The editors of The Bulwark, a conservative news and opinion website that arose out of the ashes of the shuttered Weekly Standard, ripped into the Republican leaders and rank and file members for idly standing by while Donald Trump declared a national emergency because he didn’t get what he wanted in their budget bill.
The editors got right to the point beginning their piece: “Now that President Trump has declared a national emergency to circumvent Congress and build his wall, Republican legislators face a time for choosing: Support Trump or the rule of law.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) was singled out for specific scorn.
“With Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s abdication of his institutional and constitutional responsibility, who will step forward to make the case and organize other Republican senators to uphold the rule of law?” they charged. “Who will speak for the non-autocratic wing of the Republican party?”
“In the short term, Trump’s move may give the illusory impression of a win: It keeps the government open and Trump and his supporters can pretend that he is fulfilling a campaign promise. (Except for the awkward fact that Mexico is not paying for the wall, the wall wouldn’t go from sea to shining sea, and the proposed wall would not really be a wall,” the attack continued.
“Conservatives once understood the concept of ‘unintended consequences,’ and they are not only going to get a refresher course, they are likely to get it good and hard. How bad could it be?” the piece continued. “The worst-case scenario for the GOP is if Trump’s power grab succeeds. If the courts uphold the president’s sweeping power to declare emergencies and abrogate Congress’s Article I powers, the damage to the constitutional equilibrium is likely to last for generations.”
Writing that, ” Republican members of Congress need to remember what the Constitution demands of them,” the editors demanded that they vote against Trump’s proposal and make him veto their bill, but didn’t hold out much hope.
“It is critically important to have a vote in both Houses on the emergency declaration. Of course, Trump will veto the congressional action, but even if the votes to override aren’t there, it is right and proper to put our elected officials on record at this moment of truth,” they wrote. ” hey will have to choose whether they are willing to cross this red line for a fictional emergency and an imaginary wall.”
Several GOP senators were singled out for scrutiny, with the editorial continuing, “We hope that this will be the moment when senators such as Mitt Romney, Susan Collins, Marco Rubio, and Ron Johnson put their constitutional obligations ahead of their party loyalties. But all members of Congress take the same oath of office.”
The Bulwark piece bluntly concluded: “This is their moment to live up to that oath.”
You can read more here.