Donald Trump

Trump's National Emergency Is an American Obscenity

Republicans embrace presidential authoritarianism, continuing a foul bipartisan tradition of legislating immigration through the executive branch.


||| Leah Millis/REUTERS/Newscom
Leah Millis/REUTERS/Newscom

When then-president Barack Obama attempted in November 2014 to expand the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program to protect an additional 3.7 million illegal immigrants from deportation, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R–S.C.), a longtime supporter of comprehensive immigration reform, opposed the move. Indeed, he signed onto an amicus brief challenging the executive order at the Supreme Court.

"What is at stake in this matter is nothing less than an effort to supplant Congress's constitutional power," the brief read. "There is little doubt that the Executive adopted the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents ('DAPA') program as part of an explicit effort to circumvent the legislative process."

Graham, who has since graduated to the chairmanship of the Senate Judiciary Committee, was right then. He's a disgrace now.

President Donald Trump, according to the latest reporting, is "laying the groundwork for a declaration of national emergency to build [a] border wall," telling his phone buddy Sean Hannity last night: "Now if we don't make a deal with Congress, most likely I will do that….I would actually say I would. I can't imagine any reason why not because I'm allowed to do it. The law is 100 percent on my side."

Needless to say, people with more familiarity with law don't share the president's view. "The validity of this claim is dubious at best," Ilya Somin explains at The Volokh Conspiracy. "It's a terrible idea," editorializes National Review. "Even if it's legal—which is unclear, at best—it would represent another unwelcome step in America's long march toward unilateral government by the executive." Opines NR's David French: "If you look at the plain language and clear intent of the relevant statutes, they do not permit Trump to defy Congress and build his wall. He knows it. Congress knows it. His own lawyers know it."

The congressional Republican most vocally opposed to the national-emergency scheme is, unsurprisingly, the self-described libertarian Rep. Justin Amash (R–Mich.). "I think it would be a huge mistake," Amash told Michigan Advance yesterday, "and it would be a massive executive overreach….There's no national emergency. Obviously, there are problems at the border, but to declare a national emergency—and assume all sorts of powers—would be way beyond what I think is authorized."

But Amash's is a lonely view even within his own Freedom Caucus bloc of ostensible constitutionalists. "I would prefer the legislative option," Freedom Caucus Rep. Scott Perry (R–Pa.) tells The Huffington Post. "But if he keeps on trying and trying and trying, and the other side is so intractable that they refuse to discuss it, what other option do you have?"

This foul immigration cycle—legislative impasse, presidential policymaking, legal challenges, all lubricated by grotesque partisan hypocrisy—long predates Trump. Both Obama and George W. Bush, like the 45th president, deployed National Guard troops to the U.S.–Mexico border as political theater to influence legislation. Both consciously increased deportations as a reaction to Congress—Obama to demonstrate his seriousness about border security as a negotiating precursor, Bush to teach senators what the "consequences" would be for its inaction.

||| Reason

You can have sympathy for the desired ends of a policy while still opposing the unsound means. That's one of the core principles animating America's founding documents—redirecting government is supposed to be hard, not easy, requiring arduous navigation of co-equal branches and the protection of individual rights. Overriding congressional intent is supposed to come through the veto power, not situational emergency declarations.

Yes, presidents have wide latitude to prioritize law enforcement resources, declare national emergencies, and invoke "national security." And yes, Congress has serially and consciously abdicated even the most basic of its constitutionally mandated functions. The presidency gets more imperial by the day.

But the proper response to this pathology is not to shrug and say "what other option do you have," but rather to rally against America's creeping re-monarchization. As Mel Brooks taught us, it's good to be the king—but it's not so hot to be the king's subject. In a polarized country where only three of the past seven presidential winners received a majority of the popular vote, ceding new powers to the White House is a recipe for heightened social conflict. Particularly when the new power involves the deliberate trampling of property rights.

The forthcoming Elizabeth Warren administration would no doubt enjoy the power to re-write corporate charters, create a government-run pharmaceuticals industry, and spend a half-trillion dollars on public housing. But the Constitution requires that those who agree with such proposals convince enough legislators to get them passed, while not running afoul of the Bill of Rights. That is how the system was designed.

Congressional Republicans who endorse the declaration of an emergency that isn't an emergency, who support using presidential action and threats thereof as a backstop to legislative negotiations, might as well turn in their security passes. What is the point of a legislative branch that won't legislate? If we are to halt the long slide into one-man governance, politicians will have to adopt more than a situational constitutionalism—and voters will have to reject with prejudice those who'd rather kiss the president's ring than do their damn jobs.

NEXT: Brickbat: Relying on Guesswork

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  1. You’re going to need to found a whole other magazine to deal with all the flip flops and hypocrisies that happen during Washington’s constant power pendulum swings. The opposition party is almost always wary of usurpation of what should be separate and balanced power, right up until voters hand them the keys to 1600 PA Ave.

    1. Nah, man, it’s different this time.

    2. Whenever Team Red wins by 0.7%, they think they have an overwhelming mandate to outlaw abortion, crucify illegal sub-humans, etc.

      Whenever Team Blue wins by 0.7%, they think they have an overwhelming mandate to outlaw fossil fuels and crucify people who don’t speak perfect “political correctness” talk.

      Swing, pendulum, swing!!!

      1. The friction of the ever-increasing State is slowing down the pendulum, decreasing the swings, and I suppose that could be good in some ways; a bogged-down State is less able to cope with the sudden disruptive changes of new technology. But just as decreased supply increases prices, the decreased supply of State partisanship increases the price to be paid when available.

        Or another way: when government swung from side to side freely in the winds of public opinion, people didn’t give a shit as much because they knew they’d get their turn soon. Now that government is more bogged down, the swings are less and don’t satisfy as well, so the demands from each side remain and get worse.

        Or: I ramble a lot :-O

      2. For the record, Team Independent, Team Third Party, Team NOTA, and Team Doesn’t Vote at All constitute a greater percentage than Red or Blue. Yet Red and Blue run everything. How come?

        1. There are more gazelles and zebra than lions and cheetahs, but whom is eating whom?

        2. “Yet Red and Blue run everything.”

          Agreed, in the political arena at least, of course…

          Even worse yet, though, above and beyond RUNNING everything, is that they RUIN everything!

        3. For team Libertarian, it seems to be a general disgust to run for office.

          If the only people in office are the sleazeballs, then sleazeball policy is what you will get.

        4. Probably because most of them still end up voting for team red or blue. People need to learn that neither team red nor team blue are the solution but the problem. Then vote accordingly. If that does not happen we will continue to watch the republic fall. In the forty-seven years I’ve been voting I have never voted for either a dumb democrat or a ridiculous republican for president. If there is anyone running on any third party for a lower office I vote for them even if I don’t really like the particular party they are running on. All I ever hear from people is either you wasted your vote or you are the reason so and so won. Mostly from people who claim not to like either of the two parties.

    3. Waffle magazine. 🙂

  2. “I would prefer the legislative option,” Freedom Caucus Rep. Scott Perry (R?Pa.) tells The Huffington Post. “But if he keeps on trying and trying and trying, and the other side is so intractable that they refuse to discuss it, what other option do you have?”

    Man, he’s so right. At some point you have to give up the pretense of having principles to get what you want.

    1. And what says “principle” more than :

      (1) A pathetic joke of a wall,
      (2) To meet a non-existent emergency,
      (3) All as an exercise in branding
      (4) To satisfy a political base who sees governance as reality TV entertainment.

      If that isn’t worth defecating all over the Constitution, what is?

      1. Good thing national defense is an enumerated power in the Constitution.

        1. National defense, huh?

          Do you have any idea how clownish that reply is? There is no accounting of the facts making this a question of national defense. Please take a look back through history: Sleazy politicians have secured power by stoking the paranoia and fear of the mob again and again. The stupider a politician can make his followers, the more benefit he reaps. That’s why Trump rushed thousands of troops to repel the “invasion” of a ragged group of men, women, and children on foot : Because he thinks his followers are idiots and that makes him happy.

          Illegal immigration is down – a trend of the last fifteen years. Cross-border crossings are way down over the last decade. When Trump talks of terrorists crossing the border he is lying to your face.

          He thinks you’re too dumb to figure that out. Is he right?

          1. Luckily, your side is not in charge.

            You of course have citation for illegal immigration trending downwards over the last 15 years.

            Either way, the border wall is to discourage illegal immigration and more importantly it signals the end of non-Americans deciding what America will do. As the Lefties lose this fight, it signals their continued slide into being political powerless.

