With President Trump simultaneously fighting much of his own party as well as Democrats, a Yogi Berra classic fits the occasion: “It’s deja vu all over again.”
More than two years into his presidency, Trump is once again at odds with most of Washington. The first veto of his presidency reflects his predicament, one of many perils he faces on the road to 2020.
The politics notwithstanding, the president is right to use executive power to find more funds for border barriers and security. To do otherwise would be to betray his promises to secure the border and his responsibility to protect America.
On the surface, his battle with Democrats and the 12 Republican Senators who voted against him is over the power of the purse. Congress won’t give him the money he wants, so Trump aims to use other money with his emergency declaration. By vetoing the resolution that aimed to stop him, the president invites a court fight.
Yet despite the fact that Trump took his eye off the border-wall issue for too long, his action now is justified by the surging streams of migrants crossing illegally. As Attorney General William Barr said at Friday’s veto event, the combination of security concerns and the humanitarian crisis creates a “clear and present danger” to America.
Barr’s comments are significant, given his sterling reputation and that his agency will have to battle numerous lawsuits. The crisis, he said, “is exactly the kind of emergency” the relevant law envisioned.
Claims by opponents that there is no emergency are the essence of fake news. With more than 1 million people likely to cross illegally this year, how would they define an emergency? Two million? Three million?