Out of Control Feds

A benefit of writing this little blog is that I read (and, usually, skim) a great deal of material from all over the web, and come away knowing more than I otherwise would.  My hope is to take some of the flotsam and jetsam I come across and condense and give context to it.

Such was the situation with Jim Treacher, the pseudonym of Sean Medlock.  Treacher/Medlock is a lukewarm Never Trumper (from what I can gather) who writes for PJ Media.  Treacher wrote a piece earlier in the week about “conservative” website The Bulwark, which is unhinged neocon Bill Kristol‘s new pet project since The Weekly Standard was unceremoniously shuttered a few months ago.

That piece, “In What Sense is The Bulwark Conserving Conservatism,” is not the point of this post, but it is a disturbing read.  Treacher examines the self-righteous scribblings of Molly Jong-Fast, who covered CPAC for The Bulwark.  CPAC is the major event in conservative activism, and every year generates plenty of controversy between the warring factions of Conservatism, Inc.  Jong-Fast (hyphenated names make my skin crawl) basically spent the entire conference shuddering about how “anti-choice” the conference was, and making jokes about a group of conservatives wanting to limit the size and scope of the federal government.

What did you expect, baby?  CPAC isn’t a meeting of the D.C. Workers’ Soviet.  Yeesh.  Read the piece to get the full flavor for this foolishness.  It proves the claims from Dissident Right figures that modern “conservatism” doesn’t conserve anything, and yesterday’s Leftist utopia is today’s “conservative principle.”

Tough words to type, but in the case of Kristol and his ilk, terribly true.  Regardless, in the piece Treacher mentions in passing being struck by a State Department vehicle in 2010, which prevented his attendance at CPAC.

That took me down a frightening rabbit hole:  a State Department vehicle struck Treacher, who was in the crosswalk at the time.  The State Department agent driving the vehicle, Mike McGuinn, did not apologize to Treacher; indeed, Treacher was issued a ticket for jaywalking—while in his hospital bed!

Some key excerpts from The Daily Caller‘s piece about the incident:

An agent in the vehicle, Mike McGuinn, did not identify himself to Medlock at the scene, or apologize for running him down. Indeed, Washington, D.C., police drove to a local emergency room to serve Medlock with a jaywalking citation as he lay prostrate in a hospital bed, while a man who identified himself as “special agent” stood by watching and taking notes….

At the hospital, DC police officer John Muniz arrived to issue Medlock a $20 jaywalking ticket. Medlock was lying sedated on a gurney, so Muniz delivered the ticket to a Daily Caller colleague, who was at the hospital with Medlock. He looked embarrassed as he did so. Behind him stood a man dressed in a dark suit who identified himself as a “special agent.” He said nothing but wrote in a notebook.

Curiously, the ticket says that Medlock was struck at an intersection four blocks from where the accident actually took place. And it claims that Medlock was walking diagonally across the intersection at the time. In one of his strikingly short conversations with the Daily Caller, agent Mike McGuinn acknowledged that Medlock was not jaywalking at all, but walking “outside the crosswalk when the incident occurred.”

The question is: Did the federal agent driving the SUV, faced with potential liabilities from the accident, encourage local police to issue some sort – any sort – of citation to Medlock, to establish his culpability?

Three years later, Treacher wrote a piece for The Daily Caller detailing the State Department’s practice of hiring law enforcement personnel with checkered pasts.

Here we have a federal bureaucracy utterly indifferent to the lives of the citizens it ostensibly serves.  In Treacher’s case, I can’t tell if it’s malignant indifference, or rank incompetence.  Bureaucracies of all stripes try to avoid liability and controversy—they exist to protect and expand themselves, after all—but only the federal government could get away with running someone down in a crosswalk, ticketing that person, and never owning up to its mistake.

I wrote yesterday about the presence of Deep State, anti-Trump actors in the State Department, and of their collusion with the Obama administration’s Department of Justice.  If they have the gall to attempt the takedown of a duly-elected President, then imagine their contempt and disregard for us.

Now that the Mueller probe has ended (I think that’s the takeaway from the promise that there would be no more indictments), Deep State perfidy will only grow more sinister.  Gird your loins, President Trump.

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The Deep State is Real, Part II: US Ambassadors and DOJ Conspired Against Trump

Congressman Mark Meadows (R-NC) dropped a bombshell earlier this week:  Obama-era US ambassadors conspired with the Department of Justice against President Trump.  Every site I find points back to the original Washington Examiner piece linked above, although the blog Independent Sentinel has a bit more commentary, tying it back to the fake Christopher Steele dossier.

