A Political Hodge-Podge of Government Shutdown Stuff—Sunday Political Brunch January 20, 2019

Sunday, January 20, 2019
Mark Curtis, GoLocal Contributor

Mark Curtis
This has been a weird week in politics, but what week isn’t? Yet, this has exceeded the “outer limits” on both sides of the aisle. Once again, they are playing, “Tit for Tat politics,” in Washington, D.C. Can anyone get anything done? Let’s “brunch” on that this week!

“Pelosi, ‘No State of the Union!’” – The week began with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D) California saying, "Sadly, given the security concerns and unless government re-opens this week, I suggest we work together to determine another suitable date after government has re-opened for this address or for you to consider delivering your State of the Union address in writing to the Congress on January 29." To cut through the diplomatic BS here, she is saying, “Don’t come to the Capitol for a State of the Union Address.” In other words, “You’re not invited!”

“Trump, ‘No Federal Aircraft for the Speaker!’” – In apparent retaliation for the blocking of a State of the Union Address, President Trump responded, “Due to the Shutdown, I am sorry to inform you (Speaker Pelosi), that your trip to Brussels, Egypt, and Afghanistan has been postponed. We will reschedule this seven-day excursion when the Shutdown is over. In light of the 800,000 great American workers not receiving pay, I am sure you would agree that postponing this public relations event is totally appropriate.” Ouch!!!

“Why MOST People Hate Politics” – I LOVE politics! Most people don’t share my avocation! I get that. I love the give and the take, the deal-making, the camaraderie and, yes, the bruising fights. Our system is built – with brilliance by the Founding Fathers – to have conflicts within the three branches of government. But, we cut deals, we accommodate, we horse trade – and yes, it gets tawdry and ugly sometimes – but stuff gets done! However, people hate the pettiness. The Speaker blocking the President’s State of the Union Address? The President telling the House Speaker to fly commercial? This is like fifth-graders in a school cafeteria food fight.

President Donald Trump
“Almost Heaven, West Virginia; Build a Fence Now, Rio Grande River!” – With sincere apologies, and all due respect to the late, great singer John Denver, West Virginia’s state song may be changing. This week, three Republicans members of the state’s House of Delegates proposed that West Virginia – which is seeing a big budget surplus – pledge $10 million to help build the wall President Trump wants along the Mexican border. It created such a buzz, it became national news. For now, my prediction is that it goes nowhere. It was a great publicity coupe and put some young lawmakers on the front burner. But, my gut says most West Virginians want West Virginia tax dollars spent on West Virginia problems.

“Plane Crashes! What Plane Crashes?” – I was chastised by a reader for my off-hand comments about the minimal impact of the government shutdown. I was greeted with comments such as, “What about the chaos at airports with the TSA and air traffic controllers?” Well, yes, both groups are not being paid. But despite the protests of some, most are showing up for work knowing they will be paid retroactively (the order has already been signed). Believe me, I sympathize with folks who’ve not had a paycheck for a month now, and the strain that can put on a family. I’ve been there. But airport chaos and plane accidents have just not happened.

“The Silly Season” – I’ve met a lot of political legends in my four decades of covering politics. Perhaps the most astute political analyst in the bunch, was the late, long-time Providence Mayor Buddy Cianci. Love him or not – and there are plenty on both sides – but the man had a political knack of being able to, “See around corners,” as I so often say. He called campaign season, “The Silly Season,” because people would say or do just about anything to get elected, as crazy as it might be. But the election season is over, and it seems like the legislative calendar has now become the “Silly Season!” Stay tuned to see if it gets better or worse.

Who do you think is winning in this latest political tug-of-war, President Trump or the Democrat-run House? Just click the comment button on this page or click the comment button at www.MarkCurtisMedia.com.

 

Mark Curtis, Ed.D., is Chief Political Reporter for the five Nexstar Media TV stations serving West Virginia and the five surrounding states, including a large portion of the Washington, D.C television market.

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