            1. The Annenberg Public Policy Center reviewed studies by the Pew Research Center, Department of Homeland Security, and others. They found cross-border crossings down 76% from the year 2000, as determined by yearly apprehensions. The number of illegal immigrants in the US has dropped over the past ten years by plus-minus 1.5 million per Pew. Estimates from other groups vary slightly, but all show a decrease in illegal immigration. It would be interesting, LC1789, to see how far into pure hackery you’d have to go to find anyone saying otherwise. This is a declining problem, not an expanding one. When Trump tells you otherwise, he is treating you like a fool. I’m having problems pasting the hyperlink, but you see the source by searching

              Now : ” it signals the end of non-Americans deciding what America will do”

              Really? What exactly does that mean back on Planet Earth? Does it have any meaning whatsoever outside of the cartoon puppet-shows playing out in your brain? Above I said Trump’s supporters see national issues as reality TV show entertainment. Could I get better proof than your statement? It’s foreign and immigration policy as pro wrestling. Get a grip, dude…..

              1. It’s not “hackery” to say all those “figures” are, at best, guesses.
                No one knows, for certain, how many illegal aliens there are, for obvious reasons. That includes the number who cross, in any time frame, or where.
                The fact that there is one, means the laws need to be enforced and, just like keeping money in a vault does what it can to keep it from being stolen, but it is not always perfect, then a wall will do the same thing to stop invaders from coming here.
                Simple logic, really.
                Escaping those too simple to understand what that is.

                1. “The fact that there is one, means the laws need to be enforced and, just like keeping money in a vault does what it can to keep it from being stolen, but it is not always perfect, then a wall will do the same thing to stop invaders from coming here.”

                  No apply your terrible argument to gun control.

                  1. Name a gun-control law that goes unenforced.

              2. I’ll be satisfied when we have the same amount of illegal border crossings as Poland does. It is the responsibility of the Federal Govt. to control entry into the country. We have laws against illegal entry – laws are not really laws unless they are enforced.

                1. “We have laws against illegal entry – laws are not really laws unless they are enforced.”

                  We also have laws against people being murdered with hand guns, genius.

                  1. Yes we do. We also enforce those laws pretty aggressively. So clearly we need to enforce laws against illegal entry.

          2. Next you’ll be telling us how immigrants rate of crime is lower than citizens.

            1. The key point is that illegals commit crimes at a much higher rate than citizens or immigrants.

      2. From the epoch times,
        Sheriff: Border Fence Helped Cut Crime in Yuma by 91 Percent
        Politicians are ‘not out here when it’s 120 degrees, processing a crime scene where 14 people were left to die in the desert’

      3. This is the fundamental question those who rule you are asking:

        Are You Human?

        As for defecating on the Constitution, you are.

        “Reason” – the site/magazine for those who have no principles.

      4. Also funny that in 2016 it was a “mandate” to get things done and in the 2 years of full Republican control they didn’t do it. Then in 2018 Americans voted in a Dem house but somehow this is all on them (and consequently the American people I guess) to give them everything they want. Maybe the Dems didn’t get the same mandate to actually represent the people that the Rs did in 2016?

    2. The Constitution *obligates* the federal government to prevent and repel invasion.

      Article IV, Section 4
      “The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against invasion”

      *shall* protect

      1. Right. But the “United States” government isn’t “just” the President like the Obama administration thought it was when he made executive orders of law from the pen ALL THE TIME and was “proud” of it… At least Trump is TRYING to do the right thing in going through the legislative branch if at all possible.

        1. It took me thirty seconds to look up the facts, so I wouldn’t look like an ignorant, libelous conservatard. Here are the numbers that prove you wrong, and Obama’s efforts to work with Congress before issuing executive orders were very public and well documented, while Trump’s total refusal to do his job as if he’s NOT the supreme ruler of a company is also very public and well documented:

          Donald Trump issued 92 executive orders between 2017 and 2019.

          Barack Obama issued 276 executive orders between 2009 and 2017.

          George W. Bush issued 291 executive orders between 2001 and 2009.

          William J. Clinton issued 254 executive orders between 1994 and 2001.

          1. Trump had to issue many orders to undo the unconstitutional orders Obama issued.

            Take your progtard treason elsewhere Darlene.

          2. Oh look, its the executive orders lie again. Because when you call something an “executive action”, its totes different than an executive order.

  3. I’ll tell you what really is a national emergency.

    Breaking News: The U.S. began its withdrawal from Syria, a military spokesman said. The national security adviser had hinted at a longer presence.

    This cowardly retreat surely ranks among the worst things Drumpf has done. It’s clear he’s only pursuing this reckless course of action because Putin told him to. I voted for Hillary Clinton knowing she’d answer to the American people, not to hostile foreign powers like Russia. President Clinton would never “cut and run” like this.

    Absolutely disgraceful.


    1. You suck, windbag. Trump wants build a wall and all you right-wingers can do is troll

      1. I’m neither a troll nor a right-winger.

      2. Yes, Trump wants to build a wall. This is good. And?

    2. You must really miss Weekly Standard. My condolences.

    3. How comical it is to hear a liberal spout off about how our troops should remain in a foreign country. I am a conservative but am fed up with our country’s continual warring with and occupation of foreign lands, where we have spent trillions in borrowed treasure and needlessly sacrificed American lives. Let Europe and Japan spend some of their own treasure occupying Syria, South Korea, and other hot spots relatively near to them, if they believe these areas are a threat.

    4. Obama sent troops to Syria in complete conflict to the decision by Congress, thereby making this illegal in America and not just illegal on the world stage. His actions CREATED ISIL and exactly what did he achieve by illegally invading a sovereign nation against international law. ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. Now, you have the gall to criticize Trump for cleaning up the complete mess Obama made.
      You are a disgrace to humanity. It is most certainly not a cowardly act to withdraw your forces from a country you have illegally invaded.
      America has/had absolutely no right to be there.
      Only a chicken hawk armchair warrior would call someone a coward for bringing the troops home from an illegal war

  4. “But if he keeps on trying and trying and trying, and the other side is so intractable that they refuse to discuss it, what other option do you have?”

    Like every statist everywhere, and like all the fraidy-cat xenophobes everywhere, his wants trump my rights — my rights to form friends and business relationships as *I* want, my right to control my property and who *I* allow to trespass on it, my right to control my money and how *I* spend it.

    Fuck off, all you slavers. Your *want* does not give you the unilateral right to control my friends, my business, my property, and it especially does not give you the right to steal my money to hire goons to tell me what to do.

    Libertarian my ass. Statist fraidy-cat xenophobes more like it.

    1. Poor troll.

      1. Give War A Chance –

        That’s all I’m saying man.

        What if someone gave a war and no one came?

        What is someone gave an orgy and no one came?

        What kind of war or orgy would that be?

      2. lc1789 knows all about trolling.

        loveconstitution1789|12.3.18 @ 10:20AM|#

        Do you need me to link the rules of NAFTA and USCMA so you can compare and contrast the “worseness” for us?

      3. Poor alphabet troll.

        His script has not been updated since China is also having government difficulties as of late.

        1. Funny man hasn’t been updated since his first posts.

        2. Jesse Walker is not funny at all.

    2. “Statist fraidy-cat xenophobes more like it.”

      Yeah man “a ab abc abcd abcde abcdef ahf” go man go!!!

      Here is how I like to put it:

      The collective hive mandated WAY too many licenses, before we’re allowed to earn an honest living… Put too many of us into poverty. To “help” with this poverty problem that The Collective Hive created, The Collective Hive gave us welfare. Welfare then attracts too many illegal sub-humans, sometimes, so to fix THAT problem, The Collective Hive now wants e-verify and giant border walls and giant border armies? And now also property confiscations for wall-building? So I suppose The Collective Hive will next fire up the military draft to fix THAT problem! (Lack of a large enough wall-and-army forces).

      Those of us who like individual freedom, would like for Government Almighty to SHRINK, for once, instead of always making itself BIGGER to fix all of the problems created by Government Almighty in the first place! And just about every day, I see arguments on these pages, that justify the ever-increasing might and power of The Collective Hive, especially when I want to hire, or otherwise associate with, an illegal sub-human.

      1. Hey man, let’s bring this down to Earth, shall we?

        If I hire a young (native-born) physically and-or mentally handicapped person to mow my yard or do other simple tasks for me, and I patiently help teach them some job skills while doing so (and paying them), I am generally “socially admired” by most folks. If some asshole lectures me about how, now, I am going to have to be responsible for all of the education, emergency room costs, etc. (beyond the taxes that I already pay) for such a person, the vast, vast majority of common folks will look at such a lecturing asshole, and call him or her an asshole, inwardly if not verbally.

        Now suddenly if I do the same, while also teaching an illegal sub-human about speaking English, and American culture, there’s a HUGE number of assholes who want to lecture me about me now having to play nanny to, and assume all costs for, said illegal sub-human! WTF, what justifies this??!

          1. Hatten down the batches, bitches!!! Tuipa (AKA Tulpuppy) is here to bury all rational discourse in poop!

            We may have to abandon ship, actually, and move off to another article and thread…

            1. Fuck off Hihn.

              “We may have to abandon ship, actually, and move off to another article and thread…”

              Yes, we know you’re a coward Hihn. Now fuck off.

