George Graham

Poly-Tricks as Usual


With Republicans in control of Congress and the White House, there is no “government for the people” in America.

What Republicans really care about is scoring political points. And they resort to the lowest kind of tricks to do so.

With help from Trump, Mitch McConnell and his pals in the Senate have managed to make the Democrats look foolish.

The well meaning Democrats innocently believed Trump when he said he would accept any bipartisan DACA deal the Senate could come up with. And they voted to shut down the government when he reneged.

Yes, that was the principled thing to do, the moral thing to do. But it was not smart.

They had no exit strategy, no plan B.

So the government shut down. So what? The Republicans knew they could always use “the nuclear option” – abolish the filibuster provision – if things got desperate. And they were pretty sure the Democrats would relent once they realized they had headed down a blind alley.

Of course the Democrats caved. What else could they do? The Republicans don’t care what happens to the American people. And Trump is hell bent on making a mess of things as he schemes to build a radically different society. Government shutdowns are the kind of thing they revel in. They would have been happy to wait out the gullible Democrats.

Now, the Dreamers are mad at the Democrats. The progressives are mad at the Democrats. The Democratic base is mad at the Democrats. And the Republicans are laughing at the Democrats.

When it comes to dirty tricks, the Republicans are indisputably proficient. When it comes to governing, not so much.

The shutdown story

About the author


I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for