Sunday, January 06, 2019

How The trump Shutdown Ends

Right now, the news is not that great (via Asawin Suebsaeng and Sam Stein at The Daily Beast):

During Friday’s meeting at the White House over the ongoing shutdown standoff, President Donald Trump and Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY) made little substantive progress as Pelosi and Schumer urged Trump to reopen the government by Tuesday, according to three people familiar with the meeting.
One of these knowledgeable sources told The Daily Beast President Trump kicked off the meeting with a rant lasting roughly 15 minutes that included his $5.6 billion demand for a border wall, and threatened that he was willing to keep the government closed for “years” if that’s what it took to get his wall...
Along with saying the word “fuck” at least three times throughout the meeting, the president bizarrely stated that he did not want to call the partial government shutdown a “shutdown,” according to the source. Instead, he referred to it as a “strike.” (Many of the federal employees affected by the weeks-long shutdown have been working without pay. That is essentially the opposite of a strike.)
...The White House did not respond to a request for comment as of press time. But according to one source familiar with the meeting, Schumer did press the president to reopen the government before continuing negotiations on a border wall. Otherwise, the Senator suggested, the president was effectively using government employees and shuttered government agencies as leverage.
“I’m not going to say it’s for leverage, but I’m not going to get a deal unless I do this," the president replied, according to the source.
The Democrats in the room shook their heads, the source said, as if to say "so, you’re doing it for leverage…"

This is where we are at.

trump - having been bullied by Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh, which should tell you who really runs Bartertown the Republican Party - has put his entire ego on the line to get his goddamned and unpopular Wall funded. This is where he's threatening to make the Shutdown last for "years" even though simple logic should tell him that's impossible. As this Shutdown continues, it will spread to more agencies, cause more problems for even trump's voters (many of them ironically rely on their Medicare coverage and Social Security checks that are currently held up). Then again, trump doesn't care about that part, which is why it's so easy for him to pull this stunt. The cruelty is policy.

Right now, trump wants the Democrats to fold and to bow to his will, much like how he forced the Republicans to accept him as a primary candidate and then succumb to his bullying. It's his entire business model: humiliate, bully, lie, and take from those who have what he wants, and get them to accept the shit he gives them in return. This is trump's attempt to break the Democratic Party, so he can't end this Shutdown (unless completely on his terms).

However, this is where politics exposes trump for the amateur and failure that he is.

The Democratic Party doesn't have to give trump a damn thing.

The Democratic Party is coming from a different power base than trump, and that they have to answer to a completely separate group of people. A group of people making up the majority of American voters who all just happen to hate the ever-loving hell out of the Shitgibbon.

The Democratic leadership also has to be aware - and have shown it so far - of the old adage of "Once you pay the Danegeld you never get rid of the Dane." In modern parlance, and in our terms, we should call it "Once you become trump's bitch you will ALWAYS be trump's bitch." So in that regards, the Democratic party cannot succumb to trump's bullying tactics: If they do, all trump has to do is wield the threat of further Shutdowns to get what he wants (which is everything, including shutting down every investigation into his criminal acts before and during his control of the White House). Even attempts to negotiate a bipartisan deal - where Dems get something of value in exchange for giving in on Wall funding - aren't going to be worth it (to make another quote: A deal with the Devil is no deal at all).

So the Democratic Party can't end this Shutdown.

The thing about this Shutdown, it may have started out as a "partial" one but the longer it goes it will close more and more agencies and services. We're already seeing the effects on our parks, being closed because of the pileup of human waste without staffers to keep them clean.

We're also seeing it affect the federal employees at the public level, especially with the TSA at our airports. Nearly every TSA worker is forced to work without pay, and it's getting bad enough to where hundreds of them are calling in sick with what's known as the Blue Flu (because cops are forced by law to never go on strike, they get around it by enough of them calling in sick to make their absence a clear burden).

There are about 800,000 federal employees who have been forced to work without pay for more than two weeks (and going), and they are getting at the point where their bills are piling up. Despite the twisted beliefs of the Far Right, a lot of employed full-time people DO live paycheck to paycheck because a lot of people's pay really SUCKS. We are not getting paid enough to cover the mortgage/rent, the food, the car and gas, the utilities, clothes, cable/phone/Internet, and Gods help us any medical emergencies (and then MULTIPLY all of that for your kids).

This is an employment crisis about to get worse. One of two things will happen because of this: Many of those 800,000 employees will quit because they will need to find a job that will PAY them, with the side effect of our agencies unable to fill those vacancies because their HR departments are closed; or Many of those 800,00 employees - the ones within travel distance - will march on the White House - because they know damn well who is at fault here - and create the worst possible optics for trump and the Republicans to where enough GOP officials break ranks and end the Shutdown.

It will all depend from that point how trump will respond to either of those events. If there are mass walkouts, trump will simply crow he's cutting back on bloated government and revel despite the damage done with lost employees. If there's mass protests in front of the White House, trump will blame others and maybe even threaten protesters by calling out the National Guard (unless they're on unpaid leave too).

trump may then respond with that threatened "National Emergency" idea he's been throwing out there. Where he's got the idea he can call up the military to do his bidding and do all his dirty work for him, such as filling in as scabs at certain jobs like the TSA... and even worse wasting manpower and defense spending by building that goddamned Wall for him. The dubious legality of such a move is severe enough to be viewed as a Constitutional Crisis all its own.

And that's not even getting into the shock waves of this Shutdown reaching the financial sector. The Wall Street banks aren't too happy about the Shutdown's effects - even with the benefit of losing SEC oversight for the nonce, because the SEC also helps with setting up valuable IPOs - and they can step in at some point to slap the Republican Party - if not trump, definitely the Senators - into ending the Shutdown for them.

Granted, there are a number of variables at play here. Everything is unknown and in chaos.

All we can be certain of is this. Given the damage already done, given how likely trump will want to extend this nightmare for his sadistic pleasure. This is how the Shutdown will end.

In tears.


dinthebeast said...

He should really think twice (or at all) before he tries the "declare an emergency" trick. If he throws that convention out the window, what's to stop the next Democratic president from declaring a health emergency and funding single payer with it?

-Doug in Oakland

Paul said...

I'd agree under normal circumstances. I'm sure the Republicans in Congress would be horrified if trump goes that route because they know full well that control of White House is not permanently Republican.

But trump doesn't care about that. he's envious of dictators who pretty much ignore their own constitutions and he's willing to break every law that is between him and absolute power. He doesn't care if a Democratic President can claim "emergency" powers because trump is convinced there never will be another President but himself (and if there won't be... he'll burn it down before he flees for Russia).

We can hope - but no guarantees - that if trump tries his "emergency power" trick then the 3-4 "moderate" Republican Senators - Collins, maybe Roberts from KS since he's retiring - will flip to Dems and push McConnell out of Majority control of the Senate. It won't be enough to confirm Impeachment but it'll be a signal whatever is left of the GOP cannot abide any further slide into autocrat rule.