At noon on January 20, 2017 Donald Trump was inaugurated as President of the United States. On noon of January 20, 2018 the federal government of the United States was shut down in large part due to his incompetence. I’ve seen this show before. Let’s explore.
One year of the organized criminal enterprise commonly referred to as the Trump administration has been exposed it to be, at best, a marketing slogan, “Make America great again.” Interestingly even the slogan was basically purloined (from Ronald Reagan and pre-World War II American Nazi sympathizers). In 2000 I lived in the Tampa Bay area and became a fan of the then Tampa Bay Devil Rays (today the Tampa Bay Rays). That year the team’s marketing slogan was “The Hit Show” touting what turned out to be a bunch of unproductive “sluggers”. That team went 69-92 and finished fifth in the five team American League East.
The story of the Trump Shutdown primarily took place over the last two weeks. On Tuesday January 9th, under fire from the press as to his mental ability based on the release of the book Fire and Fury, Trump convened a meeting at the White House that included the entire Senate. During it he played President and agreed to sign any bill that a bipartisan Congress would send him. On Wednesday January 10th the disingenuousness of Tuesday’s event was revealed by none other than Trump himself. In a photo-op prior to another White House meeting Trump welcomed the press to “The studio”. He went on to brag about the reviews his “Performance” of the prior day received. This included a “fairy tale” about letters he received from news anchors praising said performance. (I think he has them stored next to his pet unicorn.)
A bit after 10am on Thursday January 11th a bi-partisan group of six Senators led by Democrat Dick Durbin of Illinois and Republican Lindsey Graham of South Carolina who had put together a deal set up a noon appointment with the President to present it to him. They walked into an ambush. Several extremist Republicans including Senators Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Dave Perdue of Georgia were at the White House when Durbin and Graham arrived. This was the famous “Shithole” meeting. Apparently Chief of Staff John Kelly and Senior Advisor Stephen Miller had sounded the alarm among the immigration extremists that Trump was about to live up to his word for a change and approve a sensible compromise.
I don’t often agree with Graham on policy but on this issue he has worked diligently and tried to be an honest broker. On Wednesday as the Republicans tried their shithouse not shithole defense Graham encapsulated the entire situation by calling it an “S-show”. In an attempt to rally support for a CR, Kelly went up to Capitol Hill and reportedly said the President was, “Uniformed” when he made his oft repeated wall comments during the campaign. What else was he going to say? Rex Tillerson had already taken “Moron”. Friday night the Senate failed to pass the House CR and at midnight the federal government shut down.
How long this shutdown will last and what the final resolution will be only time will tell. It may possibly be resolved by the time this article is published Sunday morning or it may go on for a while. I want to make a writing observation (including an attempt at humor) and draw my two examples together deriving a lesson.
The late George Carlin had a comedy routine known as the seven dirty words. They were the seven words you weren’t allowed to say on television. Among them was shit. I now freely use the word shit in my article which I try to keep PG. Did Trump bring the list down to six?
The Hit Show was an abject failure and picked up several nicknames during that season. Among them was The Shit Show, which is the less polite version of Senator Graham’s S-show. The 2000 Devil Rays were a colossal failure. To date the Trump administration is following suit. I love baseball but which team wins is not a matter of life and death; many functions of the federal government literally are. The Tampa Bay Devil Rays didn’t have nuclear weapons at their disposal; Donald Trump does. The Trump administration and the Trump Shutdown are both Shit Shows because Donald Trump is an incredibly incompetent President and deal maker.
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