According to the editors of the Washington Post, people “go into public service to make sacrifices and to accomplish some good for their fellow citizens, not to be pawns in pointless political gamesmanship.”
But hundreds of thousands of federal workers who will have to work without pay over the holidays have become exactly that: pawns in a pointless game being played by President Donald Trump and his right wing media overlords. As we reported early this morning, Trump has shut down key parts of the U.S. government in a very misguided political stunt.
Trump, who last week boasted he would be “proud” to shut down the government, glad to “take the mantle. I will be the one to shut it down.” He also bragged yesterday that his shutdown would “last for a very long time.”
But as the Post editors point out, “the curtailment of government agencies will impose costs across Washington and the country.” Then they added:
“Nothing better illustrates the needless stupidity of the shutdown than Mr. Trump’s claim to be taking a stand for border security when one of the agencies being caught up is Customs and Border Protection.”
After saying he would own the shutdown, on Friday Trump attempted to shift the blame to Democrats. He said the shutdown was their fault for not going along with his ridiculous and unpopular demand for $5 billion to build his beloved border wall — which throughout his campaign he had promised would be paid for by Mexico.
What created the chaos in Washington this week was how he flip-flopped on the stopgap spending bill. As the Post editors wrote:
“He signaled he would sign on to a measure, passed by both House and Senate, without wall funding, but then buckled to criticism from the conservative media.”
“Instead of standing up to him — and doing their job of keeping the government running — House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) — went along, once again enabling the worst instincts of a bad president.”
Yes, the shutdown can be blamed partially on GOP congressional leaders. But at the end of the day, as an article in The Daily Beast points out, “the Shutdown Proves Once and For All Trump Has No Idea What He’s Doing.”
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.