President Trump got walloped for the second time in 24 hours by the Senate. In a stunning repudiation of the president, 12 Republican senators crossed party lines to vote with Democrats to end Trump’s fraudulent declaration of a national emergency along the U.S.-Mexico border. The final vote was 59 to 41, with GOP Sens. Mitt Romney (Utah), Susan Collins (Maine), Patrick J. Toomey (Pa.), Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), Roy Blunt (Mo.), Roger Wicker (Miss.), Mike Lee (Utah), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Jerry Moran (Kan.), Rob Portman (Ohio), Marco Rubio (Fla.) and Rand Paul (Ky.) voting to end the president’s declaration — which seeks to confiscate Congress’s power of the purse.
Laughably, Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), who had declared his opposition to Trump’s declaration in an op-ed for The Post, flip-flopped and voted with Trump, a singular moment of breathtaking cowardice. Also joining Trump were Republican Sens. Joni Ernst (Iowa) and Cory Gardner (Colo.) Tillis, Ernst and Gardner are all up for reelection in 2020, and their voters should understand that these senators voted to give their jobs away, to emasculate the Senate. As such, they serve no purpose and do not fulfill their oaths of office to represent their states. There is no reason to return them to the Senate.
Also voting with Trump were constitutional conservative hypocrites — Sens. Ted Cruz and John Cornyn of Texas, Ben Sasse (Neb.) and Charles E. Grassley (Iowa) to name a few. They have no standing to lecture any of us on the rule of law, the Constitution or the separation of powers. They cringe in Trump’s presence, afraid apparently to stand for anything other than their own reelection. As such, they pronounce their own uselessness.
Twenty-five Republicans — 12 in the Senate and 13 in the House — took their oaths seriously in opposing an unconstitutional power grab. The rest? If Trump told them to amend the Constitution and toss out the Bill of Rights, they’d likely do it. After all, Article I means nothing to them, so why should any other portion of the Constitution? This marks the inevitable result of a party that has sacrificed its principles and decency for . . . what? For the right to sit in the Senate, doing nothing? For fear that they cannot justify themselves to the mob Trump has drummed up?
It’s a clarifying moment. If #NeverTrumpers still think the Republican Party is worth saving, they will have to start with only 25 people. The rest are so intellectually and morally corrupt as to not be worthy of their association.
Meanwhile, overall, the wide margin of defeat for Trump is embarrassing to say the least, but entirely understandable. Trump’s border wall is unpopular with voters, and his declaration even more so. He’s the captain of a sinking ship, devoid of any post-tax-cut accomplishment (if one considers a very unpopular gift to the rich, on which Republicans couldn’t run in 2018, an “accomplishment”) and beset by scandal after scandal. In all likelihood, barring an act of political suicide by the Democrats (i.e., nominating an unelectable, self-described socialist), he’ll be out of office and facing prosecution in less than two years. And the Republicans who defended and enabled him? They’ll have gone down with the ship.