              1. Hi Tulpy-Poop,

                I see in…..of#comment that (if I search on “tuipa”) fully 29% of the comments are yours, and not a one of them is thoughtful, entertaining, or useful. You really have nothing better to do than pooping all over threads that might otherwise be interesting to read? Are you looking to get banned AGAIN? Because I can help to make that happen for you?

                1. Very libertarian to threaten me because you don’t like my speech.

                  Bad news Hihn, I’ve never been banned. Unlike you!

                  Now fuck off.

                  1. Very libertarian of you to poop all over everyone when the vast majority of us are sick and tired of your poop. isn’t holding a gun to your head or mine or anyone else’s, so stop conflating Government Almighty with a private business, like the stupid statist asshole that you are.

                    I will bitch to Reason if I want to, it’s a semi-free nation that we live in. Just keep racking up thread after thread after thread, of endless Tuipa-poop, and know that I’ll be counting them… Enough will be enough, and will be able to see it!

                    Just keep it up, asshole, to get banned AGAIN!!!

                    1. “Very libertarian of you to poop all over everyone when the vast majority of us are sick and tired of your poop. ”

                      It is actually. Threatening me because you’re “sick and tired” isn’t. And you know that. Which is why you didn’t even try to defend it.

                      And it proves that you can’t win a rhetorical argument, and you can’t exercise any self control, so you threaten and bluster in a place you don’t have any ownership of. You have no property rights here so not only did you threaten me, you used and EMPTY threat. Because you can’t win a rhetorical battle and you can’t exercise self control.

                      No one, ever, is forcing you to read anything. You’re blaming your own weakness on me, and then issuing an empty threat.

                      Now fuck off Hihn.

                    2. “and know that I’ll be counting them… ”

                      He actually admutted this. How can he be this pathetic?

                    3. “Just keep it up, asshole, to get banned AGAIN!!!”

                      I’d have to get banned a first time.

                      “and know that I’ll be counting them… ”

                      He actually admutted this. How can he be this pathetic?

                    4. To see evidence of the banning of tuipa, and how tuipa lies all the time, look at

            …..ra#comment where “Taipa” with the cap-I got stripped out? TuIpa got deleted!!! See responses mentioning “Tulpa” where Tulpa posts (Tuipa posts) got mass-nuked, like they should be!

            …..ce#comment ditto…

                      Tuipa lies about getting banned, just as Tulpy-poop lies about having a brain…

                      Keep it up and get banned some more!

                    5. And yet here I am. Right now. Unbanned. So, you look pretty fucking stupid threatening me again.

                      And there you are. Threatening me and blaming me for it like an abusive spouse. Creepily screaming at me.

                      “Keep it up and get banned some more!”

                      I’d have to get banned a first time.

                      “”and know that I’ll be counting them… ”

                      He actually admitted this. How can he be this pathetic?

                    6. Your Tulpy-poop got deleted for being the utter CRAP that it is… Ya proud of that, asshole?

                      I would like to have rational or at least informative or funny posts, and all you do is dish out crap. You pollute this web site. You really can NOT find more productive uses for your time? You are pathetic! Seek some help!

                    7. At least you realized how stupid you looked lying about me getting banned when I’m right here, posting, unbanned.

                      “and know that I’ll be counting them… ”

                      He actually admitted this. How can he be this pathetic? And he says other people need to seek help…

                    8. TuIpa, you are without a doubt the laziest, stupidest, and generally shittiest regular poster on Reason. He’s absolutely right that you never contribute anything of merit, and your entire purpose here seems to be to derail legitimate discussion (which used to be a thing here) with transparent trolling and inane non-sequiturs.

                      Fuck off, TuIpa

                    9. And, yes, I said that in full consideration of shriek and tony. You make them look like paragons of rationality and reasonable discourse, because they at least pretend. All you do is spew shit out your mouth.

                    10. Thanks Much, Marshaul !!!

                      Erect anti-Tulpuppy-shields; Tulpuppy-Poop incoming!

                    11. I love it when these two get together.

                    12. The problem is that Reason is frequently infiltrated by progtards who hijack real discussions, poisoning them with progtard rhetoric, phony ‘data’, and just outright leftist lies.

                      It gets old.

  5. Graham, who has since graduated to the chairmanship of the Senate Judiciary Committee, was right then. He’s a disgrace now.

    Graham has ALWAYS been a disgrace and still is. He is not helping the position of securing the border just like Matt Welch does not help the position of open borders.

    People like Welch cannot help but try to compare Obama, McCain, Graham, and all the other ruling elite to Trump. It always falls flat since Trump is NOT like those ruling elite.

    That is really why people like Welch hate Trump so much. Trump cannot be threatened, ignored, or effectively undermined by bureaucrats. He always finds a way to accomplish his campaign promises and do what his supporters put him in office to do.

    Enforcing immigration law is one of those issues.

    1. I think you may have missed the point. Declaring a national emergency is just another step on the road the imperial presidency. Which you may think is fine as long as your guy is in charge, but what do you do when Elizabeth Warren or Kamala Harris is president? This is laying the groundwork for them to taking sweeping, unilateral action.

      1. Perfectly stated, Joe M, but you’re trying to reason with an ignorant tribal thug.

        1. Poor troll. They hate Libertarianism and the USA.

          1. Exactly how do you reconcile emergency powers with libertarianism?

            1. Hell, he reconciles everything Trump does with libertarianism. National emergency is just another aspect of His Trumptiness.

              1. Poor alphabet troll.

            2. Libertarianism is fine with tiny and limited government under Rule of Law.

              National Defense is Libertarian.
              Border protection is Libertarian.
              Most of the things listed in the Constitution are Libertarian.

              What YOU and the media call “emergency powers” are nothing more than all the powers listed in Article II of the Constitution and powers granted by Congress under Article I.

              1. Keep polishing that mushroom-head! That’s what ur good at!

              2. Poor troll jumping between handles.

              3. Please cite the specific part of the Constitution that allows this move.

                1. I cannot keep track with all your troll socks bouncing from handle to handle.

              4. +100 for loveconstitution1789

                1. -1000 for “Me too!” commenters with insufficient cranial capacity to generate an individual thought. Fuck off back to your tribe so they can insert thoughts into your brain and you can resume approximate function of a human being.

            3. Simple math: 5,000 invaders at the border + limited resources = national emergency. Don’t I get to have a say in whether or not this is an emergency? Don’t I get to enjoy the benefits of a legitimately constructed executive branch carrying out it’s constitutionally-mandated duty to enforce law and protect my life and property? Just because you want open borders doesn’t mean you get to have them.

            4. I’ll make this simple. Don’t like the emergency powers act? Get it repealed. But right now it’s legal, and Trump is free to use it.

        2. No, he’s trying to argue with someone whose (ruble-denominated) paycheck depends on not understanding.

        3. “Perfectly stated, Joe M, but you’re trying to reason with an ignorant tribal thug.”

          No. That’s you. You just don’t like Trump amd the good things he does. Trump also comports himself within the confines of executive power as written in the constitution. At least far better than the traitor Obama ever did.

          You’re likely just some progtard, so you won’t be able to understand that.

      2. State of emergency-Wiki

        Here is a Wiki entry for State of Emergency. Not a single ‘State of Emergency’ in the USA has led to “imperial presidency”. The Constitution is clear on what a President can and cannot do during emergencies.

        Even Lincoln, who suspended habeas corpus during the Civil War could not do whatever he wanted. Habeas corpus was reinstated after the Civil War.

        Trump has been accused of being Hitler too many times to count. He has shown himself to act the opposite.

        1. For someone who is so quick to spout “shall not be infringed” and pretend to be a constitutionalist, you sure are lacking in any common sense about what is in the actual constitution.

          You also need to readjust your color settings. Trump is not black or white. Finding fault in one area does not equate to finding fault in all areas; finding goodness in one area does not require suspending disbelief about badness in other areas.

          1. You poor alphabet troll.

            Libertarianism is awesome and you hate that Trump is doing some things that are Libertarian or Libertarian-ish.

            1. Fuck off, staist!

            2. You’re one of the least libertarian posters here, and the day you showed up with your emotional thinking, thoughtless arguments, blind Trump apologia and general statisn, you were immediately out of place. Your ilk will never co-opt libertarianism no matter how hard you try to troll Reason, because unlike anything you have yet to contribute, libertarianism has value.

              1. No, he isn’t. Why do you fight LC? Are you a progtard or an anarchist?

      3. It may be mistaken now, but at the time the book was written, EVERY president invoked the National Emergencies Act with little more than shrugging resistance, nevermind the more than ample opportunity to scale it back in the last few decades. Imperial presidency? It’s already here/been here, and didn’t the democrats threaten much the same tactics when confronted by the Party of Obstruction? This is theatre, nothing more.

        And while critiques of presidential power are certainly welcome, this is a peculiar time to suddenly find principle. This is the ugly shitshow of politics falling short of the distinguished statesmen we imagine governance should be, and maybe, just maybe, if Trump goes through with this, it will be a wake-up call to congress to finally find their fucking spines.