You’ll recall the Steele dossier is a document the Clinton campaign commissioned through back-channels (a law firm), which was then used to obtain a FISA warrant to wiretap then-candidate Trump’s communications.  That mendacious original sin spawned the odious “Russian collusion” narrative that lingers around the Trump Administration like a bad fart.  Andrew McCarthy in National Review calls the dossier a “Clinton-campaign product.”

Regardless, if Meadows is correct, it serves as further proof that the Washington “Deep State”—the “Swamp”—is very, terrifyingly real.  It will stop at nothing to disrupt President Trump’s America First agenda, and subvert a free and fair election.

What’s most chilling about all this chicanery is not that it targets President Trump particularly (although that certainly creates its own problems—few good, conscientious Americans will choose to run for public office, especially as conservatives, unless they have the cash and the guts to risk everything).  Rather, it suggests that our experiment in self-government is dangerously threatened by a group of unelected elites cloistered in the Washington foreign policy and law enforcement establishment.

America stands at a crossroads.  We’ve arrogated ever-more power to an unaccountable federal bureaucracy.  Many conservatives—myself included—hoped that the extended government shutdown would aid in the draining of the Swamp.  So far, though, it seems that the president is still surrounded by enemies.

We have a choice:  we continue down the current road, ceding more power to the government, and hoping against hope for some kind of “enlightened, constitutionalist despot” to restore as much of our constitutional framework as possible.  President Trump’s difficulties weeding out seditious bureaucrats suggest that path is incredibly difficult, and it will make presidential contests—as well as Supreme Court nominations—increasingly vicious.  The progressive Left has an edge in the culture, the institutions, government, and on the streets.

The other option is weed out the federal bureaucracy, strike down the administrative state, and restore power to Congress.  Restoring power to the States would also reduce the emphasis on national politics über alles.

But conservative politicians have been peddling those nostrums for years, without much headway.  Thus, we find ourselves struggling along with a feeble Congress, a dictatorial federal court system, an arrogant administrative regime, and a presidency that is both excessively powerful and, paradoxically, unable to control its own bureaucracy.

Something has to give.  President Trump has fought back ably overall, but one man alone cannot restore our constitutional order.  Indeed, that’s the whole point of our system—to diffuse power broadly.  He’s done what he could through the constitutional powers at his disposal.

I don’t know what the future holds, but if we want to continue the grand experiment in self-government, we have to hobble the Deep State—indeed, it must be destroyed.

Academic Leftism’s Sour Grapes

I received the following piece from a colleague at one of the schools where I teach.  The piece, entitled “The Academy is Unstable and Degrading. Historians Should Take over the Government Instead,” is indicative of how utterly clueless Leftist intellectuals are to their own dominance of not only academia, but the culture and government as well.

The author, Dr. Daniel Bessner, is an assistant professor of American foreign policy at the University of Washington, and, as he makes clear from the piece, an avowed socialist.  Indeed, the crux of the op-ed is as follows:  the academy is crumbling, as tenure-track jobs disappear (and, presumably, as Americans are wising up to its intense Leftist slant and poor track record in re: the job market), meaning Leftist “public intellectuals” need to find new worlds to conquer.  Dr. Bessner proposes the government.

In his diagnosis of the academy’s ills, he argues that the Left has focused too much on taking over the English Department (it’s at least refreshing to read a Leftist acknowledge that it was a self-conscious, deliberate march through the institutions), and not enough taking over the State Department, as it were.

He then proceeds to detail how libertarians moved from the fringes of political opinion to their relative ubiquity today, discussing the influence of Murray Rothbard and the Left’s favorite billionaire boogiemen, the Koch Brothers.

What’s rich about all this hand-wringing is the utter lack of self-awareness.  What about the legions of left-leaning banksters and billionaires pouring money into progressive organizations and schemes?  George Soros is our “boogieman” of the Left, but consider the entire entertainment, corporate (especially “Big Tech“), and academic apparatuses that are arrayed in favor of progressivism’s cause du jour.

The Left has dominated the culture from multiple perches for decades.  If the academy is falling into ruinous disrepair, it’s because Leftists have been running it since the 1960s.  They have only themselves to blame for the drying up of tenure-track gigs, rising tuition, and useless “assistant vice deans of diversity, inclusions, and LGBTQ2+MMORPG acceptance” positions.

