The cast of MSNBC's Morning Joe are not keen on the idea of President Trump using emergency powers to build a wall on the border. It is nice that they are standing up for Constitutional notions of checks and balances and separation of powers, because that has not always been the case with the MSNBC morning show.
Like Democrats in Congress who used to jump out of their seats in applause at President Obama's "pen and phone" and declarations of "If Congress doesn't act I will," Morning Joe is suddenly opposed to executive action on immigration.
Co-host Joe Scarborough said that the use of emergency power would be "unconstitutional" and that no federal judge would uphold such a ruling because Trump, "said I'm going to negotiate and if I don't get exactly what I want, I'll declare a national emergency." Later in the segment, Scarborough added that using emergency powers to build the wall "if he can't get what he wants through the normal give and take of Madisonian democracy" would be "the least conservative" thing he has done to date.
However, previously Scarborough had said that if Republicans wanted to avoid Obama issuing executive orders on immigration the solution was to "pass a bill" and that House Republicans "have to do their job." When Obama was pushing immigration policies Scarborough agreed with, there was not much concern for Madisonian democracy or seizing "authority from the Article I branch."
Fellow co-host Mika Brzezinski also defended Obama's executive orders, while decrying Trump's hypothetical emergency declaration.
Washington Post columnist and MSNBC political analyst Eugene Robinson also said that any emergency declaration would be "unconstitutional," adding that it "will never work."
Robinson is yet another to have previously defended Obama's executive orders while blasting Trump's hypothetical emergency declaration. He justified Obama's actions because in lieu of John Boehner refusing "to do his job," Obama, "has not just the right but also the obligation" to fix a "broken" immigration system. Again, so much for Madisonian democracy.
Where do you get your medical information concerning Donald Trumps mental condition. Where were you when we had a real constitutional crisis with the former president? "I have a phone and a pen," "you can keep your plan, you can keep your doctor."
Robinson did not actually answer the reader's question, because that would have opened him up to charges of hypocrisy, but instead deflected by continuing to speculate about the state of Trump's mental health.
I don't have a medical degree, but if I had a dollar for every psychiatrist who's told me that Trump shows symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder, I'd be able to afford a very fancy dinner. And if your definition of a constitutional crisis is telling the public something that later turns out not to be true, then at this point under Trump the constitution is in flames.
If receiving a dollar was the payout for every time a media personality or elected Democratic showed hypocrisy on the issue of executive orders on immigration then you could afford more than one fancy dinner.
Here is a transcript for the February 5 show:
6:06 AM ET
JOE SCARBOROUGH: First of all, it's unconstitutional. Of all the examples of Donald Trump's own words, used against him by federal judges, no worse example for Donald Trump than this where he's basically said I'm going to negotiate and if I don't get exactly what I want, I'll declare a national emergency.
EUGENE ROBINSON: Well, he does but if you're a Republican senator, or sit -- you're sitting there and here are your alternatives. You're going to have another shutdown, right, you're not going there or you’re going to have this emergency declaration that is unconstitutional and will never work and will put you in a worse position or, you know, you're going to have the wall go down. I mean, those are your choices.
SCARBOROUGH: This is actually one of the least conservative with a capital C and lowercase C moves that Donald Trump has ever made. The suggestion that if he can’t get what he wants through the normal give and take of Madisonian democracy, he’ll declare a national emergency and seize the money, seize the power, seize the authority from the Article I branch.