The emergency declaration for Trump’s racist border wall is a constitutional crisis, yes. And it deserves attention, even as I await President Warren/Gillibrand/Harris/Sanders declaring America’s health care crisis a national emergency and implementing single payer in 2021. But let’s not forget the poorest of the poor workers affected by the government shutdown: contractors. Trump evidently announced he would refuse to sign a deal that gave back pay to government contractor and it is not in the deal. Now, I fully believe he wouldn’t want to pay government contractors. Screwing workers out of wages is his M.O. So yes, Trump deserves blame. But is it OK that I think this is a broadly held Republican position and they simply claimed that Trump said that to take pressure off themselves?
Moreover, I am disappointed that Democrats didn’t put up more of a fight on this. Why not go to the mat to defend these workers? Why not say no deal without back wages for the contractors? My guess is that Democrats are so scared of being blamed for another shutdown that they backed off, but it is on us to force Democrats to stand up for the most vulnerable workers and we failed to do so here.