One final note:  if President Trump were the dictator these Leftists soy boys make him out to be, they wouldn’t be identifying openly as socialists, nor would they be espousing a socialist agenda—as Dr. Bessner does in this piece—openly online.  That Dr. Bessner does so also demonstrates how successful his comrades have been at normalizing a fundamentally ruinous ideology in the United States (see also:  crazy-eyed Congressbabe Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, poster-child for over-credentialed, arrogant college grads who base their entire lives off what they learned in an English 101 survey course from an angry, radical adjunct).

God help us all if Dr. Bessner and his ilk insinuate themselves further into the government.  Drain the Swamp, President Trump!

Americans Support America First Agenda

A quick Saturday night post:  a Harvard/Harris Poll (PDF), according to Breitbart, suggests there is substantial support for an “America First” agenda.  Such an agenda places the government’s priority as protecting American citizens first and foremost, and includes enforcing immigration laws, pushing for fairer trade via tariffs, and ending open-ended foreign wars.

I’ve written about the rise in economic nationalism before, including a detailed case study from BreitbartTucker Carlson’s 3 January 2019 monologue is probably the best defense of an “American First” agenda I’ve ever heard.

Economic nationalism dovetails with immigration in that enforcing immigration laws—and deporting illegal immigrants—would drive up wages for workers domestically.  I would also argue that a moratorium on most legal immigration for at least a decade would probably be prudent, to facilitate assimilation.

And, as painful as they would be, mass deportations of any illegal alien, regardless of criminal record, would do much to remove the un-assimilated, and to dissuade further incidences of border hopping.

It seems a good portion of Americans agree with at least some of these assessments.  Here is a quotation from the Breitbart piece on the poll:

Across racial lines, the vast majority of white Americans, 79 percent, and black Americans, 75 percent, said they would support a candidate who said they wanted an immigration system that benefited American citizens, rather than foreign nationals.

Similarly, more than 6-in-10 voters said they would be more likely to support a candidate in an election that spoke of the national “emergency with the savage MS-13 gang” that has been largely due to the country’s mass illegal and legal immigration system that has been supported by Republicans, Democrats, the open borders lobby, Wall Street executives, and corporate interests.

It’s encouraging to see solid support for an America First agenda, even if that doesn’t always translate to love for President Trump himself.  It does suggest, however, that if he sticks to his original campaign promises—as he has largely done—he is poised to do well in 2020.

Lincoln’s Favorability

One of Scott Rasmussen’s recent Number of the Day entries for Ballotpedia deals with the Abraham Lincoln’s current high favorability ratings:  90% of Americans have a favorable view of the Great Emancipator.  88% have a favorable view of our first president, George Washington.

That was certainly not the case when Lincoln was president.  He was an unlikely figure when he first took office, and many in his own party—the young Republican Party—doubted his ability to see the United States through the American Civil War.

It’s easy to forget—or even to imagine—that Lincoln believed he would not win re-election in 1864.  Thus, he picked Andrew Johnson, a pro-Union, pro-slavery Democrat from Tennessee, as his running mate.  (Of course, Lincoln never dreamed his symbolic gesture of political goodwill and unity would lead to an unqualified boor becoming president.)  Regardless, the fall of Atlanta and subsequent Union victories boosted Lincoln at the polls, securing his reelection (he was touched to find that soldiers overwhelming supported their Commander-in-Chief).

Blogger SheafferHistorianAZ at Practically Historical posted a piece recently entitled, “Finest Two Minutes,” about Lincoln’s delivery of the Gettysburg Address.  That speech is, indeed, one of the most moving and powerful political speeches in the English language, and it’s less than 300 words.

What caught my eye was this quotation:

The Chicago Times recorded, “The cheek of every American must tingle with shame as he reads the silly, flat and dishwatery utterances of the man who has to be pointed out to intelligent foreigners as the President of the United States.”

It’s instructive to remember that, while history views Lincoln fondly (SheafferHistorianAZ rates him as a “Great”-level president), he was not universally beloved at his time, and only won in 1860 because the race was split four ways:  there were two Democratic candidates (Northern and Southern), the Republican (Lincoln), and John Bell of the Constitutional Union Party.  Lincoln did not even appear on the ballot in many Southern States.  Lincoln had to earn his greatness, and much of it came with posterity.

