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'The boot-licking department’: Conservative writer lambasts GOP ‘sycophants’ giving Trump cover for his power grab

'The boot-licking department’: Conservative writer lambasts GOP ‘sycophants’ giving Trump cover for his power grab
Gage Skidmore

Many Democrats have been quick to attack President Donald Trump for declaring a national emergency on the U.S.-Mexico border, asserting that he is abusing his executive powers. But some conservatives pundits have been highly critical as well, including MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough. And in her latest Washington Post column, conservative Jennifer Rubin takes some prominent Republicans to task for giving Trump a pass on executive overreach — denouncing them as everything from “sycophants” to bootlickers.


Rubin opens her column by noting how unprepared Stephen Miller (a Trump senior advisor) was when Fox News’ Chris Wallace grilled him aggressively about Trump’s emergency declaration. Miller, Rubin notes, was totally caught off guard by how combative Wallace was.

“Here was the architect of the emergency declaration unprepared and unable to defend President Trump’s actions as much to do about nothing,” Rubin writes. “We are unsurprised, however, that Trump’s most loyal and dogged anti-immigrant advocate, once outside the cocoon of a White House populated by yes men, should find it hard to present factual answers to legitimate questions.”

Rubin goes on to attack “the pathetic conduct of Republican senators who seem thoroughly incapable of defending their power of the purse”—for example, Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin. The columnist explains that when NBC’s Chuck Todd interviewed Johnson about Trump’s emergency declaration, he had no problem with executive overreach.

“Republicans had a meltdown when President Barack Obama issued an executive order to protect ‘dreamers,’” Rubin observes. “Now, they are copacetic with an even larger power grab, one that preempts Congress’ spending power.”

Rubin adds that “no one bests Sen. Lindsey O. Graham” of South Carolina “in the boot-licking department.” Describing a hypothetical Democratic president of the future, Rubin stresses that any journalist who interviews Graham should pose the following question: “When President (Elizabeth) Warren or President (Kamala) Harris declares an emergency, takes money from the military and uses it for measures necessary to protect the country from the cataclysmic effects of global warming, will you give her your approval?”

Rubin concludes her column by stressing how badly she misses Sen. John McCain in 2019.

“At times such as this, one really misses the principled, consistent voice of the late Sen. John McCain,” Rubin asserts. “He didn’t undergo torturous confinement for five years to see Graham and the rest trample on the rule of law and give license to an authoritarian bully. Unfortunately, the GOP is the party of Trump and his sycophants, not of constitutional conservatism, limited government or any other defining principle. And it’s certainly not McCain’s GOP.”

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