Donald Trump has always treated his country's democracy with contempt. And these days he's desperate to try to distract Americans from all his legal problems.
So while we can't know whether this is delusion or dementia, it shouldn't be surprising.
President Trump declared a national emergency at the border on Friday to access billions of dollars to build a border wall that Congress refused to give him, transforming a highly charged policy dispute into a fundamental confrontation over separation of powers.
But it is an abuse of power, and the American Caesar is going to pay a heavy price.
For not only does his admission that he didn't need to do it make him look like a maniac.He admits it's a #FakeTrumpEmergency. Hear him say it: "I *didn’t need* to do this, but I’d rather do it much faster." pic.twitter.com/e92ArhFQB7— Nancy Pelosi (@TeamPelosi) February 15, 2019
It also sets a really bad precedent.
With his intention to declare a national emergency at the southern border, President Trump is planning to take executive overreach to dizzying new heights. The damage to American democracy threatens to linger long after his administration is no more than a dank memory.
And even this Republican publication can see where that might lead.
There is no emergency; and the President's renewed threat to declare one should cause us all – regardless of political persuasion – to think long and hard about the precedent such a declaration could create, should it somehow survive certain legal challenge. Could the military be directed to construct low-income housing because a future president declares economic inequality to be an ‘emergency?’ Could the Army Corps of Engineers be directed to build solar farms because climate change is declared an ‘emergency?’ The ‘what ifs’ are countless and troubling.
A president declaring an emergency when one does not exist, and thereby exercising unchecked powers, is the real threat we face.
In the meantime, while his state of emergency gets mired in the courts, Trump can choke on this poison cherry.
The poison cherry atop this sundae is that Mr. Trump is subverting American democracy for a cause opposed by a majority of the public. Polls show that most Americans do not want a wall at the southern border. And most definitely do not approve of Mr. Trump’s faking a national emergency to make an end run around Congress. Two recent polls showed that two-thirds of Americans opposed it.
While our neighbours use the issue to defeat him.
Then when the Democrats take office they can declare their own state of national emergency to fight climate change.
As well as using it to send this would be American Caesar, this fascist clown, to the place where he truly belongs...