Or How Congress is Poised to Make Donald’s Presidency a Nightmare and we might just get our Republic back.
Brace yourselves. A President Trump is poised to bring out some of the best theatrics we’ve seen on Capitol Hill in generations — and it will come from both sides of the aisle. You think Rand Paul’s anti-drone filibuster was yuge? With the thumping that Trump is giving to the rest of the GOP field, it’s apparent that The Donald is going to wrap up the nomination in March. He’s even putting the fear in the Democrats with his performance in Massachusetts and polling in deep blue states. Check your Facebook and Twitter feeds: You’re sure to see plenty of posts declaring moves to Canada, bemoaning the death of the GOP, or even tears shed over the decline of America.
Hogwash, the great American Experiment could be rejuvenated if both parties in Congress remember what their job is — and who they work for. For too long we’ve been in a bitter partisan age where the only shred of bipartisanship was when we handed out freebies, corporate welfare, or unchecked power to Presidency to engage in undeclared wars overseas or trample on our privacy here at home. This slow moving trainwreck is exactly why we’ve got a federal government that is far too big and too expensive. Maybe, just maybe, Congress will start to reign in the power of the Presidency when both parties abhor the Combover in Chief.
Perhaps I’m being an optimist, but at least Donald will bring some ratings gold for CSPAN. Deporting nearly 12 million people without due process? Do you think Elizabeth Warren, Mike Lee, Al Franken, and Corey Booker are going to let that happen without firing up their bases? Donald Trump and his bombastic rhetoric have convinced an alarming number of Americans that in addition to deporting nearly 12 million people, as President, he will build a giant wall between us and Mexico, (presumably adorned with spikes, turrets, and trebuchets) and force Mexicans to pay for it. On multiple occasions, Trump has even pledged to ban nearly 2 billion people from entering the United States — simply on the basis of their religion, which of course, is starkly unconstitutional. It’s pretty clear that the Donald isn’t caught up on his 10th grade civics.
Either one of the above proposals from a President Trump would set off a firestorm of opposition from a broad coalition of grassroots America. That group of folks the media loves to say everyone “hates” — that group of 535 ‘Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad’ people, those that poll under 10% approval — will stop the Donald in his tracks. After all, we’re an American Republic, and and The Donald is not running for king. Congress is the mechanism we have to stop some of his most outlandish proposals, but we’ve neutered Congress’s effectiveness in favor of more conveniently turning over responsibility to the executive. For the first time in my life we might be seeing a moment that could bring out leaders from all parties and segments of our Republic in favor of finally decentralizing power. Think Elizabeth Warren, Mike Lee, Al Franken, and Corey Booker slamming their fists against the podium and going to the mat on our behalf. We might even see Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer jump on board.
Why we are so obsessed with the Presidency confounds me just as much as Kanye West’s Twitter rants do. Maybe it shouldn’t, but anyone bemoaning the possibility of a President Trump, anyone saying they will leave this country if he wins the nomination — simply needs to take a step back, remember, take resolve, even pride pride themselves in the fact that the American Republic is a grand experiment worth seeing through. A once-in-human-history opportunity with a government that has built-in restraint — three equal branches that check federal power and founding documents that declare our rights are not derived from government but are instead inherent in each and every one of us.
It’s time to use it. Take away funding, de-authorize the use of military force without Congressional approval, curtail domestic spying… anything. Otherwise, we will continue to have Presidents that that would take these rights away in the name of political expediency, or our security, to accomplish whatever insane thing they promised on the campaign trail or to fight some propagated menace abroad. Sure, it’s not as sexy, and it’s more work than watching a national campaign that looks more like “American Idol” every cycle — but on the upside CSPAN2 might be worth watching.