As Politicians Claim Victory, America Becomes the Victim
After the longest government shutdown in history, Congress and the White House have three weeks to make a deal on immigration reform or the country faces the choice of another shutdown or a presidential proclamation that we have a national emergency that requires his unilateral action to build physical barriers on our southern border. Three weeks to settle arguments that have failed resolution for over fifteen years. Only a Las Vegas handicapper is capable of putting odds on any bet that the two sides will come to an agreement. Even with odds, that is not a bet I am likely to make.
We do have an emergency but it is not just about our southern border or immigration. While that is certainly a crisis, the true emergency facing our nation is a failure of leadership on both sides of the aisle. In response to President Trump’s offer this past weekend that could be a start to compromise, Nancy Pelosi immediately criticized it as “not enough” and continued her rhetoric that a wall is immortal. Senator Chuck Schumer echoed similar sentiments. On the right, pundits like Ann Coulter accused President Trump of caving and others said he “lost” the fight. Everyone took sides, ignoring the issues for the sake of partisan politics.
So once again, we watch the spectacle to which our politicians seem addicted. A spectacle that is not about what might or might not be best for Americans, Dreamers, DACA and TPS recipients, and the border agents risking their lives as illegal immigrants continue to flood the country. Instead, it remains a partisan fight over who wields power in Washington and who will win the White House in 2020. Neither side appears ready to compromise as each continues to kowtow to the extreme wings of their respective bases. As the leaders of the two parties continue their mindless bickering, no one can argue against the reality that people are suffering and dying – both Americans and illegal immigrants – throughout our country because of a failed immigration policy.
Three weeks. That is how long our Washington politicos have to prove to America that they can lead through reasonable debate and compromise, putting aside partisan politics at this critical time. Whether that will happen depends on all of them and I will not blame the Democrats or the Republicans if they fail. I will blame them both and urge anyone I know to vote every one of them out of office, from top to bottom, in 2020.