After decades of arguing against limited government, Democrats and the establishment media found a new favorite subject this week: states’ rights.
Did our friends on the other side of the aisle have a sudden epiphany and decide to embrace constitutional limits on the size and reach of the federal government? The simple answer, when looking at the Democratic Party’s platform, is probably not.
Earlier this week, President Donald Trump said, with regard to reopening the country’s economy as reported cases of the coronavirus decline, that he alone can decide when to turn the key and fire up the nation’s economic engine.
“The president of the United States calls the shots,” Trump said at Monday’s White House press briefing.
Regarding state and local governments, he added, “They can’t do anything without the approval of the president of the United States.”
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) April 15, 2020
Of course, the words sent Democrats, media outlets and even many Republicans clamoring to correct the record.
Indeed, the president of the United States does not have total authority over the states — something Trump knows and conceded a day later when he said individual governors would have the discretion to reopen their states when they see it fit to do so.
On Thursday, the president unveiled an 18-page letter of guidelines suggesting how governors can mitigate a resurgence in coronavirus cases as they decide when to open their states, The Hill reported.
But Trump’s letter was too late for many Democrats and far-left activist reporters who had already fumbled over themselves to support the 10th Amendment.
The New York Times declared that “Trump’s total authority claim is rejected across ideological lines.”
NPR reported that “Trump falsely claimed ‘total’ authority over states — now he’s backpedaling.”
The Week ran a story headlined “Trump’s frightening claim of ‘total’ authority.”
Others weighed in on social media.
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) April 15, 2020
As trump maintains he has absolute authority to tell the states what to do, I can’t help but think back to the outrage conservatives had that Obama had Roman-like columns at his 2008 convention.
— Sam Stein (@samstein) April 13, 2020
Governors are on their own when they need ventilators & medical supplies to keep people alive. But Trump also states he has “total power” over when states open businesses…so long as it’s politically and financially beneficial for him and his buddies. https://t.co/ONXQbSXPKs
— Ana Kasparian (@AnaKasparian) April 14, 2020
“I don’t know why the president said it,” @NYGovCuomo said. “It’s not legal. It’s a total abrogation of the Constitution—10th Amendment specifically says power to the states.”#MangoMussolinihttps://t.co/sOlVIH3MFx
— Democratic Coalition (@TheDemCoalition) April 14, 2020
The President who claimed to have “absolute authority” over state and local governments a few days ago now moves against the legislative branch. https://t.co/wOyTWTiaBe
— Joe Scarborough (@JoeNBC) April 15, 2020
Don’t these Democrat and establishment media oafs think Trump knows that his power is not absolute?
Of course he does, which leads to a theory: The president used reverse psychology to get the far-left media and Democrats to support the rights of individual states to call the shots — which might lead to the economy opening up faster.
If there is one thing Trump has proved since the now-famous 2015 escalator ride in which he announced his candidacy, it’s that he knows what he’s doing and his words are more carefully calculated than they appear.
The president is a very intelligent man, and he’s shown himself to be quite politically savvy.
Trump did, after all, use the sensational and biased establishment media to give him endless coverage during the 2016 election and was, in turn, elected the country’s 45th president. That was largely because he understands marketing and he knows how the establishment media operates.
CNBC estimated in September 2016, weeks before the general election, that then-candidate Trump had received $4.6 billion in free advertising while spending a mere $78 million on ads.
So, it’s not a stretch to suggest he would use the establishment media’s opposition to everything Trump against itself in this scenario.
The president likely knew exactly how the media would run with the statement he made Monday.
Trump wants to get Americans working again.
He also knows that he will meet resistance to any plan he sets in place to reopen the economy. What better way to challenge Democrats to support reopening the country and champion states’ rights than by telling them he has complete authority over them?
Some of these people are still claiming the man isn’t their president after more than three years.
The assertion that he might have some form of control over their lives is probably more than enough to get some to suddenly support the Constitution, and particularly the 10th Amendment — which plainly reads, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
Is Trump simply playing an elaborate and genius political game?
Both candidates are calling for more federal control over our lives with climate change and health care initiatives that would absolutely give the U.S. government greater power over citizens.
Perhaps Trump knows that the best way to get Democrats and the establishment media onboard with supporting states’ rights and reopening the country is to suddenly appear to be opposed to the idea of letting the states govern themselves.
If so, well played.
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