The humiliation of the Freedom Caucus

The end result: only two of the Freedom Caucus’s roughly three dozen members, Amash and Thomas Massie, voted to block Trump’s national emergency declaration. Put another way: Freedom Caucusers were slightly more likely than the average House Republican to vote to green-light Trump’s national emergency. Once limited government’s self-styled staunchest defenders, the Freedom Caucus is now throwing itself behind the Trump-brand imperial presidency even more enthusiastically than the rank-and-file RINOs its members love to deride.

Members of the Freedom Caucus naturally dispute that their support for the national emergency declaration is hypocritical, arguing that the president currently has the statutory authority to use those powers to go around Congress—even if the statute in question, they admit, is likely a symptom of the very executive overreach they claim to despise. In fact, some are even discussing taking steps to limit the power of the presidency to execute policy by national emergency—just so long as this emergency gets to go forward as the president desires.

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