Government Shutdown Chicken

Well, here we are.  Christmas is a fond memory and the do-nothing Republican led House is about to become the cannot-do-anything Democrat led House.  President Trump is bringing home the troops from the Middle East and will let the partial government shutdown send the bureaucrats home without their big fat paychecks.

I’ll have to read up on the actual constraints of shutting down the government.  I’m guessing the military will have sufficient funds to fuel jets and feed troops.  I don’t know what happens to Social Security checks and Medicare bills.  Both sides are making noises about who will pay the price for turning out the lights in D.C. and filling in the Grand Canyon during the hiatus.  Several people on our side of the divide have opined that since most of the civil service are Democrat supporters this will hurt them more than us and will bring them to the bargaining table first.  Sounds plausible.

I’m guessing that Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi will be the brokers on their side.  And I’m wondering if the “Dreamers” will be the carrot that will be waived to get the wall built.  I’m hoping that they won’t be given any amnesty.  It’s just too slippery a slope.  Before you know it everyone in the Third World will be identified as a Dreamer.

More importantly, what will be the path forward to evicting the tens of millions of squatters who currently inhabit the country?  At some point it has to be started if the wall is to have any meaning.  Enforcing the current immigration laws has to be part of any strategy to secure the border and return authority over the country to the legal residents.  And since it is already within existing legislation to do it, no battles in Congress are necessary.  All that is needed is the will and control over the bureaucracy and law enforcement agents whose job it is to carry out these existing policies.

I say this as if it were easy.  It’s not.  Currently the Justice Department isn’t even under the control of the President.  He must first get his Attorney General appointed and the mutinous crew currently running the various agencies fired and out of the buildings.  Then he has to find capable honest people to take their places and doing the job.  I don’t envy him the task.  It’s enormous.

It should be a very interesting January.  A few weeks without their paychecks should focus the minds of a lot of bureaucrats and hopefully make them more receptive to cutting a deal over immigration.  This will also be a real test of President Trump.  Battling Congress and dealing with his executive branch mutiny, not to mention the Mueller comedy is a titanic assignment.  I think he is up to the challenge and I wish him all the luck and success he can get.  Maybe it’s just the lingering Christmas food glow but somehow, I’m feeling optimistic.  We’ll probably know by Valentine’s Day who wins the game of chicken.