        That would be 5 billion well spent.

        1. No, it would be a stolen $5B spent contrary to its owners’ wishes.

          Who put you in charge, so you could put Trump in charge of my money and my friends and businesses and property?

          1. Contrary to some of its owners’ wishes. You know, since like a quarter of the country voted for Trump and roughly half actually think it would work.

            That’s not an endorsement from me btw.

          2. “No, it would be a stolen $5B spent contrary to its owners’ wishes.”

            Against whose wishes?

            And what about all the money stolen to provide welfare to these people crossing illegally?

            Hell, amortize the wall against the savings and it’s probably a wash or a net benefit.

            1. Most likely. The major resistance to the wall is due to progtardation, or open borders enthusiasm. Not any kind of real justification.

          3. What a joke. How much federal tax do you pay? $10?

        2. Alphabet troll wants anarchy but is too scared to have his coder start Anarchy-Land.

        3. Are you new here? People here didn’t just start critiquing the notion of executive power when Trump took office.

          1. “As of January 2019, 58 national emergencies have been invoked since the Act was enacted in 1976, with 31 of them having been renewed annually and remaining in effect as far back as 1979.”

            Show me the critique of the National Emergencies Act every year since 1979. Show me the attempts by any party to rein it in.

            Not that I even support the wall, but the crocodile tears of how this, this has gone too far gets an eye roll from me followed by a deafening silence when the next president invokes it and the same voices beating their chests in anguish now won’t say shit.

            1. Look it up yourself. There’s numerous critiques over the years well before Trump. And there’s two issues here – the problem of Congress giving these powers to the president in the event of a “national emergency” and whether or not declaring a national emergency here is valid under the law. You can think the former is ill-advised in general, and also think a particular declaration doesn’t qualify under that law.

              If you’re getting pissy because they’re writing about this as the President is weighing whether to resolve a high-profile showdown with Congress by declaring a national emergency to reallocate billions of dollars to begin a multi-decade construction project potentially encompassing the entire border requiring mass seizure of private property because Congress won’t authorize it, then it’s hard to believe you’re not concern trolling here.

              1. 31 of them having been renewed annually and remaining in effect as far back as 1979

                That’s 40 YEARS of being in a state of national emergency. “Numerous critiques over the years” doesn’t quite cover the scale.

                As far as the president looking to resolve the shutdown- when this happened last year, Schumer as well as other high ranking democrats gave assurances that the wall would be discussed at length with the next budget. They argued in bad faith. If there is any concern trolling happening, it’s that 5 billion in spending is enough of a concern to warrant all this gnashing of teeth.

                1. Have you ever considered that maybe some of those national emergencies aren’t having the same impact as a proposal to build a wall across the entire Southern border via reappropriating billions of dollars and eminent domain? This topic is the preeminent news story of the day, bitching about it with lame whatabouting in a clear attempt to get people off Trump’s back is pathetic. This board seemed to have no problem shutting down “But what about Bush/etc.!” when people used it to justify Obama’s actions, but for some reason many here don’t seem to hold a consistent standard on that now that Trump’s in the office.

                  Talking about bad faith, Trump agreed to a wall for DACA deal with Schumer and Pelosi last year and then backtracked when Stephen Miller and co. freaked out because it didn’t also include stuff like slashing legal immigration levels, changing asylum and detention laws, etc. Trump initially approved of the “clean” spending bill last month and then changed his mind and demanded a wall. He is the epitome of a bad-faith negotiator.

                  1. I consider ALL those national emergencies an abdication of responsibility, with mild amusement that some have elevated what is essentially a jobs program, soon to rot and fall into disrepair, into a national crisis. That’s the lasting impact beyond your chicken little rambling. But good of you to declare some of those emergencies as more deserving instead of calling a pox upon all of them.

                    First was a DACA deal in December, which fell apart. Then came the CR in January, with the assurance from democrats that the wall would be discussed in earnest.

                    And again, I DON’T EVEN SUPPORT THE FUCKING WALL. I just find the fawning displays of self-righteousness worthy of a Razzie.

                    Take your prize.

              2. “Look it up yourself”

                You have a huge problem with frequently making claims you can’t prove.

              3. Questioning emergency powers is fair. Doing it just because it’s Trump using them for this is bullshit. Work to get the law changed. In the meantime, we have a wall to build.

            2. Exactly Qsl.

              This is win-win-win.

              Trump gets most Americans so mad that they rollback government power via Congressional repeals


              Trump uses existing law to build more to the existing border wall/obstacles of 700 miles.

      4. I disagree. If he used this state of emergency to usurp permanent power then you could be justified in making that claim. However, to use an SOE as a one off event to keep a campaign promise can hardly be compared to imperialism.
        Remember, he made a campaign promise to build the wall. He therefore has a mandate to do so. Would you prefer he broke a campaign promise just like every other politician. How many times have we heard the same promise to build this wall from politicians on both sides of the aisle. Are you not curious why the very same people who now call this wall ‘immoral’ were spouting about the need for such a wall just a few short years ago. This included Pelosi, Schumer, Obama and Clinton. Why, all of a sudden, is this wall immoral to them.
        The answer is obvious. It is because Trump wants it. They find it more important to oppose anything Trump wants than to be seen as hypocrites. They are playing pathetic political games and as a consequence are perpetuating this close down. It is they who have changed their positions. Trump has consistently stood by his campaign promise.
        Right now, the Dems are on the wrong side of history. Trump will get his wall, with or without the cooperation of the Dems. For all or their high and mighty promises of bipartisanship, they have not changed. Their hatred for Trump outweighs all of their previous promises to cut immigration.

  6. Making America Great Again!

    Go Trump!

    1. Seriously, don’t ever accuse anyone else of being a troll. I happen to agree that this is just Trump trying to actually do what he promised, but you have to rub it in everyone’s face like a sadistic 12-year old with a piece of dogshit.

      Washington politics desperately needs a good cleansing, but glorifying the douchebag is sophomoric.

      1. Bro, he’s a clown, and deserves to be beclowned, but you look pretty fucking stupid screeching “12-year old with a piece of dogshit” and “douchebag” and then calling someone else sophomoric.

        1. Seemed like pretty good examples of sophomoric behavior to me. I know you read a lot of weakly written crap like this article, but good metaphors are supposed to be at least somewhat similar to that which they are being compared.

          As an aside, I had a buddy who’s brother loved blowing up horrible things with firecrackers, so having to wipe dogshit or maggots off my face is not something that is completely foreign to me. Reading LC1789 posts leaves with that same feeling of being unnecessarily soiled.

          1. ^this guy loves the trolls though.

            Haha. what a joke.

            1. The lesson related to me by my buddy’s 12-year old brother was this: blowing up most things with firecrackers is heallaciously good fun. Blowing up dogshit and dead birds just gets shit and maggots all over everyone, and then they don’t want to be around you anymore.

              Kinda like people who post “MAGA” over and over on a libertarian message board.

              1. Is the progtard angry about the wrongthink? And of course you don’t like MAGA. You want to destroy America, not make it better.

                LC isn’t the child here. You and your tiny progtarded brain are. But you probably aren’t capable of understanding that.

                Oh, and MAGA, bitch.

          2. “Seemed like pretty good examples of sophomoric behavior to me”

            Yes, screeching “12-year old with a piece of dogshit” and “douchebag” is sophomoric. I’m glad you agree that you were being a hypocrite.

            1. You are a flaming giant bag of dicks.

              Now, that was sophomoric!

                1. He’s not wrong, though.

    2. Little trolls send troll socks to simply troll.

      Its so sad and obvious.

      1. Keep waving that piece of dogshit, even at the people that agree with you…

        1. Who needs people like you on my side? My positions speaks for themselves.

          The trolls send their socks after me daily. The Libertarians things that I say anger the living shit out of them.

          If cant see the good things Trump does for America as well the bad things, I don’t know what to tell you.

          You seem new here, so good luck with the trolling.

          1. Yes, I have observed the sock puppet theater. But when you engage in trolling yourself, you weaken your arguments. I was not trying to troll you as much as submit that your needless “MAGA” posts are indeed trolling in themselves and do nothing but distract from rational argument like Ken Schultz’s posts below, which is what people should be paying attention and responding to.

            And now that I have responded to you 3 times, I have become part of the problem. I respectfully retire…

            1. Ken responds to trolls sometimes with well-constructed comments and I am baffled as to why. That’s his prerogative.

              The more I MAGA, the more Hihn and his troll cohorts identifies themselves and gets banned.

              Additionally, I actually think Trump is Making America Great Again.

              Part of the troll strategy is to bury good comments among pages of their nonsense. Visitors see Hihn instead of Ken’s comments.

              Either way, you have your positions and I have mine. If you like mine, great. If you dont, convince me otherwise.

              1. The more I MAGA, the more Hihn and his troll cohorts identifies themselves and gets banned.

                I withdraw any protest.

