House Passes Spending Bill, Senate Refuses to Give it a Vote, Government Partially Shuts Down

At 217-185, the bill to fund the government went to the senate yesterday, where it was predictably shot down, leading to the greatest of American traditions: the grand ol’ government shutdown (get ‘er done)

The current soul of America

The current soul of America

12/21/18, 8:46 pm EST

By John Corry, photo from New Line Cinema (The Lord of the Rings), and the fandomentals

8 Republicans joined all 177 Democrats in voting against the temporary spending bill on Friday, which included about $5.7 billion for President Trump’s famous border wall. The Democrats, famously abhorring all mention of such a ‘border wall’ or the like, were expected to reject the bill. Instead, the house and the senate was adjourned by 8:30 pm EST, making any vote impossible, triggering a government shutdown which began at midnight, just in time for Christmas (the only holiday real Americans care about (fur shur)).

While most people won’t notice any difference (no airlines, or mail carriers, or anything similar, will be affected), anyone who works in the Department of Homeland Security, the Justice Department, the State Department, the Interior Department, the Departure of Agriculture and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, among several others, will not be able to work until the shutdown is over. Those whose services are ‘essential’ will work without being paid until the shutdown is over, though they will be reimbursed for their worked hours over the course of the shutdown at that time.

This comes as something of a culmination–though far from the end of it, to a years-long–escalating spat between the Democrats and the incumbent republican president, although labels may be getting more nuanced as of late. Ever since Trump made the ‘wall’ one of his primary (if not the primary) campaign promises, Democrats have hammered away at the president for what they find to be one of the most symbolically terrible things ever uttered by an American, labeling him a racist, a bigot, even a Nazi, for calling for such a venture. In turn, the president and his supporters have cited Israel’s border wall, and an influx of crime from illegal immigrants as the arguments for why it’s needed, which may not be so much ‘racist’ as it is spun for a narrative, however subjective (almost the point of that term (‘narrative’)).

President Trump has threatened that this shutdown could last long. His insistence to include funding for the wall in the bill is staunch, as is the Democrats’ against it, and while Trump has cited reasons for the funding the wall (however blown up, or even frankly wrong, they may be), Democrats seemingly have no idea whatsoever what to do regarding illegal immigration along the southern border. They refuse to fund much of anything related to the crisis, and have maintained that this has caused some to argue more reasonably than otherwise that Democrats–knowing that they cannot sustain power without poor, minority voters–want as much illegal immigration as possible, even supposing fraught the power dynamics potentially at play here, only for the argument that America is ‘better diverse’, which, regardless of its truth or not, is an important dichotomy as far as the intellectual history of the country is concerned, and deserves a fair hearing in any conversation regarding history or political history.

But comments on that argument are irrelevant on this topic. Whether or not being ‘American’ transcends your race–which it does; in fact, ‘being American’ is the only nationality inherently intertwined with thought before anything else (including race, gender or whatever), given that it was started specifically through debate and for a recognition of rights upheld by men and not a king (men here: people, not monarchies (and people here: thinkers, not atomized groups upheld by race, religion, place of origin, or gender (at least theoretically (you cannot have a functioning republic if its citizens are considered anything before ‘citizen’)))–whether or not being ‘American’ transcends your race has nothing to do with the security of the country, or, for that matter, the debates going on within it.

Whether fear is justified in being such a contemporary movement, it is manifested in each of us in a different way each time, and for every person. To label that as irrelevant just because it’s not something you inherently felt yourself is as stupid, bigoted and racist as anything Trump or his supporters have ever done (excluding the actual Neo-Nazis (or: not any random shmoe you want attach that label to anymore (/> being a Nazi includes a self-identification, dude /> COME ON!)).

Diversity of race/nationality, what-the-fuck-ever is diversity of thought, not the other way around.

Go on back to Mordor, Smeagol.