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Assault on America, Day 48: Critics pounce but Trump did the right thing on national emergency

Trump declares national emergency
Never a dull moment in Washington as President Trump signed the pathetically sad budget compromise forged by the bipartisan congressional conference committee last week and then proceeded to use his executive authority to declare a national emergency on the border.

As would be expected, the establishment media commenting class went nuts, decrying Trump’s action as unnecessary and savaging him for setting an awful precedent that a future Democrat president will use to foist harmful and utopian socialist measures -- like the Green New Deal -- upon the helpless American people. Others took issue with the president’s “if I’m elected, you’re going to get tired of winning” campaign braggadocio regarding his negotiating prowess. They claim it was the Democrats who gave him the short end of the stick, like they always do.

The increasingly lonely and wayward #NeverTrumpers acted gleeful afterward.

Jonah Goldberg wrote at National Review, “The reason President Trump finds it necessary to declare a national emergency stems from the fact that he is not the world’s greatest dealmaker.

“If President Trump had signed the budget deal last December, he would have gotten more wall funding than he did after forcing a government shutdown. For two years, Republicans controlled Congress, and no wall was built. If you want to blame the Congressional GOP for that, be my guest. But then don’t give sole credit to the president for everything Congress did pass.

“What I mean is there’s a weird heads-Trump-wins, tails-the-establishment-RINO-cuck-Congress-loses dynamic to how Trump’s defenders talk about his record. If Trump is responsible for getting tax cuts — or anything else — through a GOP-controlled Congress, presumably he’s also responsible for the things he didn’t get through congress, too. But when he wins, it’s proof of his deal-making prowess. When he loses, it’s because of the Deep State, the weak-kneed establishment, Democratic obstruction, polarization, gridlock, CHUDs, whatever.”

Aw, Goldberg offers the ‘ol quarterback quandary -- when the team wins the man behind center gets all the credit and glory, but when they lose it’s the offensive line’s fault. It’s more than a little sad the National Review writer and his #NeverTrump cohorts hide behind such fallacies because Trump’s negotiating talents didn’t have anything to do with the end result here. It doesn’t take a constitutional scholar to realize the president didn’t have the power to stare down and control members of Congress no matter how rich or successful he’d been throughout his life.

And politics is a completely different “game” where negotiations are concerned. When constructing a skyscraper and haggling over concrete prices the cement guy has competition bidding against him and every incentive to meet the developer’s (Trump’s) demands. He’s got a family to feed and a mortgage as well as employees to pay and overhead to account for. There’s a lot of pressure to “get to yes” in such a scenario. If the vendor doesn’t get a deal with Trump, someone else will.

In contrast, in the political arena Democrats had zero incentive to give Trump anything he wanted -- and so they hung federal employees out to dry for 35 days and then practically stonewalled Trump on wall money during the fake three-week-long “negotiating” conference committee. Democrats held all the cards because Trump was a one-man team trying to strike a bargain without backup and support from the cheap-labor loving GOP establishment.

Democrats literally couldn’t lose, for several reasons. One, Democrats understood so long as they “won” the wall funding standoff their rabid leftist base would stand behind them, no matter what. Therefore, what pressure did they face? Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader creepy “Chucky” Schumer time and again demonstrated they didn’t care about forcing another government shutdown. To them, who cares if federal workers sat at home enjoying a little additional time off knowing they would eventually be paid 100%?

Two, the liberal establishment media would back Democrats regardless of the facts. The entirety of the population of Appalachia could expire from preventable drug overdoses and the Democrats wouldn’t change their minds on erecting a border wall. As long as the anchor-baby producing illegal aliens kept streaming over the border Democrats would maintain a “humanitarian” stance in negotiations. Time was on their side, too -- the longer they held out, the likelier of an eventual triumph. Why would Democrats ever agree to fund a barrier when it’s more to their benefit to block the entire process?

Third, Democrats needed to set a marker for the 2020 election. With a host of liberals and socialists already craving to be on the debate stage opposite President Trump late next year, the last thing they’d want to face is a beaming incumbent president touting the success of his immigration policies along with the other multitude of promises he’s kept to American voters.

Lastly, Trump couldn’t “negotiate” solo. The always capitulating Republican establishment gave a half-hearted effort to stymie Democrats. They’ll always pick the low hanging fruit and leave the harder harvesting to some poor schlep who must mount a tall ladder and risk his own skin to reach the high ones. Simply put, the GOP establishment believed, once again, that they’d politically lose another shutdown argument and ran for safer ground to hide behind the “we got a great deal” rhetoric no one believes.

As Goldberg amply revealed above, Trump’s so-called conservative #NeverTrump enemies were waiting to pounce. These are the same people who downplay the immigration crisis’s urgency largely because they live in comfortable sanctuary city enclaves on the “good side” of town and only see hardworking brown-skinned folks scraping out an existence. They lack the perspective of the multitudes who assume the federal government should do its job to protect the border.

But ask the Angel Moms and Angel Dads what they think of the GOP establishment’s and Democrats’ deal. You’ll get an entirely different viewpoint, one the media wouldn’t dare feature in a pundit talk format.

Trump does merit some complicity in the failure. He could’ve pushed the swamp ruling class much harder, much earlier than he did. He could’ve established a precedent by vetoing the first budget congress sent over that didn’t contain the solid wall money; and he should’ve had Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan standing at his side whenever he talked to the nation about immigration. Watch ‘em squirm!

To be fair, some respectable commentators also thought the emergency declaration was a mistake. Wesley Pruden wrote last week at The Washington Times, “[Trump] can make a credible and believable claim of winning his tug of war with Chuck and Nancy, who boasted that he would never get a dime — or a penny or nickel or ‘smidgen’ — to build his wall, and if the spending agreement holds he’ll get $1.4 billion, which is not the $5.7 billion he asked for, but it’s not a dime, a nickel or a penny, either, nor even a smidgen.

“Republican senators will join Democrats in decrying a declaration of a national emergency, and none of them are weak sisters. John Cornyn of Texas calls such a declaration ‘a dangerous step,’ Marco Rubio of Florida calls it ‘not a good precedent,’ and Chuck Grassley of Iowa calls himself a skeptic, too.

“The president should call it a win and take a victory lap. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and his barrier on the border doesn’t have to be, either.”

As one of the most insightful voices on American politics, Pruden’s opinion should be respected. But he’s wrong here. Every new action sets a precedent and contains unfathomable consequences when it’s first tried. Republicans shouldn’t fear doing the right thing because Democrats might (and will) abuse the system somewhere down the road.

It’s long past time we realized law-abiding, liberty-loving conservatives are at political war in this matter. Politics is a nasty business, especially when elements of both sides care more about pleasing their powers-that-be than satisfying the will of the citizenry. Trump represents the “forgotten” people. He made the right call on the national emergency and we can only hope he’ll keep his negotiating skills intact -- and deployed -- for another six years.

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