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Why Trump’s Going to Win on the National Emergency

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Susan Walsh/AP Photo

1600 Penn

There’s one arena where the president always succeeds: getting the Republican Party to abandon its principles.


February 15, 2019

Jeff Greenfield is a five-time Emmy-winning network television analyst and author.

All through the 2016 campaign Donald Trump warned about the menace of immigration by reciting the lyrics of a song called “The Snake,” about a kind woman who takes a snake into her home, only to die when he bites her. The snake tells the woman, “You knew I was a snake before you took me in.”

It is now clear that, consciously or not, Trump was delivering a warning to the Republican Party about what he was going to do to it. Two years into his administration, Trump has recognized that the institutional power of the Republican Party has all the effectiveness of the Maginot Line. He can ignore its leaders, scorn them, or just smash through them with no lasting political damage.

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Trump’s declaration of a national emergency along the U.S.-Mexico border is a high point, or low point, of a familiar pattern that is right out of Groundhog Day—or the Netflix series Russian Doll. Again and again, Trump embraces a policy, or reveals a character trait, that hits at the heart of what the Republican Party claims to stands for. In response, there is unhappiness, even anger, but never action. If you think the Republicans in Congress are going to stand up to Trump’s fake national emergency in order to........

© Politico