President Trump is slated to address the country from the Oval Office tonight to rant about the “crisis” at the southern border that he has manufactured out of thin air to justify his xenophobic and wasteful wall. It will almost certainly prove to be little more than a cheap stunt, and he’s doing it is because the Democratic takeover of the House of Representatives prevents him from funding his pet barrier through legitimate avenues.
Disturbingly, there seems to be a nonzero chance that Trump enters heretofore unexplored authoritarian waters tonight by abusing his executive powers to declare a state of emergency and send the military to build the border wall. He has been flirting with the idea recently, and the sudden announcement of tonight’s presidential address feels ominous with that in mind.
I am pleased to inform you that I will Address the Nation on the Humanitarian and National Security crisis on our Southern Border. Tuesday night at 9:00 P.M. Eastern.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 7, 2019
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The fact that the Republican Party has not denounced the idea en masse shows you just how rotten to the core the party of “small government” has become. If President Obama had suggested using his office in the imperial fashion that Trump is now considering, conservatives would have taken to the streets with guns and bombs.
Earlier today, Vice President Mike Pence addressed the “emergency” in a conversation with ABC News, but rather than hedging his bets or delivering a measured take on the issue he went all in with Trump, throwing his full support behind the president’s narrative and laying down the groundwork to support Trump declaring a state of emergency if he ends up doing it.
It’s a disgusting clip and fully demonstrates that Pence is not some innocent satellite in the administration, he is not a principled conservative, and he is not the adult in the room. He is a full-blown MAGA opportunist, with all the cruelty and selfish ambition that goes along with it.
Ahead of President Trump's primetime address tonight, Vice President Mike Pence claims that the crisis at the southern border is a "bona fide emergency" in one-on-one interview with ABC News' @jonkarl https://t.co/uowmwFIAvC pic.twitter.com/pQJJgSHKbM
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) January 8, 2019
Shortly after the Pence video went up online, popular Republican strategist Anna Navarro took to Twitter to slam the Vice President for his Trumpian sycophancy. She admitted that while she once thought he was just “a little naive or playing dumb or being out of the loop,” she now realizes she was giving him far too much credit.
Navarro said Pence is “knowingly and shamefully complicit.”
While this has long been apparent to many Americans who deemed it unwise to extend the benefit of the doubt to anyone willing to serve in an administration as cruel and corrupt as this one, it’s good to see that Pence’s unearned reputation as a man of character is finally crumbling.
At one point, I thought this guy was a little naive or playing dumb or being left out of the loop. But, nah. He’s knowingly and shamefully complicit. https://t.co/jFt7tq6YWj
— Ana Navarro (@ananavarro) January 8, 2019