What do West Virginia’s representatives think?
The Charleston Gazette-Mail took what I consider the logical next step following President Trump’s executive order to build his wall – they checked with West Virginia’s congressional representation to complement their national coverage. Here is what reporter Jake Zuckerman found.
On Senator Joe Manchin: Zuckerman contrasted Manchin's criticism of the president’s actions with his “more laid-back take” last month. To that end, Zuckerman quotes a press release from Manchin’s office that he didn’t “believe that a national emergency is necessary.” With Senator Shelley Moore Capito, Zuckerman was unable to get much more than the statement I published yesterday in which she expressed her support for the president.
Zuckerman fared better with two of the state's representatives. From Representative Carol Miller:
“We have a humanitarian and security emergency on our southern border, and our President is addressing that crisis,” she said. “West Virginia has been hit especially hard by illegal drugs smuggled across our southern border. Just two weeks ago, Customs and Border Protection seized enough fentanyl to kill every person in West Virginia 32 times over. If that’s not an emergency, then I don’t know what is.”
Here, Zuckerman demonstrated that he is a reporter and not a stenographer – he added context:
The fentanyl bust, the largest seizure of the drug in U.S. history, was made at a legal port of entry and would not have been affected by a border wall.
Similarly, with Representative Alex Mooney:
Rep. Alex Mooney, R-W.Va., offered more hedged support for Trump’s move. Through a spokesman, he issued a statement that does not refer to the situation as an emergency and doesn’t offer direct support for the emergency declaration but criticizes Democrats for blocking congressionally appropriated wall funds.
“I agree with President Trump that the situation on the U.S.-Mexico border is a crisis and security needs to be improved,” he said. “Unfortunately, Democrats in Congress refuse to adequately fund border security.”
And from Representative David McKinley:
A spokesman for Rep. David McKinley, R-W.Va., did not return a request for comment.
Mike Myer lectures us on the importance of rules
The local Wheeling papers did not check with our congressional delegation. The Wheeling Intelligencer did, however, publish a front-page AP story on Trump’s executive action.
On the opinion page, the local editor of the Wheeling papers, Mike Myer, eventually gets around to disapproving of Trump’s action in a column titled “There’s a Reason for Rules.” In the process, Myer connects Trump’s bending of the rules with the public’s reaction to recent events such as the MAGA high-schoolers, the Kavanaugh hearings, and the controversy surrounding Virginia’s lieutenant governor in which the public has prematurely decided that the offenders are guilty. For these reasons, he concludes that “(o)ne cannot blame the politicians for bending the rules.” Huh? I have read the column a half dozen times and I will confess to not understanding the connection. Is he saying that we shouldn’t blame Trump because the public too hastily assigns guilt?
Here’s Myer’s criticism of Trump (most likely, his first since Trump became president):
Does the desired end, border security, justify the means — in effect overriding Congress’ constitutional authority over spending money?
No, it does not — any more than it justified former President Barack Obama’s executive orders to illegally spend billions of dollars to bolster “Obamacare.” Either we have rules, or we do not.
Notice that Myer can’t simply say that Trump was wrong – he must also attack former president Obama.
Since I was not familiar with his Obamacare reference, I researched “Obama executive order” plus “Obamacare” as well as a couple of other phrases hoping to find what Myer was referencing. My search came up empty. ("Billions of dollars"? Readers -- please let me know if you have any idea what Myer is referring to. Otherwise I’ll likely conclude that Myer is getting his evidence from the same place Trump gets his.)