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How Congress Could, But Probably Won't, Take Charge of Shutdown Battle


#1

How Congress Could, But Probably Won't, Take Charge of Shutdown Battle

Paul F. deLespinasse

In normal times it wouldn't matter so much that Congress has abdicated many of its constitutional powers to the president. But the times clearly are not normal, and a reassertion of congressional power could help calm our troubled political waters.


#2

During the 80s when I was working on a construction crew building the Mule Creek Prison (mentioned in another CD article today) the prison was being occupied by inmates (who pumped iron all day and could break you in half without trying) prior to construction completion. Everybody working on site was required to sign a waiver acknowledging that the California Department of Corrections does not negotiate for hostages…just in case an inmate took any of us workers hostage.

Every voter needs to tell their two Senators and their Congresscritter that negotiating with Trump is tantamount to negotiating with inmates to release hostages and you won’t vote for anybody who negotiates to get a criminal to release hostages. Trump is holding gubmit employees hostage, plain and simple.


#3

Ray,

I believe we all know that the clear majority of our Serpentors, and Reptilesentatives, have been corrupted by the unholy dollar and are about as useless as teats on a Bull. Their blind allegiance to these two Corporate parties has been and will remain toxic for the foreseeable future.

I apologize for my cynicism, however, I am pretty sure these selected individuals, with only few exceptions, will serve their own interests before serving us, the masses.

I have generally made an effort to be positive in my predictions of the future, but, the lack of representation from the Duopoly disciples, only reinforces my belief that only through Revolution can We the People find equality.

What would the Revolution look like?

I doubt anyone could imagine, but if Trump keeps thinking he can use his position to make federal government workers build him a wall, simply because he wills it, we may find out sooner than we think.


#4

Thank you Paul for making this point. I am hopeful that enough of us making this point with our senators and representatives will help them understand that we expect them to use their override power. Yesterday I wrote to my delegation and asked them to stop the shutdown. Then I included the following (below) – hopefully a staffer or two found enough there to remind his/her boss that they have the power to override a veto and that constituents expect them to use it – also that playing pin-the-blame-on-Democrats doesn’t fly.

Here’s the rest of what I wrote yesterday and sent to my senators and representative:

In 2018, one of the final acts of the 115th, Republican Congress in the United States was to acquiesce to their Republican President’s refusal to sign legislation to keep government workers paid and offices open. Instead of standing strong and overriding a veto, the Republican Congress caved, and thereby became complicit – enabling their President to start harming the country and its citizens and to use this pain as a bargaining chip for money to build a great wall on the southern U.S. border. The complicit Republicans also assumed that in 2019, they could blame Democrats in the 116th Congress for the mess.

It is amazing to me in 2018 that Republicans discarded their congressional power to override presidential vetoes. In 2018/2019, Congress could have/can restart government any time it wants to by sending the legislation recently passed by the House and previously approved by the Senate (in 2018) to the President, and then, if vetoed, overriding that veto. It is clear, however, that Republicans want to play a game with the strength of our government and the lives of our people – because they are not even attempting to use their veto power. The Democrats and Independents are clearly willing and able to provide funding legislation to re-open government. The Democrats are not the problem. Any insistence by Republican congressional leaders or the President that the Republicans are not the problem is a dog not hunting. This is obvious to nearly everyone.

Immigration, unrest in Central America, pressure on our southern border – these are very real challenges. We have fences and walls in places people are most likely to enter. We have other means of surveillance and monitoring in places without walls and fences. The immediate problem is not the lack of walls or fences, but that we have people fleeing their homes in Central and South America. This displacement cannot be fixed by spending money on a wall in a remote desert where few people can survive or even want to go. (If we want to build infrastructure, let’s do it in areas where Americans live and work). It makes no sense to hold federal workers and government offices hostage to a bad wall idea just because the bad wall idea is the liar-president’s ill-conceived campaign promise.

Here are some additional points on this particular shutdown and president:

  1. “a long-term/everlasting shutdown would essentially dismantle the United States … Ultimately, the United States would likely dissolve and separate, as highly unequal states would vie for the country’s resources … As Dr. Lance Dodes, professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical school, explains it, in a fiduciary position such as the U.S. presidency—where one is bound by duty to act for the benefit of others—that lack of empathy is fatal to the performance of the job.” From https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2019/1/4/1823563/-As-Trump-vows-to-prolong-shutdown-Americans-may-find-out-what-government-by-sociopath-really-means

  2. “Since there is no rational strategy underneath it all, granting him [Trump] what he wishes was bound to cause him to deteriorate and to cause devastation to the nation—we have not yet seen the end … The overall effect is what we call “shared psychosis”: the population starts taking on the same symptoms as the person who is ill. The portion that “desires” Mr. Trump’s presidency may seem as if they are getting what they want, but the longer he stays, the more deleterious his effects will be, finally driving himself and them to destruction … A most recent example is the government shutdown over border wall funding, with Mr. Trump claiming that it will go on for “as long as it takes” until he gets the $5 billion dollars he is demanding. The real situation does not matter to him, and he will insist for erratic reasons—although “madness” has its own method—even if it hurts him … Indeed, he will become increasingly self-destructive, as well as damaging to the country, the more his condition worsens … Not to apply the correct treatment—which is containment and an urgent evaluation—is to enable the illness, and there is no good ending to this. Oversight is fine, but to believe that we can simply proceed with the normal course of investigations without responding to the medical need is irresponsible in the lack of understanding of what level of crisis we are facing. Neither is it humane to Mr. Trump at this time; criminal responsibility is important, and he has not shown any condition that would exonerate him, but we must address first things first in an emergency … His dangers are no longer probable but demonstrable: his attraction to cruel and violent policies; his effectiveness in inciting violence; his stripping of moderating forces; his pursuit of a position of power without appropriate qualifications; and his shaping of the national and international culture after his own mental state—all fit the pattern of well-known, dangerous personality structures.” From https://www.rawstory.com/2019/01/yale-psych-prof-explains-trumps-pathology-hes-dangerous-ever/

And back on the southern immigration issue – could it work to strengthen and expand the work of our embassies and consulates in Central and South American countries? Can we increase schools and service opportunities in those countries? Increase our cultural exchanges? Work more closely with the United Nations to monitor and enforce basic human rights in those countries?

On our borders (Northern and Southern), we’ve been doing a great job of detecting attempted unlawful entries and reducing unlawful entries. We are having this success without building a solid barrier the length of the entire border. Undetected and detected, unlawful entries have significantly decreased (93% and 69%, respectively) between 2006 and 2016. Successful, unlawful entries decreased 83% from 2000 to 2016 – https://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/publications/BSMR_OIS_2016.pdf.

Congress, the Republican parts of it, are harming the TSA, the IRS, the NPS (among many others) and our own, hard-working citizens by enabling their president’s wallmania shutdown.

So, this is my message to Republicans in Congress: Be done with your wallmania shutdown. It’s yours and you can’t stick it on Democrats. Do your job and use your veto power to re-open all of our government offices and services. Then stop trying to fly your tired canard about Democrats being weak on border security. Nearly all want secure borders. Most Americans also want those secure borders to be functional. Read your own DHS border metrics – see how well we are doing without a wall – look for ways to improve and leverage what we are already doing and also look for ways to mitigate unlawful entry attempts before they start by increasing humanitarian outreach and services in countries south of the border.


#6

Just like it won’t take charge of removing the virulent fraud in the White House.


#7

No cynic in America, and I’m one, needs to apologize for seeing things the way they are, and speaking out about them. Carry on troop.


#8

Carry on, fellow cynic…


#9

Dirty ole woman.


#10

Dirty White Boy…