As televised Christmas specials go, Friday's brinksmanship on Capitol Hill over funding for a border wall might have been a plus for Nielsen ratings, but it was a setback for the American people.
In a drama worthy of Scrooge,, and after two years of having ample GOP majorities in House and Senate, President Donald Trump declared he absolutely had to have $5 billion — the latest number, of several — for his campaign promise of a “wall,” somewhere down there on the Rio Grande. If not, he pledged to veto necessary spending bills, including among other provisions a short-term extension of flood insurance, vital to our economies along the Gulf Coast. All of this at Christmas, and for the sake of a wall candidate Trump repeatedly promised that Mexico would pay for.
Border security is important, but a border “wall” does not make a lot of sense, about as much as the president’s earlier notion that the people of Mexico would pay to build the wall. They won’t. But what is surely a profound disservice to the people of the United States is to throw government into chaos with eleventh-hour ultimatums via iPhone.
This isn't worthy of the greatest democracy on earth, and it's the result of lawmakers' failure to build a budget in a timely fashion, which was complicated by presidential mismanagement of the clock.
There is a lot of blame to go around, but the president is supposed to be in charge, and he’s acting out.