Hoping Donald Trump doesn't make the same mistake George Bush, Sr. did

In late 1990, the Democrats, who had majorities in both houses of Congress, maneuvered President George H.W. Bush into signing a budget reconciliation act that raised income and other taxes.  The president thereby broke his repeated pledge not to raise taxes.  Many believe that this betrayal of his promises played a large role in his failure to win re-election in 1992.

Now the Democrats, without a majority in the Senate, but with an overwhelming advantage in the fake news media, are setting a similar trap for President Trump.  They are trying to maneuver him into signing some version of a so-called "Red Flag" law that would authorize the government to seize firearms of American citizens.  If the president takes the bait, he will break faith with his supporters, potentially setting up a replay of President Bush's 1992 reelection loss.

Aside from the howling, yowling, and caterwauling of the Democrats and their fake news claque, nothing has changed about so-called "Red Flag" laws.  They are still unconstitutional.  The president, and the citizenry, would be mistaken to allow such a law onto the books in the expectation that the courts will invalidate it.  The courts are unreliable as guardians of the Constitution.  It is equally the duty of the people, the Congress, and the Executive to uphold the Constitution, regardless whether the Judiciary is derelict in its duty.

Such a law would be subject to abuse.  Given the proclivity of the left for SWATing, abuse of legal and administrative procedures, lawfare, hoax hate crimes, etc., it is foreseeable that leftists will make a practice of calling in baseless red flag warnings against conservatives.

Such a law would be ineffective in reducing homicides by firearm, which is not surprising, since that would not be the main purpose of the law.  It would strip rights from persons who have committed no wrong.

Politically, the signing of such a law would win the President no friends on the Left, who only want power by any means they can get it, and it would wound his supporters, most of whom would not abandon him but would feel betrayal and loss of enthusiasm nonetheless.

President Trump is not only smarter than President Bush I, but also tougher, better able to resist pressure.  This much was shown by his decision to relocate the American Embassy to Jerusalem.  He probably will not fall for the Democrats' gambit.  But as the president himself likes to say, "Let's see what happens."

William Marbury is the pen name of a lawyer who works in the arts.

Image: Gage Skidmore via Flickr.