By State Representative, Leon D. Young
Last weekend marked the one-year anniversary of Donald Trump’s improbable ascendancy to the White House. But, for many in this country, myself included, it seems more like a dog year (one-year equals 7 human years) since Trump’s reign of incompetence took control of the federal government.
This one-year anniversary also served to highlight the political divide that still engulfs the nation. A year after millions of women and men demonstrated in cities around the globe in an extraordinary rebuke of Donald Trump, more than a million protesters took to the streets in women’s marches last Saturday.
They turned out in multitudes in Washington, New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and hundreds of other cities across the US and the world. Many women wore pink knit “pussy hats”, an enduring symbol of the Women’s March and the so-called “resistance” to Trump.
This continuing outrage to Trump’s ineptitude and conservative agenda has prompted women to take other action as well. Across the nation, hundreds of women are now seeking elective office at every level of government. Dismayed with the direction of the country, starting with the election of Donald Trump, women have finally decided to act.
It should also be noted that many of these women had never seriously contemplated entering politics before. They have no money or organization but are determined to make a difference.
The dysfunction of the Trump administration was felt on another front as well. One year to the day after taking office with vows to bring the political discord in Washington to heel, Trump found himself thrust into the most perennial of political crisis: a federal government shutdown.
The immediate cause of the shutdown, which began at 12:01 a.m. last Saturday after Senate Democrats blocked consideration of a House passed stopgap measure, was a dispute over spending. But it was a stalemate over another perennial issue in American politics – immigration policy, the topic that propelled Trump’s political rise and has dominated his first 12 months in office – that snarled attempts to avoid a government shutdown.
But, after 3 days of recriminations, Congress brought an end to a three-day government shutdown on Monday as Senate Democrats buckled under pressure to adopt a short-term spending bill to fund government operations without first addressing the fate of young undocumented immigrants (Dreamers). The House quickly approved the measure — which will fund the government through Feb. 8 and extend funding for the popular Children’s Health Insurance Program for six years — and President Trump signed it on Monday night.
Donald Trump enjoys spending an exorbitant amount of time boasting about his great aptitude for brokering a deal. But his braggadocios claims in no way mirror the truth in terms of his business success. Trump’s corporations have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection four times. By filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the corporation can continue running while restructuring and reducing its debt. By allowing the business to continue, Trump was able to stay on as CEO, but he had to give up his salary, Trump Hotels and Taj Mahal Casino.
Now, Trump can add one new feather to his “successful business” résumé: Being the catalyst for the federal government to shutdown, which only took a year for him to accomplish.