What better way to stress the urgency and existential need for a national emergency than to wait until the third year of a four-year term in office to announce “I didn’t need to do this” before taking off to play a few rounds of golf over the holiday weekend.

Yes, President Donald Trump said that, did that, all the while attempting to circumvent the powers of Congress as written in the U.S. Constitution – see Article 1, which expressly gives powers to the House and Senate to legislate and control the nation’s purse strings. His was a conspicuous breech of congressional jurisdiction, and it sets a dangerous precedent.

The president’s wall is never going to get built, ridiculous emergency order or not. Despite being a self-proclaimed master negotiator, President Trump has failed to convince Congress – or Mexico, for that matter – to pay for such a monument to vanity that is at such odds with our nation’s values. Do Americans want security enforcement along its border? Of course they do, just as they want better immigration policy. But they are smart enough to know that in this day and age there are more economical, effective and technologically sophisticated ways to manage traffic, good and bad, along the border, especially at ports of entry. Even our digitally obsessed kids know that.

You could look it up on the Internet.

A wall? Please. That’s so primitive, so Dungeons and Dragons, so Campaign 2016.

Faced with stagnant if not slightly sagging poll numbers, a special counsel’s investigation and a daunting 2020 re-election map, the president is shooting for a win with a dog that won’t hunt. To get funding for his wall, he had already shut down government for 35 days – even claiming the mantle for doing so. That did not turn out well.

So, boxed into a compromised corner that gave him far less money for this wall than what he had asked, far less in fact than what he would have had had he settled in December, Trump did what he thought would appease his political base.

His order will be challenged in multiple federal courts and, likely, in Congress. The president may be out of office before the dust settles.

Regardless, what the president has done – perhaps unwittingly – is to hobble his own party going forward. While he may have helped himself with his base – as is his focus in every endeavor, it seems – he has certainly made life difficult for GOP politicians.

Turns out, all of the time and effort focused on a technology from the Middle Ages, the rest of the country – or much of it anyway – is consumed with more pressing and important matters.

For instance, Americans are paying more out of their paychecks for health care premiums and prescription drugs.

We are certain they would prefer action there, less hyperbole about a crisis on the border. News flash: According to a Reuters–Ipsos August 2018 survey, 70 percent of U.S. citizens – including 52 percent of Republicans – favor Medicare for all.

There is more. While the president ridicules the new enthusiasm on Capitol Hill for green energy legislation, and denies climate change and the cause behind global warming, a 58 percent majority in a December Politico-Morning Consult poll agrees with the scientific consensus that, yes, Mr. President, climate change is being caused by human activity.

Concerned about the wealth gap in America?

A 2018 report from the Economic Policy Institute in Washington found the average CEO of the 350 largest U.S. firms took home $18.9 million in compensation, a 17.6 percent jump from just one year earlier. In contrast, the average worker’s compensation climbed 0.3 percent. The average CEO now makes some 312 times more than the average working stiff.

Side note: The U.S. debt has topped $22 trillion.

And, yet, the president and others want to spend billions on a wall after giving away trillions to large corporations and billionaires via his now infamous tax reform legislation.

As far as our crisis on the border, fact is illegal border crossings have declined significantly from record highs in the early years of this century. According to the latest statistics from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, nearly 400,000 undocumented people were apprehended after entering the country illegally in 2018.

In 2000, more than 1.6 million The fact of the matter is our country has myriad issues begging for attention. Certainly more than what we have mentioned here. But one thing we do not have is a crisis on the border – nor an emergency.

No, President Trump, you certainly did not need to declare a national emergency. The only crisis, the only emergency, in our nation’s governance is coming out of a White House that keeps demanding mulligans

— The Register-Herald

This Week's Circulars

Recommended for you