job and reopen the government with no money for the wall, reintroduce and work for the passage of the REUNITE Act and the Families Not Facilities Act, and work to reinstate Temporary Protected Status for those harmed by this administration.

Indivisible has a new monthly meeting schedule for 2019. See the Events page for details.

Keep the faith.

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