"I want to serve": Federal workers gathered by the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia to protest the government shutdown and express their fears about how it will hurt them. Furloughed employees will miss their paycheck if the shutdown isn't over by Friday https://t.co/VM3GdseHeh pic.twitter.com/S9l7CjNDyW— CBS News (@CBSNews) January 9, 2019
The many furloughed federal workers would love to be back at their jobs and earning their pay, but they are left to scramble, sorting out what bills can be paid now, what can be negotiated, what side gigs they can get cash from, and what kind of financing they can swing to tide them over--except for who knows how long? Or how much they will ultimately need to get them over this stupid government shutdown? And as for the employees declared "essential" who are working through this nonsense without pay, some, like the IRS personnel who have been called back to work to process tax season refunds, don't even have the wherewithal to fill their tanks, arrange for daycare for their kids, and get themselves to their jobs. (The header says "defy", which seems pretty much a misstatement. They can't. They have an actual hardship.) They aren't making big bucks. The same goes for food inspection-personnel--they are still providing the essential work, but it's barebones. The TSA is experiencing high sick calls, but again, this isn't deliberate planned work action, this is people having actual physical hardships provided by their lack of finance.
These are just middle class, working class people, being called upon to serve for nothing more than their vested interest in their jobs (pension and benefits) and the pride they take in their careers. And they are hurting. And the jobs they do, often so well you would hardly know how vital they can be to our national security because of all the tragic potentialities they intercept, are strained.
It is a sin that Coast Guard employees are relying on food pantries while serving this country. It is a crisis when our air traffic safety may be at risk because we can't pay these people who keep us safe in the air. It is a crime when our justice system is threatened because our law enforcement resources at the FBI are being squandered through lack of use and money-starving. And it is beyond conscience that a government shutdown, supposedly over a crying need for border security (which is a bullshit crisis by any metric except the elastic inches of the white nationalists' hateful yardstick) now imperils actual national security in the estimation of the men and women who have headed departments related to national security and understand the principal issues involves most intimately.
This is no way--no way at all--for a country to be run, and that is because no person, no person at all, but Donald Trump, has been stupidly burdened with the responsibility of the executive office and all its powers, and the ability to fuck all of them up because he has no concept of their purpose and importance. And yet he could, quite easily, get all these wheels of state back in motion with the merest wave of his hand, freeing Senate Majority
He could actually show leadership by doing this thing, because it isn't actually a concession to resume the government without getting the "extra" funding for his wall--it's just the right thing to do. He could even frame it as being awfully big of him, giving up the wall funding to end a national crisis like this, and use the lack of wall funding as being on Democrats from that very day forward. The political framing to not see ending the shutdown as an L for him, or even making it about his resolve and heroism and shit, and calling it a "win", completely exist.
And all he has to do is ask himself--did you come here to run a country, or did you come here to run your mouth? Because I don't see what's going on right here, right now as running a country, and he wants to run his mouth about who did what.
How about having responsibility? Is this Trump anything at all? Because this shutdown is basically an abdication--it shows he isn't even trying to be shit, and his nonsense about security is bullshit while his inaction leaves us with so much potential for danger.
His poll numbers are taking a hit during this stand, and I really don't want to help his ass. But his doing the right thing, even if it makes him a little more popular, helps all of us.
Do the right thing, Trump. Just do the right thing. I might even find it in my greasy little heart to celebrate it.
(Or Mitch McConnell could....Nah, fuck him. he doesn't ever do the right thing, ever.)
(And not for nothing, although I know Secret Service are consummate professionals, I really would especially want them paid if they were personally protecting my personal ass. Just saying.)