An impeachable offense

President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency is a lawless act. It violates the constitutional separation of powers, which has assigned Congress the key role in deciding how government funds will be spent. This is a constitutional crisis and has the potential remake American government into an even more unrestrained tyranny.

Nacny Pelosi took issue with the president’s action, but helpfully pointed out how we could start using this method of government to address other issues.

“You want to talk about a national emergency? Let’s talk about today, the one year anniversary of another manifestation of the epidemic of gun violence in America. That’s a national emergency.” – Nancy Pelosi.

If we decide that we can apply the term “national emergency” to immigration and gun violence, in order to circumvent the constitutional order, what could we not apply it to? Allowing this type of logic will give us a dictatorship within a generation or two, maybe sooner, given the instability of our society.

Mitch McConnell first opposed declaration of a national emergency, but later said he backs the president’s move. According to CBS, “His change of heart came after the president finally agreed to sign this border security deal that will prevent another partial government shutdown.” It sounds like cold, political calculation. Americans may be more ready to accept lawless government action than to put up with a partial government shutdown. I hope that McConnell is wrong, but I suspect he isn’t.

I almost agree with Trump, (which means that I don’t agree with him)- it is true that Congress is something of a slow-moving national crisis. They are ineffective and unreasonable. They are fools and liars. But fixing that is above the president’s pay grade, and he should know that. Congress answers to the American people, not to the president.

This is a matter of authority. It is a question of who decides. Because the president does not have the authority to decide the national budget, he must accept what he believes to be mismanagement by Congress. Even if it really is mismanagement, that doesn’t give someone else the right to overrule Congress.

 

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