July 25, 2019
It's obvious to many people that our president, Donald Trump, is really Archie Bunker in the age of social media. The problem is, we have to deal with President Bunker. He is our duly elected chief executive, after all.
So it's essential that Congress reach an occasional accommodation with him, otherwise do-or-die measures like raising the debt ceiling will be left undone, and the country will continue to wither.
Amping up the limit is crucial, otherwise the "full faith and credit" of the United States will become meaningless. Our government won't be able to borrow or finance basic services because, for the first time in history, we will have welched on our obligations. While that might have been a normal way of operating when Donald Trump was in the private sector, even he seems to comprehend that it would ruin the U.S.
Many congressional Democrats are well aware that they have no choice but to hold their noses and reach an agreement with this blatant bigot. Even with his frequent eruptions of his deep-seated prejudice that spew to the surface, usually flooding his Twitter sewer.
It has happened again. Referring to the four newbie Democratic members of the House -- all women of color, all aggressively anti-establishment -- he managed to unite their party behind them, even as their know-it-all attitudes had been causing hard feelings with the more realistic members.
But party squabbling was set aside after President Bunker tweeted the following from his White House bunker: "So interesting to see 'Progressive' Democrat Congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world (if they even have a functioning government at all), now loudly and viciously telling the people of the United States, the greatest and most powerful Nation on earth, how our government is to be run," he tweeted.
"Why don't they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came. Then come back and show us how it is done."
"Why don't you go back where you came from!?” Surely POTUS is aware that that is a rallying cry of the deeply prejudiced, whether they be racists, anti-Semites or other xenophobes.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi raced to their defense, reacting in horror to the tweets: Obviously this POTUS, she wrote, wants to "make America white again."
Other Democrats expressed similar outrage, although, sadly, Republicans, for the most part, were silent.
For the record, of the four members of "The Squad," the rookie congresswomen who have been making such noise, three were born in the United States while one was a refugee from Somalia. It shouldn't be necessary to point that out.
For these congressional neophytes, who possibly don't even know who Archie Bunker is (he was before their time), occasionally the welfare of the country requires they sit in the same room as the bigot president and his enabling aides, and hash out vital agreements. That's what Joe Biden was probably trying to say when he clumsily spoke of his Senate relationships with the hardcore segregationists of the past.
It was nothing to brag about, which he did, but the reality then was that you had to do business with the racists. With President Bunker, it still is.
(bob franken is an Emmy Award-winning reporter who covered Washington for more than 20 years with CNN.)
(c) 2019 Bob Franken