So The Donald is going to take to the airwaves tonight, and belt out his breathless bloviating bullshit, making the case for his stinking wall. As you read this, maybe he already did! I’ve been getting all upset about this manufactured crisis, and Trump’s talk of emergency powers, and all the attendant and deeply ambiguous law, but you know what? This just might be the beginning of the end for our Donnie. So let’s look at the bright side! Really! Let’s!
First, this could be the thing that finally drives a wedge between him and his poodles in Congress. This shutdown is deeply unpopular. Nobody can credibly blame it on the Democrats, either. If it keeps up, even Mitch McConnell might look at the weathervane and decide to get the government up and running, and there’s already talk of as many as 25 Republicans in the House being ready to vote with Pelosi on this. They could pass funding bills with veto-proof majorities, and this would mark the end of the Trump-McConnell axis of evil.
Then what could Donald do? Use his emergency powers? Maybe. For all I know he intends to jump the gun and announce that very thing tonight. The legal fog around this issue has had me all in a lather, but let’s look at this through a rosier lens. The Courts will never let him declare an emergency when there isn’t one, and then divert billions of Defense Department dollars, and deploy the Army, in gross violation of all norms and maybe even Posse Comitatus, to start a multi year, multi-kabillion dollar construction project. Not even the current SCOTUS would sanction it, and before it gets to them, the lower courts will enjoin it. Count on it, look, I have Judge Napolitano on my side here, OK?
Suppose the Courts did allow it. Then it would gut-check time for Republicans in Congress, and boy, would the optics suck, and keep getting suckier by the day, especially when soldiers start tearing up private land under legally contested eminent domain claims. You don’t want to be the Senator from Texas when that starts. There’s no way they could take that heat for years on end. They’ll fold, and put a stop to it. Even if they could begin work straight away – and they couldn’t, between logistics and legal wrangling Trump likely wouldn’t even be a President by the time a shovel actually hit dirt – everyone in the military from supply clerks to the Joint Chiefs would be dragging their heels, slowing the effort down to a glacial crawl, and managing to always fail to have quite the needed length of this or wrench for that, because they don’t want to do this either, not one bit. It was bad enough backing up the border patrol as a publicity stunt. No goddam way the Regular Army wants to be seen fixing bayonettes to kick ranchers off their own land. It’s Un-American. Nope, they’ll break ground and hit one insurmountable problem after another, running out the clock.
This wall is doomed, and with it, Trump’s reputation. If an emergency is declared, it’ll be quickly litigated, enjoined, and eventually almost certainly invalidated. If Donald decides instead to just keep the shutdown going, Republican legislators will crack. They’ll poo their pants and fold. Not one dollar will be appropriated for one beautiful steel slat, and not one foot of barrier will be built. The shutdown will end, Trump will be humiliated, and then the real fun, with the subpoenas, and inquiries, and Mueller’s report, can begin.
Trump can yap all he likes tonight. He’s feeked.
Right? Who’s with me? Let’s be optimistic! The Sun’ll come up tomorrow! Courage! Yay!