Democrats are in a panic. As Dan told you yesterday, President Trump is apparently planning to declare the situation on the Southern U.S. border a “National Emergency,” and build the wall via executive action.
“President Trump will sign the government funding bill, and as he has stated before, he will also take other executive action — including a national emergency — to ensure we stop the national security and humanitarian crisis at the border,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement. “The President is once again delivering on his promise to build the wall, protect the border, and secure our great country.”
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Cue the left-wing histrionics. Nancy Pelosi is threatening to use the same strategy to implement gun control, while talking heads on every news channel bemoan the “frightening” and “dangerous” implications of sweeping executive overreach. Allegedly, Democracy is about to die in darkness… and a border wall is to blame.
On principle, we can agree that this isn’t ideal. Conservatives would much rather live in a country where the co-equal branches of government act like adults, and handle issues by passing actual legislation. Executive orders and national emergencies should not be necessary, and Constitutionalists have been complaining about the ever-expanding power of the presidency for years.
That said, it’s important to remember that emergency declarations are nothing new. Since 1976 there have been 58 of them. The nation is currently operating under 31 of them. One of these has been renewed every year since Carter was president. Six of them are from the Clinton administration, 11 were enacted by Bush, and 10 are Obama leftovers.
For the record, via ABC News, here are the 10 national emergencies enacted by Obama that are still in effect.
April 12, 2010: The National Emergency With Respect to Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Conflict in Somalia was in respect to threats posed by Somali pirates.
February 25, 2011: The National Emergency With Respect to Blocking Property and Prohibiting Certain Transactions Related to Libya froze the assets of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.
July 25, 2011: The National Emergency With Respect to Blocking Property of Transnational Criminals was in response to the rise in crime by specific organizations: Los Zetas (Mexico), The Brothers’ Circle (former Soviet Union countries), the Yakuza (Japan), and the Camorra (Italy).
May 16, 2012: The National Emergency With Respect to Blocking Property of Persons Threatening the Peace, Security, or Stability of Yemen addressed political unrest within the Yemen government.
March 16, 2014: The National Emergency With Respect to Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Situation in Ukraine was in response to the Russian invasion of Crimea.
April 3, 2014: The National Emergency With Respect to Blocking Property of Certain Persons With Respect to South Sudan was in response to the ongoing civil war.
May 12, 2014: The National Emergency With Respect to Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Conflict in the Central African Republic was in response to violence towards humanitarian aid workers.
March 8, 2015: The National Emergency With Respect to Blocking Property and Suspending Entry of Certain Persons Contributing to the Situation in Venezuela was in response to human rights violations.
April 1, 2015: The National Emergency With Respect to Blocking the Property of Certain Persons Engaging in Significant Malicious Cyber-Enabled Activities was in response to Chinese cyber attacks on the U.S.
Nov 23, 2015: The National Emergency With Respect to Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Situation in Burundi was declared after a failed coup.
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We can argue over their relative merits, but it’s tough to make the case that the immediate need for better border security isn’t at least as important as a 2015 coup attempt in Burundi.
It’s also telling that we didn’t hear a peep from the outraged left during the Obama years. If Trump’s overreach is so grievous, if it so imperils our democracy, why wasn’t it a problem from 2008-2016? The answer is obvious.
Democrats don’t really care about the underlying issues surrounding executive orders and national emergencies. All they know is “orange man bad” and “resist.”
Trump could issue an EO curing cancer, and progressives would clutch their pearls until they were ground to dust.