                I always picture Hihn as an ancient 200 pound tumor that has gained consciousness and somehow taken over its now 47 pound host. It sits in a dark room, lit only by an 12″ monochromatic computer screen from 1985, slunched over a keyboard which it noisily drips fluids onto as it slowly depresses CAPS LOCK in preparation for a tirade about natural rights existing in conflict.

                I picture the Reverend Artie as a giant glass bottle full of nothing but excised gall bladders and disdain for its inferiors. How it became sentient or is capable of communicating across the internet is a complete mystery.

                I have a hard time believing I am the only one to come to these conclusions.

              2. LC, there are so many traitors that need to be forced out of this country. The comments here today betray much of it. Most of these people (the ones that aren’t Hihn, who is just a sick wackjob) have no real principled objection to this national emergency issue. Their real objection is to Trump. As he wants to make America better, and they want to destroy it.

  7. Thoughts early this morning:

    1) Welchie Boy sure is going full Dipshit Scumbagetta on us.

    2) Is the day before the day before the day before the day before Martin Luther King Day a holiday at Reason? I don’t see any Roundup.

    3) Rumors are raging that Ruth Bader Ginsburg is going to formally announce her retirement tonight. I still don’t buy it, but if it actually happens, oh boy is the shit going to hit the fan. Gillespie, Welchie Boy, and the entire Reason gang will spend the entire weekend crying almost as hard as Rachel Maddow and Don Lemon!

    1. Rumors are raging that Ruth Bader Ginsburg is going to formally announce her retirement tonight.

      No way. I guarantee RBG won’t retire until a Democrat is back in the White House. Her health is fine and it’s sexist to imply otherwise, just as it was sexist to obsess over Hillary Clinton’s minor fainting incident in 2016.

      1. “Her health is fine and it’s sexist to imply otherwise,”

        Yeah, that O^2 tube is just a fashion accessory.

      2. Yup, woman’s troubles.

      3. Oh look, asshole troll wants RBG to die just so he gets his way. What an asshole.

        1. Is there something wrong with your reading comprehension? Actually, I’m a huge fan of RBG and her libertarian-friendly jurisprudence. In fact I was excited to go see the movie about her life until I found out it’s not playing in any theaters near me. There’s always DVD a few months down the road, though.

          Furthermore, I was among the loudest voices in this comment section urging the Senate to #CancelKavanaugh. Believe me, as a member of a marginalized group I understand the importance of preventing a GOP Supreme Court takeover. They’ll literally turn this country into The Handmaid’s Tale if they get their way.

        2. Who stole Gilmore’s account?

          1. No “TM”, so sock account.

        3. Gilmore, I would be thrilled if RBG lived to be 100. She just needs to retire and go enjoy those sunset years far away from the court. Letting Trump nominate a real jurist who rules on cases using US law. Not whatever sock progtardation she sees fit inflicting on America.

      4. Wow, your comments are like political Dada. Genius.

    2. day before the day before the day before the day before Martin Luther King Day

      Get a calendar.

    3. You should see all the reason ppl on Twitter. They are as libertarian as the economist is about economics.

      Reason is just controlled opposition at this point. Sad.

      Actually a disgrace, really.

      1. +100

  8. Where was this anger and vitriol at Obama’s DACA executive orders, which the Reason staff largely agreed with the ends of?

    On Reason’s pet issues, from immigration to gay marriage, the staff has favored reaching the goal over proper procedure. It may be a bit too late to argue in favor of procedure now that you have implicitly sided with breaking procedure so many times previously.

    1. Well, Reason did endorse Obama.

      Still shaking my head at the one. Like I tell my buddies who voted for Trudeau and regret it, I’ll never let them live it down. They knew what he was about and that he was a remedial twit at best but deluded themselves into thinking with this strange ‘he won’t govern like that because the establishment won’t let him!’

      But I think Matt is correct with his overall assertion.

      Nonetheless, the Democrats aren’t exactly being cooperative either. For a party that hated obstructionism, why do they engage in it? Two wrongs make a right?

      Do your damn jobs indeed.

      1. Did Reason really endorse Obama?

        1. Ron Bailey and a bunch of contributors admitted it.

          1. All they said was that given those two choices, they’d rather have Obama.

            A lot of it depends on what state. No point in voting for either major party candidate in California or New York, plenty of freedom to vote libertarian or greens or zombies. In states where it will be close, your individual vote has more (but still little) chance of making a difference.

            Voting itself has little to recommend it. It can help small parties get ballot access next time. It may enhance your credibility when writing letters.

            1. “All they said was that given those two choices, they’d rather have Obama.”

              That isn’t how I remember it.

            2. Your citations fell off, alphabet troll.

            3. Relax. I was busting.


            4. If you admit to voting for anyone except the Democrat in CA, you will be drawn and quartered…and not in a good way.

              1. CA should be under martial law.

    2. Hey asshole. Obama’s DACA order was about PRIORITIES. WHO to pursue. He deported more than ANY President. Pull your head out of Trump’s ass; you WHINY LOSERS are humiliating yourselves, from your own laughable ignorance.

      Thugs, like Trump.

      1. “Hey asshole. Obama’s DACA order was about PRIORITIES.”

        Hey, shitbag, that excuse is as lame as any other.

      2. The point was Obama did not have the authority to what he did, but it was ignoring immigration rules so it was something not to get too riled up about.

        The problem is , once you start breaking procedures for stuff you like, it is very hard to argue that procedures must not be broken for stuff you do not like.

        1. Right, which is reasons stance. Break the rules for things they like, but dont break the rules trying to fix their utopian fuck ups.

          It is pretty obvious this publication is just one giant gaslighting operation.

          1. Some groups figure that they cannot stop Libertarianism from growing since dissatisfaction with the major parties is growing.

            So they took over a Libertarian publication and have it run by Anarchists, Lefties, and intern trolls.

            Pretty genius way to destroy Libertarianism.

            1. Welch, The Jacket, amd the others sold out cheap.

      3. Dumbfuck Hihnsano is worried that Consuela won’t be there at the roach coach to give him his breakfast burrito.

      4. Still an executive order. Ends and means…remember? Why OK for Obama but not for Trump? Because you wanted the ends in the former. Are you caught up now?

      5. WTF!!! DACA is the very REASON we need a WALL. Maybe an Executive Order to fix the FOWL of Executive Order eh?

    3. Reason’s positions are largely laughable.

      No Libertarianism and certainly no love of America’s constitutional authority.

      1. “Reason’s positions are largely laughable.

        No Libertarianism and certainly no love of America’s constitutional authority.”

        And yet you’re still here day in and day out…..the last beacon of true libertarianism at Reason…..of which, Donald Trump is the water-carrier.

        1. There are Libertarians that visit Reason and comment.

          There are non-Libertarians that are sympathetic to some issues that visit Reason and comment.

          There are also trolls like you McGoo that visit Reason.

          Thank God for the USA and our Constitution to make that possible.

        2. deregulation, pulling out of illegal wars, criminal justice reform

          Obama did the opposite of all of those

        3. He’s still here because he’s paid to be here.

      2. Anyone who endorses all these frivolous executive orders is no friend of the constitution.

        1. Article II says otherwise.

          The alphabet troll is sad.

  9. I think at some point, some president is going to try to seize total power. He/she/it may well succeed, because a lot of our population really wants it that way (whether they’ll admit it out loud or not).

    I think it could even happen in my lifetime, even considering that I’m over the hill.

    1. It’s really sad, but I think you might be right.

    2. Article II of the US Constitution provides powers for the Executive Branch.

      Trump continues to do right by the USA overall no matter what the Lefty media says.

      1. Much like your counterpart Tony, you don’t seem to understand that everything isn’t about Trump. The problems with executive power began before we were born, and Trump (and the rest of us here) may be dead and buried when the chickens come home to roost. But they are coming.

        1. Of course everything is not about Trump. I didnt even vote for the guy.

          Trump is one of the few people actually rolling back the behemoth in the ways that he can and wants to.

          Trump is literally doing more Libertarian-ish things in real life than Gary Johnson and other Libertarian-ish movers and shakers.

          Anything bad that Trump has done can just be undone. The bumpstock ban can be fixed with a pen and a phone.

          The tipping point for the USA was right before us. Trump actually brought us back from the precipice. I hope he can move us back farther. Congress needs to do most of the heavy lifting and they wont.

          So…. I am content with Trump masterpieces- massive numbers of federal employees quitting because of the shutdown, pulling out of Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan, nominating good originalists to the bench, tax cut….

          1. “Of course everything is not about Trump. I didnt even vote for the guy.”

            What. The. Living. FUCK?

            1. Oh wait…..I forgot Russians can’t (directly) vote in US elections. My bad

              1. McGoo…….is that nick ale for all the jizz deposited in your brownie, and your digestive tract?


          2. Trolls gotta troll.

            1. Well, at least you admit it. This may be your first decent post.

              1. Who the fuck are you? You’d best be gone soon too.

          3. You say “of course everything is not about Trump” and then the rest of your post is…all about Trump.

            My original post was not a critique of Trump or any other particular president. And even if Trump turns out to be a libertarian dream come true, it doesn’t address the underlying problem of dangerous powers put in the hands of the executive. Trump will not be president forever. You know that, right?

