In a bout of Friday-morning ragetweeting (synchronized with Fox & Friends, of course), President Trump pivoted from quasi-denying his “shithole” remarks on Thursday to accusing Democrats of being willing to kneecap the U.S. armed forces by ushering in a government shutdown — which is not how any of this works.
A shutdown next week does seem more likely than it did yesterday, after Trump, backed by immigration hard-liners like Stephen Miller, waved away a bipartisan Senate deal as being too soft on measures like “chain migration.” And with Trump all over the map on what he actually wants, it’s difficult to envision what a final agreement between the two parties might look like.
But one thing’s for sure: The armed forces will keep on functioning whether or not a shutdown takes place. It’s true that a ceasing of government functions could imperil military pay, nonessential programs, and perhaps most important, morale. The 2013 shutdown, sparked when Senator Ted Cruz decided to take his anti-Obamacare grandstanding to the next level, “caused a rash of military programs to come to a sudden halt, including pay stoppage for military and civilian personnel and the disruption of base services such as commissaries,” according to the military site stripes.com.
But unlike, say, national parks, the Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marines will continue to fulfill their core functions regardless of any bureaucratic hiccups. Trump’s insistence otherwise is nothing more than scaremongering — the only question is, given his ignorance on most matters of policy, whether he knows he’s lying or not.