https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/18/opinion/mitch-mcconnell-trump-emergency.htmlHow Mitch McConnell Enables Trump
He’s not an institutionalist. He’s the man who surrendered the Senate to the president.
Among the casualties of President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency to build his border wall is the reputation of the majority leader Mitch McConnell as a Senate institutionalist. The evidence of the last few days has confirmed, if there were still any doubt, that he is no such thing.
First, he helped prolong the longest government shutdown in American history by insisting that the Senate would act only with explicit approval from the president. Now Mr. McConnell has fully acquiesced in President Trump’s power grab by supporting an emergency declaration, which he opposed just weeks before, aimed at addressing a crisis that Senate Republicans know does not exist.
Last week, Mr. McConnell had a choice. He didn’t have to acquiesce to the emergency declaration — he could have asserted the Senate’s independence at a critical time by passing the spending bill without validating Mr. Trump’s emergency declaration. If that prompted a veto, Mr. McConnell could have overridden it. That would be real leadership, and a clear assertion of the Senate’s independence. Instead, he meekly acquiesced in another presidential power grab.
In the months ahead, our institutions are likely to be tested as rarely before. Under a strong leader, the Senate could provide a critical counterweight to an out-of-control executive. Instead, we have a man who will put his self-interest first, every single time. We should enter this chapter with clarity and finally see Mr. McConnell for what he is. He’s not an institutionalist. He is the man who surrendered the Senate to Donald Trump.