Similarly, President Reagan was not universally beloved in his own party when he was elected in 1980.  The parallels to our current president, Donald Trump, and his own struggles with his adopted party are striking.

The lesson seems to be to aim for greatness, regardless of contemporary naysayers.  Few Americans remember George McClellan, but everyone remembers the Great Emancipator.

Nehemiah Follow-Up

Yesterday, I posted about the Book of Nehemiah, and how the reconstruction of the wall around Jerusalem was a practical and symbolic form of national renewal and spiritual revival for the Israelites.  I drew the obvious comparison between Nehemiah’s effort, which his enemies scorned, mocked, and undermined, and that of President Trump’s to build a border wall and to enforce immigration laws.

A good friend and fellow blogger, with whom I share some Nehemiah-Trumpian parallels—for example, we’re both former secretaries for the Florence County GOP—Ms. Bette Cox, of the blog Esther’s Petition, e-mailed me the following comment.  It is reproduced here, in full, with her permission:

Good job with Nehemiah, Tyler. The most critical points, however, are found in 1:4 ff. The wall was, and is, not the most important thing in God’s eyes. Mourning. Grief. Repentance. Intercession. Far more important and essential, then and now. “Ask God what he wants prayed; pray that. Ask God what he wants to do; do that.”

Nehemiah 1:4 (KJV) reads as follows:  “And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven.”

That’s a key point that I overlooked in my original post, and I wanted to write this brief follow-up to draw attention to this verse, and to thank Ms. Cox for highlighting it.  Indeed, verse 4 is the key to the entire Book of Nehemiah:  upon hearing the condition of his nation and his people, Nehemiah falls to his knees in tears, crying out to God for direction.

Another important detail:  Nehemiah asks, just two verses later, for forgiveness, not just for his people, but for himself.  He confesses his own sins to God, knowing that without full confession and repentance, he cannot follow God’s Will—indeed, he would be unable even to know what God’s Will is!

I don’t know the state of President Trump’s spiritual life, but I do believe he wants what is best for his nation.  Just as Nehemiah wept upon hearing the reduced condition of his people and their holy city, so did candidate Trump mourn (metaphorically) the degraded state of America.

For Christians, we should pray ceaselessly for God to spare the United States and to bring about national, spiritual revival and renewal.  I believe He granted us a reprieve with the unlikely election of Donald Trump, a man that, in his personal life, does not fit the mold of the “ideal” Christian.  What comes next is unclear, but we have to walk in faith, and trust in God—especially in the face of progressive lunacy and violence.

Nehemiah and National Renewal

This past Wednesday, I was asked to fill in for the pastor at the small church I attend.  Being such a small church—our average Sunday morning attendance is about forty—the pastor works another job, and he had a rare business trip.  I suppose he figured he could do worse than asking a high school history teacher to fill in for him.

Fortunately, the lesson was fairly straightforward:  he sent me a handout on Nehemiah 1:1-11, and the focus of the lesson was on the idea of spiritual renewal.

For the biblically illiterate—a shocking number of Americans today, I’m finding (I once had a class full of philosophy students who had never heard the story of the Tower of Babel, which is pretty much Sunday School 101)—the story of Nehemiah is simple:  after an extended period of exile in Babylon, the Israelites were sent back, under the auspices of the Persian Emperor Cyrus the Great, to Jerusalem.  Cyrus sponsored the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem, but the city itself, as well as its walls, remained in a state of disrepair.

There were two waves of Israelite resettlement over the span of a century, but many Israelites remained in Babylon or other parts of the Persian Empire, such as the imperial capital.  Nehemiah was one of those, and would be part of a third wave of resettlement.  He served as cup-bearer to Artaxerxes, the Persian emperor at the time.  The position of cup-bearer was an important and trusted one:  he handled the emperor’s food and drink, ensuring it was not poisoned.

Beyond serving as the royal taste tester, the office carried with it important administrative duties, and gave incredible access to the emperor.  In short, it was a position of great influence, power, and prestige, which positioned Nehemiah nicely for what was to come.

Nehemiah spoke to a fellow Israelite who was visiting the imperial capital, and was distraught to hear of the poor condition of the city and its walls.  He fell to his knees, weeping and crying out to the Lord.  Nehemiah 1 details his prayer to God, calling out in adoration; confessing his and his people’s sins; thanking God for His mercy and gifts; and supplicating God for His Will to be accomplished through Nehemiah.

