Something’s got to give.
It’s time for President Donald Trump and the Republican Party and the Democratic Party to put an end to this shutdown. While both sides certainly feel they’re in the right and vindicated by their actions, one of them is going to have to give ground, back down if you must, come to a truce, so workers can get back to working. This has turned into a childish standoff at times, between Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Don’t give the State of the Union speech.
Yes, I will.
No, you won’t.
That military plane you were planning to use for an overseas trip? Forget it.
You leaked secrets of our trip, so we’re canceling it.
You’re out of touch with the people.
You’re the reason the Democrats have been so racial, to the far left.
And so it goes.
The victims, as we know, of what some would describe as political grandstanding, are the 800,000 government workers. Many of them are struggling economically. Some are turning to food banks and others for help.
While there is hope for a resolution, the latest actions are disheartening.
Thursday, the Senate first rejected a Republican plan reopening government through September and giving Trump the $5.7 billion he’s demanded for building segments of that wall, a project that he’d long promised Mexico would finance. The 51-47 vote for the measure fell nine shy of the 60 votes needed to succeed, the Associated Press reported.
Minutes later, senators voted 52-44 for a Democratic alternative that sought to open padlocked agencies through Feb. 8 with no wall money. That was eight votes short. It was aimed at giving bargainers time to seek an accord while getting paychecks to 800,000 beleaguered government workers who today are unpaid for a second consecutive pay period.
Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, the No. 2 Senate GOP leader, had this to say: “One way or another we’ve got to get out of this. This is no win for anybody.”
He is correct.
So, what’s the solution?
While we admire President Trump’s determination to get the funding for the wall he promised voters when he was seeking office, we believe it’s time for him to back away from that demand. He should take the high road, understand the toll this shutdown is taking on so many families, and reopen the government. We’re not saying he must abandoned his plans for a wall. We are saying, considering where we are at today, the problems the shutdown is causing, the anger that is building on both sides, the president should take a step back, withdraw the demand for $5 billion for the wall, and reunite the political parties, at least temporarily.
No, that won’t end the fight over the wall. This issue will not disappear. But it is time for cooler heads to prevail. Reopen the federal agencies, continue negotiations. The fear is, at this time, both sides have such personal pride, both sides have such political pride, they have become unwilling to move for fear of looking weak, for fear of being labeled the loser in this bruising battle, for fear supporters will turn against them. The president should take the lead here. It might hurt his pride, but he won’t lose face. People will see this as the president being a leader, realizing this situation is only going to worsen with each passing day, and he is doing what he can to find an answer to return furloughed workers to their jobs.
The House, controlled by Democrats, has made it clear it will not change. It will not give in to what its leaders say are unreasonable demands of the president.
And, public opinion is that the president is most at blame here.
A new AP-NORC poll shows most Americans see the shutdown as a major problem, and they blame Trump far more than congressional Democrats for the mess that has ensnared the lives of roughly 800,000 government workers who are going without pay, according to an AP report.
w Sixty percent of Americans say Trump bears a great deal of responsibility for the shutdown. About a third place the same amount of blame on congressional Democrats (31 percent) or Republicans (36 percent).
w Sixty-five percent of Americans, including 86 percent of Democrats, 69 percent of independents and 33 percent of Republicans, call the shutdown a major problem.
w Trump may be popular overall with Republicans, but a sizable share holds him responsible for the current situation. Almost 3 in 10 Republicans think Trump bears a great deal of responsibility, while 73 percent of his party says he’s at least partly responsible.
Trump’s demand for a $5.7 billion border wall is also unpopular, the poll found.
w Overall, 49 percent of Americans oppose the plan to build a massive wall along the Mexican border; 36 percent of the nation is in favor. Opinions fall largely along ideological lines, with 8 in 10 Democrats opposing the wall and nearly 8 in 10 Republicans supporting it.
w About 7 in 10 supporters of the wall prefer to extend the shutdown than to reach a deal without funding it, while a nearly identical number on the other side would rather the shutdown continue than provide that funding.
OK, so all that said, this president believes in getting things done. That’s why he was elected. He is not, obviously, worried about doing what is politically correct. His demand for money to build a wall to reduce illegal immigration should not come as a surprise. It is what he said he would do when he ran for office. And it’s no surprise he is moving ahead with his plans to build that wall, and it’s no surprise he’s holding firm despite the shutdown.
But it’s clear someone has to rethink their position on this matter. Someone has to give, at least a bit. We think someone with the power to do so should end this shutdown. We think that someone should be the president.