Mr. President, keep it closed as long as you have to, and maybe even longer than that.
I don’t know about you, but I am enjoying the 25% Government shutdown. I really am. This is the closest we ever may come to demonstrating how much of our Government is wasteful, unnecessary, duplicative, and pointless. As but one example — only from the 25% now shut down — we simply do not need a federal Department of Education. States and municipalities can and should run education at the local level. Under conservatives, a federal Education Department — at best — does nothing that justifies its existence; under liberals, it works to destroy civil rights and the national culture. Consider how Obama took away the rights of students on campus wrongly accused of sexual assault. Suddenly, they lost their rights to demand certain evidence, to examine witnesses, to confront accusers. Now that we live in a Red Scare era — where the Left are the scare — extreme feminists wield an old tool that goes back to the Biblical account of the wife of Potiphar: If you are angry at someone, just falsely accuse him of attempting rape. It got her a mention in the Torah, and several thousand years later it got Perjury Blasey Ford almost a million bucks on crowd-funding, to go with her five million dollars’ worth of California real estate.
Go back to Genesis 39, the story of Joseph, Potiphar, and the seductive wife of Potiphar whom Joseph spurns for fear of G-d. (If you are biblically illiterate, you also can find it towards the end of the first half of Andrew Lloyd Weber’s “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.”) In no time, the woman accuses Joseph of attempted rape. Why, then, is he not executed? Really, why did the Pharaoh not execute a man accused of attempting to rape the wife of a top national officer? Henry VIII chopped off such people’s heads faster than a Food Network host preparing a salad of cabbage and lettuce. Why was Joseph “only” sent to prison? Because no one believed the wife. They knew what she was made of. But they had to impose something punitive on Joseph, the imported Hebrew slave, to enable the high-ranking Potiphar politically to save face.
That’s the Bible. But in the United States circa 2018, a Perjury Blasey Ford not only becomes a national hero, but also is followed by a long line of #MeTooPhonyRapeAccusers. By now, a few of them even have admitted point-blank that they lied to the Senate under oath. Others have faded into the background. It is to the everlasting shame of Sen. Chuck Grassley and his Republican-majority Senate Judiciary Committee that the perjurers all will get away scot-free without a day in jail or even a $5 fine. But that is the state of America today. The lying and perjury is even worse on college campuses, and the pointless federal Department of Education existed under Obama to empower Potiphar Wives and Columbia-Barnard mattress girls.
So it goes throughout so much of the Federal Government. We do need the military to protect us from threats overseas. We need an agency to collect tax, if tax we must pay. We need airport security on the ground (like TSA) and in the sky (like air traffic controllers). We need the post office. We need honest federal judges and courts and the staff that enable them to administer justice. But we do not need a great many of the agencies, departments, nor a great many of the 800,000 meanwhile-furloughed government workers. We have to pay their salaries; that money does not come from trees. We work hard for our families, earning what living we can. When we bring home our pay, we are not looking for business partners in Washington to share any percent of it in return for their drafting a new federal regulation or typing it or filing it or rewriting it. No one minds paying salaries of the fraction of federal workers who provide truly important services. However, for a large number of them, if they lose their government jobs and end up doing what my wife, my kids, my siblings, their spouses, my parents, my grandparents, my nieces, my nephews, my neighbors, my friends, my professional colleagues, and my enemies all have done — and work in the private sector — we all will be the better for it. In time, even hundreds of thousands of those 800,000 also will appreciate why a Government shut-down is a delight.
Yes, Americans like visiting national parks, and some of those furloughed federal jobs are important, but a great many of them should be cut permanently. Have you ever worked in a major law firm, as I did for more than a decade? That is work that can run twelve hours a day, or more, for weeks on end. Have you ever had to moonlight and work two jobs to make ends meet? Have you worked in a coal mine, on construction of a skyscraper up on the 120th floor, or — even worse — ever had to teach a class of third graders in a public school district where the mandate is that you may not expect or demand discipline, just teach them about condoms and gender fluidity?
Don’t come crying about Government jobs and furloughed workers. Rightly or wrongly, they all will be paid retroactively. Ideally, ultimately, many of those jobs need to be permanently excised, and politicians from both parties in both legislative chambers have been promising for years to reduce the waste and cut the federal payroll.