Specifically, Nehemiah asked God to be used to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem.  As cup-bearer, Nehemiah was able to present his petition to the emperor, who agreed to send Nehemiah to oversee the construction project.  In addition, Artaxerxes provided lumber from the royal forest, as well as funds to bankroll the endeavor.  He also sent letters with Nehemiah detailing his endorsement of the project.

Nehemiah’s work was not finished there, and it was anything but easy.  Initially, surrounding tribes criticized and mocked Nehemiah, questioning his loyalty to Artaxerxes, and saying that rebuilding the walls was a silly waste of time and effort.

However, once the wall reached half its height, his critics began plotting violence.  The plot to attack the workers reached Nehemiah, so he divided the work crews into those building the wall, and those defending their fellow workers from attack.

Having failed to stage an attack on the workers, Nehemiah’s enemies realized that the man himself was the target—cut off the head, kill the snake.  Again, God revealed this plot against Nehemiah, and he was able to avoid assassination.

Finally, the wall was rebuilt in an astonishing fifty-two days, an incredible feat of organization, ingenuity, and faithfulness.  The naysayers were humiliated, and Nehemiah instituted a period of national and spiritual renewal among the Israelites.  His reforms purified the nation spiritually and even ethnically, as old debts were forgiven and marriages to pagan women were dissolved.

It’s a powerful story—indeed, a powerful bit of history—about trusting in God in the face of extremely difficult odds.  But Nehemiah is also a story about national renewal, and the spiritual revival that came with it.

The wall around Jerusalem served a practical purpose—defending the city and its inhabitants from attack (even though the city was under the protection of the Persian Empire, the ancient Near East was, then as now, notoriously tribal, and the collapse of an empire would lead to dozens of ethnic conflicts)—but it was also a symbol of the Israelite nation.

Indeed, the author of the handout I used Wednesday evening writes that the “enemies of Israel could say, ‘What kind of God do you serve?  Look at the mess of your Holy City?’ It was a terrible witness and was cause for reproach from non-believers.”  The poor condition of the Jerusalem and its fortifications reflected the spiritual decay and corruption of the Israelites—they had intermarried with pagan women, adopting their false gods; they were living in rubble; and their reduced condition suggested that their God—the One True God—was not Who He made Himself out to Be.

It’s a bit on the nose, but I can’t help but recognize the parallels between the United States today and Jerusalem then—and between President Trump and Nehemiah (although I think Trump is closer to Cyrus the Great in terms of his spirituality and outlook).

I’m not suggesting Nehemiah was clubbing with Eastern European supermodels.  But like Trump, he faced overwhelming resistance from other nations to his wall project.  The rest of the ancient Near East feared a strong, renewed Israel.  Nehemiah’s return to Jerusalem, and the reconstruction of the wall, led to a period of national revival, as the people regained their identity, expelled the corrosive foreign influence in their midst, and renewed their commitment to God.

America is, spiritually and culturally, in similarly dire straits today.  President Trump has presented himself as a modern-day Nehemiah, come to control our borders, enforce our immigration laws, and restore America’s greatness on the world stage.  While he has made great strides in these areas, he meets resistance, duplicity, and mockery at every turn.

The story of Nehemiah tells us, however, that the struggle is worth the slings and arrows our enemies, both foreign and domestic, will lob at us.  To President Trump, I would urge the following:  stay the course, ignore the haters, take it to God, and BUILD THE WALL!

The Deep State is Real – Silent Coup Attempt and Andrew McCabe

One reason I’m not overly concerned about President Trump’s national emergency is because the normal constitutional order has not operated effectively or as designed for a very long time.  That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t respect the Constitution and the process, but there are so many extra-constitutional shenanigans going on already, it seems we’re missing the forest for the trees when we fixate on the president’s completely statutory, legal national emergency declaration.

Remember, Congress delegated the national emergency power to the executive branch in the National Emergency Act of 1976.  Whether they should have done so—or been allowed to do so—is a matter of debate, but they did, and it empowered President Trump to fulfill his Article II obligation to defend our national sovereignty.

Regardless, the media and Never Trumpers’ fixation on the national emergency distracts from the real threat to our constitutional republic:  the active attempt by the Deep State to stage a silent coup of the President.

