The Least Entertaining Showdown This Week
The Least Entertaining Showdown This Week
This week’s news out of DC, about the children under verbal assault from protesters has been a distraction from another group who would rather posture than produce results. The Executive and Legislative Branches of Government may as well be standing toe to toe on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial at an impasse. Despite today’s scheduled vote on how to go about reopening the Government, the odds are that it will continue as only a staring contest to see who blinks first.
In old black & white “Spaghetti Western” movies, there was always a shootout in town. “Daaaan dannnnnn dah!”, the music and the accompanying whistle alerted the viewer to exactly what was going to happen. Cut aways to scared townsfolk, running to the mercantile for cover, and the saloon owner hiding behind the bar with a bottle of his best rot-gut. Eventually the shoot out takes place, the victor taking the credit for saving the town, or becoming their evil overlord. The current showdown in DC is the Mel Brooks variety. Only, it’s not funny.
The players are all well known, and practically typecast for as long as they’ve been in their roles. “Flancy”, battle weary from her duplicitous role of the long suffering heroine for the disenfranchised (Thankfully, whatever she’s doing on those Hawaiian vacations has her looking camera ready. Do they sell Unicorn blood in Hawaii?).
Across town, we have the unpredictable and fast to respond “Interloper.” The town regulars aren’t too keen on him, but the farmers and ranchers like his style of straight talk, and get it done attitude. Too long they’ve been under the thumb of “Flancy”, with her broken promises littering the ground. Meanwhile, this “Trunk” guy seems to mean business. He doubles down when others before him folded their hand, leaving the pot of chips to the scoundrel.
If this were really a Western, “Flancy” would be unmasked as the two faced villain who tricked the townsfolk. Run out of town into Indian territory. Only to be captured and enslaved by the Indian Princess “Cheekbones Like White Lady Who Thinks DC Should Be a State.” Closing scene, “Trunk” would help the ranchers and farmers, then quietly ride off into the sunset. But this isn’t going to happen.
Instead we have an indefinite stare down at high noon, with the shop doors shuttered and the citizens hunkered down for cover. The farmers and ranchers are out of the town limits, and they’ll be fine for a while. But everyone inside the perimeter is waiting to see who will blink first, and if that blink will give them just enough time to find safety.
It seems as though every year we have the same showdown, with the same actors. Trump is the wild card, yet he’s been willing to negotiate. Nancy previously rejected his offer before it even hit her desk, buying her own slice of responsibility for the shutdown. I get the sense that Nancy misses the predictable folding of cards that Republicans have long used as a “strategy” (hint, a bad one). In her speech at the Conference of Mayors on Wednesday, January 23rd she said,
“To the Republicans in the crowd, I say: take back your party, the Grand Old Party. America needs a strong Republican Party, not a rubber stamp.”
I find it particularly funny that the woman who defined “rubber stamp” during the Obama administration is calling out Republicans. Trump has an uphill battle within his own party. Something we would have befitted from had Nancy been less, “we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it” when she rammed Obamacare down our throats. If she had been the leader for all of the American people, and not just the Democrats, she would have made sure it was read and debated before a vote. Had it been done, we probably wouldn’t be hearing her chatter about how it needs to be fixed. Her action is the absolute definition of a “rubber stamp.”
At her first town hall after being elected Speaker, host Joy Reid asked Nancy about immigration and the ideal offer from Trump. Nancy said that TPS and Dreamers (DACA) are a high priority. Trump’s last offer included extensions on protections for TPS and Dreamers (DACA). Because it included funding for a continuation of the existing border wall, she shut it down.
Yet she says that border security is an important to national security. I know, confusing.
I really think that the denial is put into context by Majority Whip James E. Clyburn of South Carolina. He said their budget counteroffer could include money for “secondary barriers.” These are second- or third-tier fences that create backup coverage for existing primary walls or fences. Mr. Clyburn added that Democrats may even be willing to include $5.7 billion — but the projects will not be a wall. “We may be [including funding], so long as there is supporting evidence that is what [is] required. The question is not how much, but how effective, how efficient, how humane,” he said. He then added they may “bring in the experts” to tell them what is needed.
Hey there Mr. Whip, I’ll save you the phone call. Here’s an expert opinion on what is needed for border security. Obama appointee Mark Morgan, chief of the U.S. Border Patrol, says he completely backs President Trump’s plans for a border wall and other security measures. He told Fox News host Neil Cavuto on Saturday, “I agree 100 percent with what the president is trying to do with all things related to border security.” If his gender and race make you think he’s harboring a patriarchal bias, I offer another opinion. This one from the current chief of the U.S. Border Patrol, Carla Provost. December 12, she tells Neil Cavuto, “We certainly do need a wall. Talk to any border agent and they will tell you that.”
Fox isn’t reliable for you guys, so here’s Obama, “We simply cannot allow people to pour into the United States undetected, undocumented, unchecked.”
And Ms.Clinton, “I voted, when I was a Senator, to build a barrier to try to prevent illegal immigrants from coming in.”
|Thursday, January 24|
|Race/Topic (Click to Sort)||Poll||Results||Spread|
|President Trump Job Approval||FOX News||Approve 43, Disapprove 54||Disapprove +11|
|President Trump Job Approval||Reuters/Ipsos||Approve 40, Disapprove 55||Disapprove +15|
|Congressional Job Approval||Reuters/Ipsos||Approve 23, Disapprove 70||Disapprove +47|
|Congressional Job Approval||FOX News||Approve 18, Disapprove 67||Disapprove +49|
As of this morning’s poll on Real Clear Politics, this shutdown is impacting both the Executive and Legislative branches of government. Though it does look like Congress is taking a bigger hit than POTUS.
Please do the ranchers, farmers, and townspeople a favor – Pass the dang budget. If the DHS funding is in place and there is objection to a wall, the courts should decide if it’s legal. If the DACA, and TPS is an issue, then Congress should debate and legislate a solution. It’s their job to do this exact thing. I know, they’ve been lazy and have punted it to the Executive Branch for Executive Orders. This POTUS is unwilling to accommodate this slack in duty. Or more likely, Congress wouldn’t like his order. Either way, it forces them to do their job. POTUS was too generous in his window for them to accomplish immigration and DACA reform. But we are rapidly approaching the time where the gunslingers need to blink, so the rest of us can find our safe cover, for when the real bullets start to fly.