I’m no lawyer, but I’m pretty sure the bar for “national emergency” should be higher than “the president will look like a dissembling dipshit otherwise.”
As the government shutdown drags on, lawyers from the White House, the Department of Homeland Security and the Pentagon are meeting to discuss whether President Donald Trump can declare a national emergency to deploy troops and Defense Department resources to build his border wall, according to two sources with knowledge of the discussions.
One of the sources, a senior administration official, said the White House has kept this option on the table for some time, but is now considering it more seriously.
“Depending on the severity of crisis, it’s always been an option. Now that things are getting worse, we are looking at how that could be operationalized and used to confront the crisis,” the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
Of course, given that this country has survived for 242 years without a giant wall along the entire length of its southern border, it’s hard to imagine how this could be an emergency. If it is, it’s a really, really, really slow-boiling one.
And since undocumented Mexican immigrants are actually leaving at a higher rate than they’re arriving, you can’t say the situation — however you want to frame it — is getting “worse.”
In fact, by any reasonable measure, it’s not:
However, the numbers of border crossers are not at all-time highs. Fiscal year 2018, which ended Sept. 30, saw a lower numbers of illegal border crossings than fiscal year 2014 or fiscal year 2016.
The emergency is this: Our president is a vainglorious idiot and he doesn’t care how many lives he ruins or how much expensive stuff he breaks. That emergency should be easy to address — not with millions of steel slats, but with just a few more steel spines.
Unfortunately, those are pretty hard to come by these days.
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