Okay, nothing quirky, ironic, to this post. This is terrifying, the biggest step yet on Trump’s march to authoritarian dictatorship. He DOES think that he has the power to order private business around with respect to China, and he’s now citing the “law” that enables him. The threat comes from the fact that the law in no way authorizes such a move, and the NYT isn’t fooled:
As he arrived in France for the annual meeting of the Group of 7 powers, Mr. Trump posted a message on Twitter citing the International Emergency Economic Powers Act of 1977, a law originally meant to enable a president to isolate criminal regimes not sever economic ties with a major trading partner over a tariff dispute.
“For all of the Fake News Reporters that don’t have a clue as to what the law is relative to Presidential powers, China, etc., try looking at the Emergency Economic Powers Act of 1977,” Mr. Trump wrote. “Case closed!”
At first blush, this may seem like a normal insane comment and belief. Look closer, and this becomes terrifying.
He leads with the fact that what people have heard – that he cannot actually order private business out of contracts with other companies – as “fake news” so his supporters don’t have to even look it up, because the fictional fake news guys are simply speaking shit against him, again.
Next step, miscite a law – any law – that sounds “official” and apply it to what he wants to do, without any regard to what the law actually addresses.
Last, end of discussion, meaning he doesn’t want to hear otherwise, and won’t, because he never listens, nor changes his mind.
The takeaway, he thinks he can, he wants to, he expects to, and has no clue as to the ramifications.
If he were somehow effective in nothing more than truly scaring the living shit out of American business, he can put the economy into a death spiral that then goes out of the control of any one person, even the next president’s, hands.
And he’s may as well be speaking Navajo while the law is written in English, because what he says has nothing to do with what it says:
It is called the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, passed in 1977, which addresses … well, here it is, it ain’t hard to figure out:
SITUATIONS IN WHICH AUTHORITIES MAY BE EXERCISED
SEC. 202. (a) Any authority granted to the President by section 203 may be exercised to deal with any unusual and extraordinary threat, which has its source in whole or substantial part outside the United States, to the national security, foreign policy, or economy of the United States, if the President declares a national emergency with respect to such threat.
(b) The authorities granted to the President by section 203 may only be exercised to deal with an unusual and extraordinary threat with respect to which a national emergency has been declared for pur- poses of this title and may not be exercised for any other purpose. Any exercise of such authorities to deal with any new threat shall be based on a new declaration of national emergency which must be with respect to such threat.
It requires an extraordinary threat, to the security of the United States, including an economic threat that is extraordinary. Not that Trump is listening, but tariffs levied in response to tariffs HE initiated in his trade war are NOT extraordinary, it is expected retaliation. When the Dow dips, making people fear the beginning of a recession, does NOT qualify as an “extraordinary threat.”
Sometimes it sounds like we’re addicted to Trump outrage. It is posted here again and again, and we see the most engagement by our growing readership in response to these articles, but Trump is nose-diving, and the outrage is coming fast and furious lately. This might be the most serious yet, because he’s so disarmingly serious, because he feels that threatened, not the nation. Oh, and all the adults in the room who could talk some sense into him and get him to back off, are gone.
Is it actually going to happen if he does attempt to declare a national emergency and actually does attempt to enforce this? Oh, hell no. Can you think of a more self-assured, powerful, intransigent group than big-money-transnational American business? No, they can be counted upon to ignore it.
They can also be counted upon to light a rocket engine right under the Republicans in Congress, to assure that this won’t happen.
The truly scary part is, if he’s capable of thinking this way, attempting to end-run the law here, where he has no shot at getting away with it, what else is he capable of doing between now and either impeachment or the election?
What about immigrants down on the border? March them to the fields to put them to “work.” Why not? They’re “prisoners.” Start shooting at China in response to this “national emergency”? Why not? His control of the military and national defense is actually in the law.
He will never fully get away with that shit, for the same reason. That stuff is going to cost wealthy Americans, the ones that really do control this country, the folks with the money. So it will never come fully to fruition. The real question is how many people get hurt getting from here to there?
Think about the week we’ve already written about. This is Saturday, the last day of the week. Not only is Trump decompensating at a shuddering rate, all the safeguards installed around him? Again, they’re gone. Only “yes men” are still in place.
Yesterday, I wrote that the day represented the beginning of the end. I said “hold your hands to your head,” that it will get ugly.
It took one day, one day to tweet the scariest thing that I have seen yet. The economy, our national security, our international standing, and even our freedom are threatened by this one. Truly unprecedented, and it took a day.
Peace, for godsake let us have some peace.