In the movies, super villains always pause in the middle of their evil schemes to give a detailed account of why and how they’re out to end, ruin, or run the world. On Friday, life followed art—only life has much poorer writing than even the worst comic book film.
Donald Trump shambled onto the steps above the Rose Garden Friday morning, appropriately enough backed by nothing, to talk about China, the stock market, his close friendship with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, women with duct tape on their mouths, and just incidentally, how he was going to misuse the National Emergency Act to steal $8 billion in taxpayer dollars for a vanity project. And, while he tried to bury his scheme in an incredible stream of incoherent babble, it still didn’t stop him from admitting that his abuse of power was fundamentally to no end.
“I didn’t need to do this.”
What’s that? Why is there an emergency being declared if even Lex Luthor’s much dumber brother doesn’t think it’s an emergency?
“The only reason why we’re up here talking about this is because of the election.”
That’s good clarity. Trump also let it be known that running off with the money that’s supposed to provide homes, schools, and hospital beds for military families was no big deal. No big deal at all.
“It didn’t sound too important to me.”
It was, all an all, probably the most bizarre speech that has ever been delivered within a mile of the White House — and that includes some pretty colorful statements from the far side of the gates. But there was one last bit of truth in Trump’s monologuing
“And then we will be sued.”
Ding. Ding. Ding. Oh, yes, you will.
The White House pool report now shows that Donald Trump has arrived at the golf course, on the first day of his national emergency. Nothing could be more perfect.
Despite the lies about trade deals, the economy, the media, immigration, violence, and basically every topic he touched on—including a disturbingly detailed repeat of Trump’s already nauseating fantasy about kidnapping women, binding them, and putting tape over their mouths—Trump told a lot of truths.
- He didn’t need to do this.
- He was doing it only for political reasons.
- He didn’t care who was hurt in the process.
- He expected to be sued.
That last expectation, which Trump delivered in the form of song (really) is already being met.
Even before the declaration, groups like Project Democracy were standing by with papers in hand. No sooner did Trump finish his explanation of how great Rush Limbaugh is, how much he relies on Sean Hannity, and how much he still likes Anne Coulter—something that he couldn’t do without the casually racist statement that she was “off the reservation”—than his sort-of-musical prediction began to be fulfilled.
The ACLU announced that it was suing Trump. saying “There is no emergency. This is an unconstitutional power grab that hurts American communities. We’ll see him in court.” Buzzfeed reports that Public Citizen has already gotten their suit over the line into Federal Court in Washington D.C. But that may not be the case, because Business Insider had the group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington getting their suit on a judge’s desk just four hours after Trump finished his statements on how “Chuck and Nancy” surely knew that those tape-mouthed women were not being driven through ports of entry.
But the lawsuits already filed will not be the last. The attorney general for the state of Washington is considering a suit. California is also looking into the idea, though with an existing 45 lawsuits against the Trump White House, they already have something of a full plate. House Democrats have proposed both a lawsuit and a bill to stop Trump’s action. And just to make sure the Department of Justice stays super busy defending Trump’s actions, all this came one day after new suits were filed by the Southern Poverty Law Center and the ACLU over the policy of forcing asylum-seekers to return to Mexico while waiting out months of intentionally slow consideration.
It’s not as if Donald Trump isn’t used to being sued. He was involved in more than 3,000 lawsuits even before he wandered into the Oval Office. And, as Trump has already acknowledged, his position in these suits is extremely weak. He’s going to lose. His funding is going to be blocked. Unless his henchman I Like Beer can save his evil scheme, Trump’s whole declaration is likely to end up dead.
Saying that the law is Trump’s kryptonite doesn’t seem appropriate. It’s more like a stake to his heart — assuming he has one.