            1. You comment is literally a critique about Trump and that he will not be president forever.

              Trump is not doing anything “dangerous” as you would say relating to border security. Building a wall extension is not “dangerous”.

              Trump’s rolling back government rules and policies but he’s only one guy. Most of it was created by Congress, so they need to dismantle most of the rules.

              Nice try though.

              1. Holy shit you’re stupid.

                1. Marshall, fuck off. You have nothing to contribute here. Go back to WaPo, or Vox.

            2. Trump has not so far extended the power of the executive any more than has been done in past administrations. His actions are status quo compared to past presidents’ actions. All of the objections here regarding Trumps executive overreach are pathetic examples of TDS. You know who I blame? Woodrow Wilson.

        2. Tony does not have a counterpart.

          Tony is like a blowfly, feeding and laying eggs on the shit laid down by Reason staff.

  10. More bad economic news.

    U.S. Recession Risk Hits Six-Year High Amid Trade War, Shutdown

    Krugman predicted all this. Why are some people so anti-intellectual they ignore the warnings of a Nobel Prize Winner?


    1. A recession doesn’t happen because of a – nay any – shut down.

    2. #PassportsAreTotallyRacist

      ‘Show us your passport’: woman’s racist rant in Virginia restaurant goes viral

    3. You’re really stretching when you think it’s big news that economists have changed their forecasts. Because the track record for economic forecasts is so good. Besides, the average of those forecasts shows growth of 2.5%, down from 2.9%. What a disaster….

    4. Quoting the Dada economist Krugman. Brilliant.

  11. Trump is GOING DOWN. Regardless of spineless pussies like Lindsay Graham … and Trump’s retarded cult of ignorant followers bellowers.


    1. “LOCK HIM UP.”

      Don’t you mean send him to trial?

      1. That’s the outcome, Slick.

        1. Fuck off Hihn.

      2. This new troll is clearly from the old school…shoot the dissenters and leave them in the Katyn Forest.

    2. What exactly should he be locked up for?

      Being Literally Hitler? Being Orange Man Bad? That he fucked other women? His yet to be proved collusion with the Roooooshins? For removing all the O’s in the Spaghetti-O’s at the Spaghetti dinner for orphan slaves?

      1. Trump is rolling back Lefty policies.

        Hence the rage against Trump.

        1. When Obama rolls up the Constitution, you screamed and hollered. When Trump does it, you are a cheer leader. When anyone complains about Trump, you scream Anarchist.

          Fuck off, slaver. You’re just another statist, wrapping yourself in a piece of paper when it suits you, principles be damned.

          1. Poor alphabet troll.

            He so sad and angry how well Trump is doing for Americans.

          2. Writing executive orders that rescind previous unconstitutional executive orders isn’t rolling up the Constitution.

      2. “What exactly should he be locked up for?”

        To shitbags like our newest shitbag, he should be locked up for being Trump.

        1. I suspect the assertion was just noise and certain to meet the same result whenever I ask people to SPECIFY exactly how Trump and his policies are like Nazi Germany.

          The brave among the retard flock make an attempt but inevitably fall flat because they’re illiterate twits. But usually I get no response other than, ‘Dude, it’s sooo obvious!’ or a weak analogy identifying rhetoric as proof. Which becomes, eventually, ‘dog whistles’.

          It’s fun. Ask. Watch them squirm in their ignorance.

          1. We see the retard flock squirm on here every day.

            1. Most are just progtards, who could give a shit about libertarianism.

    3. With a pint of Ben & Jerry’s I #Resist!

    4. How does it feel knowing that in the very near future one of the most far left supreme court justices in American history is going to be replaced by another Constitutionalist and you lefty asswipes will be an outnumbered minority on the court for a generation?

      Choke on it, bitch!

      1. If he’s smart, he nominates a minority woman. Let’s see what ridiculous shenanigans the Senate Dems try to pull to stop that one.

        1. The same one they pulled on Clarence Thomas.

    5. Of that happens, it will be a civil war. Time to cull the progtards.

  12. “”Republicans embrace presidential authoritarianism””

    I guess that means the President is republican.

    The phone and the pen sits on the President’s desk. It’s not a dem or repub issue, it’s a party of the president issue. Nothing new or surprising about that.

  13. MAGA!

    Build that additional 230 miles of wall, Trump!

    Add that to the 700 miles of legacy border obstacles and we got ourselves some upset Lefties and open border people.

  14. President Donald Trump, according to the latest reporting, is “laying the groundwork for a declaration of national emergency to build [a] border wall,” telling his phoneasshole buddy Sean Hannity last night:


    1. sick burn

  15. TDS is not a national emergency

  16. Wait–whose dick is in whose mouth now? Just trying to keep score.

    1. They may be trying to form the Beast with Five Hundred Backs.

  17. Trump should go this route. He’s not going to concede defeat, so let him play whatever face-saving games he wants in order to reopen government. The action will spend some times in the courts and inevitably be struck down, at which point the fat whiny toad can just blame Obama judges or whatever. Lindsay Graham is probably thinking along these lines as the self-appointed Trump whisperer. It’s the only practical way out that I can see, and there’s loads of power grabs yet to be attempted as Trump and his family get increasingly squeezed by law enforcement for their many crimes.

    1. End result Dems win, no wall, Trump loses his base. Try harder.

    2. End result, Dems win, no wall, Trump loses his base. Try harder. P.S., what crimes are those, Kafka?

  18. I don’t want to see Trump use emergency powers, and I still think it’s mostly just rhetoric to build leverage–to get the Democrats to cave.

    I suspect Trump might declare emergency powers instead of missing a bond payment, but that’s about it.

    The temptation to go full tu quoque is here, but I’m not trying to justify the “authoritarianism” of Trump relative to Bush Jr. and Obama, both of whom did things that were flat out unconstitutional and authoritarian in that they violated the rights of Americans. Rather, instead of pointing out that what Trump is threatening to do is just like what they did, I’d point out a significant difference: What Trump is threatening to do may be within the confines of what is constitutional.

    1. It wasn’t only that Bush Jr. violated the constitutional rights of Americans by refusing to grant them a trial or counsel, etc. It’s that he might have justified such a thing–if he’d declared emergency powers.

      It wasn’t only that Obama violated the Fourth Amendment rights of 300 million Americans by way of warrantless wiretapping and the NSA. It’s that he might have justified such a thing if he’d been willing to pay the political price of declaring emergency powers.

      If we really care about the Constitution, we might prefer to see its protections officially suspended rather than violated and then normalized by way of legislation later or by some Penaltax horseshit rationalization provided by the courts. Think about this in terms of say, “Wickard vs Filburn.

      Wouldn’t it have been better if that legislation had only been an executive decision implemented under the auspices of emergency powers? Emergencies have an end. Because Wickard vs. Filburn wasn’t an emergency, we still have to live with the bullshit implications of the commerce clause today! I’m tired of people treating us like we’re in a state of emergency without one ever being formally declared.

      I’d rather the principles of the Constitution were never violated, but if you’re going to do it, declare an emergency–so we don’t have to live as if we’re in an emergency forever.

      1. So you’re ok with the whole slavery as a punishment for crimes thing?

        1. Yes, that’s exactly what I said–and the reasons you said that in response to what I wrote are obvious to everyone!

          Either that or no one could reasonably be expected to understand how you got there from what I wrote–I certainly don’t get it.

      2. Not enough of a stink was made of the NSA thing.

        1. Unconstitutional Domestic spying is NOT a national emergency to many.

          The lefty media raised a little stink but through their weight behind Hillary who would undoubtedly continue all NSA domestic spying.

        2. I hope the point is getting across that it’s better to declare emergency powers ahead of doing something like that than it is to pretend what you’re doing is perfectly constitutional and make the courts and congress choose between rationalizing your novel interpretation of the Constitution and making it the new normal.

          Emergencies have an end.

          That doesn’t justify invoking them inappropriately, but it limits the damage you can do while you’re under one. Someday that emergency will be over.

          The other thing is that the American voter isn’t likely to take the invocation of emergency powers lightly. There’s a political price to paid at the ballot box for declaring emergency powers. I’d give more credit to Obama for invoking emergency powers ahead of violating our Fourth Amendment rights than I do for making the violation of our rights the new normal. He simply didn’t have the courage to face the voters for what he was doing.

          If you’re gonna rape us, please, let’s not making raping us the new normal.

      3. Excellent point. Emergency powers don’t make precedent.

      4. Are you aware of Trump attempting to the same thing Bush did? Or him signing laws authorizing mass warrantless surveillance into law?

        1. “The temptation to go full tu quoque is here”

          —-Ken Shultz

          “Are you aware of Trump attempting to the same thing Bush did?”


