Even when our government is supposedly up and running, it’s at a virtual standstill and locked in turmoil and chaos. Now, with the government in the third day of stoppage, the previous crawl might look like it was moving at warp speed, if the shutdown continues.
This shutdown is the third this year, and this one brings in its wake Trump attacks on the Federal Reserve, a plunging stock market, troop withdrawals from Syria and general upheaval inside the president’s administration. Most disturbingly is the resignation of Defense Secretary James Mattis, who for many was the only hope for stability in the turbulence around Trump.
Trump, who once promised that Mexico would pay for the wall he envisions along the southern border, and then said he was prepared to take the blame if the government shutdown, is now blaming the Democrats for the stall on Capitol Hill.
“Virtually every Democrat we are dealing with today strongly supported a Border Wall or Fence,” Trump tweeted. “It was only when I made it an important part of my campaign, because people and drugs were pouring into our country unchecked, that they turned against it. Desperately needed!” Of course, there’s little evidence of that.
It’s anybody’s guess how long the shutdown will continue, with thousands of government employees being held hostage by Trump and the demand that Congress give him the $5 billion for the wall, which is far above the funds the Democrats are willing to pay.
“If President Trump and Republicans choose to continue this Trump shutdown, the new House Democratic majority will swiftly pass legislation to reopen government in January,” the Democratic leaders said in a joint statement over the weekend.
Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s incoming acting chief of staff, told the press Sunday that the shutdown will possibly “go beyond the 28th and into the new Congress.”
That would be a devastating blow and dump a tsunami of gloom on the holiday season, particularly for those government workers who have to show up to work without being paid.
With Mattis’ resignation sped up by Trump, Jerome Powell, who heads the Federal Reserve, might be the next to be pink-slipped by Trump, who claims that the only economic problem in the country is at the Federal Reserve.
As we go to press, there appears be little change, although there are reports that several political leaders are still attempting to resolve the problem. The shutdown just adds to the mounting domestic and political mayhem perpetually stirred up Trump and his silent elves.
This calamity is one Trump can’t blame on Obama, but let’s not jump the gun.