The Washington Post‘s chief correspondent wrote in a column Saturday that Donald Trump declared his self-centeredness when asserting a national emergency against the wishes of the Republican Party.
“Though he expects loyalty from Republicans, President Trump has never demonstrated much fidelity to the party that he leads, and on Friday he proved it again,” columnist Dan Balz wrote.
“In declaring a national emergency to fund his border wall,” Balz continued, “the president reminded Republican lawmakers that he feels free to trample on them whenever it suits him.”
The columnist noted that GOP members of Congress had long been warning Trump against declaring a national emergency because they knew “it would represent a usurpation of congressional power over spending” — and that such a move, if successful, could be used to further Democratic aims when the opposing party takes the White House again.
“But Trump’s unhappiness played out late in the week in ways that again told Republican lawmakers that loyalty is a one-way street with him,” Balz wrote. “He agreed to sign the new funding agreement, but it came at the cost of forcing Republican officials to bend to his will on the declaration of a national emergency.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) offered another “pathetic moment for the concept of the separation of powers” when he announced Thursday night on the Senate floor that the president was to declare a national emergency and that he supports it, the columnist noted.
“For Republican lawmakers, these past weeks have been a bracing reminder of the man who hijacked their party in 2016 and re-created it in his image, a man who has forced them to live with the consequences,” Balz concluded. “Their relationship remains fraught, as this whole episode has illustrated.”
For Republicans, especially those in Congress, the national emergency debacle “was another reminder that, when it comes to Trump, it’s all about him and rarely about them,” he added.