SLEEP WELL, AMERICA
I say sleep well because, sometime in the 9:00 PM hour, The Donald signed the bill to reopen the government. In short, the fat lady finally sang.
Permit me to make three points.
First, I think my prognostications held up well. The Senate Republicans could not stand the pressure—and broke.
Second, although much commentary mentions bad polling and general voter dissatisfaction as the proximate cause of the senators’ awakening, I will bet that it also had a lot to do with heavy lobbying by the corporate and financial elite. Truly objective reporting would—I believe, but cannot prove—show that pressure from the one percent was as important as pressure from the 99 percent, in changing the Republican senators’ minds.
Third, it’s entirely understandable that we tend to personalize this sort of controversy. (See, for example, the cartoon above.) And I don’t deny the important role that personality conflicts and egos play in political fights. At bottom, though, the shutdown should be viewed in the context of wide-ranging efforts by the minority right wing to circumvent democracy and impose dictatorship on the majority.
I believe we have come to a point where coercive imposition of right wing policies is something up with which the rational majority will no longer put.
Senate approves bill to reopen the government, the first step to ending the nation’s longest shutdown
Trump Caves on Shutdown, Is Terrible at Politics:
The part of the speech where Trump had to paper over the fact that he had received nothing in return for the shutdown was couched in hilariously obtuse bureaucratese. He announced that “a bipartisan conference committee of House and Senate lawmakers and leaders will immediately begin reviewing the requests of our homeland security experts … they will put together a homeland security package for me to shortly sign into law.” To put this more simply, Congress will immediately … continue debating border-security policy options. Or put it even more simply than that, Congress isn’t going to pay for the wall any more than Mexico is.
Greetings to readers in Canada, Panama, Australia, and Germany. Here is the United States, we are doing a splendid job of showing how not to run a government. I hope you are deriving both instruction and innocent merriment from these developments.
Well, I guess this is good news.
On Tuesday, the House of Representatives voted on a bill to keep the United States from leaving NATO. It passed by a vote of 357 to 22, with 54 members not voting.
208 of the 244 Democrats voted in favor. The other 26 chose not to vote at all.
149 of the 199 Republicans voted in favor. 28 did not vote. And the Russia Caucus, comprising 22 Republican congressmen, voted against the bill.
In sum, 82 percent of our Solons want to stay in NATO. And only five percent are willing to stand up and salute Vladimir Putin.
So, I guess that is good news.
P.S. You may have been under the impression that the House of Represenatives is made up of 435 members, not 434. That is correct. But one of the Republican candidates from North Carolina practiced voter fraud so egregious that he was not seated. Probably, there will be another election in his district.