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Editorial: Just do your job, government |

Editorial: Just do your job, government

The Capitol is seen at twilight in Washington, Monday, Dec. 17, 2018. The fight over President Donald Trump’s $5 billion wall funds deepened Monday, threatening a partial government shutdown in a standoff that has become increasingly common in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

This is a little secret that most people in government don’t seem to understand.

We just want you to do your job.

We know you want to win. We know that your side — whichever side that happens to be — has a plan. We know that you believe in your plan, and you want your outcome, and you want your people to be able to strut in front of a podium with a dramatic background like the White House Rose Garden or the steps of the U.S. Capitol or something similar in Harrisburg. We get that.

But you don’t always win. You’re not always going to win. Nobody is ever going to win all the time.

We know that. Those of us who live in the real world understand that there is the ideal of what we want, and then there is the compromise that we will take that carries us through.

And that is why all of this shutdown talk has to stop.

We can’t keep narrowly averting a financial apocalypse because one side or the other or both want to win so badly that they have forgotten that their jobs aren’t to stop things from getting done but to find a way to make sure they do get done.

They were calling it the Trump shutdown this time. He called it the Schumer shutdown before. It’s been the Republicans’ fault in the past, or the Democrats’. It was Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s baby in 2013.

It’s not just a federal thing. The Pennsylvania governor’s office has clashed with the Legislature so many times in recent years that going months without a budget seems to be just part of the transition with a leadership change.

We realize that there are things worth going to war to change, but we wish you would remember that when you go to war with yourselves over a government that serves the people who live and die and depend on that government for so much, those are the people who get hurt.

This just isn’t how the working world works. You don’t get to go all Sharks and Jets with the people in accounting or HR and shut down the office.

And to drive this point home a little more, you have to remember those people who are getting hurt. They aren’t just the customers in this little business, which would be bad enough. But no, they’re also the stockholders, the people who get to vote when they think the company’s going in the wrong direction.

The Senate is voting on a stopgap that is meant to head off this pre-Christmas shutdown. But a temporary spending bill is just that. Temporary. We have been here before, where a can is not so much kicked down the road as rolled a few feet down the driveway. We all know that, sooner or later, the two sides will be at an impasse again as one or the other or both try to get their way at all costs.

Just stop it already. Just do what we all have to do.

Just do your job.

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