Looking strongly

Can Trump give himself emergency powers if there’s no emergency?

“We are looking at it very strongly,” Trump told reporters on Sunday. “We’re looking at a national emergency, because we have a national emergency.”

How do you look at something “very strongly”? He can’t even word, and he wants emergency powers.

Also, we don’t have a national emergency of the kind he means. We have a national emergency that Trump is president.

Congress could reject the president’s emergency declaration with a vote in both the House and Senate. But the Republican-controlled Senate seems unlikely to take that step. Instead, critics would very likely pursue a legal challenge.

“I think the president would be wide open to a court challenge saying, ‘Where’s the emergency?’ ” Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, told ABC.

“Emergency” doesn’t mean “more people seeking asylum than Donald Trump would like.”

[Elizabeth Goitein, co-director of the Liberty and National Security Program at the Brennan Center for Justice] also cautioned that a resort to emergency powers in the current situation — in the midst of a standoff with lawmakers that has produced a partial government shutdown — could be considered an abuse of the president’s power.

“Emergency powers are intended to be used for emergencies, not to settle political disputes or to shortcut the political process,” Goitein said.

Would a wall be just a great thing?

Trump has insisted since the 2016 campaign that a physical barrier along the U.S. border with Mexico is the solution to what he sees as a crisis.

“Walls work,” the president wrote in a letter to lawmakers last week. “That’s why rich, powerful, and successful people build them around their homes. All Americans deserve the same protection.”

He means himself when he says “rich, powerful, and successful people.” He thinks that’s the only kind of people to be, and he thinks he’s the most rich, powerful, and successful person of all.

But not all rich, powerful, and successful people do build walls around their houses, and of the ones who do, not all of them think that therefore there should be a wall keeping Mexico and points south out of our nice shiny expensive stuff.

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