Well, Trump, his ill-advised cronies and the crass Republican Congress have put the nation through another exercise in futility—the latest, but perhaps not the last, government shutdown. The next one might occur in as little as two weeks.
The primary stumbling block to yet another continuing resolution to fund the government—since Republicans have been unable to actually pass a budget—was the DACA (Deferred Action for Children of Immigrants) program, which 90 percent of the country supports. Trump cold-bloodedly and single-handedly rescinded DACA in order to cater to his base. Despite Trump’s six-month deadline, the Republican Congress has refused to deal with DACA and would just let 800,000 Dreamers face deportation, their dreams shattered. Trump, of course, could easily solve the problem by simply reversing his decision.
The House of Representatives, in a cynical effort to force Democrats to vote with Republicans in the Senate, cruelly tied the expired CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program) funding to their continuing resolution bill.
Democrats finally voted to reopen the government because they not only cared about children (much like the mother in Solomon’s judgement) but because Trump irrationally rejected two bipartisan proposals that would have given him much of what he wanted for his stupid border wall (remember how effective were Hadrian’s Wall and the Great Wall of China?).
With his refusals, Trump bears the responsibility for shutting down the Government – after all, the buck stops with him.
Let’s be clear: Republicans control the White House, the House of Representatives, the Senate, and the Supreme Court. Blaming the Democrats because Republicans can’t muster the votes to govern is not going to fly with the vast majority of Americans. Trump’s base, of course, would be perfectly happy if the so-called leader of the Free World shot an immigrant in the middle of 5th Avenue while waving a Confederate Flag and cursing African and Caribbean countries in the vilest terms.
Our very own Congressman, Dave Brat, in the meantime has been all over Facebook in recent weeks, applauding these Republican dirty tricks, while assiduously avoiding his constituents, except in friendly photo-ops. He has made it abundantly clear that he would never vote for anything that represents immigration reform. He and his Tea Party ilk in the House will enable Mitch McConnell to renege on his promise to do something about DACA.
Many on the left have criticized Schumer for “caving” to McConnell, but the upshot is that CHIP has been preserved for an additional six years. For those that may be unaware, that means healthcare for 100,000 Virginia children. If you are interested in Schumer’s response to these criticisms, you can watch it right here:
Bipartisanship has been mostly dead in this country ever since Republicans took control of the Congress in 2010. They relished blocking virtually every single bill proposed by Democrats while legislating nothing of their own. Trump continues this legacy by trying to dismantle every one of President Obama’s achievements: DACA, the Affordable Care Act, the Paris Climate Accord, reigning in Wall Street, the Iranian nuclear deal – the list goes on and on. This country under the current administration is descending into chaos. Every single day I wake up thinking things cannot possibly get worse, but Trump proves me wrong.
Responsible citizens, of whatever political persuasion, must save the country from this debacle. You can help in the get-out-the-vote effort by getting off your sofa and becoming an activist for responsible government. Resist, insist, persist, and enlist. There is only one solution: go to the polls in November and vote all these miscreants in Congress out of office.
Editor’s note: this op-ed originally appeared in the January 27th edition of the Culpeper Star Exponent, and has been re-posted here with the author’s permission.