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Mon Jan 7, 2019, 03:26 PM

James Fallows: Trump Is Grinding the System to a Halt

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/01/how-shutdown-impacting-air-safety/579616/

Trump Is Grinding the System to a Halt
Thousands of air-traffic controllers and TSA employees continue to work without pay. It’s unfair—and it’s potentially dangerous.
2:13 PM ET
James Fallows
National correspondent at The Atlantic

snip//

Instead, let’s be 100 percent clear about the path that led to this unfair, potentially dangerous, and completely unnecessary failure of governance:

On December 11, in the Oval Office, Donald Trump told Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi that he would be “proud” to take responsibility for a shutdown. “I am proud to shut down the government for border security, Chuck … So I will take the mantle. I will be the one to shut it down. I’m not going to blame you for it … I will take the mantle of shutting down, and I’m going to shut it down for border security.”

Because Republican legislators lacked Trump’s “Bring it on!” enthusiasm for a shutdown, on December 19 the Senate, under Mitch McConnell’s Republican control, unanimously passed a temporary-funding measure that would have kept the government open but did not include money for Trump’s border wall. In usual government kick-the-can fashion, the idea was to buy time for a fight about the wall later on. The Senate took this step on the understanding that House approval and White House support had also been lined up. (Otherwise, why would McConnell take the risk?) For instance, according to one report, “Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, the current no. 2 highest-ranking Senate Republican, predicted on Wednesday that Trump would sign it. ‘He will sign a clean CR,’ Cornyn told CNN.” A “clean CR” refers to a continuing resolution that would maintain government funding but not include the wall.

As soon as news of the apparent compromise spread, on December 20 and 21, the most fervent wall boosters began mocking Trump. Ann Coulter called him “gutless” and said that without the wall he’d have a “joke presidency.” Steve Doocy, on Fox and Friends, said that “If there’s not a shutdown, he’s going to look like a loser.” Rush Limbaugh said that Trump was “getting ready to cave.”

In the face strictly of this personal mockery—not a change in the Democratic position, not pressure from Republicans in the Senate or the House—Trump immediately turned against the arrangement all Republican senators had voted for (with the understanding that he would sign it), and now said it was all-or-nothing on the wall. By the late evening of December 21, federal agencies were preparing for the shutdown that would begin at midnight.


This is unfair to air traffic controllers and others like them, who did absolutely nothing to justify such treatment. It’s potentially dangerous, already needlessly stressful, and highly destructive in the National Parks.

McConnell could, in theory, end the impasse by reintroducing in January the funding bill that got unanimous support three weeks ago. (To spell this out: Trump could of course veto a “clean” bill that did not include wall spending. But—at least in theory—a bill that got through the first time by unanimous vote would have enough voters to override a veto, which would presumably also happen in the House.) But that is the realm of theory, like any other scenario whose elements include “Mitch McConnell taking a stand.”

Donald Trump could resolve the impasse by deciding he doesn’t care about being called “gutless” or a “joke”—or, more likely, by deciding he can find some way to cast a cave-in as another gigantic win.

Meanwhile, people working without paychecks in the control towers or airport screening lines, people watching trash pile up in the public treasures known as America’s national parks, people who’d been counting on cash from a tax refund, people unable to get their companies registered with the SEC or their new wine-imports or craft-beer labels approved by the ATF, people in Washington, D.C., who’d planned to get married but can’t get a marriage license—these and millions of other people are paying the price for one man’s temperamental instability.

Give me a lever that is long enough, and I can move the world, Archimedes is supposed to have said. We now have a Coulter corollary, descended perhaps from Iago and Lady Macbeth. It is: Give me a man who is weak enough, and I can taunt him into anything.

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Reply James Fallows: Trump Is Grinding the System to a Halt (Original post)
babylonsister Jan 7 OP
dalton99a Jan 7 #1
Scurrilous Jan 7 #2
Hermit-The-Prog Jan 7 #3
bdamomma Jan 7 #4
Hekate Jan 7 #5
myohmy2 Jan 7 #6

Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2019, 03:27 PM

1. The traitor is depriving Americans of a functioning government.

Furthermore, he is doing everything he can to destroy it

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2019, 03:34 PM

2. K&R

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2019, 05:35 PM

3. Crybaby Donald is scared of Ann Coulter

And Mitch McConnell is scared of getting caught before he can complete the plutocracy coup.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2019, 05:39 PM

4. He

is gutting the government for Putin since he works for him and let's not forget Stephen Miller. He's a snake and a traitor.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2019, 05:39 PM

5. Trump is going to bring this country to its knees if his own party won't cooperate with Dems ...

...and stop him.

Just imagine the airports shutting down. Really think it through, all you people who never travel by air and are snooty about it -- a lot more than people goes by air.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2019, 05:41 PM

6. "Trump Is Grinding the System to a Halt"

...the system needs to man-up and grind trump to a halt...

...

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