Politics

Both sides: The never ending story

Consider just how lazy you have to be to write something like this:

President Trump’s repeated threat to declare a national emergency so he can build his border wall without congressional approval has been denounced by Democrats as extreme and an overreach. But it could be the only politically realistic way out of the shutdown crisis in the nation’s capital.

“I think we might work a deal, and if we don’t, I may go that route. I have the absolute right to do national emergency if I want,” Mr. Trump told reporters on Wednesday. “My threshold will be if I can’t make a deal with people that are unreasonable.”

If the president does invoke emergency powers to circumvent Congress, it would be an extraordinary violation of constitutional norms — and establish a precedent for presidents who fail to win approval for funding a policy goal.

But Mr. Trump’s threatened move offers both sides a face-saving solution in the budget standoff between the president and congressional Democrats that has prompted a partial government shutdown, which, if it lasts to Saturday, will be at 22 days the longest in American history.

Both sides have taken absolutist positions that leave no room for the kind of split-the-difference compromise that usually ends budget impasses.

Yes the Democrats can “save face” by not having to acknowledge that they have simply forced Donald Trump to engage in what even Charlie Savage characterizes as “an extraordinary violation of constitutional norms.”

But the president using the Constitution as toilet paper is a small price to pay if the alternative is forcing reporters to be a little more honest and tiny bit more hardworking, instead of hitting the bothsides macro for the eleventyzillionth time.

BTW in case you’re wondering there’s no mention in this 1500-word story that Republicans controlled the entire federal government for two years, and the Great Wall of MAGA didn’t get funded then, either.

 


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