Wednesday, January 09, 2019


President Trump still won't declare an emergency as a means of bypassing Congress to get his wall. Business Insider's Joe Perticone says even Republicans are squeamish about that possibility:
Sen. Ted Cruz ... told INSIDER he would have to examine the White House's justifications for declaring a national emergency before making a judgment....

Texas Rep. Mac Thornberry, now the ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, told reporters in an off-camera briefing Tuesday he opposed diverting military funds for the wall....

Thornberry added that he believes a new law would be required to stop an impromptu wall construction without congressional approval....

Sen. Lindsey Graham, who on Wednesday took over the gavel of the Senate Judiciary Committee, told reporters an emergency declaration is "not my preferred route," adding, "I don't know legally if you can do that."
This is ridiculous. They'll all close ranks around him if he does this, just the way they've all closed ranks around his to-infinity-and-beyond shutdown strategy:
... President Trump appeared to rally nervous Senate Republicans around his strategy to keep parts of the government closed until Democrats accede to his demand for $5.7 billion for a border wall.

Emerging from the lunchtime meeting on Capitol Hill, Mr. Trump declared that Republicans were “totally unified” even if he faced some questions about “strategy.” Largely, senators signaled that they agreed....

Moderate Republicans who entered the room confident that senators were coalescing around the idea that the government should be reopened while the border security debate continues left disappointed, convinced that for now, the party would follow Mr. Trump....
This is the Republican Party -- members in good standing avoid all deviations from Correct Thinking. Only a handful of Republicans in the House voted with Democrats to reopen the government today. The party is still essentially unified. So why doesn't Trump just do the declaration?

Because, in his gut, he's still the salesman trying to emotionally manipulate his counterparties into doing everything his way. He's also the lout at the end of the bar who'd rather pound his fist (or, in this case, slam his hand on the desk) than push the norms and limits of democratic government.

But the deplorables relate to an angry, besieged Trump, possibly more than they'd relate to a dictatorial Trump. This was, in a way, a good day for Trump and his fans. He got to act like an bully in an exchange with ABC's Jonathan Karl, to the delight of the deplorables.

And he got to have a temper tantrum in his meeting with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer.

That's not how a tyrant behaves. That's the behavior of an infantile asshole -- albeit one who reluctantly acknowledges that other people have at least some power over him, and who hates them for it. Instead of trying to end this crisis with raw power, he's trying to end it with emotional abuse. That's a form of tyrannical behavior, but it';s tyrannical behavior born of a sense that he lacks power. A real tyrant would never behave this way.

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