Just leaked today that Senator McConnell, Trump’s echo, has indicated that Trump will declare a national emergency today, even as he signs a compromise bill with Pelosi and the Dems to fully fund his Wall. Mainstream media thinks this is big time news. Comes as a surprise. But I predicted it back on January 7, 2019 in a tweet @drjackrasmus.com.
To quote myself in response to talk whether Trump will declare a national emergency to get his way on the Wall:
“Can (and will) Trump declare national emergency to fund his wall? Yes and Yes. Dem Congress in 1976 law gave him wide powers. 100s laws since say which. He’ll move $ from Defense budget to wall. Dems to be outmaneuvered again. US slouching further toward dictatorship”
Pelosi and Dems will act indignant. But as the historical record is clear, the Dems gave him this authority decades ago. Congress has been steadily giving up its authority to an Imperial Presidency for decades. Now we’re about to move into an era of legislation by Executive-Presidential action. So much for checks and balances and the basic structure of the US Constitution.
Under the US Constitution only the House of Representatives can initiate spending authorization and define how much will be spent on what. That era is over. Now the President can declare emergency and spend on whatever he wants. That’s another drift in US democracy toward dictatorship. That is, where the executive accretes legislative function to itself and ‘dictates’ what will be spent on what and when.
Trump has deep proclivities toward tyranny (ie. sees himself above the law, the definition of a Tyrant) and toward rule by dictate (where he declares law and spends as he wants, not the elected legislature).
So what will the Dems do now? Essentially nothing, I predict. They will huff and puff and file legal suits and use it all as ammunition for their re-election plans in 2020. But will they impeach Trump? Not a chance. They’ll just hold hearings now until November 2020.
What about the Mueller Report and forthcoming indictment? Will they use that to go after Trump now that he’s taking over some of their legislative function by declaring national emergency? Don’t expect much there either. There already are signs that the Mueller ‘Report’ the public gets to see will be an abridged, edited, and carefully whitewashed version. The real report will be shown to only a select few Congresspersons, in secret behind closed doors. And they will have to agree not to discuss it publicly as a condition of reading it. But without public pressure, nothing will happen. There can be no Democracy without public access to what the government is doing.
Meanwhile the Neocons are back in the drivers’ seat in the Trump administration. Bolton, Pompeio, Navarro, Lighthizer,–with mouthpieces like Coulter, Hannity, and others shouting in the background–are running policy. On the foreign policy front, preparations for deploying tactical nuclear war are moving forward, early stages of a proxy invasion of Venezuela are underway, the US is pulling out of treaties with Russia and moving forces closer to its border, phony negotiations pervade the mainstream media, for public consumption, about negotiations with North Korea, the US is adopting a hard line to thwart and stop China technology development, US allies in Europe and elsewhere being ‘brought into line’ to accept US policies or pay the price of sanctions or worse. In short, the US empire is gathering up its loose ends and preparing for a new phase, to restore its global hegemony in a more aggressive foreign policy form.
On the domestic US front, as neoliberal economic policies are being intensified under Trump (i.e. tax cuts for the rich and their corporations, more war spending, more free money from the Fed to subsidize the markets, coming attacks on social security, medicare, educations, etc.) in what is becoming increasing clear is an more aggressive, Neoliberal 2.0 form, the domestic political and Democracy landscape is being whittled away and reconstructed in order to make way and ensure the more aggressive neoliberal economic policies become embedded and institutionalized for another decade.
In other words, what we see happening in the US today is a more aggressive and confrontational US foreign policy, and an intensifying subsidization of capital incomes, amidst an atrophying of Democratic Rights and civil liberties at home. The new, nasty, more aggressive foreign policy and further destruction of US democratic rights are just the consequence of Trump’s new, aggressive neoliberal economic policies. The US elite know the next recession, coming soon, will significantly exacerbate the economic problems at home, while intensifying the political instability abroad. And they are preparing–at home and abroad.
Trump’s imminent declaration of national emergency to get his wall–a big leap toward circumventing the US House and Congress and the US Constitution–is just the latest event in this historical economic and political drift.
Jack Rasmus is author of the forthcoming book, ‘The Scourge of Neoliberalism: US Policy from Reagan to Trump’, Clarity Press, 2019. He hosts the weekly radio show, ‘Alternative Visions’ on the Progressive Radio Network, blogs at jackrasmus.com, and his twitter handle is @drjackrasmus.