While we libertarians revel in the government shut-down, we know that all good things will eventually come to an end (and, whatever money didn’t get spent will be made up retroactively, sad to say). From a popcorn-munching, pox-upon-both-their-houses perceptive, it’s certainly going to be interesting to see who blinks in this brinksmanship regarding the Wall, but, to put it mildly, this is no way to run a country.

Lets ponder the situation: Trump wants money for the wall. The Democrats don’t want to give it to him. This much is obvious. But, what’s key here is “why.” Trump wants to fulfill a campaign promise, but he also wants to win a contest of wills against the new Democratic majority in the House. The Democrats’ reasons (stated and possible) for objecting to the wall run from the practical (it won’t work) to the partisan (they want to legalize the illegals, and thus buy their voting loyalty) to the cynical (Trump must lose, because they hate his guts, and because their base demands it). Given that this is politics, there are people who consider every one of these, and others, perfectly legitimate.

Legitimate, but zero-sum. And, a lost opportunity.

Fact is, we have a Republican President, a Republican Senate, and a Democratic House. The voters decided this is how things will be for the next two years, and the politicians should accept this decision. If stuff is to get done, deals will have to be made across the aisle, and horse-trading will need to take place.

So, (and many have suggested this already), the Democrats should see this as an opportunity to exact a price from Trump and the GOP in exchange for this wall he desperately wants. Given his past amenability to legalizing the DREAMers, it’s not inconceivable to contemplate giving Trump his $5B (truth be told, the only people who give less of a shit about overspending, the deficit, and the national debt than the Republicans are the Democrats, so this fight is certainly not about the money).

My questions:

If you’re a Trump Republican, would you accept a path to citizenship for the DREAMers, in exchange for wall funding?

If you’re a NeverTrump Democrat, would you accept funding the wall in exchange for DREAMer legislation?

Or, is a zero-sum victory more important than fulfilling a priority? Is the fight itself what’s important?

I’d welcome your comments.

Peter Venetoklis

About Peter Venetoklis

I am twice-retired, a former rocket engineer and a former small business owner. At the very least, it makes for interesting party conversation. I'm also a life-long libertarian, I engage in an expanse of entertainments, and I squabble for sport.

Nowadays, I spend a good bit of my time arguing politics and editing this website.


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