Earlier today the Senate passed a resolution to end Donald Trump’s national emergency, thanks to votes from all of the Senate Democrats, and twelve of the Senate Republicans. Minutes later, Trump tweeted “VETO!” and apparently seemed to think that’s all he had to do. Then one of his handlers hijacked his Twitter account and explained that he’s going to veto it, calling it a “Democrat inspired Resolution.”
With that, Donald Trump just stepped into the veto trap laid by the Democrats. It’s not that he really had any choice. He didn’t come this far with his imaginary “national emergency” wall stunt, just to give up and sign a resolution putting an end to it. So unless he gets high on bath salts and changes his mind, he’s going to veto this. That’s when the fun begins.
Right off the bat, the Democrats will have won, because they’ll have forced Donald Trump to take sole ownership of the national emergency, in defiance of both parties. In that respect it doesn’t matter how many or few Republicans tried to stop Trump on this; all the average observer will hear is that Trump went against the will of both the Democratic-controlled House and the Republican-controlled Senate. His withering base will love this. But his casual supporters outside of his base – the ones who were always going to decide whether he sinks or swims – won’t look on this kindly.
That’s before getting to the next vote on the matter. Based on today’s numbers, there aren’t enough votes to override the veto. But we’ve seen the number of dissenting Republican Senators grow from four to twelve in just a few days. As the public turns more loudly against Donald Trump’s national emergency wall nonsense by the day, that number should go higher, in both the House and Senate. We’ll see how the veto math plays out. But Trump just stepped in a trap, albeit one that he had no choice but to step in.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report