          . . . and some of us have succumbed to temptation!

          1. My point is that you’re trying to draw a distinction between Trump’s actions and his predecessors on the basis that at least he’s declaring an emergency and thus possibly granting constitutional basis to his actions; if you leave out that Trump has done the exact same things you’re citing Bush and Obama for without declaring an emergency just as they didn’t, then you’re painting a highly misleading picture of how Trump compares to Bush and Obama. There has been no change here between Trump and his predecessors; in this specific instance declaring an emergency is the only way he can even try to justify it, so that’s why he’s going that path. He’s proven equally willing as they were to trample over rights without declaring an emergency if that’s not needed to justify it.

            1. I guess you’re primarily concerned with how what I wrote reflects on Trump. I’m more interested in what this whole episode might tell us about the nature of violating the Constitution–with or without invoking emergency powers. Invoking emergency powers is probably better for the reasons I stated regardless of whether Trump is like other presidents in other ways.

              I suppose this might make more sense to you if you didn’t have TDS, and it hard not to mention your TDS under these circumstances–since being incapable of rational thinking when Trump is involved is what TDS is all about.

              Somehow you seem to think that the tu quoque fallacy is perfectly rational when Trump is involved, to the point that you’ll invoke it twice–as if reconsidering the validity of the tu quoque fallacy were legitimately rational because Trump is involved.

              After all, Trump really did . . . and doesn’t that prove that the tu quoque fallacy isn’t really a fallacy at all? Isn’t that what you’re trying to say? Or are you trying to say that Trump is just as bad as the others because he did the same thing? Either way you slice it you’re wrong–and for the same reason. You know what that reason is, don’t you?

          1. How do you pronounce that? 🙂

            1. To cock. A cock?!

            2. Two Kwoh Kway

              From college Latin, anyway. Philosophy professors 1) seemed to prefer Two Qwo Kwee, and 2) Didn’t appreciate having their Latin pronunciation corrected.

              That’s not a uniq

              Incidentally, I got in a fight with the same ex-con twice.

              Asking why the hell they had Stephen King books in the prison library didn’t provoke him, but pointing out that the author’s name is pronounced “Steven King” really pissed him off. He was sure as hell that it was pronounced “Stefan”. That’s what everyone called him in prison.

              The other was when he pointed to the belt of Orion claiming it was the Big Dipper. For years, the only thing he could see was a patch of sky from his cell that showed him nothing–except the Big Dipper. He used it to figure out which way was home. It gave him hope.

              I’d like to say it broke my heart to tell him it wasn’t the Big Dipper at all. It was Orion! He looked at Orion for years thinking it was the Big Dipper. I was kind of an a-hole back then, and I was bored, and so I pointed out that he spent years looking at the belt of Orion and thinking it was pointing the way home.

              Turns out not everybody wants to know the truth.

              1. Damn new computer posted before I edited.

                Anyway, it was most of the way there.

              2. Some have said that the truth will set you free…

                …others have said that the truth will get you fleas!

    2. Article II powers are perfectly Constitutional.

      I have still yet to hear how the Lefty media’s hyperbole constitutes Trump doing something unconstitutional.

      1. I having trouble locating the portion of Article II that authorizes a president to declare national emergencies that give the office unilateral powers.

        1. I having trouble locating the portion of what the President said where he wants unilateral powers.

  19. I don’t know 2 million plus criminals entering the country every year seems like an emergency to me.

    1. +100

    2. If people breaking laws is ground for an emergency to give the president unilateral power to do whatever he wants, we might as well throw the entire Constitution into the shredder.

      1. Except for that whole non-citizens can’t commit crimes in the US if they’re not here thing.

        Not that I want the wall, but there is a clear difference.

        1. I was interpreting his comment as referring to the crime of unauthorized entry – otherwise his figure is way inflated (I’m pretty sure it’s already highly inflated as is). So the aim here is to stop that crime by building a wall.

          And regardless, I fail to see where there’s any difference that would be constitutionally relevant. Anyone defending this who claims to favor limited government, rule of law, limited executive power, and the Constitution is an absolute fraud.

          1. calidissident…Says the absolute fraud.

          2. I don’t think the idea that the US Government has the legitimate Constitutional authority to contain and control its borders is really up for debate, is it?

            I do think the ways in which the government achieves those goals is absolutely up for debate. As is the prudence of declaring a national state of emergency for something that arguably mostly affects the 4 states along the southern border.

      2. You sure showed that straw man who the boss is.

        1. Calidissident is good at sending hordes of straw men into circulation.

  20. Sounds very cliche, but we do need a bipartisan solution, as this country is everyone’s, on the left and right! At least Trump is trying, but the Left is blocking him every step of the way, thus having to resort to these drastic measures.

    1. Spam-o-meter: 9/10

  21. No no, I have come to see the light on border restrictionism.

    Clearly, these immigrants are just robots who are programmed to vote for socialism. You can’t reason with them or persuade them. They are like the Terminator robots. They just come and destroy wherever they go, but their chosen mode of destruction is not knives and guns, but instead votes for socialism. So since they are just robots, we libertarians don’t have to worry about things like rights or liberties. Robots don’t have liberty. So keep them out, build a wall to keep them out, if it means shooting a few of them to make a point, then so be it. Who cares, they are just robots. As far as Americans are concerned, sure THEY have rights and liberties, but the liberty to associate with a robot? Who cares about that, it’s like the right to own some exotic zoo animal. Sure in principle we ought to have the right to do that, but it’s not something to get worked up over if the government does infringe on that right. Besides, these are Terminator robots we are considering here. They are actually dangerous! So who cares about Americans’ liberties to associate with robots. Any means necessary to keep them out is justified.

    1. Siri, define American Culture …

      “The culture of the United States of America is primarily of Western culture (European) origin and form, but is influenced by a multicultural ethos that includes African, Native American, Asian, Polynesian, and Latin American people and their cultures.”

      Politics is downstream from culture. We have the right to protect our culture, which is the most prosperous, accepting culture in the world. Just because other cultures fail does not mean they are entitled to join ours. We grant them that right, at our own pace, because if we don’t then we risk losing our culture completely.

      1. Which parts of your culture are you afraid of losing? The parts that suck? Big box stores and obesity? The good parts of my culture are Mexican and Thai food and literally all of modern music that came from black people.

        1. What becomes clearer and clearer, is that when the border restrictionists claim to want to “defend American culture”, they are really referring to a hypothetical and/or nostalgic American culture that never really existed. “Free markets, limited government, free trade, rule of law, etc.” That all sounds great. But America has never been that, not even back in the early days of the Republic. Look at the Alien and Sedition Acts. Look at the debates over the first national bank. Look at how the Louisiana Purchase was handled. Look at how Andrew Jackson treated the Native Americans. Not to mention the horrors of slavery.

          The closed-border crowd wants immigrants to assimilate to American culture. For the most part, they are – to the American culture that actually exists, not to some hypothetical culture that never existed! From that infamous CIS report, among households in which the head of household had less than a highschool education, 60% of native households accepted welfare benefits, as opposed to 75% of immigrant households that accepted welfare benefits. Is it higher? Yes. Is it HUGELY higher? No. 15% is not a huge difference. Taking welfare benefits if you’re poor and needy IS a part of American culture now, much as we all would lament it here.

          1. “From that infamous CIS report, among households in which the head of household had less than a highschool education, 60% of native households accepted welfare benefits, as opposed to 75% of immigrant households that accepted welfare benefits.”

            Ok? I thought the argument was about illegal immigration and whether or not we should be forced to take in large amounts without vetting anyone. There’s plenty of data that shows legal immigrants cost money in the short term, and are a net gain by the third generation. But that doesn’t mean we should be forced to fund the initial costs at the will of the migrants.

        2. “Big box stores and obesity”

          Thank you for admitting you don’t support free will for anyone. Says a lot

          By the way, I support freedom, firstly for Americans, and next for whoever we decide to let visit or stay.

          And by the way, black people probably made whatever music you’re referring to in America

          1. Who is this “we,” friend?

      2. We have the right to protect our culture

        Okay then. What is your response to this?

        1. “Okay then. What is your response to this?”

          That I don’t click youtube links.

          1. That flags are fine?

            That’s all you got?

            I say I like America and it’s culture, and you show me a moron on a news segment.

            You sleepy today? You’re normally more sharp

            1. So you see nothing wrong with waving Mexican flags on American soil. Well I guess we are getting somewhere.

      3. Siri, define American Culture …

        “The culture of the United States of America is primarily of Western culture (European) origin and form, but is influenced by a multicultural ethos that includes African, Native American, Asian, Polynesian, and Latin American people and their cultures.”

        Your “definition” is descriptive, not prescriptive. It just defines aspects of what American culture is, without clearly delineating what those are.

        You clearly view American culture in terms of a collectivist tribal identity.
        I view American culture in terms of individualism and respect for individual liberty.

        Both can be said to have roots in Western European traditions.

        So who is right?

