Donald Trump runs smack into a wall

Fifteen additional states have joined California in a federal lawsuit to block Trump’s non-emergency declaration. The lawsuit contends that the declaration is unconstitutional, and further states specifically that “the federal government’s own data prove there is no national emergency at the southern border that warrants construction of a wall. Customers and Border Protection data show that unlawful entries are near 45-year lows.”

The states joining California are Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, and Virginia. In a 56-page complaint, the states allege that Trump’s declaration “violates the separation of powers defined in the Constitution” in attempting to divert funds that have been designated for legitimate uses (as opposed to a vanity wall).

In addition to the ever-growing list of states filing suit, protesters are literally taking to the streets. One group, which stood across from the White House, held big neon letters that spelled out “Power grab.” To pour salt into Trump’s wounds, former White House ethics lawyer Richard Painter has taken to the airwaves to call Trump’s move “clearly illegal.” But, he doesn’t stop there. Painter believes “[t]he president is not well at all mentally. I think he is an extreme narcissist. He has been denied what he wants, his wall, and he is having a hissy fit.” Tell us something we don’t know.

Many have been saying that same thing virtually since Trump took office, but having someone like Painter say this publicly is huge. (I’m sure Trump will attack him on Twitter by tomorrow.) Painter goes on to say that Trump should be removed from office via the 25th Amendment and that his power grab will do “enormous damage to the Republican Party”. Good. Anyone who has been complicit – in word, deed, or inaction – in Trump’s shameful attempts to tear down our democracy needs to go with him.

American citizens, unfortunately, are powerless to do anything until this thing goes through the court process. Trump is likely counting on it getting to the Supreme Court, where he thinks he will prevail after stacking the court. If I were him, I wouldn’t count on Justice Roberts, who appears to rule solely on Constitutional law. If this power grab is shown to be unconstitutional, Trump can hang it up.

We can hope that some of the Republicans in office come to their senses and stop supporting Trump’s madness, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. How can he simply ignore the statistics that are staring him in the face? What’s really behind all this and what is his true motivation? Only he knows for sure, but I would put money on Painter’s characterization: Trump is a true narcissist, and this wall is the closest he will ever come to a presidential “legacy.” Never mind all that he has destroyed; he wants a monument to his awesomeness (at least in his mind) and will apparently stop at nothing to get it.

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