Started thinking about a new column on an unhinged Donald John Trump using his lost-cause border wall to declare a “national emergency” so he can divert funds from various places without Congressional overnight or approval.
The real national emergency, I feel, is the presence of Trump in the White House.
We have a national emergency, all right. Its name is Donald Trump, and it is a force of mindless, pointless disruption.
The president’s decision to officially declare an emergency — to pretend to build an unbuildable border wall — is not only an act of constitutional vandalism. It is also an act of cowardice, a way to avoid the wrath of Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh and the rest of the far-right commentariat.
It is an end run around Congress and, as such, constitutes a violation of his oath to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States” — which gives Congress, not the president, the authority to decide how public money is spent. It does not give Trump the right to fund projects that Congress will not approve. Authoritarian leaders do that sort of thing. The puffed-up wannabe strongman now living in the White House is giving it a try.
Gene Robinson is a great columnist and can say it far better than I. I’m sure others will join in. Donald Trump is a disaster as a president, a film-flam con artist who deserves to be in jail, not the White House.
And, be fair, let’s throw Coulter and Limbaugh into the pokey with him.
What the administration really needs to do is expand and improve facilities for processing, caring for and, when necessary, housing these asylum seekers. But Trump doesn’t care about doing the right thing, or even the necessary thing. He cares only about being able to claim he is following through on his vicious anti-immigration rhetoric, which brands Mexican would-be migrants as “rapists” and Central Americans as members of the MS-13 street gang.
Trump had two years in which Republicans controlled both the House and the Senate — and could not persuade Congress to give him funding for a wall. He decided to make it an issue only after Democrats won the power to say no. The president’s negotiating strategy — pitching tantrums, walking away from the table, venting on Twitter, provoking the longest partial government shutdown in history — was never going to work. You might think he would have learned something about how Washington works by now, but you would be wrong.
ADMITTEDLY, IT is an overworked trope. “Imagine how Republicans would have responded if Barack Obama had tried this!” Democrats exclaim at each fresh outrage. In the case of President Trump’s plan to declare an emergency to build a border wall, it is certainly apt; the Freedom Caucus (including Mick Mulvaney, now Mr. Trump’s acting chief of staff) would have been apoplectic. But in considering this phony emergency conjured cynically for electoral advantage, it is more apt to imagine the future than the past.
Imagine indeed if, two years from now, a President Booker, Harris, Warren or Bennet, seizing on the Parkland massacre’s anniversary, invoked emergency powers to halt the killing of innocents — by banning the sale of semiautomatic weapons, imposing uniform background checks for gun purchases or levying a stiff federal surtax on the sale of gun parts and ammunition.
If an emergency can be manufactured over border security when illegal border crossings are near a 20-year low, as measured by Border Patrol arrests, then it’s a snap to make the case for an emergency over gun deaths, which are near a 20-year high.
Sadly, wannabe GOP leaders like McConnell walked away from their conscience and the nation a long time ago. They sold out their country for an alliance with a craven opportunist who values nothing but his own ego and whatever he can steal from American treasury and the taxpayers.
Donald Trump’s very existence is a national emergency that threatens America. He threatens our national survival. He is a traitor on so many levels.
It speaks volumes about Trump’s self-absorption that in order to win back praise from right-wing cranks at Fox News and elsewhere, he is willing to hobble his own plan, damage its future prospects and, oh yes, shred the Constitution. It’s once again all about Trump, Trump’s ego and Trump’s need for reaffirmation.
Trump, aided and abetted by McConnell, reveals himself (again) to be deeply hostile to the Constitution. His party, in the hands of Trump supplicants like McConnell, forfeits its role as defenders of the rule of law, separation of powers and limited government. If there is a silver lining, it is that Trump is helping forge an impressive alliance of Republicans, Democrats and independents who are committed to thwarting his authoritarian impulses.
Too many so-called “representatives of the people” in Washington became cowards and complicit accomplices of Trump and his corrupt, criminal cabal.
Opinion writer Timothy Egan of The New York Times says “Democracy ends in euphemism.” He adds:
Trump is downgrading “national emergency” from something that comes with a siren for a soundtrack to just another term for cheap political expediency.
It used to be a big deal for a reputable news organization to flat out call the president a liar. Now, liar must be the most-used descriptor linked to this president. It’s also the right word. But “liar” has lost its sting, because Trump clearly doesn’t care about telling the truth. As a journalist, I’d get in more trouble if I said the president is fat — my bad, I mean plus-sized.
— so much so that it took an acclaimed Hollywood actor to put Trump into proper perspective.
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