        1. “It just defines aspects of what American culture is, without clearly delineating what those are.”

          JFC you try so hard to look like you have a clue then you write shit like this and blow it all apart.

          1. His self destruct mechanism is very reliable.

        2. n>0 that any one illegal immigrant is anti-liberty. Especially of marginalized groups like women and gays.

          Just saying.

          1. Sure. Immigrants are just people. Just like, American citizens are just people. Some are good, some are bad. Some have rather horrible and retrograde beliefs. Not sure what the point is.

            1. No one is surprised you miss the point.

      4. Mayberry N.C.

        For some reason that comes to mind when I hear people talk about preserving American culture.

        Good show actually when Don Knotts was in it.

        Thing is there is no such thing as preserving culture. All cultures are dynamic. You can’t freeze them the way there were centuries ago.

  22. MAGA!

    Trump using all the powers listed in Article II. Go Trump!

    1. Trump using all the powers listed in Article II.

      Yeah, he’s, um, receiving ambassadors and other public ministers! And, um, requiring the opinion, in writing, of the principal officer in each of the executive departments! And, uh, declaring national emergencies that grant the president unilateral powers! Wait, no, that’s not in there. Whatever. Go Trump!

      1. Section 1.
        The executive power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America.

        Add in all the power Congress gave the Executive Branch to execute on.

        I know, you dont like all the laws on the books being enforced as it will tend to get Americans upset at most of those laws and illegals will be deported.

        I keep seeing no actual information on what unconstitutional things Trump plans on doing with the Constitutional powers of the Executive branch.

    2. lol, haven’t read the Reason comments for months, just wanted to check if the little authoritarians are still supporting the big authoritarian, and lo and behold, they still do!

  23. And can you imagine those Democrats/Beltway Republicans/Cosmo Koch Libertarians? They want to import MORE of these Terminator immigrant robots! They must hate America or something if they want to do that.

  24. I’d rather see things done right too… The problem is when one side in a competition is willing to use every dirty trick in the book… And you refuse to… YOU LOSE. Every. Single. Time.

    This is what conservatives and libertarians have been doing for decades. It has to stop if we want to save the country. And not just on the border wall. Non leftists need to stop cucking on EVERYTHING.

    People who think like you are the reason this country has gone to shit. It’s time to take off the gloves and start clobbering leftists, by any means necessary.

    1. Can’t create liberty without breaking a few eggs… or cracking a few skulls. Amirite?

    2. Where’s our hero Pinochet when we need him?

    3. It’s time to take off the gloves and start clobbering leftists, by any means necessary.
      Go, Internet tough guy, go.

    4. Destroying liberty to own the libs.

      1. As if the ‘libs’ are even tolerant of liberty.

        1. +100

        2. If you’re proposing to toss liberty out the window because you believe that, then neither are you.

          Nazis don’t give a shit about free speech or liberty, but that doesn’t stop anyone here (myself included) from defending their free speech and other rights. And the “rev up the helicopters” wing of self-described “libertarians,” who are often among the loudest voices supposedly defending the principle of universal free speech in those arguments, nonetheless see no contradiction between that and their desires to toss leftists from helicopters or expel them from society. Hypocrites who don’t actually give a shit about freedom, all of them.

          1. He said that Lefties dont like Liberty for people.

            This is true.

          2. “If you’re proposing to toss liberty out the window because…”

            Yes, that is exactly what I said. Your rhetorical honesty is only exceeded by your reading comprehension.

          3. In short: When people attack you, it is okay to defend yourself. We’re under attack. Even more than the founders were when they took up arms.

  25. the “NOW!” in all this is horseshit … I think T is smarter than to go all Mussolini about it

  26. If you want a scare tactic obscenity leading to massively unjustified extension of government power from local to international, talk about the whole anthropogenic global warming climate change crony socialist profitable highly self-serving fashionable hysteria.

  27. I used to joke about using indentured servitude as an alternative means of entry to standard legal immigration. Sorta do that already for H-1B visas.

  28. Before anyone writes about what is going on, you should go down to the border and spend a couple of nights in Texas or Arizona with the Border Patrol to really know what is going on. Instead of believing a bunch of people who visit for a photo op where the wall already exists in the middle of the day.

  29. Screw them.
    Build the wall, deport the illegals, and anyone that has a problem with that is free to leave too!

    1. Screw them.

      Damn straight. They’re just robots programmed to vote for socialism. Screw them all and toss them out!

    2. +1000

  30. “Trump’s National Emergency Is an American Obscenity”

    Yeh, that’s the last straw for me. There is no longer any intellectual honesty to be found in the Reason writes. It used to be just a few loons, but this hateful, hyperventilating article from Welch just shows the rot is now universal.
    Particularly when the vast majority of the ‘links’ in each article is back to another Reason article in a perpetual circle of delusion.

    Hihn makes more sense on his medicated days.

    “free minds” yeh…not anymore… Free minds require the consideration of facts and theories that both support and refute your ideas. But yeah Matt, keep towing the DNC party line and your orange-man-bad group-think.

    1. Buh-bye!

    2. Reasons’ approach to liberty has become much more ‘selective.’

    3. He who pays the piper calls the tune.

  31. Tradition says that Tiberius as often as he left the Senate-House used to exclaim in Greek, “How ready these men are to be slaves.”

  32. LOL. Nick is a moron. There’s no equivalency between the highly unconstitutional and unprecedented DACA, and the entirely constitutional and routinely used emergency powers. Good Grief! Can you imagine what these freaks would be like if Trump ACTUALLY started running roughshod over the Constitution like Obama did??

    By the way, Ilya Somin’s blog posts are always pure advocacy, not scholarly analysis, generally don’t address obvious counterarguments at all, and frequently include a dose of intellectual dishonesty.

    1. Oops, thought this was Nick but it’s a “Matt Welch”

  33. So the author is still in middle school ? Too young to remember Obama, it seems. Pathetic.

  34. Is this msnbc? Where are the adults?

  35. So the author is still in middle school ? Too young to remember Obama, it seems. Pathetic.

  36. It’s just a wall. Why so triggered?

  37. Obama didn’t increase deportations, consciously or unconsciously. During the Obama administration the definition of deportation was changed to include voluntary returns that weren’t counted as deportations during previous administrations.

    1. Citation needed. The migra codes do change, but that change has not occurred at all. Persons who overstay then pay their own way and depart voluntarily are not classed as deportees–not for the last decade or more. Deportees are barred from getting a visa for ten years, and liable to criminal penalties if they re-enter illegally. Search for Fiscal Year 2018 ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations Report for a list of graphs covering the past three years. Pew graphs cover earlier years. Nor does it matter much what the Prez thinks, as that department mainly executes the laws Congress passes.

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  39. Bullshit, Congress and previous presidents have refused to stop illegal aliens entering our country for decades. Something has to be done and the same ole same ole just ain’t working.

  40. Lettuce think about this for 1 second. Pelosi, Obama, Hillary, Harry, and Chuck all supported border security. The videos of their statements are easily discovered. Now that Trump wants border security, 100% of them have changed their minds. Does that give anyone a clue as to where the values of Pelosi, Obama, Hillary, Harry, and Chuck reside? All 5 of them are hypocrites. Why would anyone follow the-five when they change their minds willy-nilly?

    1. 3 of the 5 people you mentioned are no longer serving in Congress. What, are you retarded or something? Are you also a hypocrite by advocating for sound reason when you display such a hilarious lack of brain-power? Why do you think that no wall was build within the last 2 years? Could it be that they’re ALL HYPOCRITES?

  41. Why is Matt surprised that Executive Branch enforcers react to Legislative Branch enactments? Both halves of the Kleptocracy eagerly send deadly force out all over the globe, destroying economies and summoning forth jihadists out for revenge on whoever elected these force-initiating monsters–in much the way we bombed Germany and Japan. Nothing would surprise me less than for These States to come under nuclear and biological attack. If that happens, a wall will look less silly in the ensuing Mel Gibson movie than it does now. Some persuaders talk past the sale. Trump may be talking past an attack which the Kleptocracy’s penchant for initiation of force makes more likely than not.

  42. I disagree. The American obscenity is the U.S. Congress and the Democrat Party in all the states.

  43. I’d heard there were already 31 ongoing “national emergencies” in existence currently. This is strictly hearsay as I haven’t confirmed it anyplace.

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  48. Hey, Matt, do you close your door when you’re home or away?

  49. To my knowledge, Trump has signed fewer executive orders than most other presidents, and certainly far less than Obama ever did. Congressional power is only usurped when it is not involved in the decision. This happened when Obama sent troops to Syria despite the fact that congress had already voted not to. This is the very definition of an impeachable offence.

  50. It’s amazing Republicans didn’t think the border wall was a national emergency during the last 2 years but all of a sudden when Democrats took over the House after the midterm election, the wall is suddenly a national emergency?

    When Republicans took over the House, Senate and White House, their first order of business was to repeal a bill that made it difficult for mentally ill people to own guns.

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