Pride-fueled impasse

Dear President Trump,

Sometimes I think maybe I’ve got the learning curve of a gnat since you’re still able to surprise me with your extreme partisan small-mindedness. Yesterday, you Tweeted that many furloughed government workers have told you they support the government shutdown because they want a wall. Then today in an effort to guilt congressional Democrats into capitulating and handing over the wall money you Tweeted that most government workers affected by the shutdown are Democrats. I’m going to give you a pass on how weird it is to assert both these things at all, let alone in the same 24 hour period, since it is technically possible that even if the second assertion is true, some of the remaining workers could prioritize the border wall over feeding their families – doubtful, but possible. As silly as this combination of statements is, their true awfulness lies in how clearly they demonstrate that you don’t give a shit about any of us who didn’t vote for you and that you are not above using US citizens as pawns in your power struggles.

WP opinion writer Paul Waldman said today that we are at an impasse over funding for a border wall and the government shutdown because your pride is at stake. He maintains that the shutdown will last until someone comes up with a proposal that allows you to save face. I think he’s probably right – you’ve only shown interest in what your base and the rightwing talk show people want so it makes sense that you’d push this particular issue to the hilt. The WP Editorial Board is attempting to resurrect the idea of funding the wall in exchange for protection for the Dreamers. Maybe it’s the best way out, I don’t know. But since you and yours tanked this idea last spring, I don’t see team-Trump letting you go for it now. Given that you so desperately need a major “win” right now to keep your base mollified, that you can’t get this win even when the Republicans control both the Senate and the House, and that the House is shifting over to Democratic control in a few days, it certainly looks like we’re stuck for the foreseeable future with this impasse.

Eventually something is going to have to give, but in the meantime I want you to know that you’re digging yourself deeper and deeper into terrible karmic debt.

May we be safe from petty egomaniacs.
May we be happy in spite of you.
May we care for our individual and collective health even when our President doesn’t.
May you not start a war.

Tracy Simpson

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