A Bigger Defeat Than You Might Think

So Unidicted Co-conspirator Bottomless Pinocchio lost 12 Republicans in the Senate during his showdown over an Emergency Declaration to fund his Vanity Project Penis Wall O’ Racism and that might seem bad enough, but it’s actually much worse.

He Whipped them, “whipped” in this sense meaning he made the vote explicitly a test of personal and Party loyalty and reached out to individually contact and lobby each of the 53 Senators in his Caucus.

It was a miserable failure. Indeed a last minute delegation of Lindsey Graham, Ted Cruz, and Ben Sasse was virtually kicked out as trespassers. The Art Of The Deal baby.

Does this mean there may be some movement on Pelosi style bi-partisan Impeachment?

No.

It is significant in that it makes the record clear for the Courts which will ultimately decide the Constitutionality of this “Emergency” that there is bi-partisan consensus that Congress does not want to spend any money on the Vanity Project Penis Wall O’ Racism and has taken extraordinary action to prevent it.

You can’t spend willy-nilly as if it was all some huge pot of greenbacks to be thrown at whatever you want. It’s Congress’ dough and if you look at the programs that will be looted and pillaged you’ll find a fair amount is being stolen from Representative’s and Senator’s Districts and States and that might not sit so well with their constituents.

Trump rages as fresh signs of his weakness emerge
By Greg Sargent, Washington Post
March 15, 2019

There is probably no better way to demonstrate one’s manly strength and control than firing off a tweet in capital letters. So it is that, when a dozen GOP senators defied President Trump’s orders and voted to terminate his declaration of a national emergency, his powerful Twitter thumbs sprang into action: “VETO!”

The thrilling message to his supporters: Trump’s got this. He’s totally in command of the situation.

But we are now learning new details about just how personally involved Trump was in trying to prevent defections among GOP senators. It turns out Trump aggressively sought to make this vote all about himself — frequently warning that he would unleash the cult-like wrath of his voters if the Senate didn’t do his bidding — and raged as that effort failed.

What makes this so odd is that even though the Senate and House have now voted to terminate Trump’s national emergency, he actually can veto the measure, and his emergency will proceed. So why the histrionics? One possible answer is that, for Trump, even this interim loss represented an unacceptable display of weakness — with ominous portents for the future.

The Post also reports that White House aides informed undecided GOP senators that Trump was paying close attention to their votes, as White House aides worked to “keep the number of Republican defectors in the single digits.”

The New York Times reports that Trump made a “volley of phone calls” to Senate Republicans and “warned them of the electoral consequences of defying him.”

The Times adds that when this effort failed to persuade Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Trump “flew into a rage.”

The key point here is that Trump’s effort to make this vote all about “border security” failed. Republican senators objected to Trump’s national emergency declaration on separation-of-powers grounds: He used it to gain wall funding that Congress had just denied him. But over and over, Trump commanded them to see this as only about border security, and about him.

Notably, Trump repeatedly threatened them with the idea that his own supporters would see it this way, too, and that this should frighten them very deeply. But it didn’t.

Why did Trump invest so much in this one vote, when he always had the option of a “VETO!” to render its outcome moot?

Well, for one thing, a large congressional rebuke on this could weaken his legal stance. Multiple lawsuits underway argue that Trump’s national emergency violated the Constitution by using the emergency to secure funds Congress had explicitly denied him. Senate Republicans have now reiterated Congress’s opposition to funding the wall.

But there’s another plausible explanation for Trump’s rage about this vote: It’s rooted in the same impulse that leads him to keep claiming the wall is currently being built, when it isn’t.

As Trump gears up for his reelection campaign, his aides have been instructing his followers to bellow “Finish the wall!” rather than “Build the wall!” Trump is extremely sensitive to the nuances of what is chanted at his rallies. As Trump himself recently put it: “The chant now should be ‘Finish the wall’ instead of ‘Build the wall,’ because we’re building a lot of wall.”

We actually aren’t. But all this is a reminder of how deeply entangled the wall is with Trump’s belief that his hold on his followers depends on creating the impression that he’s winning everywhere and that he’s perpetually taking control of events.

Crucial to maintaining this impression throughout has been Trump’s insistence that he has bent his whole party to his will on “border security.” (Please remember: Republicans didn’t fund his wall when they held both houses of Congress.) During the government shutdown, news reports indicated that Republicans were splintering, and Trump raged that “there is GREAT unity” on “Strong Border Security,” despite the “Fake News Media” reporting otherwise. But Trump’s capital-letter tweets couldn’t make that true, and he caved. The declaration of the national emergency after that, similarly, was all about projecting action and control.

Now Trump’s command that Republicans see their national emergency vote as one about border security failed. We’ve learned this came after extensive browbeating, including the threat to unleash the anger of Trump voters. But the national emergency is deeply unpopular, and the legal arguments for it are deeply absurd. In the face of that threat, as frightening as it was, reality proved overwhelming.

Trump will do his “VETO!,” and the national emergency will continue. But the wall still faces extensive legal obstacles, and it still isn’t being built. It’s hard to say whether this will ultimately cost Trump with his supporters. But judging by all his behind-the-scenes raging to keep Republicans in line, he certainly seems to think something is amiss.

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