Take heart, America. The Supreme Court’s decision, which they came out of their summer break to render, isn’t as bad as you think. Oh, it’s bad. It’s a terrible, rotten, stupid, partisan decision delivered by five extreme supremes, but there’s more context to it than the headlines are delivering. Since I’m a simple-minded political cartoonist who often forgets how to tie his shoes, I may be the one to break it down in an easy and concise way that even a Trump cultist would understand. OK, probably not. But you’ll get it.
The headlines are screaming that the Supreme Court, on a 5-4 vote, rules Trump can use military funds for border wall construction. The issue is over Donald Trump taking money that was appropriated by Congress for the military, and using it for something else that Congress did not authorize. The only way Trump can break what’s in the Constitution and decide all by himself what to spend taxpayer money on is to declare a national emergency (this is the same guy who thinks our national security is threatened by Canadian cheese. Maybe we should build a wall on that border out of crackers). From the headlines, you get the impression the Supreme Court has ruled that Trump can do that, even if it’s not really a national emergency. The fear liberals have is that the court will allow Trump to do whatever the hell Trump wants. Screw Congress. We may be headed in that direction but the court didn’t rule on any of that yesterday.
The chicanery of Trump stealing money from the military has been challenged by the Sierra Club and the Southern Borders Communities Coalition, argued for them by the American Civil Liberties Union. A federal district judge in California prohibited the government from using the Pentagon funds to build the border wall. Trump’s legal team then went to the U.S. Court of Appeals in the 9th Circuit, who blocked the spending pending an appeal.
Trump’s people argued to the Supremes that they should be allowed to use the Pentagon money to build the border wall while it appeals the court’s ruling in the 9th Circuit. They argued they needed the court to act on its request by July 26 because if construction contracts are not finalized by September 30 when the fiscal year ends, they will no longer be available. That’s a very stupid argument but five of the nine justices bought it. At the very most, the court could have allowed the government to grant the contracts but not authorize the start of construction. Or, better yet, don’t negotiate contracts when you don’t have the money. How the hell was that a winning argument?
What the supremes decided was that the Trump can go ahead and use the money while the appeal is pending and…get this…that the challengers “may” not be the right plaintiffs to challenge the reallocation of the funds. I can’t find why the court believes they “may” not be the right challengers.
Now, even if the courts later say Trump can’t do this, the construction will have already started and it can’t be stopped. Trump will be barking all the way to election day that he’s keeping his promise and building the wall. He won’t mention to his cultists that they’re the ones paying for it, and not Mexico. It also won’t be detected by any of them that Trump, who claims he’s done more for the military than any other president, just stole money from the military. It also won’t be noticed by them that even though it was argued to the supremes that the wall is needed to “staunch the flow of illegal narcotics across the southern border,” that the majority of illegal narcotics enter this nation through legal entry points, not humped on someone’s back through the desert. That also means that this is NOT a national emergency. A wall on the southern border will be about as effective at keeping out drugs as the Maginot Line was at keeping out Nazis (maybe a poor analogy as the Trump administration is very favorable to Nazis).
Here’s the part that may ease your distress the most. These funds ARE NOT BUILDING ANY NEW WALL. Nope. They’re still replacing existing fencing. “Build the wall” is a lot catchier than “steal money from the military to replace already existing fencing.” The money totals $2.5 billion and it will cover just 100 miles along the border. This is not the entire wall. If that ever gets started, it will be held up for years in courts by private property owners along the border. Donald Trump will never get his border wall.
It would be smarter to spend $2.5 billion on free college educations so more Americans in the future won’t be dumb enough to spend $2.5 billion dollars on a useless border wall.
But, these kinds of decisions are causing damage to the country that may be irreversible. Congress may now take away the right of the president (who in the future, may not be an imbecilic, narcissistic, treasonous muppet with bad hair) to declare a national emergency which would suck in the event of an actual national emergency…like the Candian cheese attacking us gets moldy. Or, in the future, another president will make up some hokey reason to declare a national emergency to steal money from government programs to appease a political base to help his or her reelection.
If the Supreme Court allows Trump to take whatever tax money he wants for his pet racist vanity projects, they will be ruling that there are no longer checks and balances and we don’t even need a Congress. At that point, we’ll be down to two branches of government and a near dictatorship. The next step will be the Supreme Court ruling that this nation doesn’t need a Supreme Court and the Trump family will just own the White House for all eternity like the Kim family owns North Korea, where Kim il-Sung is still the president despite dying in 1994 and is currently kept on ice. Seriously.
This decision by the Supreme Court makes Trump supporters happy. They don’t want checks and balances, a free press, three branches of government, or even free and fair elections. They want a fascist government led by a charlatan who steals from charities, grabs vaginas, bankrupts casinos, and is a crappy game show host. Trump cultists don’t love America or democracy. Just like lower deficits and family values, patriotism is just something they pretend to believe in.
It’s a national disgrace that so many Americans fall for the lies from a guy who wouldn’t cut it as a used car salesman when reality when the facts are in their faces. It’s a bigger disgrace that five of them are on the Supreme Court.
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