Democrats might hold off on any victory laps after getting President Trump to back down on his demand for a border wall and sign a bill to open the government again after the more than month-long record-breaking partial shutdown of the government.
Yes, it does indeed seem a victory in the game of chicken, no doubt. And it was chicken on the part of both sides. May the better chicken win.
But Trump is still president and still unpredictable and now desperate for a win after what must be a humiliating defeat. And at the hands of a woman — that really has to get to him. I wonder if Nancy Pelosi likes to grab men by the…No, I won’t even go there.
But by mid February we’ll be back to square one it seems since the bill was only for a short time period.
It does seem unlikely, though, that Trump will go for another shutdown. He gained nothing and perhaps lost some on this one. And he had proclaimed himself such a negotiator. Some negotiation. He got nothing. Pelosi and Chuck Schumer even appeared to trick him into taking credit for the shutdown before it began, with Trump indeed telling everyone that he was going to take full credit for it (all on video).
But I criticize both sides for the cruel and unnecessary shutdown that threw so many government employees out of work and the ripple effect it had upon people they owe money to or would usually shop from. It was the makings of an economic nightmare.
(Government employees will get back pay but not necessarily contractors. And who’s to say what government workers might have purchased during the 37 days had they not been alarmed about missed pay checks? An economic hit to the economy for sure.)
The tipping point in the game of chicken seemed to be the disruption in air travel due to a lack of federally-paid air traffic controllers. What if there had been an air tragedy? Both sides would have blood on their hands.
This all should have been worked out by a compromise, such as give Trump money for his wall, but maybe couched in terms of increased border security by way of improved fencing and barriers. In return, the Democrats could have bargained for a solution to the Dreamer issue and moreover a new and comprehensive immigration reform program (which neither Republicans nor Democrats ever seem to have a real taste for — too good of a hot-button campaign issue) to satisfy the legitimate demands of all, from everyday citizens of our nation wanting security to those immigrants looking for a better way of life and willing to contribute to our nation and to those seeking asylum. The U.S. must remain the beacon of freedom and hope in a dangerous world. And note, I said legitimate demands. I am not concerned about those who simply want to keep people out due to their own racism or religious intolerance. Also I have little respect for people who call for the dissolution of immigration enforcement.
But I have to remember, politics is a lot like sports. Winning is everything. And that is why Pelosi could not and would not back down. No one wants a tie game.
I read that there is work in progress on legislation to do away with the possibility of government shutdowns. Too bad it takes legislation but it seems that is needed.
Next time if there were to be a next time, congress should lose its pay if the government shuts down. That would end any idea of one. And even though Trump perhaps does not need the salary it should apply to the executive branch. Most any help he had would desert without a pay check.