Trump and Republicans are counting on Democratic empathy and compassion

Neither Trump nor Congressional Republicans would continue with the shutdown debacle except for one thing: they’re counting on Democratic empathy and compassion.

They assume that, at some point, Congressional Democrats won’t be able to ignore the hardships federal employees are enduring by not getting their regular paychecks. They’re counting on Congressional Democrats being concerned about the average citizens who are as equally impacted. They believe they can ‘hold the line’ because Democrats are empathetic and compassionate.

And they are correct:  Democrats do care about the people.

In the past Congressional Democrats have agreed to this horrid bill or that despicable action solely because we were offered something in return that helped people. Healthcare, food for the hungry, hope for the Dreamers…we gave in, time and again. Big Agricultural interests get free government money, just so hungry folks might have one meal a day. Our military is bloated with funds, just so the most vulnerable can get some assistance in order to survive.

Even now, Congressional Democrats are offering an additional $1.3 billion dollars for border security, when previously allocated funds haven’t even been tapped yet. We agreed to the additional border money as long as the Republicans voted to fund the government until February of 2019. It passed the Senate. It could have passed the House, but a couple of Fox talking heads disapproved of the action, and here we are.

Democrats do care

The wall is not popular. Shutting down the government is not popular. Why would Congressional Republicans fall on their own swords for an unpopular shutdown  over an unpopular wall demanded by a man-child President? Because they know Democrats care about the people. They know we feel the pain of federal employees not being paid. They know we worry about whether the hungry will get fed, or regular folks can go about their lives, secure in the knowledge that the government is up and running and fulfilling it’s obligations to the people. They don’t care about the people, that much is obvious, but they know we do.

We even care about the people who voted for Trump.

We could give Trump his money. We could waste $5.7 billion dollars, toss it up on the huge deficit pile Republicans have already created. We could give in, and give Trump everything he wants. The spoiled man-child could be appeased. However the problem with this is that there are other appropriations that must be made by Congress in the next two years. Other ‘must pass’ bills, such as raising the debt ceiling, necessary to keep us functioning. Balance this against a President who thinks nothing about the people impacted by shutdowns. After all, federal employees can go ask their fathers for help. Or hold a garage sale.  Or just adjust to the circumstances.

Who else would tell unpaid workers at Christmas that when they do come back to work, months or even possibly years into the future, it will be without a promised pay raise?

Future Shutdowns

Today, it’s the wall, but what will Trump want tomorrow? People like Trump, they’re never happy, they’re never satisfied. They are consumed daily with getting what they want.

What other actions will lead to threats of shutdown and Presidential punishment?

Act on the Mueller investigation results? Shutdown.

Fulfill Congressional oversight duties? Shutdown.

Protect the Affordable Care Act? Shutdown.

Help the Dreamers and people desperately seeking asylum? Shutdown.

Prevent hungry folks from having to stand on their heads just to get a little assistance? Shutdown.

Make a small start to fighting climate change? Shutdown.

Stop the destruction of the EPA? Shutdown.

Stop driving endangered species into extinction? Shutdown.

Stop the destruction of precious public lands? Shutdown.

Oh, and the wall, that beloved wall Trump wants so much. Do we really think $5.7 billion will be enough?

Democrats are also sane

Trevor Noah seems to believe we should just give into Trump’s demand or he will invoke a national emergency. Noah understands that not only are Democrats empathetic and compassionate, we’re also sane.

However, Noah doesn’t seem to understand that if you show the bully what you fear they’ll press their advantage again and again. Not only will we face the constant threat of shutdown for the next two years, we’ll also face contrived national emergencies.  As Trump noted, he can declare one any time he wants; any time he doesn’t get his way.

Can we really handle the level of chaos that would exist with these threats for the next two years?

Tell me, what is the more empathetic and compassionate act? The saner action? To hold out now and say loudly and clearly, we won’t allow the country to be manipulated this way? Or to allow the country to be manipulated this way for two years?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email