Public Enemy #1 - Jan. 2019
The U.S. government failed the population which it serves this past month in a major way. Instead of continuing to point fingers in which the Democrats, the Republicans, the president, or anyone else is to blame, they'll all get the opportunity to bask in it equally.
Sen. Chuck Schumer, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, and the Democrats: In a standoff that held the American people hostage, the Democrats share a portion of the blame. Rather than acting to negotiate with their right-leaning counterparts, the Democrat-controlled House sent forth spending measures to keep the government running and "save face." Seeking to control the narrative of who's to blame and engaging in the media circus that ensued.
Sen. Chuck Schumer and Rep. Nancy Pelosi specifically became mascots of the shutdown. Taking every chance they could to re-direct the focus on Trump. all of these efforts should have been placed in ending the charade.
President Donald Trump: In a move that showed complete dissociation from the American people he "serves" Trump continued to block out any legislation that didn't involve funding for the border wall. As a result, the 2018-2019 shutdown became the longest in U.S. history. All the while the public suffered, President Trump teetered back and forth between statements such as "I will be the one to shut [the government] down. I'm not going to blame you for it" to tweets like these below:
But there's plenty of blame to go around.
Sen. Mitch McConnell and The Republicans: The Republican-controlled Senate could've at any time decided to end the ongoing shutdown and spare those at the mercy of the federal government. A two-thirds majority in the Senate would have been enough to change the tide, however, blind partisan loyalty prevented any chance of such a measure.
Majority leader Mitch McConnell, backed by the Senate rules refused to call to vote any spending measures that did not adhere to President Trump's liking. This led to him dropping ironic gems like "The political stunts are not going to get us anywhere," when pressed on the issue by CNN. To which McConnell is definitely correct, the stunts did indeed lead to nothing.
The continuance of government shutdowns sheds light on a greater unresolved issue within our current political system, the disconnect between the public and public office. While the top policymakers play games of cat-and-mouse with each other, their constituents suffer.
Rep. Elissa Slotkin hit the nail on the head when speaking on the shutdown obstacle as a whole.
"If Congress and the president can’t agree on spending, the burden shouldn’t fall on federal workers and their families – it should fall on leaders in Washington."
See what Twitter had to say about the shutdown below: