Rick Wilson’s take on Donald Trump’s performance art in the Rose Garden Friday, was his usual comical disparagement, but he went way beyond mockery in his analysis of what the “national emergency” declaration meant, and that is sobering. Wilson described the press conference as “part coke ramblings, part tween-girl pity party, and partly the work of a man who distrusts intelligence briefings but believes “news” from fever-swamp bloggers.” Then he segued into the bigger picture, namely that a dangerous, constitution-eroding precedent was just set by Trump and furthermore, the Republican party is not going to do a damn thing about it — as usual. Daily Beast:
The terrible and consequential action today—and a GOP response that at its bravest amounts to pathetic and indifferent “resistance”—is just Donald Trump clearing away one more barrier to authoritarianism. Sure, it’s funny watching him rant, but we’re laughing our way over the cliff. […]
I spoke to Republicans in both the House and Senate today, including several who are strong supporters of the president. Every single one thinks the executive order is an absolutely terrible idea. As policy, the emergency order is a flaming disaster. Nothing good will come of it, and they all know it.
Set aside the precedent-setting nature of just how Trump is applying this emergency declaration and you’ll see why all of them recognize the power he’s handing to future Democratic presidents. They know it. They’re terrified of it.
And, as always, they won’t do a thing to stop it.
The executive order was nothing more, and nothing less, than an exercise of Trump as “God Emperor” as one of his cult members called him.
The Donald, and his horde, love the conceit of him as a warlord, the tough guy, badass. The Trumpternet is full of romanticized black velvet-quality illustrations of a muscle-bound Trump riding on tanks and smiting the unbelievers. A 300-pound man with ample moobs panting on a golf cart doesn’t have the same je ne sais quoi. He needs this action to keep the dictator image alive.
It’s funny, until it isn’t.
Trump himself admitted Friday, “I didn’t need to do this, but I’d rather do it much faster.” He came right out and said that his “emergency” wasn’t one, it was just an end run around the constitution so that he could speed up his agenda and keep his own ball in play. Trump is sheer destructiveness in motion, and here’s Wilson’s bottom line:
Even after all the destruction Trump has wrought on the Republican party, there’s still a streak of bullheaded, absurdist optimism among its old members carrying his coat now that something will stop him. Relying on the courts to step in and prevent Trump from engaging in this seizure of power is a long shot, and one responsible members of the legislative branch can’t afford to bet the country on.
The operant phrase here is “responsible members of the legislative branch” and right now there don’t appear to be any with the letter “R” after their names. That’s the problem and always has been, in this Era of Trump. Trump didn’t get here by himself and he doesn’t sustain himself. He is the Frankenstein’s monster of the GOP, cobbled together to begin with and systematically enabled, because to them, any figurehead will do, so that they can impose rule by executive fiat and forget the democratic process.
Trump keeps hitting lower and lower bottoms, begging the same question, “When oh when will the GOP pull the plug?” We still don’t have an answer. So, maybe the question now becomes, “Will they do it to save themselves? Or, would they rather be complicit in watching democracy circle the drain altogether?”
Your guess is as good as mine.
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