Over the years, men have engaged in negotiations and under-the-table deals not only over material resources, but also people — slaves, women, and children.
Now, fast forward to the partial government shutdown in Washington, dubbed the “Trump shutdown,” or “Pelosi shutdown,” depending on the political lens through which one is viewing the debacle.
One cannot help but conclude that the pawns or bargaining chips in the negotiation process between the Democrats and Republicans are the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients and federal workers.
The leadership of both parties have gone to the electorates and asked for power to govern in their interest; however, that appears not to be the outcome, and the cynics among the constituents could easily conclude that once again voters have been conned.
The fact of the matter is people are being hurt over the pet project of a wall and the withholding of billions of dollars by the leadership on both sides of the political divide.
The situation is even more alarming when considered against the background that members of the leadership of both parties do not know what it’s like to live from pay check to pay check or have the threats of deportation and splitting up of their families hanging around their necks.
However, that’s the situation facing 800,000 federal workers and DACA recipients.
So, President Trump in seeking to win the public debate and to satisfy his ego, in his latest offer to open the government, placed on the negotiation table 5.7 billion dollars for border wall from the Democrats in exchange for DACA and TPS protections.
This comes after he had promised the electorate that Mexico will be made to pay for the wall, but now that the money is not forthcoming from Mexico, the President is seeking to stick up taxpayers for the payment.
The President had bragged in the past that he was prepared to shut down the government if his demand for border wall money was not met.
“If we don’t get what we want, one way or the other, whether it’s through you, through military, through anything you want to call, I will shut down the government,” Trump bragged. “I will take the mantle. I will be the one to shut it down.”
Now, the shutdown has come to pass and with that more shenanigans on the part of the President.
So, DACA has now become part of the negotiation process when in the first place it should never have been a Democratic Party issue but an American one which ought to be solved humanely by both Democrats and Republicans.
In other words, no one party should have a more significant stake in this issue than the other.
“It was the President who single-handedly took away DACA and TPS protections in the first place – offering some protections back in exchange for the wall is not a compromise but more hostage taking,” charged Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer in a statement.
In any case, the Democratic Party House Leader Nancy Pelosi has made it clear that she was not in favor of the president’s latest offer and has stated,
“His [The President] proposal is a compilation of several previously rejected initiatives, each of which is unacceptable and in total, do not represent a good faith effort to restore certainty to people’s lives,” she said.
“It is unlikely that any one of these provisions alone would pass the House, and taken together, they are a non-starter.”
The truth is the President could have fulfilled his promise of building the border wall during the first two years of his presidency when he controlled both the House and Senate but did not see it as an issue or a priority until the Democrats assume the leadership of the House.
However, politics does not only make strange bedfellows, but could also be said is a peculiar animal, and with the looming 2020 general election, the posturing by both parties will no doubt continue albeit at the expense of the exploitation of the ignorance of the masses.
And, to quote Sir Walter Scott — “Oh! what a tangled web we weave When first we practice to deceive!”
Today, that’s the current situation which obtains in Washington — a win by any means necessary for one up-manship!
Edited by Jesus Chan
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