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Letter: President Trump admits the obvious

February 18, 2019

In the Feb. 4 Cape Gazette, I argued that President Trump’s supposed “national emergency” at the border was nothing more than an unconstitutional power grab.

A week later, Steve Hyle and Geary Foertsch insisted the emergency was real.

I could cite statistics and quote experts, but why bother? President Trump himself is on my side.

Trump made that clear at Friday’s announcement, when he began talking about … other stuff. Here are some of the things Trump rambled on about before getting to the “national emergency”: trade talks with China, tariffs, a trade deal with the UK, how he’s rebuilding the military, the stock market, the summit with Kim Jong Un and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

Imagine President Roosevelt, on Dec. 8, 1941, babbling about trade and the economy before finally getting around to mentioning the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. It was already obvious the president realized his claim was bogus. But during the question-and-answer session, Trump dispensed with pretense and spoke the truth:

“I could do the wall over a longer period of time, I didn’t need to do this, but I’d rather do it much faster,” he said. “And I don’t have to do it for the election; I’ve already done a lot of wall for the election 2020. And the only reason we’re up here talking about this is because of the election.”

Wow, President Trump and I are on the same page. He admitted he didn’t need to do it, and that the only reason he’s talking about it is because of the 2020 election. Shortly afterward, conservative firebrand Ann Coulter branded the president’s announcement as baloney, tweeting, “The only national emergency is that our president is an idiot.”

It would be easy to joke about this, except our system of government is at stake. Congress has already ceded its constitutional power to declare war.

If Trump gets away with his phony “national emergency,” Congress will have abandoned its power of the purse. A future president - Republican or Democrat - would be free to declare a “national emergency” and spend taxpayer money as he or she pleases.

This should terrify Republicans and true conservatives, who love to pay lip service to the idea of limited government.

If it doesn’t, they should embrace the obvious: They’re neither truly Republican nor conservative. They’re Trump supporters, pure and simple.

And it will be up to the rest of us to defend our Constitution.

Don Flood
Lewes

 

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