— President Trump declared a national emergency at the southern border on Friday — but not without making a scene full of false claims, offbeat comments and tense exchanges…
We are about to plunge into Constitutional crisis as I write this, and none of the talking heads seems to think that it’s much of a big deal. [UPDATE: Crisis now enacted.] Oh sure, some claim that the federal courts (so freshly packed with Mitch McConnell/Federalist Society hanging judges) will protect us. Yeah.
Some believe that Congress will protect us. Right.
And some even believe that the Republic will endure. Sure.
Make no mistake: this is a Caesar moment: the “president” declares himself First Citizen and rules by fiat (no: not the Italian car).
I have vainly awaited any true outrage or at least mildly exercised constitutional high-horsieness, but, alas, no. And this is how democracies die: not with a bang, and, herein, without so much as a whimper.
Earlier incarnations of the American Idea would have citizens on the streets demanding the impeachment (or worse) of the attempted usurper, who passed off his arrogation of American democracy to a Queens-accented version of “L’état, c’est moi” If Louis (Indecipherable Roman Numeral) was the Sun King, then Trump must be the Tangerine King. (Or the smallest orange citrus fruit that you can think of.)
A Rubicon has been crossed, as a “president” of the United States of America has openly decided to tell Congress, “I defy your power to appropriate funds and to direct those appropriations to their intended use.”
No lawyer would tell you that, of course, since it is an immutable law of nature that the obfuscation of a legal mind increases in direct proportion to the blatant obviousness of the issue at hand. But there you have it, stripped of all dissembling. Res ipsa loquitur — “the thing speaks for itself,” in Latin*.
*[ A legal term still in use.]
The last time someone in the White House did this, they blatantly ignored Congress’ express wishes that the USA NOT continue to fund the “Contras” in Nicaragua — a guerrilla force meant to bring down the legitimate — albeit “socialist/communist” — government of same. ( Déjà vu?)
Of course THEN it was St. Ronald of Raygun and George Bush the Smarter, and, surprise! surprise! Bush the Smarter’s Attorney General, who helped to complete the coverup of Iran/Contra (as it was then known that the US had sold spare parts to US weapons systems to Iran in “return” for “help with hostages” — or, as is commonly understood but seldom officially acknowledged, holding the hostages so Raygun could win the election, and the hostages were, coincidentally, of course, released AS Raygun was being sworn in*) was sworn in yesterday, in a stunning act of synchronicity that has all of Olympus howling with laughter, if you believe in Invisible Sky Deities, of course.
And now they will talk themselves hoarse, of course.
That is, of course, unless their horse just came riding into town.
(The horse being named ‘Imperium,’ and NOT ‘Special Ed.’)
*[Let’s not go into Israeli middlemen, Swiss Bank Accounts, and, ultimately, smuggling cocaine through Panama, and the subsequent invasion of Panama to capture and silence their former silent partner, Manuel Noriega, who made the mistake of trying to blackmail the GOPs. And Bush’s pardon of the last Iran/Contra felons on his way out the door, to keep Independent Counsel Lawrence Walsh from subpoenaing Bush’s newly-come-to-light diaries. ]
The formerly metaphorical “Imperial Presidency” has, this day, become literal. Now: will our brave patriots, our floggers of Family Values and States’ Rights, our Constitution masturbators react to this FUNDAMENTAL usurpation — to defend a policy (wall) that they themselves privately oppose?
Trump brushes it off as “just another lawsuit.”
We have reversed course: what was formerly a “government of laws, not of men,” is now a government of men, not of laws.
What was formerly the “rule of law” is now law without any rules.
Today has been, potentially, one of the blackest days in the history of our republic. And to that lady who asked Franklin “What sort of a government have you given us, Doctor Franklin?” we must now reply: “A republic, but we couldn’t keep it.”
But we did make America grate again.