Five Things the Shutdown Shows Us About 2019

The era of divided government began with the continuation of a ridiculous and destructive government shutdown caused by a president who seemingly cares only about impressing a hateful right-wing minority obsessed with the symbolism of building a literal wall on the southern border to keep out brown-skinned immigrants.

Happy New Year.

To this point, Democrats have been flexing their new leverage as holders of the House majority by refusing to agree to Trump’s wall. It feels a little better that at least one part of one branch of government is controlled by someone other than the gutless Republicans who have catered to Trump’s every destructive whim.

But what hasn’t changed is that, with the exception of a few left-wing Democrats, the Democratic Party as a whole continues to stand for nothing beyond opposing Trump — certainly not for the refugee families in Tijuana who were teargassed on New Year’s Day as they approached a border wall that very much already exists.

Regardless of who ends up blinking first in this latest Trumpian theater of the absurd, the shutdown has revealed some of the key political dynamics that socialists can expect over the coming two years.

Number One: Trump Will Be Even More Off the Rails

It can’t be stated often enough: The most powerful office in the world is occupied by a myopic egomaniac who wouldn’t be trusted by anyone who knows him to take care of a pet or a houseplant.

Trump led an erratic and dysfunctional government when his party controlled all parts of the federal government. When the Democrats won control of the House in the midterm elections, Trump dialed his instability up to 11.

Mattis and Kelly gone; tweets announcing a full withdrawal from Syria; threats to dismiss the Federal Reserve chair — all these moves will rattle the billionaires and power brokers who either supported or at least tolerated Trump, even when he pandered to Charlottesville Nazis and built border concentration camps for refugee children.

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