bureaucratic talking shutdown blues

10 Jan

This is going to be the longest one in history. No question. As long as stuff like this happens, it’s going to go on. the federal workers’ scuttlebut is that we should gird our loins for a long one.

You all know my political leanings. You all also know, more or less, where I work. This is the third time this year we’re in shutdown territory. I work for one of the handful of Departments that happens to have full-year funding, so I’m not directly affected by this one (full disclosure, the fact that I have to coordinate testing with other Departments that are affected is actually giving me some breathing room on the current project we’re approaching the end of…though I don’t feel particularly good about it), but I have plenty of friends and colleauges and total-strangers-but-siblings-in-service-nonetheless who are (approximately 800k of them), and who aren’t going to get paid this week like I am (though I’m still going to hold my breath until the EFT actually hits my checking account), and that really, and truly sucks, because this business is pretty much happening because of a temper tantrum.

The wall (or barrier, or steel slats, or whatever we’re calling it today) isn’t a particularly good idea. It’s not well thought out. Hell, stories out this week indicate it was less policy and more a memory device cooked up by advisers so 45 would remember to bash immigration on the campaign trail.

But here we are.

I honestly don’t know at this point. I don’t think we should spend the money on it. I don’t think we’re going to. Off-the-record talk indicates that the White House is looking for a way out of this one that lets them save face because they’re actually, for once, starting to realize that this one’s gotten away from them. But, I don’t think we’re actually there yet, because of the President’s loose cannon nature. He can’t be counted on to to stay on message, and will change direction wildly based on the last thing someone said to him.

I sincerely hope saner heads prevail sooner rather than later, but this is at least going into next week. Today’s about photo ops at the border, which will lead to nothing of consequence (except for, perhaps, further inflamed tensions), and nobody in Washington works on Fridays anyway.

In the meantime, my fellow public servants are getting the screws.

One interesting thing, though, that’s getting lots of play the last day or two, is a quote from a Trump voter in Florida who, in the fine tradition of Trump voters, keeps saying the quiet parts loud, and giving us an interesting, if depressing window into the psyche of a significant chunk of America:

“I voted for him, and he’s the one who’s doing this,” she said of Mr. Trump. “I thought he was going to do good things. He’s not hurting the people he needs to be hurting.”

It’s never been about helping anyone; as expressed above, it’s all about stomping on the necks of the people they don’t like. And that is what really makes concerned for us as a nation.


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