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The day after Christmas, I was hoping to enjoy the newspaper without hearing the word “Trump.” Front page headline: “Trump: I Can’t Tell You When Gov’t Will Reopen,” thankfully just rehashing old news, and, later, a refreshing editorial on a bipartisan change to sentencing laws, concluding that Washington might reopen the federal government with, perish the thought, compromise.

I should’ve avoided the editor’s mailbag’s prospective political shenanigans. One writer calls the government shutdown Trump’s “little temper tantrum.” This ad hominem attack was started by Senate Minority Leader Schumer — after a very public meeting with President Trump and House Minority Leader Pelosi, where it’s patently obvious no one had a temper tantrum. Trump simply attempted to negotiate in good faith, and the Democrats refused to negotiate, certainly their prerogative.

Dana Milbank, in his commentary, asserts Trump “lost the cold war.” Well, last I heard, we won the Cold War in 1991, but Dana apparently believes Gorbachev’s 2014 accusation that then-President Obama dragged Russia into Cold War II (Wikipedia), and “losing” means something entirely different than countries switching between communism and democracy.

Yet another letter states that the shutdown is Trump’s excuse to declare martial law, organize his paramilitary forces, and create an autocracy: “This is the greatest threat to our democracy since the Civil War.” Please, get a grip!

"There's no use trying," Alice said: "one can't believe impossible things." The Queen replied. "When I was your age … sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast" (Lewis Carroll).

John Sarna

Philomath (Dec. 28)

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