Friends of Padre Steve’s World,
Well another government shutdown is here and it all could have been averted but for one man, a man who since 2013 has been egging on the GOP on shutdown threat after shutdown threat. Two of those shutdowns occurred and cost taxpayers billions of dollars, harmed many Americans and caused great damage to both the reputation of the United States and national security as this one will if it goes on as I expect that it will.
Now why would I say that? Even now Senators are now working to find some kind of deal to minimize the consequences of the shutdown by finding some sort of short-term funding bill that will kick the can down the road for another few weeks. But even if they do come to an agreement the fact is that Paul Ryan’s GOP madhouse has to agree to it and that is no sure thing. In the House the GOP Freedom Caucus and others want the shutdown. But even then, after the House and Senate finally agree on something one more person has to sign on to it. But ultimately the man who has to sign the legislation is the same man who has wanted a shutdown for years, and now he has orchestrated one on his watch. Last week a deal appeared to be in place and he blew it up and in the process revealed the racism that guides so much of his thinking.
That man wasn’t Mitch McConnell or Paul Ryan, neither was it Chuck Schumer. Although Ryan and McConnell are certainly complicit in this debacle the real culprit was President Trump. In the midst of crises around the world that he has been stoking as well as fear at home he has engineered another crisis with no logical reason for it, that is no positive reason for it which makes me believe that his motivations are either based on ignorance or something nefarious. There are arguments for both but based on his actions over the past couple of years I lean towards the latter.
President Trump came to power through legal means but neither before he took office or since has he shown one shred of respect for our country’s ideas, laws, or Constitution. Many of his supporters have surrendered all principle in supporting him, especially conservative Christians and no matter what he does, even if he “murders a man on 5th Avenue” they will still support him, and this emboldens him.
I don’t expect a deal and I do expect a real crisis while this is going on and when that happens be it a major terrorist attack or possibly even war on the Korean Peninsula because no-one is expecting it. I could be wrong and I would hope so, but the fact is if you look at history despots of all kinds use tactics similar to this to overthrow democracies. As Timothy Snyder wrote:
“The mistake is to assume that rulers who came to power through institutions cannot change or destroy those very institutions—even when that is exactly what they have announced that they will do.”
I do hope I’m wrong but I have such a bad feeling about what is going on now and in real life I have to find out what happens with my civilian contractors when I wake up.