The Government Shutdown… All For Nothing.

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Here’s where we are.

Government workers who are not getting paid are being demanded to continue working without pay. It’s not slavery because they could quit and find another job. But they will keep doing their job because they have a sense of duty to continue, would not find a job that pays as well, know another job is not around the corner and quitting would be worse, etc.

The government is shut down and people are not getting paid because the party in control of the Senate and executive branch hates government (See my John Stossell post from a few days ago). We’ve had shut downs before, but this one is different, more damning.


The person who now sits in the Oval Office shares those toxic views of his party. More importantly, he does not have, and has never had, any connection to a life where living from paycheck to paycheck is a real thing. He lives in a cocoon of wealth. When a business of his ran out of money, he could just go to a bank and get a loan. If that didn’t work, he’d just declare bankruptcy and move on, while those who depended on that paycheck never got a second thought.  Of course, because of those bankruptcies, when domestic banks would no longer issue loans he went to foreign banks that were more than willing to loan him money. The plight of the 800,000 government who are now in financial trouble due to this dumb standoff is inconsequential to him and his party.

And it’s not going to end soon.


Because one side is not negotiating in good faith, and the other  side can’t give in because of it. For those of us who paid attention before the election of 2016, we knew Donald Trump was not ever a very good negotiator. Negotiating, real negotiating, means giving up something substantial to get something substantial. As long as there was the dangling carrot of profit due to the allure of the Trump brand (a perception that is being revealed as a mirage) he never had to negotiate a really difficult deal. The Trump organization was good at selling the brand and the promise of profit, but that is not the same as a negotiation. That was how he managed to “negotiate” to purchase the land that became the Trump International Golf Links in Scotland. Despite concerns from local residents and the local government, the golf course was built on the promise of profit for everyone. In my hometown of  Fresno, we got to witness Trumps “negotiating” skills first hand. He had made plans to purchase the failed Running Horse golf course project started by a crooked developer during the heyday of the housing / property bubble in the 200’s. There were a few potential buyers, but nothing looked promising. Then the Trump organization rolled into town. They came in with an offer, but before the city could act on it, the Trump organization would change the bid to favor his side even more.  Before we knew it, the offer to buy the golf course would only happen on the contingent that thousands of acres of residential properties adjacent to the golf course would be acquired by the city through eminent domain and sold to Trump for pennies on the dollar. The enticement for Fresno would be that Trump “promised” to build a Hotel in the downtown area. To sell the public on this deal, Trump had his personal lawyer appear on the local Conservative radio talk show to hype the deal. That lawyer was of course Michael Cohen. Though the local radio host fawned over him, Cohen came off as churlish and rude. His presentation was less about trying to convince the people of the city that this would be a good deal, rather he attacked anyone who spoke up to oppose it. Sound familiar???

The city had already made a couple of bad decisions involving development deals, and  had the Trump organization done their homework, the would have realized this kind of deal was simply not going to be acceptable.  In the end Fresno dodged a bullet. Like Trump’s casinos, the golf course in Aberdeen and Turburry have done nothing but lose money.

So, Trump is doing what he’s always done… Offer a crappy deal where he gets everything and the other side gets next to nothing. The problem here is that he doesn’t have the ace up his sleeve that he always was able to pull; the allure of profit. The idea that one side would agree to something in exchange for something temporary is silly and insulting. And let’s not forget, DACA is in limbo because Trump himself took actions to make it so. And this offer does even restore it to what it was before he tried to cancel it.

For over a month I’ve been asking my Conservative friends why the administration waited two years before aggressively pursuing the funding for the border wall. The Conservatives had control of both the House and Senate, and yet they never pursued the funding for the wall. Now we have confirmation of the reason Conservatives would never admit… They could never pass it.  This failure is made worse when you consider the current configuration of the Senate contains MORE Republicans than they had for the last two years.

The Democrat sponsored bill, which contains no wall funding, got more votes than the Trump Republican bill did. This whole government shutdown was for nothing but a chance for Trump to fight Democrats…. And he lost.

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