Monday, July 30, 2018

Direct appeal to the Blow It All Up Gang

Please shut down the government, Mr. President.

Don't make it an idle threat this time.

You say that you must have that wall. Without it you won't permit any government. So go ahead. Let's go with that.

We are inside 100 days from an election that is going to retire many in your legions of Capitol Hill enablers. Go ahead and assist in that venting.

Shut 'er down. We know this will hurt people. It will shutter, again, national parks. It will put federal employees on furlough. We went through this before when Ted Cruz played Teddy Roosevelt and egged Republicans over that hill. Going on six whole years, it is Ted's signature (and only?) deed in office.

The shutdown: It cost the federal government billions of dollars. Fortunately, policy-makers pretty quickly found out that the cause was not worth the hurt.

But go ahead this time, Mr. Trump. Pull the plug.

A lot of your supporters pulled the lever in 2016 with the fantasy notion of blowing it all up by putting a cad and gadabout in office. Whatever ensued, they reasoned -- what the heck? It's just government.

Anyway, democratic government? Who needs it? We need a dictator with lots of hair, and a wall.

True to said impulse, Trump has appointed to Cabinet positions and agencies individuals sworn to blow them up.

On the presidential campaign trail, Rick Perry said he would abolish the Energy Department. OK, he couldn't remember "Energy Department" when he attempted to count to three. Then Trump appointed him to run it. This is like a giraffe hooking up with a squid on

We have an Interior Department secretary, Ryan Zinke, who titularly is running that show, but effectively is letting developers and Big Energy run it.

Indicative of Zinke's attitude: A new advisory board created presumably to put the clamps on those who import the heads and hides of African game is stocked with Republican big-game hunters.

We certainly wouldn't want to stunt Donald Jr.'s urges as he stalks four-legged beasts far greater than he.

As for blowing up international alliances and trade agreements, Trump has taken on that mission all by himself.

This week GOP mega-financier Charles Koch said what economist after economist has said, and quite a few Republicans in Congress: Trump's trade war risks triggering a major recession.

To that, Steve Bannon tweeted that such Republican critics "should shut up and get with the program."

That's democracy: Sit up straight and shut up.

Did we say a national election is coming up? The polls do not look good for Republican candidates in the Midwest, aka Trump Country. A slew of national, state and local races have gone to Democrats, even in districts that Trump carried handily.

We've seen Democrat Doug Jones win the Senate seat in Alabama. We've seen underdog Democrat Connor Lamb win a congressional seat in a safe Republican district in Pennsylvania.

At the state level, we've seen 43 Democrats flip Republican seats in statehouses since Trump took office.

Trump has made this governing thing all about him. Well, so is this blowback thing, this blue wave.

You see, "blowing it up" is not proving to be good politics. For Trump to threaten a government shutdown, with a national election so near, shows he is less intent on governing than he is on destroying and undermining the institutions that serve us.

Yes, it will hurt the country; it will hurt people; but it will hurt the Party of Trump more.

Shut it down, Mr. President, and make it more likely that real stewards of democracy will be assigned the task Nov. 6.

Longtime newspaperman John Young lives in Colorado. Email:

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