How you enjoying your national emergency thus far?
Been several days now.
I assume you’ve been practicing your drop, roll, and cover moves. Or pricing steel window bars.
Or meeting with fellow citizens to discuss the viability of jointly investing in neighborhood moats.
After all, a “national emergency” surely means imminent danger, in this case criminal hordes crashing our borders in unending caravans, spreading across the land to threaten not only our way of life, but our very lives.
Drugs, disease, and worse, that I can tell you, according to many, many stats.
Things are so bad that right after declaring the emergency last Friday, President Donald Trump left the White House for the relative safety of West Palm Beach and, very cleverly, the one place no one would look to find a sitting president in the middle of a “national emergency” – a golf course. For three straight days.
Kudos to the Secret Service. Truly a great protection plan.
For me, our emergency evokes fond memories of the 1966 comedy classic featuring Alan Arkin, the Academy Award-nominated film The Russians Are Coming! The Russians Are Coming!
For those unfamiliar, a Soviet sub accidentally runs aground on an island off New England, and to clear the town of watchful residents, a few Soviet sailors venture out with a message (delivered through thick accents): “Emergency, everybody to get from streets.”
As you might imagine, hilarity ensues. But it all turns out fine There’s no real emergency. And life goes on.
Ah, but for us? There’s an emergency all right. Just one of a different nature.
What we have is an emergency of senseless politics. Especially from the right, but also from the left.
On one hand, there’s the “finish-the-wall” fringe fueled by the transparent political efforts of a president fighting to keep his promise of a “big, beautiful wall” along the southern border, paid for by Mexico.
And since Mexico, at least for now, appears reluctant to pony up the pesos, the president says the wall will be built with billions of our tax dollars from a variety of sources he claims to have full authority to draw upon.
This produces a situation in which opponents of Trump, the wall, and the emergency declaration — and, OK, those who understand and respect the Constitution — are embarked on what promises to be years-long litigation.
This coming from the Democratic House, multiple governors, state attorneys general, private landowners, and others that, in many if not most cases, will end up costing taxpayers Lord-know-what in legal fees.
(Ever notice the worse things get for taxpayers, the better they get for lawyers?)
Trump is handing his base the tools to ratchet up support for him headed into 2020, while handing Democrats an anvil to hammer on all the way to Election Day.
Politics is served well by this.
But those who believe our “leaders” should focus on health care, education, economic inequality, drug addiction, infrastructure, college debt, climate change, gun policy, and other issues actually impacting people’s lives? Not so much.
Polling in a border state (done by the Arizona Daily Star) released just after the declaration shows respondents don’t think a wall will have much impact on illegal immigration, 57-22.
Polling released Tuesday (NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist) shows national disapproval of an emergency declaration to build the wall, 61-36.
Yet it goes on. Along with other out-there distractions.
A nonbinding congressional resolution on the environment, the Green New Deal, is cranking up political crazy and promising a Senate debate over getting rid of cows and cars and ending air travel (which, given what it’s become, might not be a bad idea), all while forgetting that the source of said debate is a nonbinding resolution.
Oh, and talk of free college, free health care for all, guaranteed income and such?
Is that coming from pols in the 10 states that have (so far) legalized marijuana?
I’m talkin’ to you, Bernie.
And what about those planned dozen Democratic presidential debates — six this year, six next year, the first two in June and July limited to 20 candidates?
Maybe Trump can declare a national emergency to stop that.
We’ve got an emergency all right. But it’s only partly what Trump-backer-turned-Trump-goader Ann Coulter said: “The only national emergency is that our president is an idiot.” It’s also the fact that both sides think all the rest of us are idiots.