February 1, 2023

Trump just poured salt in the wounds of federal workers going without pay in cruel Twitter outburst

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“Paranoia strikes deep. Into your heart, it will creep.”


The fear in President Trump — as expressed through the increasingly unbalanced tweets he uses to communicate with normal humans — is palpable.

While he started his day on the social media platform today with a relatively benign shout-out to his on again-off again buddy Kanye West, his tweets became more and more infused with agitation and derangement as the morning progressed, quickly moving to the topic of his obsessive-compulsive disorder at the border — the wall…or barrier…or fence…or whatever he decides to call it to allow himself a face-saving exit from the government shutdown that he’s stubbornly and maliciously initiated over the Democrats’ refusal to fund it.

A day on Twitter without an attack on the credibility of the media by the president would seem empty and meaningless to Trump, who lives in his own universe of alternative accuracy. At least he’s excited to have teams working on the weekend while 800,000 federal employees remain unpaid or on furlough.

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Trump conveniently ignores the fact that Democrats have already handed him a solution to the “Shutdown problem” of his own making and that the only thing keeping it a problem is his intransigent insistence on funding a medieval solution to largely imaginary crisis that the majority of Americans don’t want, contrary to the president’s carnival barker pitch.

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Trump then moved on to his other obsession — one that is based on a fear that’s rooted in a real danger rather than the product of his deluded mind — the multiple investigations into his and his administration’s multiple misdeeds. He chose to focus on the felony charges of campaign finance violations that the testimony of both his former lawyer Michael Cohen and the publisher of the National Enquirer, David Pecker, have implicated him in as an unindicted co-conspirator.

Never one to pay much attention to the fine details (or even the broad outlines) of the law, Trump fails to grasp the differences that threw his behavior into the realm of being a criminal felony rather than a civil violation of the campaign finance laws. He echoes the sentiments of his equally deranged TV lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, in denying his criminal behavior while simultaneously saying that even if he did, it wasn’t really a crime.

It was with his subsequent tweets, however, that the president really went off the deep end this morning, returning to the border wall and his petulant shutdown once again and avoiding taking responsibility for it by blaming the Democrats as usual.

Where the president managed to obtain the political affiliations of 800,000 government employees is a mystery that privacy experts should begin to investigate immediately, if Trump hasn’t just dropped his pretense that he is the most popular president of all time and extrapolated from both the midterms and his loss to Hillary Clinton by nearly three million in the popular vote that there are simply more Democrats than Republicans so that would be reflected in the composition of the federal workforce.

His question about the location of the Democrats completely undermines his claim in his earlier tweet about teams negotiating over the weekend. If the Democrats aren’t there, who is negotiating with whom? One of these claims seems very inaccurate (to put it mildly).

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The president knows full well that his own insistence on refusing to reopen the government by signing legislation already passed by Congress is the only thing preventing the shutdown from ending. The only truth contained in this tweet is that President Trump doesn’t care that most of the government workers not getting paid are Democrats. He just doesn’t care about any government workers not getting paid.

He just wants his wall and won’t stop tweeting about it until Republicans realize the damage that their supposed leader is causing their party and defy him by refusing to give in to his extortionary tactics and actually voting for legislation to reopen the government and override his veto.

Despite what Trump says, the ball is in his court, not the Democrats. It’s his shutdown and no amount of propagandizing over the border wall will change that fact.

Follow Vinnie Longobardo on Twitter.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article misstated the number of workers going without pay during the shutdown. The actual number is somewhere between 800,000 and a million workers. 

Vinnie Longobardo

is the Managing Editor of Washington Press and a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile, & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music, and art.

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