|Hitler used the Reichstag fire in 1933 to seize almost unlimited power.|
On the night of February 27, 1933, flames erupted from the Reichstag building in Berlin. It took fire engines hours to quell the fire, which destroyed the debating chamber and the Reichstag’s gilded cupola. An unemployed Dutch construction worker named Marinus van der Lubbe was arrested and accused of arson. More recent research indicates it was actually multiple Nazis who started the fire. Nonetheless, on February 28, President Hindenburg, incited by Hitler, invoked Article 48 and the cabinet drew up the “Decree of the Reich President for the Protection of the People and State.” The act abolished freedom of speech, assembly, privacy and the press; legalized phone tapping and interception of correspondence; and suspended the autonomy of federated states, like Bavaria. This opened the door for Hitler and his party to establish their dictatorship.
Fast forward 86 years and we see Donald Trump, a/k/a Der Trumpenführer on this blog, threatening to declare a "national emergency" and claiming to hold the power to build his southern border wall to thrill his racist, knuckle dragging base and seize the private lands where the wall would be constructed. Never mind that the alleged border crisis has been manufactured by Trump's own policies, including separating children from the parents and disregarding international law requirements for asylum seekers. In my opinion, the man is pure evil and amoral and every patriotic American should be demanding his removal from office (ditto for his foul acolyte, Mike Pence who feigns piety while trashing Christian principles). A piece in the Washington Post looks at the growing danger Trump poses to the nation and the need for members of Congress to put the nation and rule of law ahead of party and say "no" to his attempted power grab. Here are excerpts:
PresidentTrump on Friday offered his most robust public case for the border wall since the partial government shutdown began two weeks ago, expounding for an hour at the White House about the need for a barrier to keep out terrorists and dissuade migrants while asserting he has the legal authority to build it without congressional consent.
In a forceful but meandering performance that included numerous false or questionable assertions, Trump announced he was considering declaring a “national emergency” to move forward on construction through executive power; argued his administration would use eminent domain to obtain private land along the U.S.-Mexico border; and suggested a steel wall could provide manufacturing jobs to U.S. companies.
Yet legal experts said Trump’s emergency powers under federal law are limited and expressed doubt that such an avenue would solve a mounting political dilemma for a president who, two years into his term, has elevated the fight over the wall into a defining moment for his presidency.
“I can do it if I want — absolutely,” Trump said of his ability to invoke emergency powers to build the wall. “We can call a national emergency because of the security of our country. We can call a national emergency and build it very quickly. But if we can do it through a negotiated process, we’re giving it a shot.”
With Democrats beginning to declare their candidacies for the White House in 2020 and some prominent Republicans ramping up criticism of him, Trump is determined to hold out in the shutdown fight, aides said.
“It’s resonating with our base for sure,” said Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), a Trump ally. “This is not really about immigration now. The people who elected Trump believe the wall is a foundation of border security. It’s a statement about sovereignty. When they’re told by the people they hate that this makes no sense, it makes them more determined to get the wall.”
But Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, accused Trump of considering an “unwise, weak and irresponsible legal gimmick” that would divert “substantial resources” from the military to build a wall.
“By abusing this authority,
PresidentTrump would be saying that he does not actually believe all money he requests for our country’s defense is needed for legitimate national security purposes,” Smith said. “That would raise major questions about his credibility when he requests his next defense budget from Congress.”
He [Trump] repeated false claims that a renegotiated U.S. trade deal with Mexico and Canada would provide new revenue to reimburse taxpayers — even though that deal still requires congressional approval to go into effect and any new revenue would benefit private companies.
The presidenttold aides he was winning the shutdown politics. But one aide described him as “incredibly sensitive to negative press . . . He’ll be willing to hold out as long as he’s not getting crushed.”
Trump employed foreboding language to warn of terrorists and immigrants intent on exploiting the U.S. immigration system — even though the Department of Homeland Security has not disclosed any evidence that terrorists have been apprehended at the southern border.
Trump aimed to create a sense that his administration was moving forward, declaring that it has built “a lot of miles of wall already” — even though DHS officials said recently they have replaced dozens of miles of aging structures but have not built any new barriers since Trump took office.
Lie after lie after lie by Trump with Lindsey Graham, the Palmetto Queen, seemingly positioning himself to be the Hermann Goering of the Trump/Pence regime. The only honest statement was Graham admitting that hatred motivates Trump's base.