The Shutdown

After a few betrayals in a game of Risk or Diplomacy, a lot of players stop talking to each other. They decide that’s it. In both games, that usually leads to stalemates. In Risk there’s the chance someone will win via cards, but the game drops into this hours-long slog where nothing really happens as players horde cards. More often everyone goes to bed with the game unfinished than someone wins. In Diplomacy it turns into nothing but fighting, but since Diplomacy lends itself to stalemates, no one can win. Again, a stalemate happens.

Both parties in Washington have dug in. I don’t think there’s any communication going on. Trump won’t sign a budget until he gets his wall, and Pelosi won’t fund the wall. There’s no room for compromise there. Neither side is going to persuade the other to cross the trenches. Neither side is going to persuade the other voters. And with the furlough/back-pay bill passed, I think both sides are set up for a long war of attrition.

I don’t see an end to this any time soon. I hope I’m wrong. But in my experience with human interaction when the various factions resort to reiterating the rightness of their causes, there’s no more meaningful discussion. And nothing’s moving through Washington now.

Leave a Reply