Sunday, February 17, 2019

Real Emergencies

Decline of the public schools and the country's commitment to equitable education.

The threat to our world because of the warming climate.

Continued poverty.

The fact that people go hungry in America.



Anti-anything related to ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation or religion.

Massive inequality in wealth between the wealthy and not so wealthy, whites and non-whites, industrialized, technologically advanced nations and those that are still trying to move themselves into the 19th century, much less the 21st.

Drug and opioid addiction.

Inequalities in the level of health care.

Shooting at schools, malls, bars, schools, places of work, concerts, ballparks, houses of worship, schools, houses, back yards, elevators, city streets, schools, country lanes, sports arenas, and schools.

The care and treatment of the mentally ill.

Alcoholism rates on Native American reservations and towns.

Our eroding, collapsing, dangerous infrastructure.

I'm sure there are some I've missed some, but these are the emergencies the president should be concerned about and these are the issues he should be funding through the constitutionally mandated process that Republicans have sworn to uphold. Oh, and if you want to build a wall or a fence or a barrier and support it with other border control initiatives that have some basis in reality, I am all for that. People should enter and stay in this country legally. Children who were brought by their parents and have led legal, productive lives should be able to stay. Pass an immigration law. Use the power of the executive to persuade Congress and the American people that what you want to do is necessary.

But don't do it like this.

The president had his chance when he had a Republican Congress, but because of his own ineptitude when it came to actually getting things done, he didn't have a plan, a structure, a staff, a coherent message or a negotiating strategy to get what he wanted. And if there was a real emergency at the border, then why not declare it two years ago and be done with it?

Because this isn't really about anything related to policy. It's a campaign stunt to galvanize the base. It's his fear that he won't be reelected because he didn't make good on his central promise; that Mexico would pay for the wall.

Oh, wait. That's not what's happening. You and I are paying for the wall. And we'll pay for the lawsuits that will wend their way through the local, state and federal courts in response to property takings, environmental concerns and, of course, the Constitution of the United States.

Remember the Constitution? This is a song about the Constitution.

I have zero confidence that the Trump Administration or the GOP will do anything except foul this up in their attempts to circumvent the laws and create a double-secret precedent that future presidents will use to declare emergencies, including more from Trump if he happens to win this gambit.

After all, why stop at the border wall? Why not an emergency over abortion? Arming teachers in schools? Kneeling during the anthem?

The biggest emergency? This presidency.

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