An old saying, one of my wife’s theories and an attempt at political rationalization; throw in a comment on a Supreme Court action and you have today’s article. Let’s explore.
First for my Supreme Court comment: Tuesday morning by a 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court ruled that President Trump’s military transgender ban may proceed pending their full review of the case. This ruling defies logic and is a prime example of activist judges legislating from the bench. The military leaders never asked for the ban. If you remember “military expert” Cadet Bone Spurs decreed it via Tweet. The then Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis was taken by surprise and did all he could to not implement it. Apparently Mattis was busy trying to run the military as effectively and efficiently as possible.
As it was litigated three consecutive lower courts ruled it unconstitutional and stayed it. Normally if the Supreme Court decided it would hear the case (the majority of cases brought before the Court are never heard) it would leave the last lower court’s ruling in place in the interim. Basically what the current Court did was preemptively overrule the lower courts. Should they ultimately rule against the ban (not likely and more about that to follow) what happens to those wronged in between?
The 5-4 ruling was only possible because Trump appointees Neil Gorsuch (of the Mitch McConnell purloined seat) along with credibly accused rapist and perjurer Brett Kavanaugh joined Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and John Roberts. I may be Pollyannaish but I still hold out hope that Roberts will be a swing vote and fair arbiter in major cases but in ones like this he is a solid right winger. Transgender Americans are an easy target considering they are such a small (and largely misunderstood) portion of the population. If you think they will get a fair hearing in the end you probably are waiting for Mexico to pay for the wall that Trump has shut down our federal government over.
There is an old saying along the lines of, “It’s going to get worse before it gets better.” Many, including me, feel that sums up where America currently stands with a madman in the Oval Office. My wife has a theory that can be expressed along those lines. It is, “It’s going to have to get worse before the people act.” With the pain of the Trump Shutdown 3.0 increasing and spreading to more Americans on a daily basis I think we are rapidly approaching that point.
At this point it is inevitable that federal workers are going to get a second consecutive pay stub with a net pay of $0.00 despite in many cases actually having to report for and perform their duties. Many people who rely on federal programs in order to live either have or will soon lose their benefits. Previously I wrote of chairing the Board of a non-profit that has lost almost all its funding and is scrambling to keep helping victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in the interim. My organization is far from alone. Countless small business people and their employees depend on the disposable income of federal workers who aren’t getting paid. Those small businesses have suppliers and so on down the line. You connect those dots.
Here is a huge possibility we are not talking about: at what point do social security payments to senior citizens (many of whom were and/or still are Trump supporters) cease. It has to happen at some point.
Then there are the hidden consequences of the Trump Shutdown 3.0 like the polluters that don’t have a “cop on the block” to keep them somewhat in check. Take it to the next level; how long can people like TSA agents and flight traffic controllers keep doing a perfect job under this addition stress? I could go on but you get the idea.
Trump has no experience or expertise at running a large organization. Anyone even remotely in touch with reality realizes that this whole dealmaker thing is a lie. (Even Ann Coulter admits that Trump is a terrible dealmaker.) Trump has painted himself into a corner with no idea of how to get out of this predicament. The framers of the Constitution provided the way out for America and it is up to Mitch McConnell to show the Republicans the “promised land”. Congress needs to overwhelmingly pass legislation reopening the government. Trump can either sign it (not likely), let it sit for ten days after which it becomes law without the benefit of his signature (his smartest move) or veto it. If it is vetoed Congress, led by McConnell and Nancy Pelosi, must muster the necessary votes to override the veto within 24 hours.
In order to get the lawmakers (particularly at least 20 GOP Senators) to move they will need “motivation” from their constituents. Boil it down to basics: politicians, regardless of Party, only understand two things: money and votes. If they see an “uprising” they will fear a backlash at the polls and move.
I’m not advocating violence; that is both illegal and will prove counterproductive. I am advocating phone calls, emails, letters and most effectively personal visits to both DC and district offices. It doesn’t matter if the Senator or Representative is in and you get to see them. Trust me, visits, especially group ones, will be reported to the member of Congress and get their attention. While I’m a rare statistics and “30,000 foot view” person most Americans including members of Congress are moved by personal stories. If you are calling on someone friendly to your plight and reopening the government your story will reinforce their position and give them something to tell those who need conversion. If you are calling on a Trump enabler you may just move them or give them “justification” (a/k/a an excuse) to change their position.
The Trump Shutdown 3.0 will end at some point. I have no idea of exactly when and doubt it is imminent. Trump can’t find a way out and the Democrats in defense of representative democracy can’t afford to give in. The founders provided a way out and it is up to the people to hold their elected representatives accountable. It is going to get worse before it gets better but it is up to the people to determine how bad that will be.
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