In the instant situation, the Government shutdown is even more delightful because — finally, finally, finally — we have a President on the Republican side of the aisle who is standing for something. Often, this President has had to stand alone, although Lindsey Graham has become pretty good ever since Sen. McCain, G-d rest his soul, passed on. Even the vaunted Reagan buckled much too often — on amnesty for illegal immigrants, on budget deficits, on agreeing to create many of the very wasteful, useless federal agencies that need to be closed. Fair is fair: One must give Democrats, like all devils, their due: they stand for their nonsense. They forced through their Obamacare even though they were committing political suicide, but they made a promise, and they kept it: to botch up the medical care system of the country with the greatest medical care system in the world. Promise made; promise kept. After first taking care to assure that they — the members of Congress and their staffs — indeed would keep their doctors and their health plans, the Democrats just followed Obama off the cliff. They jumped, passed the bill without reading it, satisfied that they would find out what was in it after they passed it, and lost both Houses of Congress and most state legislative chambers. On their way down their descent from the promontories of political nirvana to their destinations in political purgatory, they may not have noticed that, as each one jumped without a political parachute, Obama was standing behind, aglow still at the peak, wishing them well as he switched into his trademark golfing shorts.
But Republicans? They cave, and they cave. Nixon imposed wage and price controls, appointed liberal judges all the way to the Supreme Court, and took America off the gold standard. Bush I promised “no new taxes.” They always cave. Frankly, before Rush and Ann Coulter and Laura Ingraham raced into the void, President Trump was about to cave on the Wall. It had not been all that long ago that he told us he needed $25 billion for the Wall. Then he was down to $5 billion. Then it was $1.6 billion for border control and no Wall. But the Talk Radio and Digital Media cavalry arrived just in time — we would like to think that voices like ours were heard, too — and Trump returned to being Trump. He stiffened his resolve, and he closed down the Government.
Mr. President, keep it closed. Keep it closed for the next two years if you have to. If you do not get that $5 billion for that Wall, just keep it closed. Many tens of millions of us are prepared not to go to the Visitor Center these next two years when we tour an open national park. A sacrifice? We once had to land in Normandy, Mr. President, with Germans lying in wait on the beaches, shooting at us, while weather conditions imperiled those assigned for air cover. We Americans sustained more than 6,000 casualties that day, with more than 2,000 killed. Look at this picture, Mr. President. Americans gave their lives for freedom and for this country. Or this one from Okinawa. That war dragged on nearly four years. Ours may not be “The Greatest Generation,” but we still have Americans who can go two years without a stop in the gift shop at a national park if that is what it will take to protect our southern border from the unbridled murderous mass import of opioids, the evils of human trafficking, and the unchecked entry into our country of MS-13 animals and other criminals and possibly even terrorists. In doing some research the other day for an article I published here, I looked up some information on President Kennedy’s extramarital affairs. I came to this website which explained that it was closed because of the Government shut down. I looked somewhere else, and it took me less than three minutes to get the same information — and all the while the Government shut-down held.
Here is how this all will play out if the President truly holds like a stonewall — and it is not clear whether he will. But if he really holds firm on this, then either (i) the Democrats will find a round-about way to give him the Wall (which they are welcome to call: screen, barricade, fortification, barrier, hurdle, rampart, façade, mechitzah, fence, partition, or gate) or (ii) they won’t. Again, this requires that he keep the Government at least 25 % closed for the next two years, if need be. If they give it to him, he gets reelected gigantically in 2020 because, aside from partisans, Americans in the center — the Independents — love a President who actually gets things done after bloviating and promising during campaign season. As each Shutdown Day passes into the next one, that shifting begrudging respect for the President will become more evident to the Democrats. The Democrats either will cut their losses as they find they are boosting the image of Presidential resolve, so will give the money and get back to impeachment and giving CNN interviews. Or they won’t.
If they don’t give the money, and if the President goes into the 2020 elections without having capitulated and buckled by reopening the 25% of the Government without having gotten the Wall, then the American public will get its chance to decide whether it wants to give the House back to the Republicans, or give both the Senate and the White House to the Democrats. The public will see that the immigration debate has gotten to the point, after forty years of broken promises, that divided government is impossible for the near term; thus, one party will have to be given complete control. The public then either will vote for border security, or they will reward the Democrats — the “progressives” — for having stopped all progress in Washington, for having proven unable to govern or to compromise and work with Mr. Trump, for having devoted two years of people’s lives and expectations to an Impeachment War Game that never-ever will get past the two-third threshold in the Senate, for having accomplished nothing on healthcare and pre-conditions after all, and for having made Nancy Pelosi their Speaker of the House.
Every time a police officer or a fire chief or a Kate Steinle spending a happy weeknight with her Dad at the amusement park or local pier gets shot to death by an illegal alien, the tally will ratchet higher. Every opioid death. Every case of human trafficking. The voters in the middle in the swing states will decide, as they always do. If that is what the voters want, then so be it. If not, then the Wall will come.
Democrat leaders during the 2013 shutdown (Wikimedia Commons)