Trump is Wrong to Declare a National Emergency

Millions and millions of illegal immigrants have broken the law to come and stay in America without authorization. They strain our government services, fragment our communities, cheat those who obey the law and wait in line, and demonstrate disrespect for the United States at a base level. For all these reasons and more, we should build a wall on our southern border.

But declaring a national emergency to bypass Congress is not the way to do it. Trump’s plan is wrong for several reasons.

1) First and foremost, it is unconstitutional. Congress is the only branch authorized to appropriate taxpayer dollars. Congress has explicitly declined to appropriate funding for the wall. Are they wrong to do so? Of course. But the remedy for that is the next election. The president cannot do what he likes anytime Congress disagrees with him.

2) It will likely fail. Immediately following Trump’s declaration of a national emergency, lawsuits will be filed across the country. Trump’s own White House counsel called it a “high litigation risk.” That’s only if Congress doesn’t stop it first, which can be done with a simple majority vote. That vote could very well succeed.

Even if the Congressional vote fails, or Trump vetoes the resolution, courts will almost certainly put it on hold while the case is decided. That means not only is the wall not being built, but military construction that Trump delays or cancels to pay for the wall is stopped as well. Now we don’t get a wall, and our troops don’t get what they need. Lose-lose.

Don’t take my word for it.

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No one would confuse Ann Coulter for a NeverTrumper or an immigration squish. There may be no one in this country more dedicated to building a wall. But she has been adamant that the national emergency is a ruse bound to fail.

3) Whether the gambit succeeds or fails, a precedent will be set. Nancy Pelosi has already raised the idea of a future Democrat president declaring gun violence a national emergency and taking action against Congress’s will. The Green New Deal, a fantasy proposal of socialist wish lists, was described as necessary to combat the national emergency of climate change. If we travel down this path, what is to stop the next Democrat in the White House from announcing climate change is too important an issue to leave to Congress, and it is his or her duty to fight the threat regardless of what Congress wants?

If your answer is that a wall is a real solution to a significant problem, and those other examples are not, you would be right, but that is not a legal argument. If the precedent is set, the precedent is set. There is no going back.

Sometimes democracy disappears seemingly overnight in a coup or revolution. Sometimes democracy is slowly chipped away at, when the people decide democracy is just too hard. Make no mistake about it: the president declaring a national emergency as a workaround Congress is a diminution of our democracy – the latest in a series of unconstitutional power grabs over the last decade. This does not mean a dictator is right around the corner. But if we keep slashing away at our democratic norms, he will be coming.

Nothing is worth weakening our democracy, certainly not another empty promise.

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Look at Him. Of Course He’s Guilty.

In Monty Python and the Holy Grail, there is a scene in which a group of Medieval villagers drag a woman through the town square excitedly shouting that they’ve found a witch. They take her to the town magistrate, inform him they’ve found a witch, and ask for permission to burn her.

“Well how do you know she is a witch?” the magistrate asks.

“She looks like one” the villagers reply.

I thought about this scene as I watched the response unfold over the weekend to the interaction between a group of high school students and a Native American elder at the Lincoln Memorial.

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Steve King has to Go

I have written several times about attempts by the media and Democrats (I repeat myself) to paint all Republicans as racists. They will take one low level official no one has ever heard of and suggest their racism is representative of the entire party. This is unfair.

But there are times we must put aside legitimate fears of bias to stand up and denounce racists who claim to speak for us. This is one of those times.

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The 5 Richest Counties in America Surround Washington DC

The US Census Bureau released its American Community Survey data, and once again a striking detail comes into focus. The five counties with the highest median income in all of America are all near Washington DC.

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Although it has come to be expected, this is still an astounding realization. Some of our major cities are built around lucrative industries. New York City is built around Wall Street and the financial sector, a multi-billion dollar industry. Hollywood is built around movies and entertainment, a multi-billion dollar industry. Silicon Valley is built around the technology boom, an unprecedented event that is creating billionaires left and right.

Washington DC is built around the Federal Government, a trillion dollar industry.

It seems like this is discussed each time the new survey inevitably puts several counties surrounding DC at the top of the list. But I think many people are drawing the slightly wrong conclusion from this data.

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Trump Makes the Same Mistake as Obama

US national security was hit with a double whammy on Thursday. Against the advice of practically his entire military counsel, including Secretary of Defense General Mattis and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, President Trump announced he is pulling half of US forces out of Afghanistan in the coming months, hours after declaring premature victory over ISIS and the rapid withdrawal of all American troops from Syria.

These are mistakes. They are so bad that General Mattis, widely considered Trump’s best cabinet Secretary, has resigned in protest.

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We Need Civics Classes for Reporters

Elections are often times for parents to teach their young children about the American government and how our democracy functions. It’s a great time to explain the Constitution, two houses of Congress, Federalism, and other aspects of the American system that make us unique.

Unfortunately, it seems many reporters and pundits never learned that lesson and need remedial classes.

For the best in political ignorance, I recommend Twitter. That’s where we find the first example from my favorite know-it-all who’s website is best known for it’s ludicrous mistakes.

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Go See Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer

I recently saw the new movie about abortionist Kermit Gosnell. It is a powerful film and I recommend everyone see it. When you do watch this movie, keep in mind it is about real events. It is about a real woman who was killed due to medical malpractice. It is about real babies who were born alive and then callously murdered. It is about a real monster who viewed himself as a hero as he butchered the most innocent.

There is a reason the full name of the movie is Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer.

Here’s something else to keep in mind while watching the movie. When trying the case, the prosecutor says a version of a line spoken over and over by pro-choice activists: the Gosnell trial was about one man’s crimes, not abortion itself. This is wrong, and not something the left-wing activists repeating it even believed.

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