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State of American History, Civics, and Politics

National Emergency Crisis: The Howard Baker Moment Is Now

Canadian Terrorist Burning of the White House during the War of 1812 (Columbia Pictures)

During the course of American history, the country has faced many national emergency crises.

During the War of 1812, Canada burned the White House and the Pentagon in its terrorist assault on the country. To pour fuel on the fire, almost two centuries later Canada imposed on its weaker southern neighbor the worst economic treaty in American history. It is only when our Lord and Savior ascended to the Oval Office, that he rectified the wrong with the greatest economic treaty in American history….although he had to shut down the government to get Congress to pass NAFTA II.

Turning now from the alternate reality to the real world, there have been national emergency crises that tested the mettle of the Oval Office occupant.

The Day of Infamy.

The Cuban Missile Crisis.

9/11.

Each of one these events became a defining moment for the American President. They became the events through which the American people saw whether the President had the right stuff to rise to the occasion and safely steer the ship of state. They became the events historians would study and school kids would learn in districts where American history is still taught. What they all had in common was that the threat to the country came from outside, the crisis was foreign-generated.

Sometimes the crisis could be economic in nature:

“We have nothing to fear but fear itself.”

Sometimes the crisis could be in nature:

“Heckuva job, Brownie.”

For better and for worse these events also became defining ones of the President. Who can forget the picture of the President of the United States having fun tossing rolls of paper towels in Puerto Rico?

“Wee. I’m having fun. It’s all about me. Wee!”

Through this photo-op, We the People had the opportunity to see for ourselves how the current occupant proved he was an A+ president with this heroic display of leadership.

Now we come to the current national emergency crisis. At this point, it is no secret that “Build a Wall!” was a great campaign gimmick to shout in professional wrestling arenas. The call and response of who was going to pay for the Great Wall of Trump was an added bonus. The audience really got into the show that was being presented just as it does at a real professional wrestling match only this time they apparently thought it was real.

One of in the indelible images of the campaign, at least for me although I have not seen it replayed on the cable talk shows, occurred after the Mexican President stated that Mexico would not, in fact, pay for the wall. At the professional wrestling arena campaign event, the immature child responded to Mexico in true hissy fit fashion:

Oh yeah.
Oh yeah.
Oh yeah.
You are going to pay and the wall is going to be ten feet higher!

Many people have forgotten that campaign promise to build the wall ten feet higher. What made the moment indelible was the young white man sitting behind him and to his right. When Little Donnee Wannee declared that Mexico not only would pay for the wall but that it would be ten feet higher, this young white man leaped to his feet and thrust his arm to the heavens. It was a great display of the perfect con at work. One wonders how this individual feels now knowing that there never was any expectation that Mexico would pay for the wall and it would be the expense of the American taxpayer if built.

What began as a fraudulent con now has become real. Back in December, the wall looked like it would slide into the abyss never to be constructed. Nothing had happened in two years. The route had not been documented the way the Alaskan Pipeline was before it had been constructed. Eminent domain proceedings had not been initiated to seize the private property along the planned route. Environmental plans had not been filed. I don’t even know if a final design had been selected yet alone one that was ten feet higher. All in all, the world’s worst manager had demonstrated how he had been a serial failure in business by doing nothing to prepare for the construction of the wall in event Congress did approve it.

Following the 2018 election, it looked like time was running out. December was the last opportunity to pass a spending bill with a Republican majority in the House. When the weeny President caved, Ann Coulter was there to provide him the “backbone” that he lacked. Now it was an issue. The line had been drawn in the sand and he would not back down.

There is a saying that when you are in a hole, stop digging. That adage does not apply to this President. After all, he is a winner, He never loses. He won the election in 2016 including the popular vote since all the illegal votes for Crooked Hillary should not have been counted. He won the election in 2018 since he added two seats in the Senate and loss fewer seats in the House than Obama had. That was true on Election night when the losses were only in the 20s and remained true as they creeped up and reached 40. Hannity told him so.

The talking heads often talk about how he needs to show his Republican base that he is fighting for them. That misses the point.

The talking heads often talk about how he needs to placate Fox, Ann, and Rush. That misses the point.

The reason why this truly is a national emergency crisis is because he has to show to himself that he is a winner and not a loser. Even though the wall started as a campaign gimmick it now has become the measure of whether he is a winner or not.  If the wall is not built then NanChuck won and he lost. That is unacceptable. Therefore the wall will be built no matter what, no matter what it takes for him to build it even if the government remains shut down months or years or he has the military build it. NanChuck have left him no other choice but to play the national emergency card.

On one level, the national emergency crisis provides an easy way to end the government shutdown. The Senate could immediate pass all the funding bills submitted by the House or the one it passed in December with no funding for the wall. After, the funding is being taken care of through the military due to the national emergency crisis. Therefore the spending bills to reopen the government could be passed and signed into law right away.

Lawsuits would gum up this process. We know that the military is not ready to build the wall. We know that despite all the fuss about their being a crisis RIGHT NOW, nothing would happen right now. We know that Captain Chaotica does not have the mental necessities to manage such a construction project. But at least if it appeared that the national emergency crisis was underway with the military charged with building it, the justification for shutting down the government would be over. A lawsuit stopping that process also would continue the shutdown of the government since no spending bill would be signed if no building was authorized.

Now we come to the Howard Baker moment. Mitch McConnell is no Howard Baker. Mitch McConnell will never be a profile in courage. Mitch McConnell will never rise to the occasion. But the Howard Baker moment is not about a Senator or Senators going to the President, it is about Republican Senators going to Mitch McConnell. It is about Republican Senators going to Mitch McConnell and saying enough is enough. It is about Republican Senators going to Mitch McConnell and saying the needs of the country come first. It is about Republican Senators going to Mitch McConnell and saying the Republican Party cannot afford another victory like the one in 2018. It is about the Republican Senators going to Mitch McConnell and saying we must pass veto-proof spending bills with no spending for the wall and PASS IT RIGHT NOW BECAUSE THERE IS A NATIONAL EMERGENCY CRISIS AND IT IS THE GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN.

Will the Republican Senators rise to the occasion and provide the leadership We the People need?

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