Last Friday, the Nation looked on, some in amazement, as the President declared a National Emergency in order to obtain congressionally-denied funding for his much touted Southern Border Wall. At the news conference that ensued, reporter after reporter peppered the President with questions concerning the specious facts on which he bases the rationale for the edifice. The arguments against the wall still fall silent on the President and his base. Further, they will continue to do so and only act as further distractions from the real story at play here.
If one reviews the actions, speeches, statements and tweets since the President announced his candidacy, two trends exist. First, the President will do whatever he can to remain true to his base. Reports that personalities like Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, and Laura Ingraham guide his decisions more than his more qualified and experienced political experts like Senators McConnell, Paul or Cruz serve as only one example of this fact. Secondly, the President has laser-focused on his re-election chances in 2020. His comments on Friday’s presentation in the Rose Garden give proof to his true intent.
News anchors, reports, and pundits have spent the last two days focusing on how the President’s actions violate the First Amendment of the Constitution and the numerous law suits filed to stop the move. Further, they have posited the idea that the President Trump’s actions set a precedent that could possibly allow a more left-leaning chief executive to challenge tenants of the Second Amendment, or worse. The Congressional Democrats have promised to fight this decision with all the fervor they can muster. This is a distraction, and probably the best President Trump has delivered to date. So, what is the President trying to get us to ignore?
The real story is that this latest action falls in line with the two themes stated above. President Trump gave the best clues to the true underlying strategy in his Rose Garden comments on Friday. One of two scenarios will play out in the coming days and weeks.
Scenario 1: The Congress and Senate will rise and do their jobs. They will repulse the National Emergency declaration and bat down this unconstitutional action. While Congressional and Senate Democrats will feel they’ve won a battle, Republicans in both houses will incur the President’s Twitter-based wrath. However, the President will emerge from this event unscathed, unlike the last Government shut-down. He will plead that deep-state forces co-opted his plans and demand that Republican defectors also face their recompense in the next election. In the end, he wins because his base will feel vindicated in their choice to stand with him, yet again.
Scenario 2: As the President predicted in last Friday’s post-announcement, this decision will see multiple unsuccessful court battles that will culminate in a lost Supreme Court case. The President again wins with his base. He will claim victory, stating his did his best but once again ran afoul of deep-state conspirators, this time in the Supreme Court. Much like in the case of the scaled-down Muslim ban, the President will declare victory with his base. Once again, his base will rally to him.
In both cases, the President will enter the 2020 election campaign season with his base in-tact. His theory: this solid 35% of the American electorate will serve as a base on which he can mount a successful campaign.
The President is no doubt making notes for his next famous book, “The Art of the Distraction”. And thus far, his practice of the art has provided flawless results, as far as his base is concerned. He has convinced them that their problems emanate from a group of people who act, look and speak differently than they do – a xenophobic-centered fear that has no basis in reality.
A reading of the Constitution’s First Amendment by even the most barely literate person provides the same conclusion-this action violates that document’s intent. Data from the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI clearly state that illegal crossings of the border are still in the midst of a multi-year decline and that most illegal drugs arrive in the US through official ports of entry. When one considers our $3.8 Trillion budget, the President’s request of $5-9 Billion is “budget dust”, a relatively insignificant amount. None of this matters. It matters not to the argument against the wall for his base nor does it matter to the President.
What matters is that the politically-manufactured crisis on the border has but one goal: President Trump’s re-election in 2020. He said as much last Friday.