Welcome to Buster's Blog

Irregular commentary on whatever's on my mind -- politics, sports, current events, and life in general. After twenty years of writing business and community newsletters, fifteen years of fantasy baseball newsletters, and two years of email "columns", this is, I suppose, the inevitable result: the awful conceit that someone might actually care to read what I have to say. Posts may be added often, rarely, or never again. As always, my mood and motivation are unpredictable.

Buster Gammons

Monday, January 21, 2019

We Don't "Negotiate" With Terrorists

Wasn't Mexico going to pay?  How did we get here?

December 11th -- "If we don't get what we want . . . "  Trump said he'd be proud to shut down the government if he didn't get his $5.7 billion for his fucking wall.  He told Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi he wouldn't blame them.  He lied. 

December 19th -- The Senate overwhelmingly passed a short-term spending bill to keep the government open.  It included $1.6 billion for existing border security, but not $5.7 billion for Trumpty Dumpty's wall.  The House was expected to pass the Senate measure the next day, then move it on to Trump for his signature on the 21st, the deadline.  Trump said he wouldn't sign anything unless it contained $5.7 billion for a wall.

December 20th -- The still GOP-dominated House added $5.7 billion for a wall to the Senate's spending bill, meaning the Senate needed to vote on it again.  There were not enough votes in the Senate (they needed 60) to pass the House-revised bill.

December 21st -- The government shutdown began at midnight.

January 2nd -- Schumer and Pelosi went to the White House to try to get Trump to re-open government while Congress continued to work on a bipartisan deal on funding for border security.  Trump flatly refused.

January 3rd -- The new Congress was sworn in, with a Democratic majority in the House.  The House passed two symbolic bills to re-open the government now and delay border funding for later.  Mitch McConnell said he won't allow anything to come to the Senate floor unless he knows Trump will sign it.

January 4th -- Trump threatens to prolong the shutdown for "months even years" and also threatens to declare a national emergency as a means to bypass Congress and get his wall money without their approval.

January 9th -- In another White House meeting with Democratic leaders, Trump's idea of negotiation continued to be:  "Gimme $5.7 billion for a wall and I'll open the government."  Appropriately, the Dems refused and Trump stormed out of the room.  "Bye-bye."

January 19th -- Trump made a "major announcement" on the shutdown and border wall funding.  His offer to Democrats:  "Gimme $5.7 billion for a wall and I'll give you three more years of temporary protection for some immigrants (DACA and TPS)" -- a temporary reprieve for some refugees in exchange for very expensive, very ineffective and very permanent wall.  Dems were unimpressed.  Trump said McConnell would bring this proposal to a vote and called his plan a bipartisan package.  No Democrats were consulted.

January 21st -- McConnell said he'll bring Trump's proposal to the Senate floor sometime this week.  Such a show-vote is a waste of time.  It'll need 60 votes in the Senate, which is highly unlikely.  Even if it got 60, it would still need to pass the D-controlled House, which is impossible.

So here we are, one month into the longest government shutdown in history, with no end in sight.  As the timeline demonstrates, the responsibility lies, without a doubt, with one lone gobshite, Dolt 45 the fake president.  By his blundering, heartless, tomfool tactics, he is holding 800,000 government workers and their families hostage to his fuck-witted whims.  Hostage-taking is a form of terrorism, and as you know, we don't negotiate with terrorists.

Everyone has great sympathy for Trump's hostages and the financial hardships he has created for them.  But as much as we feel for them, we cannot "negotiate" with Trump the terrorist.  We must not pay his $5.7 billion ransom, nor give him any money first.

Trump is a notorious liar.  There's no negotiating with him, no reason to believe he'll keep his word about anything.  So we can't let Little Donny Two-Scoops get his wall, or he'll be encouraged to take hostages again and again to get his way.  We must make him re-open the government first, and then we'll go back to square one.

Beyond that, there's absolutely no border emergency and no reason for a border wall -- a wall is an implausible "solution" to an imaginary problem.  Border walls are anti-American, we don't want or need one, and the vast majority are opposed, even some Republicans.  So we must make Trump own his shutdown.  Its effects are mushrooming, more people are feeling the pain, Trump's ratings are plummeting, and we can outlast him.  In the court of public opinion, he'll soon conclude that inflicting all this agony for the sake of Ann Coulter's approval just ain't worth it.

Stay strong and keep the faith.

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