The president* had a bit of a setback on Thursday, as the Congress suddenly discovered Article I of the United States Constitution at the bottom of its oatmeal bowl next to the bunny rabbit. First, the House of Representatives unanimously passed a measure stating its opinion that Robert Mueller's eventual report should be made public. From The New York Times:
Though the resolution is nonbinding and cannot force the Justice Department to take a particular action, Democrats who put it on the House floor are trying to build public pressure on Attorney General William P. Barr in advance of the investigation’s anticipated conclusion to share what Robert S. Mueller III produces. Far from standing in the way, Republicans joined Democrats en masse. On the 420-to-0 vote, four Republicans voted present.
“This report must see the light of day, must be available to the American public for a catharsis that will allow us to start with the facts, understand what happened and begin to rebuild the faith of the American people,” said Representative Jim Himes, Democrat of Connecticut and a senior member of the Intelligence Committee, which has undertaken its own Russia investigation.
The Republicans apparently signed on under the political rubric of, "What, us worry?"
“With wide bipartisan support the House has agreed: the American people deserve to know the truth about what, if anything, special counsel Mueller has uncovered, and now we should finally see this investigation come to a close,” said Representative Steve Scalise of Louisiana, the second-ranking Republican, in a statement.
Considering that every investigator in the country except Illya Kuryakin has their teeth in the president*'s leg right now, and show no sign of letting go, this seems a bit blithe as to the future.
Meanwhile, down the clickety marble hallway, the Senate took a very binding vote in which it overturned resoundingly the president*'s phony national emergency at the southern border. From the Washington Post:
The disapproval resolution passed the House last month, so the 59-41 Senate vote will send the measure to the Trump’s desk. Trump has promised to use the first veto of his presidency to strike it down, and Congress does not have the votes to override the veto. “VETO!” Trump tweeted moments after the vote.
That's really not how you do it.
Twelve Republicans voted to reject the emergency declaration and, of course, they all had their own spin on why they did. For example, Marco Rubio voted to reject it because he's afraid some Democratic president is going to show up one morning and steal all his cows.
“We have an emergency at our border, which is why I support the president’s use of forfeiture funds and counter-drug money to build a wall. However, I cannot support moving funds that Congress explicitly appropriated for construction and upgrades of our military bases. This would create a precedent a future president may abuse to jumpstart programs like the Green New Deal.”
Among the Republicans who folded on their constitutional duty were Very Concerned Ben Sasse of Nebraska and Thom Tillis of North Carolina, who wrote a damn op-ed last month in the Post about how he couldn't go along with the president. But Tillis is up for re-election in 2020, and that's how tat goes.
(And it's a good thing Sasse is a Very Concerned Serious Person, because his statement explaining why he rolled over reads like it was written by drunken coatimundis. He wants Congress to regain the powers it has surrendered to the Executive, but not this way, or something.)
All of this comes after the Senate had given him another whack and voted to cut off US aid to Saudi Arabia's brutal campaign in Yemen. And if you think the president* is going to accept all this LOSING gracefully, well, consider the interview he gave to Breitbart on Thursday.
"So here’s the thing-it’s so terrible what’s happening,” Trump said when asked by Breitbart News Washington Political Editor Matthew Boyle about how the left is fighting hard. “You know, the left plays a tougher game, it’s very funny. I actually think that the people on the right are tougher, but they don’t play it tougher. Okay? I can tell you I have the support of the police, the support of the military, the support of the Bikers for Trump – I have the tough people, but they don’t play it tough - until they go to a certain point, and then it would be very bad, very bad. But the left plays it cuter and tougher. Like with all the nonsense that they do in Congress … with all this invest[igations]-that’s all they want to do is –you know, they do things that are nasty. Republicans never played this.”
The president* is telling one of his favorite media outlets that he's prepared to use the police and the military against his political opposition, and even if he's just bloviating, what he's saying is an impeachable act all on its own. I'd like to believe that this is finally the first stirring of a general Republican uprising against being led by a vulgar talking yam, but I'm going to need more proof than a couple of votes.
After all, late in the afternoon on Thursday, the new normal reasserted itself. Senator Lindsey Graham objected, so that House resolution about making the Mueller report public died quietly without any debate at all. But Graham is willing to swing for it as long as the FBI investigates Hillary Clinton and her emails, and the whole country is insane now.
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