What Trump could learn from his shut­down

Mint ST - - VIEWS -

You know the sys­tem has bro­ken down when the clear­est way out of a gov­ern­ment shut­down may be for the pres­i­dent to de­clare a fake na­tional emer­gency. This was the di­rec­tion Pres­i­dent Trump ap­peared to be lean­ing on Thurs­day, as he flew to Mcallen, Tex., to pro­mote his bor­der wall—a P.R. stunt that he didn’t want to per­form and that he said in ad­vance was un­likely to bear fruit. “It’s not go­ing to change a damn thing,” he was re­ported to have said, “but I’m still do­ing it.” He’s prob­a­bly right. Ne­go­ti­a­tions to end the shut­down prompted by Mr Trump’s wall fix­a­tion have gone nowhere...and his show at the bor­der won’t change that.

The grow­ing sense is that to break the im­passe Mr Trump will need to find a way to at least claim to be build­ing his wall with­out Con­gress, pos­si­bly by at­tempt­ing the norm-shat­ter­ing and con­sti­tu­tion­ally sus­pect tac­tic of declar­ing the bor­der sit­u­a­tion a na­tional emer­gency re­quir­ing mil­i­tary in­ter­ven­tion. As the pres­i­dent stews over his wall, more and more Amer­i­cans are feel­ing the squeeze from what, if it goes be­yond Fri­day, will be the gov­ern­ment’s long­est stop­page ever. Mil­lions of lives al­ready have been up­ended—well be­yond the 800,000 fed­eral work­ers not get­ting paid—and mil­lions more could be if the dys­func­tion con­tin­ues, dis­rupt­ing ev­ery­thing from air travel to the fed­eral courts to ba­sic ser­vices through­out In­dian Coun­try like health care and law en­force­ment.

The New York Times

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