Democrats and Deep Staters have made it clear they want to remove President Trump from office, not for any actual “high crime or misdemeanor,” but simply because they can if they either a.) get enough votes in the House and Senate or b.) stage a 25th Amendment, Cabinet-level coup.  Both of those are extremely unlikely, but they would set a dangerous precedent:  whenever there’s a president one side doesn’t like, that side can attempt to remove him from office for the flimsiest of reasons.  The breakdown of our constitutional norms would only accelerate.

Andrew McCabe’s current media tour is premised on his ostentatiously prideful boasting that he encouraged a 25th Amendment removal of President Trump, or at least wanted to explore the option.  Keep in mind, McCabe was considering this option even before President Trump had a chance to do anything that might be considered a “high crime.”

The accusations of “Russian collusion,” and the subsequent Mueller witch hunt, still have not yielded any actual evidence against Trump, and has only succeeded in rounding up some fringe characters on tedious process violations—they made mistakes in testimony as part of an investigation that itself is out-of-control and useless.

That a large portion of the federal bureaucracy and the intelligence community want to overthrow President Trump is not a sign of their desire to maintain a healthy republic, but is rather symptomatic of their disdain for the Electoral College and the American people—indeed, of the entire electoral process.

Put simply, their candidate lost, and they don’t want President Trump bringing their heinous misdeeds and conspiracies against the public to light.

Drain the Swamp!  The sooner the better.  And put McCabe behind bars for seditious activity.

Buchanan on the National Emergency

One of my favorite writers, paleocon Pat Buchanan, has a piece on one of my favorite sites, Taki’s Magazine, about President Trump’s recent declaration of a national emergency.  That national emergency, you’ll recall, will allow the President to use existing funds within the federal bureaucracy to build a border wall, thereby circumventing Congress’s lackluster appropriation of funds for that purpose.

Critics argue that the president is undermining our Constitution, with its careful balance of powers between the branches, specifically its delegation of the “power of the purse” to Congress.  While I certainly share some of those concerns, Buchanan points out that Trump’s national emergency is only the latest (and one of the mildest) in a long line of the executive overreach.

More crucially, Buchanan places the blame for the extension of the executive power at Congress‘s feet.  In this regard, Buchanan is correct:  Congress, with the support of an activist federal judiciary, long ago realized that it could farm out key legislative functions to the executive branch (specifically, the federal bureaucracy), and thereby avoid catching the blame for the nation’s problems.  In the process, the executive and judicial branches have arrogated greater powers to themselves (thus, the tug-of-wars between unelected federal judges and the Trump administration on virtually every policy).

To quote Buchanan at length:

Yet while presidents have acted decisively, without congressional authorization and sometimes unconstitutionally, Congress has failed to defend, and even surrendered, its legitimate constitutional powers.

Congress’s authority “to regulate commerce with foreign nations” has been largely ceded to the executive branch, with Congress agreeing to confine itself to a “yeah” or “nay” vote on whatever trade treaty the White House negotiates and sends to the Hill.

Congress’s authority to “coin money” and “regulate the value thereof” was long ago transferred to the Federal Reserve.

Congress’s power to declare war has been ignored by presidents since Truman. Authorizations for the use of military force have replaced declarations of war, with presidents deciding how broadly they may be interpreted.

In declaring the national emergency Friday, Trump rested his case on authority given the president by Congress in the National Emergencies Act of 1976.

As I wrote over the weekend, I believe the president acted within his the scope of Article II of the Constitution in issuing the national emergency, as it pertains to powers inherent in the office of the executive:  national defense and border security.  I’m not completely comfortable with this method for funding a border wall, and I think the president and congressional Republicans blew an opportunity to build the wall during the two years of Republican control of the federal government, but action needed to be taken.

Buchanan’s piece is titled, chillingly, “Why Autocrats are Replacing Democrats.”  To answer his own question, he argues that voters internationally are weary of the plodding democratic process, and are eager for leaders who will deliver solutions to their problems.  Buchanan claims that republican forms of government have failed to fulfill their most basic functions—border and immigration control, national security, etc.—and the people demand solutions—action.

I don’t think President Trump is an autocrat or a fascist.  I also don’t entirely blame him for using powers Congress has delegated to his office.  Up to this point, President Trump has stayed very much within defined constitutional limits in the exercise of his authority.

We should, however, be ever vigilant about—and always on guard against—executive overreach.  While I think the president acted within accepted constitutional bounds here—and relied upon the poor decisions of a past Congress to shore up his case for the national emergency—I hope this method of governance does not became de rigeur habit, as it did under the Obama administration.

On the plus side, we’re getting a wall!