For those who realize that Donald Trump has ignored his oath of office since the moment his hand left the bible on inauguration day, the comments he made to the press today upon returning to Washington DC from his much-jeered visit to a UFC match in New York last night were not particularly surprising.
That they weren’t is a sign of just how low our expectations of normalcy have sunk since Trump took office.
In his candid comments to reporters gathered around him as the noise of his helicopter droned on behind him, the president once again proved that his dedication to protecting his own personal interests surpass any promises to serve the best interests of the nation as a whole.
That proof came primarily from Trump’s refusal to rule out yet another lengthy, expensive, useless, and unnecessary government shutdown if Democrats continue to pursue their impeachment efforts against him.
The president who has been so accurately described by comedian Bill Maher as a “whiny little bitch” spent a good portion of his time talking with the press regurgitating his usual array of lies, describing the Democrats as the “do-nothing Democrats” as if the House of Representatives controlled by his opposition hasn’t already passed copious quantities of legislation that has been left to rot on the desk of Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) who has simply refused to bring any of the bills before the Senate.
Trump misleadingly claimed that all Democrats can do is talk about his one phone call with the president of Ukraine which he again tried to pass off as “perfect” despite the testimony of multiple National Security and diplomatic professionals who have already revealed the existence of a quid pro quo in the president’s attempts to extort the former Soviet republic to gain their cooperation in his investigation of his political rival Joe Biden and his son Hunter.
Yet when asked if he was willing to commit to forgoing any sort of government shutdown while budget negotiations continue at the same time as the impeachment inquiry rolls steadily forward, Trump refused to rule out shutting down the government, a process that could hamper the impeachment efforts by forcing government workers onto furlough and making the hearings difficult to conduct with a skeleton staff of essential workers.
With the next shutdown scheduled for November 21st unless a budget agreement is reached, it’s not inconceivable that Trump will ignore the economic and political consequences of what would be the second shutdown of the year — the first one having reduced the nation’s GDP by a whopping $11 billion — simply to use the normal operation of government agencies as a hostage to negotiate an end to the impeachment efforts in much the same way that he withheld military aid to the Ukraine government to try to force their assistance in his reelection campaign.
However the budget crisis is resolved, the very fact that the president is willing to hold the country hostage for his own benefit, harming government employees and those people and companies dependent on having functioning federal agencies — like those that oversee air traffic control and transportation security — continue to do their jobs, proves exactly how unfit for office Trump is and why nothing should stand in the way of Democratic attempts to remove him from office.
Holding the budget process hostage for his own personal agenda will be just one more item to add to the list of impeachable offenses committed by the president if he indeed goes through with the threat implied by his comments today.
You can watch the president refuse to rule out a newly imminent government shutdown in the video clip below.
Wow — Trump won't rule out shutting down the government unless Democrats stop the impeachment inquiry pic.twitter.com/Y1oBySONJj
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) November 3, 2019
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Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.