Ben Shapiro sees the way forward with crystal clarity.
So, here's how it goes:
1. Trump declares a national emergency;
2. A court enjoins it;
3. Trump rails against the courts;
4. No wall is built;
5. Democrats brag that they stopped Trump.
Everybody goes home happy, except people who wanted a wall. https://t.co/bqAMeeIOdt
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) January 24, 2019
I’m torn between thinking this news is nothing but idle saber-rattling by the White House after this afternoon’s embarrassment in the Senate and thinking that maybe everyone, including POTUS, really has reached their limit with this fiasco. For fark’s sake, even the American Greatness site is proposing amnesty deals now in the name of resolving it. We’re on the cusp of the End Times.
The White House is preparing a draft proclamation for President Donald Trump to declare a national emergency along the southern border and has identified more than $7 billion in potential funds for his signature border wall should he go that route, according to internal documents reviewed by CNN…
According to options being considered, the administration could pull: $681 million from treasury forfeiture funds, $3.6 billion in military construction, $3 billion in Pentagon civil works funds, and $200 million in Department of Homeland Security funds, the official said.
If the declaration is made, the US Army Corps of Engineers would be deployed to construct the wall, some of which could be built on private property and would therefore require the administration to seize the land, which is permitted if it’s for public use.
Important: There’s nothing in the story to suggest this draft proclamation is new. In fact, there’s nothing to suggest that it’s even been revised recently. “The draft was updated as recently as last week,” says CNN, citing a government official. It sounds like the White House had this in a drawer somewhere and maybe chose to leak it in the past few hours to distract from POTUS’s immigration compromise bill crashing in the Senate. It’s a way to boost morale among righties. “We may not be able to pass anything, we may not get Pelosi to blink, but we always have our trump card to try to fund the wall.”
Lindsey Graham spent this afternoon touting the possibility of a short-term bill to re-open the government but last week he was egging Trump on to declare a national emergency. The charitable view of why he did that is that Graham’s concerned about the shutdown dragging on and shares Shapiro’s view of how this is likely to play out. Better to just get people back to work and let Trump take his chances in court. The less charitable view is that Graham’s always been indulgent of broad executive power, especially in matters relating to war and quasi-military matters like “national emergencies.” There’s nothing remarkable in modern America about wanting monarchical powers for a president from your party — except that Graham is a member of another branch and should, one would think, be trying to check and balance Trump. Why did he even want to be a senator, wonders George Will?
Anyone — in Graham-speak, ANYONE — who at any time favors declaring an emergency, or who does not denounce the mere suggestion thereof, thereby abandons constitutional government. Yes, such a declaration would be technically legal. Congress has put on every president’s desk this (to adopt Justice Robert Jackson’s language in his dissent from the Supreme Court’s 1944 Korematsu decision affirming the constitutionality of interning of U.S. citizens and noncitizens of Japanese descent) “loaded weapon, ready for the hand of any authority that can bring forward a plausible claim of an urgent need.” Or an implausible one. However, an anti-constitutional principle would be affirmed. The principle: Any president can declare an emergency and “repurpose” funds whenever any of his policy preferences that he deems unusually important are actively denied or just ignored by the legislative branch.
Why do they come to Congress, these people such as Graham? These people who, affirmatively or by their complicity of silence, trifle with our constitutional architecture, and exhort the president to eclipse the legislative branch, to which they have no loyalty comparable to their party allegiance?
He came to Congress because … he craves power, same as all the rest of these leeches. And, of course, because he hopes one day to broker a big amnesty compromise. Trump’s wall gambit was his latest opportunity to try but Pelosi wouldn’t bite. Hence, it’s “national emergency” time.
Here’s POTUS this afternoon being asked about Wilbur Ross’s cavalier direction to federal workers to just go get a loan if they’re short of cash. He could have said that better, Trump allows, before suggesting that buying groceries shouldn’t be a problem since grocers know their customers and they’ll surely “work along” with them. Ah, right. Someone should poll supermarket managers on that: How many of them will let customers walk out of the store with a wagon full of food by letting them run up a tab? These furloughed workers are food-banking for a reason.