Shutdown just a political ploy by Democrats

Some have attempted to blame the government “shutdown” on “dysfunction” in the U.S. Senate, but that really is not the case. The Senate is functioning just fine — but many of its Democrats had decided to use the shutdown for political purposes.

Liberal Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown was among the Democrats who voted Friday against the Republican bill that would have ended floor debate and sent a bill to a Senate vote to keep the government open until the middle of February.

The Democratic effort led by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., was an attempt to force President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans to make a deal on immigration.

The strategy meant the federal government operated for about three days on a smaller-than-usual scale and was responsible for the short-term furlough of hundreds of civilian employees at the Youngstown Air Reserve Station in Trumbull County, and it would have meant none of the military airmen who were required to report to work at the base would have been paid, at least for the time-being. In all, the base employs some 2,000 workers — a vital part of our local economy.

But the Democrats apparently were less concerned about economic impact and more concerned about immigration.

By now, you know the strategy failed to do little more than anger constituents.

The temporary suspension of some federal functions also displayed another kind of dysfunction — in the bureaucracy.

Exhibit A was the government’s decision to close the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island to tourists. New York Gov. Andre Cuomo, a Democrat, stepped in, saying the two attractions simply could not be closed. The state of New York would provide the $65,000 per day needed to keep them open, Cuomo said, at no cost to New Yorkers. That’s because revenue from the two sites would more than offset costs.

Certainly, money was not a problem for the two attractions, proving the federal government could have kept them open, had bureaucrats chosen to do so.

Last month, following Brown’s pessimistic view on passage of the GOP tax reform bill, we used this space to urge Ohioans to remember his negative statements, especially as voters head to the polls next year, as Brown’s term winds down.

We renew that request, this time not just with Brown, but all Democrats who were instrumental in Friday’s government shutdown — no matter how short lived it was.

It’s time they start working for Americans, and not just spouting the Democratic party line.