President Trump Is Currently Facing His Very Own Kobayashi Maru
The Kobayashi Maru as set forth in The Wrath of Khan
As the film opens, the scene is the bridge of the Enterprise. Scotty, Bones, Uhura, Chekov, Sulu and Spock are all in attendance as a new recruit (played by Kirstie Alley) captains the ship. A signal is received, originating from The Neutral Zone, indicating a ship in distress, the Kobayashi Maru. Any ship hearing such a signal must offer assistance, yet by entering The Neutral Zone, they would be breaking a treaty with the Klingon people resulting in their death.
What to do, what to do? There is no obvious solution to this dilemma: either you ignore the distress signal and sentence the crew to death or you save them and sentence your own crew as well as theirs to death.
A true no win scenario.
Judging by the current situation in our Government, President Trump is in just such a situation himself.
Just Another Brick In The Wall
The Wall. The Shutdown. Government working (to a degree) yet no pay for those forced into labor. Slave labor. President Trump promised to build a wall across the border of the U.S. and Mexico, reducing the number of illegal immigrants and thereby reducing the number of people on the Government Teat. Of course, by doing that you reduce the number of Democratic voters which would force the Democrats to find other means of securing their votes for re-election. And you can't have that.
But back to reality: our Government remains in shutdown mode, our people who work for said Government remain without pay even as they are forced to work. The Democrats refuse to compromise so today, President Trump extended an olive branch. He offered to extend the DACA by three years; another benefit for illegal immigrants in the form of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for some Latin American and African immigrants three years; and amid other concessions requested funds for additional border agents, for additional judges to expedite asylum requests and held on to his (and border agents along the border) request for a partial wall in the most needed locations.
It is important to note this information for the wall comes from those who are most knowledgeable in the illegal immigrant's entrance locations, those very same border agents. A wall would be placed where they have the most trouble with illegal crossings.
Our take on the President's message today
My wife and I sat and watched the President's message this afternoon, listening carefully to what he had to say. What we heard seemed to be a real offer, one that gave as much as it asked for, items which would benefit both sides of the aisle. What we heard before he addressed the country though, was anything but.
Nancy Pelosi called it dead on arrival, basically. A non-starter, something she would not entertain whatsoever.
Wait, what? I have no doubt she heard the gist of what he had to say beforehand but to come out publically and decry it before he even said anything seems to me to be the very height of arrogance, of not being a team player in a world where being a team player is not only desired but expected. Your team is the United States of America, no other. Your teammates are the millions of people living legally in this country, not those who enter illegally. Right?
Anyway, I felt what he offered was at least a good starting point but I guess I was wrong, and not just because of what Pelosi had to say.
From the Democrat side we hear...
"House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., called Trump's proposal "unacceptable" and said it was a "non-starter' that wouldn't pass in Congress."
"Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., dismissed Trump's offer as "not a compromise but more hostage taking."
"It’s clearly a non-serious product of negotiations amongst White House staff to try to clean up messes the president created in the first place," said one Democratic aide, speaking on condition of anonymity to await the president's speech."
Why do we allow people to speak and be anonymous when they work in a public office? Chickensh_ts I guess.
A senior House Democratic aide said the proposal would not pass the House or Senate, in part because "it includes the same wasteful, ineffective $5.7 billion wall demand that shut down the government in the first place."
A wall that several prominent Democrats asked for repeatedly over the past decade, I might add; a wall they now call wasteful and ineffective. My, how your outlook has changed, Democrats! If its your idea, its a good one; if not, it sucks, right?
From the Republican side we hear...
Remember I called this a no win scenario. Well, here we go. From the Republican side we are hearing not support but rather much the same sentiment as from the Democrat's side, just with other words.
"Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) tweeted: "A Big Beautiful Concrete Border Wall will be a monument to the Rule of Law, the sovereignty of the USA, & @realDonaldTrump. If DACA Amnesty is traded for $5.7 billion(1/5 of a wall), wouldn’t be enough illegals left in America to trade for the remaining 4/5. NO AMNESTY 4 a wall!"
"“100 miles of border wall in exchange for amnestying millions of illegals. So if we grant citizenship to a BILLION foreigners, maybe we can finally get a full border wall,” tweeted conservative media commentator Ann Coulter, who has repeatedly antagonized the president for failing to erect a barrier along the U.S.-Mexico border during his two years in office."
"Tom Fitton, president of the right-wing activist group Judicial Watch, also blasted Trump’s proposal, tweeting that the overture to Democrats “will encourage more illegal immigration and undermine the rule of law.”
So, if his "supporters" are calling him out, and his enemies are not giving an inch, how the hell does this end well for anybody?
A True No Win Scenario, a la Kobayashi Maru
And so I am calling this the President's very own Kobayashi Maru. He cannot win at this point. If he concedes the wall he lets down the very people who got him elected. If he stands firm he alienates the Democrats, perhaps fatally. If he opens the government before getting funding for the border he will never get anything. If he bows his neck and says no to them, the shutdown continues and harms hundreds of thousands of families, perhaps fatally. A goodly number of them will not be able to recover, they will lose their homes, their children will suffer, they will lose their jobs and move on and when the Government does eventually reopen it will look around and find that no one wants to play their game any more. They will have to hire and train new hires and will suffer the consequences of this through no fault of their own.
In effect, everyone loses. Is this what we should expect from our elected officials?
I don't suppose anyone knows how to get in touch with Captain James Tiberius Kirk? He found a solution to the Kobayashi Maru, even if he did, um, cheat.
I kind of like this version better (the confidence Kirk displays!)
Now Hiring: Would you want this job?
Must be an American citizen of a proper age (35 years old minimum), willing to give up all semblance of a normal life, surrounded by Secret Service for life, travel extensively to often unfriendly nations, hounded by the media unmercifully, called a liar, a cheat frequently, have friends and enemies alike lie to your face and seek out the media behind your back.
You must also be willing to face the nation and the world in all forms of situations ranging from the benign to the deadly, never lose your temper or say what you truly think no matter what the circumstances, be willing to have your every phrase picked apart like a winter kill by wolves and misconstrued by the masses.
Perks include pay that is more than the vast majority of Americans make annually yet far less than the 1% make in a good week, free travel and vacations, and the knowledge that you will have a high school named after you (probably) upon your death.
Now who doesn't want that?
© 2019 Mr Archer