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Posted by on Mar 15, 2019 in Politics | 0 comments

Some conservative commentators blast GOPers who backed Trump on national emergency

RJ Matson, Portland, ME

So even with the votes in Congress, Donald Trump will get his national emergency. The reason: the bulk of Republicans in Congress decided to do what is widely seen as abandoning traditional Republican adherence to separation of powers as outlined in the Constitution to back Trump. The reasons? Some agree with Trump but many fear being primaried and opposed by Trump (i.e. Profiles in Cowardice).

Initial news reports and commentary focused on the 12 GOPers who broke with Trump (not enough to override a Presidential veto) and voted with Democrats in the Senate to back the House’s nix of the National Emergency aimed at letting Trump end-run Congress’ rejection of big bucks for his border wall to extract money elsewhere from the government. But commentators later asked the question: what does it SAY about today’s Republican Party that most of the Republican Senators backed Trump, including one that had an op-ed opposing the wall and another who had cultivated the image as a more independent, traditional conservative?

The bottom line message: There are few political norms Trump can jettison that won’t be backed by them. And perhaps none since their job security is their priority. The Huffington Post has this great round up comments. Here’s one part of it:

Conservative commentators angrily called out Republican senators who on Thursday continued to back President Donald Trump by voting against a resolution overturning his border wall national emergency.

A dozen GOP lawmakers joined Democrats in approving the measure to reject Trump’s declaration. Trump tweeted he would “VETO!” the resolution.

High-profile writers on the right lambasted the Republicans who stood with Trump ? including Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) and Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) ? on Twitter, on television and in opinion columns.

…..Jennifer Rubin wrote in The Washington Post that “if Trump told” the Republicans who stood with him “to amend the Constitution and toss out the Bill of Rights, they’d likely do it.”

“After all, Article I means nothing to them, so why should any other portion of the Constitution?” added Rubin, who said the GOP had “sacrificed its principles and decency for … what? For the right to sit in the Senate, doing nothing? For fear that they cannot justify themselves to the mob Trump has drummed up?”

Rubin also predicted Trump’s presidential downfall:

“In all likelihood, barring an act of political suicide by the Democrats (i.e., nominating an unelectable, self-described socialist), he’ll be out of office and facing prosecution in less than two years. And the Republicans who defended and enabled him? They’ll have gone down with the ship.”

I need to note: I disagree. I personally think we’re already seeing Democrats fall into their traditional pattern of some Dems suggesting they won’t vote for a nominee who isn’t their preference so they can teach their own party a lesson.

Democrats have historically taught their own party a lesson by helping elect Richard Nixon, George W. Bush, and Donald Trump. In the process, they have taught their party a lesson by seeing Republicans replace New Deal/Great Society judges with more conservative judges.

They have taught their own party a lesson by virtually gifting the Supreme Court to Republican conservatives.

In 2020 there’s likely to be a third candidate (and the resulting boycott of a certain coffee chain). So just as in 2016 where Green Party candidate Jill Stein insisted there was little difference between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, there is likely to be someone lumping the two parties together who will get some Democratic votes by peddling the same (inaccurate) line about there being no difference between the parties so vote for me. Trump is more likely than unlikely to win re-election if the historical pattern repeats itself. More:

Michael Gerson, an ex-speechwriter for former President George W. Bush, did not comment on the vote itself. But in an op-ed for The Washington Post, he said a reality gap had opened up “between the GOP and the rest of our political culture.”

“The rift between Republican perceptions of the president and the view of the broader public” which has “grown into a chasm” was now “the main political context of the 2020 campaign,” he added.

Gerson also asked three questions of the GOP:

“Why have Republicans fallen in line with a politician who has sometimes targeted their own party and leaders for populist disdain? Why have conservatives come to the defense of a leader with decidedly unconservative views on trade and foreign policy? Why have religious conservatives embraced the living, breathing embodiment of defining deviancy down?”

Why?

Among other reasons: (1)political expediency, (2)the overriding role and addicting nature of political tribalism (READ THIS MUST READ ON DEMOCRACY AND TRIBALISM), (3)the fact that throughout history groups, intellectuals and others have betrayed their principles to adamantly support someone who they feel can speed up change they want in one area, often with utterly disastrous consequences for their countries.

Welcome to 21st century politics.

Meanwhile, one Republican who clearly folded under White House political pressure has been unendorsed by his state’s biggest newspaper, The Denver Post.

We endorsed Sen. Cory Gardner in 2014 because we believed he’d be a statesman. We knew he’d be a conservative voice in Congress, to be certain, but we thought his voice would bring “fresh leadership, energy and ideas.”

We see now that was a mistake – consider this our resolution of disapproval.

Gardner has been too busy walking a political tight rope to be a leader. He has become precisely what we said in our endorsement he would not be: “a political time-server interested only in professional security.”

Gardner was not among the 12 Republicans who joined Democrats in rejecting President Donald Trump’s use of a national emergency declaration to allocate funds to a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

We fully expect to disagree with our lawmakers from time to time — in fact we’ve been critical of Gardner but stuck by him through tough but defensible votes including the attempted repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

And:

To be honest we were surprised by Gardner’s vote. It’s completely inconsistent with every stance he has taken on Trump’s presidency. He told reporters in 2017 that “I don’t think the wall is the best idea,” and in a telephone town hall a month later he said, “I believe we have to have border security, but I do think billions of dollars on a wall is not the right way to proceed.”

And:

Gardner was a never-Trumper in the primary who in recent months endorsed the president’s re-election campaign even as Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation continues to unveil the worst of this administrations web of lies and deceit. Tuesday’s vote was the last straw.

We no longer know what principles guide the senator and regret giving him our support in a close race against Mark Udall.