The maniacs of the House Freedom Caucus have a problem. They see in Individual 1 a very useful tool for their desire for political chaos. In fact, they were instrumental in driving Trump into forcing this government shutdown. On the other hand, if they have an ideology, it’s one of minimum governmental intervention, and particularly fear of a tyrannical executive. So, in a completely uncharacteristic crisis of character, some of them are looking ahead at the potential consequences of Trump declaring a national emergency, and cautioning him not to do it.
According to Politico’s sources, they have “privately raised their concerns with the Trump administration, fearing it would lead to a years-long legal standoff that Democrats could win while setting a dangerous precedent for the presidency.” One of them went on the record. Rep. Mark Meadows said, “I do see the potential for national emergencies being used for every single thing that we face in the future where we can’t reach an agreement. That’s the slippery slope that I’m concerned about.” They have to say that, because supposedly that’s their big concern.
What it really is is that they like having the government shut down because they hate government. And they think they’re owning the libs with it. They are “worried that it would be seen as backing down in the shutdown fight with Democrats, given the dubious fate of the border wall funds in the courts.” But for all Meadows’ “concern,” it’s pretty clear he is hoping for the best of all worlds in the maniac brain: a national emergency declaration AND a continued shutdown. A national emergency declaration “doesn’t necessarily open the government,” he said. “Declaring a national emergency and funding the government are two separate decisions.”
Given that Meadows definitely has Trump’s ear, don’t be surprised if that ends up being the route the administration finds itself taking. In which case we’ll have both a constitutional crisis and a government shutdown. Expect Mitch McConnell to do nothing.