Trump as Hercules Cleaning Out the Augean Stables

Last week in Viareggio, Italy, the citizens paraded with a huge float depicting President Trump as Hercules.  Looking at his many accomplishments against countless enemies and political opponents, the depiction was not inapt.  Like Hercules, he defeated the Queen of the Amazons, and this week, he's going on to clean out the Augean Stables.  In this respect, he's aided by the utter stupidity of his opponents.

A. The Green New Deal

For decades now, under the guise of environmental protection, the far left has tied down America's economy.  It's been largely gradual, hidden in fancy language and supported by those little harmed by these restrictions.  Last week, freshman congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, whose previous experience was bartending, and Senator Ed Markey, whose commercial experience before entering the political ring was driving an ice cream truck, proposed a Green New Deal.  Without reading it, all or most (I can't keep track of all of them) of the announced Democratic presidential candidates endorsed it, to their subsequent embarrassment when the details they hadn't bothered to read became known.  Ocasio-Cortez kindly provided a FAQ cheat sheet, which revealed how insane the plan was.  When the details were known, she withdrew it, offering up various versions of why it wasn't the real Cliff's Notes of the deal.

In any event, taking advantage of the opportunity to put the Democrats to the test, Senator majority leader Mitch McConnell announced he'd bring the resolution to the Senate floor for a vote, at which time cosponsor Ed Markey accused McConnell of "sabotage" and trying to "silence" voters. 

Tom Maguire had fun with the charge

Uh huh.  Voting on the bill is "sabotage".  And if Trump were to sign it Pelosi would probably view it as an impeachable offense (mental incapacity?!?).  What's Markey's message, "Stop me before I speak again"?

Now, let me have a To Be Fair moment: Markey might have envisioned committee hearings, expert testimony, and a chance to build public support for his pandering left-wing dreamscape.  After which the bill would die in committee, where only a few sacrificial lambs from the Democratic side would have to stand and be slaughtered counted. But, ooops — now they will all have a chance at Auto-beclownment.

So, a possible dodge — Markey and the Dem Senate leadership could pull a page from the Mitch-Fu playbook and filibuster their own bill.  Would that be even more embarrassing?  Do these guys (and gals!) even know what embarrassment is anymore?

Buck Sexton had fun with this jiu-jitsu, too:

Cory Booker joined the Dem Weirdo Show this past week.  Cortez-Markey's plan to save the planet by eliminating airplane travel (about which even Hawaiian lefty Mazie Hirono had reservations absent a high speed over-the-ocean railroad to Hawaii) and killing cows wasn't enough for him.  He wanted us all to become vegans to sustain the planet.  No meat, no eggs, just vegetables and fruit.  (It boggles the mind to think how much farmland it would take to substitute vegetable protein for meat and eggs and where in the world all that fertilizer would come from.)

Newt Gingrich tweeted an observation: "So Democrats can get the Vegan vote and Republicans can get everyone who goes to McDonald's. Wendy's Burger King, Arby's, Chick-Fil-A, Outback, Ruth's Chris, etc. etc."

Cortez and Markey weren't the only ones upset that people quoted them.

Andrew McCabe, who earlier in the week testified to his participation in an attempted coup to remove the president from office, later contested "his own words." 

B. The Wall Showdown

And then there's the Wall.

This week after the conference committee on the border (and other spending) bill finished its opus: a 1,159-page report, lawmakers had about 40 hours to learn before the vote was taken.  It was full of poison pills concerning the wall and border security in an obvious strategy to force the president to sign it or force the government to shut down in the absence of any spending authorization.  What he did instead was sign the bill over his own objections and declare that the situation at the border is a national emergency, which allows him to take affirmative measures to secure the border and to ignore the most onerous restrictions the conference committee had agreed to impose on his ability to restrict illegal entries into the U.S. from across the southern border.

To be sure, there will be a lot of leftist and media criticism and suggestions to the Democrats as to how to end-run it.  To aid you in understanding the issue, I suggest this comprehensive article written five years ago in USA Today, which, I think, provides the clearest history of emergency proclamations. 

In sum, at that point in time, there were already 30 stated separate emergency proclamations or executive orders in effect.  Each gives presidents broad extraordinary powers including "seizing property, call[ing] up the National Guard and hir[ing] and fir[ing] military officers at will. "

Among the other powers are suspending environmental laws, bypassing federal contracting laws, and buying and selling federal property without competitive bidding.

(President Obama declared 13 national emergencies, of which 11 are still active.  Bill Clinton used this authority 17 times; President Trump has used it only three times to date.)

In 1976, Congress passed the National Emergencies Act.  Since then, presidents have declared "at least 53 states of emergency." 

If Congress doesn't agree with the emergency power declaration, the 1976 Act provides a remedy — and I think it is the only remedy consistent with that act and the Constitution: passing a bill to rescind it, something Ocasio-Cortez has said she will try to do.  (Speaker Pelosi talked earlier of seeking judicial relief, but it's my opinion that the act, consistent with the separation of powers, provides the only route to overturn it.)  I do not see rescission passing muster in both houses of Congress, no matter how much the NYT and others wish that were so.

But should it, the president can veto it, and I doubt that the left has sufficient votes to overturn that. 

The author of the USA Today article notes, "In 38 years, only one resolution has been introduced to cancel an emergency."  That occurred in 2005, when President George W. Bush declared an emergency post-Katrina, providing that reconstruction need not be done under the Bacon-Davis Act requiring workers to be paid prevailing wages.  In that instance, President Bush revoked it within two months, so no resolution to revoke it was passed.

Apart from the likelihood that the act's own provision on rescission provides the only relief, there's a longstanding rule of law that one must avail oneself of all available remedies before seeking judicial relief, which means no reasonable court would entertain this until after a resolution to rescind was tried and failed.  Moreover, it's difficult to see how the House of Representatives would meet the legal hurdles of standing to pursue the claim.

The president has already been at work building portions of the wall.  Bills are pending in four states to raise funds to build it.  The Democrats' latest cutie-pie candidate, Beto O'Rourke said, "Walls do not save lives; walls end lives," reasoning that walls will only force illegals to take chances on entering in from more dangerous, remote places.  Such is the brainpower of the left.

While Pelosi took off during the shutdown and later during the negotiations to vacation in luxury, Trump was hard at work, setting the table — that is, making Americans aware of the dangers inherent in the open borders policies.  The Democrats fell into a trap by insisting on provisions in the compromise bill that no rational border-defender could agree to.  I think they bid a low pair of cards against Trump's royal flush, and they will lose.

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