If you think the Republicans in Congress are going to stand up to Trump’s fake national emergency in order to defend the party’s long-held principles, or to assert the constitutional authority of the legislative branch, you haven’t been paying attention for the past three years. Trump said he would win so much that you’d get tired of winning—the lone arena in which this is objectively true is how he has imposed his will on his fellow Republicans, who have surrendered abjectly to him.
That’s why, on the national emergency, Trump is about to win again. Republican officeholders like Maine’s Susan Collins will surely reach for the thesaurus to find appropriate adjectives (“troubling,” “disturbing,” “unsettling”). The naysayers will look over their shoulders at a party base that stands solidly behind the president. And when the rubble clears, Trump will still be standing, and another key element of the catechism—this time, limited constitutional government with a separation of powers that was outlined by James Madison and other framers—will be in ruins.
At times, it’s possible to imagine the president almost willfully testing his party, musing about whether there is any part of its belief system that he cannot compel Republicans to abandon.