By Robert A. Vella
Tonight, President Trump will address the nation on live television in a last-ditch effort to salvage his politically-motivated border wall demand which has forced a damaging and worsening government shutdown. It is presumed he will take the extraordinary step of declaring a “national emergency” to circumvent the U.S. Congress by exercising executive powers never intended to be used for such brazenly partisan purposes. Trump’s address will likely be filled with blatant falsehoods and outright lies in a propaganda campaign to frighten Americans about the nonexistent danger posed by illegal immigration (see: Fact Check: Did the U.S. catch 4,000 terrorists at the southern border in 2018? and 9 things you should know before Trump starts spewing lies in Tuesday address to the nation). These are the age-old tactics of authoritarians, autocrats, despots, dictators, and tyrants; and, they are the tactics of Donald Trump.
But, until the time when Trump actually becomes dictator, he is constrained under a republican governmental system based on the rule of law which is applied through democratic practices. And, it is that very system which is causing defections within his own political party (see: House GOP leaders fear support eroding for Trump’s shutdown fight), and which would oppose this power grab should he be foolish enough to attempt it (see: To build border wall as a national emergency, Trump would need to tap existing military budget).
Whatever impulsive thoughts may be bouncing around in the twisted contours of a deranged mind may never be known, not even to Trump; however, his actions as president are far more relevant. Declaring a national emergency to build an ineffective and unnecessary border wall is unlikely to stand on constitutional grounds; and, even if it was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, it would automatically negate his sole reason for shutting down the federal government which is what has been most appeasing to Trump’s rabid right-wing base. Furthermore, neither a fraudulent national emergency nor a prolonged government shutdown will stop Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives or numerous federal and state law enforcement entities from investigating Trump’s corrupt and criminal behaviors.
In addition to Republicans in Congress who are breaking with Trump over this contrived fiasco, The Republican National Committee (RNC) has announced that it will abandon its plans to block primary challengers opposing Trump in the 2020 presidential election campaign (see: RNC won’t take further steps to protect Trump from primary challenge).
In other news:
National Security Advisor John Bolton’s recent move to delay or reverse President Trump’s decision to immediately withdrawal American forces from Syria has triggered an angry response from Turkey’s President Erdogan who is now demanding that U.S. military bases in the region be turned over to his nation’s control (see: Erdoğan chides Bolton and calls on US to hand over Syria bases).
A Russian lawyer – Natalia V. Veselnitskaya – who attended the infamous Trump Tower meeting during the 2016 presidential election campaign has been criminally charged (in absentia) with obstruction of justice relating to a money laundering scheme involving individuals with close ties to Vladimir Putin (see: Veselnitskaya, Russian in Trump Tower Meeting, Is Charged in Case That Shows Kremlin Ties).
Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort has submitted sealed documents (i.e. secret) to a federal court explaining why he didn’t violate the conditions of a plea deal (by lying) with the office of Special Counsel Robert Mueller (see: Manafort attorneys file response under seal to Mueller’s lying allegations).
U.S. greenhouse gas emissions have jumped significantly under the climate-change-denying, anti-environment administration of President Trump (see: US carbon emissions rise sharply in 2018).