A Marine stands guard at the West Wing entrance of the White House as government shutdown deadline approaches on Friday, Jan. 19, 2018, in Washington, D.C. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/TNS)

Elliot: Dream on, Dreamers, and other reality bites


Dream on, Dreamers, and other reality bites swirl through Washington as the gov’t goes on vacation, then doesn’t.

Beau Elliot


So we’re government-less.

I don’t know about you, but I feel bereft, lonely, at a loss. Without the government, I mean. The government was always kind of like an imaginary friend, which is sort of fitting, because so much of the time, the government seems imaginary, though somewhat less than friendly.

So I wander around and wonder around, looking at all the high-rises that have popped up or are in the process of popping up, wondering if they’re the wave of the future or perhaps the waive of the future. As in, the people waive their senses (and in some cases, the property taxes), and the future grinds on, never waiving back.

You ever notice you can never catch up with the future? Probably there’s an app for that.

I admit, the local high-rises aren’t like real high-rises, the kind you find in big American cities and then wish you hadn’t. You know, the kind that create big-city skylines and big-city canyons and big-city wind tunnels. “Look upon my works and despair.” Or words to that effect.

Actually, I like living in big cities, despite their Ozymandias theme-park feel.

Sometimes, in order to stay grounded, humans have to wander around in theme parks because otherwise, the whole Trumpster/Republican/Democrat shenanigans start to seem like real life.

Also, it’s good to wander in the Ozymandias theme parks because it reminds you that the lyric English poet Shelley was married to the woman who invented Frankenstein’s monster.

And actually, we’re not truly government-less. We’re partially government-less, because we only have a partial gov’t shutdown (if it’s partial, it should be gov’t). It goes back to the Ancient Greek philosophical debate about the window, half-open or half-closed?

The Ancient Greeks are still going back and forth about this somewhere. Quite possibly in Gweece, given the state of that economy. I bring this up only for the benefit of those benighted souls who believe that congressional debate, and baseball games, go on and on and on too long.

You can look at the matter this way: As long as Congress-type people (we’re assuming they’re still human) are yakking, they’re not taking any action that might harm you. Or disgust you. Of course, they might be harming the yaks. (Sorry, Mongolia.)

As far baseball goes, there are two kinds of people in this life: Those who understand baseball and those who believe life should be more like stock-car races (grease, pollution, and crashes).   

And as far as the partial gov’t shutdown goes, it came down to this: our esteemed leaders were basically playing Ping-Pong with the lives of hundreds of thousands of human beings called Dreamers.

But now, word reaches us, the government shutdown is over. The Democrats caved (except for a few, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Kirsten Gillibrand among them) and voted to reopen the gov’t in exchange for a promise by Sen. Mitch McConnell to work on DACA.

You can decide for yourself how much you trust the word of a Republican from Kentucky.

Meanwhile, the fallout from gov’t continues. Surprise, surprise. Vice President Mike Pence, close at hand in Israel, claimed that the shutdown was engineered by Democrats and cost our people in the military pay and benefits.

Hmm. Our people in the military are (and were) paid up through Feb. 1. At the risk of sounding like Bill Belichick (never a great fate, outside of all the Super Bowl rings), it’s not Feb. 1.

So our people in the military really lost nothing in terms of pay and benefits. And if you were truly concerned about the welfare of our people in the military, you could stop sending them into harm’s way for a few square meters of desert.

And what about the Dreamers and DACA, you wonder? There’s a promise. So basically, they’re still playing Ping-Pong with hundreds of thousands of lives. Sorry, Dreamers.

And in the midst of all this, you just have to wonder how many Congress-type people think we’re talking about Dhaka.

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