By no stretch of the imagination is it a “national emergency” to find out that you’re incapable of negotiating for a racist pet project that almost nobody in America wants — but that seems to be the wisdom that Donald Trump is banking on after declaring exactly that during a Rose Garden speech on Friday. After signing a spending bill compromise that included no funding at all exclusively set aside for his border wall, Trump decided that an emergency was his last option to deliver the wall he promised his bigoted base during the campaign.
But an emergency, everyone can agree, is a thing that requires immediate and undivided attention.
Take 9/11, for example. Although George W. Bush was caught unaware, and although his immediate response wasn’t exactly everything Americans might have hoped, he did treat the events of that fateful day with the kind of gravity that was merited by the attacks. When his chief of staff, Andrew Card, approached him in a classroom in which he was famously reading along with the students in the book “My Pet Goat,” Bush’s reaction showed the face of a President who truly understood that an emergency was happening.
No President — or anyone — could possibly predict how they might react to an actual emergency like what America suffered that day, and as much as I personally disagree with essentially all of Bush’s policies and his actual response, in military terms, to the events that took place, I can respect the fact that he truly was troubled by an actual thing that was actually happening.
All of that buildup is to demonstrate the stark contrast between a real emergency and a manufactured one — like Donald Trump’s border “crisis” that he says is justification for his wall. If there were an actual crisis happening at the border, and the day after the President declared a state of emergency, Americans found him relaxing at his golf course, perhaps enjoying some breakfast from the omelet bar in the clubhouse, it would be breathtakingly insensitive and crass, almost unforgiv– what’s that? That’s exactly what he was doing this morning?
Of course it is.
Featured image via screen capture