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Thu Jan 10, 2019, 07:31 PM

Trump the Toddler

Donald Trump wants his wall, and heíll hold your breath until he gets it.

Twenty days into a partial government shutdown, the impact on government workers, their families, and basic services is coming into view. Food is not being inspected. Transportation Security Administration workers are calling in sick rather than working without pay. Millions could be evicted from their home, hundreds of thousands of workers are about to miss their paycheck, and tens of millions could lose food assistance. All because the president isnít getting his way.

As with so much of what Trump does, holding Americans hostage to partisan goals is a logical extension of what the Republican Party was already doing. During Barack Obamaís administration, Republicans shut down the government demanding the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. They threatened to put the U.S. government in default on its debt in order to cut the deficit, then as soon as they regained power, they vastly expanded it by passing upper-income tax cuts. Demanding that the Democrats cough up money for a wall on the southern border or the American people get it is different only in the degree of its absurdity.

The inauguration of a new Congress means that for Trump, the days of easily getting his way are over. And like a child facing his first taste of discipline, he is chafing at the restrictions. But thatís what makes maintaining them so importantóif Democrats allow Trump to use the well-being of the American people as a hostage, then he will do it again every time he is denied. As any parent knows, rewarding misbehavior only invites more of it.


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