[THE THIRD WAY] Emergency or farce?

I’m the kind of person that’s wary of perpetuating “the Trump Show,” or giving unnecessary attention to a man who is so obviously fueled by it. For the last couple weeks, I’ve been approaching the news with a desire to block out President Trump. That’s not really possible anymore. The government shut down on Dec. 21, and shows no signs of reopening. Today is the first day that federal workers, like TSA agents, will miss a paycheck because of the shutdown, despite being all but obliged to continue working. If the shutdown drags on, then we might have a serious crisis with staffing our airports and keeping our infrastructure intact.

I have to say, none of this makes much sense”

Before the shutdown, the Senate passed a continuing resolution that allowed for the government’s funding before Feb. 8, 100-0. Every single senator was in favor of funding the government without any money for Trump’s “wall.” That changed when Trump started listening to his critics from the right, who expected him to fight for wall funding at the risk of a shutdown. The moment Trump decided to die on this hill, the Senate majority leader, who controls which bills are voted on, suddenly decided he was in favor of a wall. Make no mistake. 100-0 is a veto-proof majority for passing bills and funding resolutions, which means the majority leader could have continued funding the government and take power from the President’s petty demands.

Now, the president is threatening to activate a state of emergency to fund his pet project. Instead of passing a funding bill with a veto proof majority and going about their day, Senate Republicans have decided to side with a president who wants to give himself unprecedented executive power by creating fake emergencies. Republicans are well aware that a wall wouldn’t do anything to stop illegal border crossings, and that the number of undocumented immigrants in this country has actually decreased in the last seven years. The party is showing an unwillingness to break with the president, however unpopular he is, in order to do something as basic as funding the government. Further, congressional Republicans are giving up their own power by allowing the President to unilaterally control the party. In the 20th century, the President was not the only base of power in a party, which meant that voices of the legislative branch were important and valued. To contrast, Republicans today are fighting for a boondoggle that they don’t agree with which makes the only prominent Republican voice that of the president. It just makes no sense. I have to say, none of this makes much sense.