Monday, February 18, 2019

Trump's Phony National Emergency

Trump and Goebbels want to be, Stephen Miller.
Two pieces in the Washington Post look at Trump's phony national emergency declaration.  One looks at Chris Wallace of Fox News confronting Stephen Miller - Trump's equivalent to Hitler's propaganda minister, Josef Goebbels - and the other looks at Trump's own and his administration's undermining of Trump's own declaration.   Both ultimately look at the non-existent emergency at the US/Mexico border. As prior posts have indicated, the only emergency is a political one as Trump faces disappointing his virulently racist base.  First the piece that looks at Wallace's take down of Miller:
Unstoppable rhetoric collided with immovable facts on “Fox News Sunday,” as White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller defended President Trump’s national emergency declaration and invoked the potential for a veto if Congress disapproves in an interview with Chris Wallace.
Miller described an onslaught of drugs and migrants flowing over the border as justification for the emergency declaration.
Yet, like a small army of fact-checkers have noted before, Wallace told Miller the vast majority of hard drugs seized by Customs and Border Protection are captured at points of entry, not between them, and unlawful migration over the border has fallen 90 percent since 2000.
So what crisis is the wall supposed to solve? In shades of former defense secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld’s “unknown unknowns” theory, Miller invoked what could not be demonstrated by his own administration’s statistics. The segment took a tense turn after Wallace pressed Miller, a self-proclaimed constitutional conservative, over measures designed to block the president from obtaining funds outside Congress.
[T]he move lacks precedent, Wallace said, in how Trump has sought to secure his funds. Miller repeatedly refused to acknowledge it has not happened before and tried to fire back with a question of his own.
Wallace sailed past the dodge. “Then answer my question, can you name one case where a president has asked Congress for money, Congress has refused, and the president has then invoked national powers to get the money anyway?”
[Miller] suggested that if Congress passes a resolution disapproving of the emergency, Trump would probably veto it. “He’s going to protect his national emergency declaration, guaranteed. … If the [Trump] president can’t defend this country, then he cannot fulfill this constitutional oath of office.”
The second piece is a column by former Republican Jennifer Rubin, a vocal Trump critic, who lists out how Trump's own actions underscore the lie that a national emergency exists.  Here are excerpts:

None other than Ann Coulter declared on Friday, “The only national emergency is that our president is an idiot.” She has a point. The president’s declaration, in the words of Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), amounts to “a power grab by a disappointed President, who has gone outside the bounds of the law to try to get what he failed to achieve in the constitutional legislative process.”
Even the best-executed power grab would have been difficult to defend in court. . . . . Nevertheless, in 10 steps, Trump irretrievably ruined whatever legal case he would have had.
First, he did not address the issue when the Republican Party held majorities in both the House and Senate, when, for example, he had the ability to push through measures on reconciliation.
Second, he rejected a deal for $25 billion in border security in exchange for legalization of “dreamers,” which doesn’t sound like the sort of thing you’d do in a real emergency.
Third, he signed a continuing resolution that kept the government running until Dec. 8, 2018. Again, you wouldn’t agree to that in the face of a real emergency.
Fourth, Congress passed another continuing resolution to keep the government open until Dec. 21, 2018.
Fifth, the president provoked a 35-day shutdown that ended with a three-week continuing resolution. Again, this doesn’t give off an emergency “vibe.”
Sixth, as appropriators negotiate, the president repeatedly threatens to us emergency powers until Congress gives him what he wants. The critical precondition for an emergency declaration is lack of congressional compliance.
Seventh, appropriators reach agreement — and Trump signs it.
 Eighth, there is no report or analysis demonstrating why Congress’s response is inadequate. Instead, Trump declares an emergency on the same day as the signing, a transparent effort to eclipse his utter failure to deliver on a campaign promise.
 Ninth, at a bizarre Rose Garden press conference on Friday, Trump declared, “I didn’t need to do this. . . . I just want to do it faster.” It is difficult to imagine a more damaging confession that the emergency is figment of Trump’s frail ego and thirst to avoid disappointing his base.
Tenth, Trump tells a set of ridiculous lies to justify his border wall. . . . Trump’s irrational, desperate and incoherent approach has not merely damaged his chances of surviving a court challenge. He has made it infinitely harder for Republicans to defend him and vote against a resolution reversing the declaration. Trump told them there was no emergency.

No comments: