So we are in the midst of a government shutdown, partial as it may be. It is affecting over 800,000 federal employees, who will soon have trouble making a living from their paychecks. They are kind of frozen, for the moment. A good number of them are working without pay since they are deemed, essential employees.
President Donald Trump and Democratic leaders met in the White House and Trump is doubling down. He intends to keep the partial government until he gets his way. If it takes months, he has no problem with this. If it takes years, again, no issue. He is even willing to declare a state of emergency to build his wall, a monument to his ego.
Let’s be clear. This is how a child or a dictator behaves. In some ways, the president is behaving like exactly both. He will not be happy until he gets this monument to his ego, and he does not care who gets hurt in the process. And it is not like he would have any problem meeting his financial obligations if his pay suddenly stopped (and it has not.)
He is independently wealthy and has not one iota of empathy or understanding. The claim that these same employees have called him with support is silly. I mean, the White House switchboard is not working due to the shutdown. Try it, call the White House.
What he is doing, is damage to that national security he claims to be so worried about. Let’s detail some of the ways, shall we?
The Coast Guard received one emergency payment on December 31st, but after that, they are on their own. They are part of the Department of Homeland Security, why their pay is affected, while the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines are not. Their money comes from the Department of Defense allocation. However, many coast guard members have security clearances, and not receiving a paycheck could mean those ships will remain pier side, instead of doing their job. It means, do not call 911 if you have an emergency. More important, this means that the cartels can bring the drugs they do bring in without fear of any interdiction, which is mostly done by the Coast Guard. Incidentally, that, and airports is how much of the drugs come in, with some though ports of entry.
The Border Patrol not only could lose clearances, but it will likely lose officers. This is an agency that needs physical boots on the ground to do the job. Fewer boots mean more holes. And no, a wall will not prevent that. You need physical bodies, period.
Ultimately, this will degrade that security that the president claims to care so much for. The irony is not something that should escape anybody. With the tantrum the president is doing great damage to that same national security he claims to care so much for.
The president has no idea that Congress can (and in time likely will) overcome his tantrum. As pressure continues, the votes will be there to not just overcome the tantrum, but do it with enough votes to overcome the veto power of the president. Leader Mitch McConnell may be frustrated, but I am betting he is counting votes. And at risk Senators will put pressure on him to bring the vote to the ground. And if he gets enough votes to overcome the veto, this ends.
Congress is article one. The exec is article two Trump seems unaware of this. He is also abusing his power and is actually giving more reason for an actual impeachment proceeding, why? Abuse of power.
How could this end?
There is an agreement ultimately, and the government is reopened. The question is how. And the president seems to not want to do anything that does not contain a wall. Oh never mind Mexico was going to pay for it.
Trump will decide to keep the government closed. This will make the abuse of power increasingly obvious and a demand for action from the article one branch of government.
In this case, I can force Border Patrol will resign en masse, leaving the border open, truly. This is not something that we want to see, but we may very well see.
TSA will also resign en masse, leaving airports open. And in fact, some of this is starting with massive sick out calls. According to CNN:
The mass call outs could inevitably mean air travel is less secure, especially as the shutdown enters its second week with no clear end to the political stalemate in sight.
”This will definitely affect the flying public who we (are) sworn to protect,” Hydrick Thomas, president of the national TSA employee union, told CNN.
At New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, as many as 170 TSA employees have called out each day this week, Thomas tells CNN. Officers from a morning shift were required to work extra hours to cover the gaps.
This should surprise no one. TSA is not exactly paid with golden parachutes, and are on the lower end of the Federal pay scale. And none should be surprised if next, we have mass resignations. Morale in that agency has been low for some time. This will only do wonders to it.
A national emergency will be declared, and this will lead to a deepening governing crisis. Trump is giving the opening to Congress they need for high crimes. It is also leading straight to the greatest crisis in the government since likely the civil war. But if there is a reason for high crimes, it is precisely over these kinds of abuses.
As far as the RNC is concerned, who are horrified over a freshman congresswoman using salty language, well the crisis just became very real. They will now have to chose sides: The country or Trump.