He was forced, through gritted teeth, to briefly acknowledge the murder of brown people by a white person so now he's placating the base. https://t.co/36m13kadeX
— Zeddy (@Zeddary) March 17, 2019
Or is he just appeasing his Deplorables?
“Trump is extremely sensitive to the nuances of what is chanted at his rallies.” https://t.co/Nd6xsiz4Kd
— Daniel W. Drezner (@dandrezner) March 16, 2019
There is probably no better way to demonstrate one’s manly strength and control than firing off a tweet in capital letters. So it is that, when a dozen GOP senators defied President Trump’s orders and voted to terminate his declaration of a national emergency, his powerful Twitter thumbs sprang into action: “VETO!”
The thrilling message to his supporters: Trump’s got this. He’s totally in command of the situation.
But we are now learning new details about just how personally involved Trump was in trying to prevent defections among GOP senators. It turns out Trump aggressively sought to make this vote all about himself — frequently warning that he would unleash the cult-like wrath of his voters if the Senate didn’t do his bidding — and raged as that effort failed.
What makes this so odd is that even though the Senate and House have now voted to terminate Trump’s national emergency, he actually can veto the measure, and his emergency will proceed. So why the histrionics? One possible answer is that, for Trump, even this interim loss represented an unacceptable display of weakness — with ominous portents for the future…
The key point here is that Trump’s effort to make this vote all about “border security” failed. Republican senators objected to Trump’s national emergency declaration on separation-of-powers grounds: He used it to gain wall funding that Congress had just denied him. But over and over, Trump commanded them to see this as only about border security, and about him.
Notably, Trump repeatedly threatened them with the idea that his own supporters would see it this way, too, and that this should frighten them very deeply. But it didn’t…
… [A]ll this is a reminder of how deeply entangled the wall is with Trump’s belief that his hold on his followers depends on creating the impression that he’s winning everywhere and that he’s perpetually taking control of events.
Crucial to maintaining this impression throughout has been Trump’s insistence that he has bent his whole party to his will on “border security.” (Please remember: Republicans didn’t fund his wall when they held both houses of Congress.) During the government shutdown, news reports indicated that Republicans were splintering, and Trump raged that “there is GREAT unity” on “Strong Border Security,” despite the “Fake News Media” reporting otherwise. But Trump’s capital-letter tweets couldn’t make that true, and he caved. The declaration of the national emergency after that, similarly, was all about projecting action and control.
Now Trump’s command that Republicans see their national emergency vote as one about border security failed. We’ve learned this came after extensive browbeating, including the threat to unleash the anger of Trump voters. But the national emergency is deeply unpopular, and the legal arguments for it are deeply absurd. In the face of that threat, as frightening as it was, reality proved overwhelming…
Just a normal President retweeting his poor me whining from a day ago in case you missed it when the world was busy mourning. pic.twitter.com/QUvljsUqbC
— Schooley (@Rschooley) March 16, 2019
How many Republicans in office will be “concerned” about Trump’s tweets today and then vote against overturning his veto?
— Schooley (@Rschooley) March 17, 2019
This is the President of the United States suggesting that the FCC should look into
late night TV shows.
If Obama did this, the GOP would launch hearings. The reason nothing happens is because no one takes the most powerful man in the world seriously. https://t.co/lyOq0kr9Wa
— Tom Nichols (@RadioFreeTom) March 17, 2019
This was a good behind-the-scenes guide to the political capital WH spent on the hill trying to get support for emergency, even though Trump said yesterday he didn’t even try. @seungminkim @jdawsey1 https://t.co/bjyFusuzbr
— Annie Karni (@anniekarni) March 16, 2019
The reason Trump tweets the stuff he does is because he has never actually suffered any consequences for it. And Lindsey Graham's tepid (if even that) pushback against Trump repeatedly attacking his best friend just months after his death shows there still are no consequences.
— Sam Stein (@samstein) March 18, 2019