So, About West Wing …

We have taken a flood of phone calls since November 8th from a great many people very much worried about their immediate future. Immediate as in the days right after the inauguration.

Everyone has heard a lot (too much?) of rhetoric about immigration, immigrants, plans, walls, deportations, round-ups, court cases, exceptions, and so much more over the eighteen months of the last presidential election cycle.

Now, somehow, all that … stuff … must be codified into some kind of coherent program that then, for the most part, has to be approved by Congress, or the Courts, or both. We say that knowing that there’s a ton of speculation about President-elect Trump’s Executive Orders during his first days in office and the seemingly draconian havoc he, in theory, could unleash.

So, first, understand that the President can cancel some of President Obama’s Executive Orders and impose his own but understand as well that only Congress can approve spending for any of those orders. In other words, Trump could order that every American should receive milk and cookies the first Tuesday of every month – an Executive Order that would surely be embraced – but nothing whatsoever would happen until the Congress approved the Tuesday M&C For All budget.

Know how long it takes a case to get to the Supreme Court of the United States? Well, let’s put it this way, when a case gets to the Supreme Court, it sits there for an average of just over three – 3! – years.

Cases that get to the Supreme Court, of course, take years of decisions and appeals through the lower courts to do so. The process of decision, appeal, remand, decision, appeal, can take forever. The Mariners are a better bet to make it to a World Series before any immigration case filed today in Washington (or anywhere else for that matter) makes it to the Supreme Court.

After all the words it’s hard for people to believe that things take time. Government takes time. There are checks and balances and the rule of law and none of that exactly moves at the speed of sound, never mind light.

I blame TV and movies. We all loved The West Wing, some of us got some pretty good insights into how our federal government really works. It was well written and extremely entertaining. It was entertaining because it was able to come to some sort of resolution – like all one-hour dramas in the history of television – in fifty-one minutes of running time.

Our government isn’t remotely as entertaining as The West Wing, thankfully, because nothing much is resolved in 51 weeks. Governing takes time.

We wrote a week or so ago about not panicking. We hope this helps. Just remember this caveat – not panicking doesn’t mean sit back and wait. Be proactive, now. Plan, review all your paperwork, talk to us if you have the slightest question.