Lawmakers are at the end of the their rope with the prolonged government shutdown, sinking into a miasma of despair as reopening the government seems like an increasingly remote possibility.
According to a Thursday Politico report, one senator took to gallows humor. When a reporter asked how he was feeling, he retorted: “I feel like I’m gonna strangle you.”
Democrats are at a loss: they won’t fold on the wall money, and President Donald Trump seems totally dismissive of any other potential face-saving off ramps they would offer, like money for general border security or punting the wall discussion down the field and reopening the government immediately.
Republicans don’t want to hash out a deal, since they might get burned again if Trump pulls the rug out from under them and decides he doesn’t want to compromise after all.
“Glum. Glum. I’m not a glum person. I’m not somebody who gets down. But I’ve been discouraged,” Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) told Politico. “People I work for back home in Alaska are asking me to ‘fix it.’ And it’s hard for one person to fix anything around here. Unless you’re the president. Or the speaker. Or the majority leader.”
“We are in this horrible purgatory between heaven and hell,” Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) added. “That there is no way out unless either he or we relent entirely. Democrats are more than willing to try to give him a face-saving way to step down. He doesn’t seem to want to even consider it.”
“Pretty foul,” Sen. John Cornyn described his mood to Politico. “Too much childishness. Not enough seriousness.”