Our National Emergency

On Friday, January 4, 2019, Donald J Trump told Congressional Leaders he may declare a “National Emergency” if necessary to build a Wall on the U S border with Mexico.

Here is the way the Washington Post began its report of the meeting:

“President Trump on Friday threatened a years-long shutdown of the federal government to get the money he wants for his U.S.-Mexico border wall, even as he asserted that he could declare a national emergency to build the wall if he chose to. “We can do it. I haven’t done it. I may do it. I may do it,” Trump said of the possibility of declaring a national emergency to build the wall. The president’s comments came during a lengthy Rose Garden news conference that followed a meeting with top Democratic and Republican congressional leaders as the partial government shutdown neared its two-week mark. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) said the Situation Room meeting with Trump had been contentious. They said they pleaded with him to reopen most of the government, while setting aside the dispute over the wall — but that he refused. “He resisted,” Schumer said. “In fact, he said he’d keep the government closed for a very long period of time, months or even years.”

There is a National Emergecy, clearly.

The National Emergency is the existence as President of Donald J Trump.

Like a cornered beast, he lashes out in wild directions, his fury consuming what is left of his mind. He understands to retain any shred of credibility with many of those ignorant Americans who voted for him because of his promise to build a big Wall, he must be able to do it.

Never mind that when Republicans controlled both Houses of Congress and could put forward almost anything they coudd agree on – the big tax cut for the rich comes to mind – enough of them wouldn’t vote money for a Wall. And now with the Democrats in control of the House, there is no chance he will get his Wall through normal legislative appropriations.

He is frantic in defeat and rather than accept reality and go forward to work for and accept what is possible on other issues, he threatens to invoke a “National Emergency.”  Why not just order the U S Military and the U S Corps of Engineers to build a wall? Because , they would not obey orders that are clearly illegal and should not be obeyed.

So, let’s look at his power to invoke a National Emergency that would enable him to fulfill his foolish, yea criminal campaign promise to build a big Wall.

The National Emergency Act  (a law) provides the following:

“NEA Section 201 authorizes the president to declare a national emergency. The proclamation of a national emergency must be immediately transmitted to Congress and published in the Federal Register.1,2 Under NEA Section 301, statutory emergency authorities enabled by the national emergency declaration cannot be exercised until the president specifies the provisions of law under which the president or other officials will act.”

Therefore, a President my suspend provisions of laws in declaring  a National Emergency. After 9/11, President George W Bush invoked the authority to re-organize the Military to meet such threats. And in the latest presidental use of such authority, President Obama believed an epidemic of flu required it, as in his declaration:

“… temporary waiver of certain standard Federal requirements may be warranted in order to enable U.S. health care facilities to implement emergency operations plans, the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic in the United States constitutes a national emergency.”

But the law that authorizes such Presidential declarations does not and cannot authorize a President to suspend the Constitution of the United States. And that Constitution provides that only the Congress can authorize the spending of pubic funds.

Donald J Trump cannot build a Wall without the billions of dollars necessary to do it. And since Mexico has declined to pay for the Wall, only Congress can provide the money. Which it has not done and clearly will not now do.

Does this poor fool not know this? When, forgive the expression, he “shoots his mouth off” in total ignorance does he not know how ridiculous it makes him look?

I, not the smartest person around by any means, know this only because I “googled” the law and read it.

And as for keeping a portion of the U S Government closed for years (a portion that includes the Department of Homeland Security), why not even the most feckless of his Republican enablers in Congress will go along with that.

Trump must be totally defeated on this issue. Congress must not give him a penny in order for him to claim a victory for his ignorant, mean and foolish campaign promise to build a Wall. He must be defeated and must be shown to his faithful supporters to be defeated.

Those poor souls among us who see in Donald J Trump their Champion must come to understand that the majority of Americans will stop them and him from despoiling this Country further.

Walls cannot make us stronger. Our real strength is in our values, in our treatment of and care for others in this country and in the world. People want to come to our Country not only because we are weathy and powerfull but because we are just and good.

We must continue to be Ronald Reagan’s “Shining City Upon a Hill” or we will end up a collection of broken tribal villages, passed over and eventually destroyed. 

Delenda est Trump and his Wall!

 

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