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The last remnants of the old Republic have been swept away


This is the kind of thing that would have led to an actual civil war if The Black Guy had even threatened to do it, but which practically passes without comment when President Literal But Not Serious does it:

President Donald Trump threatened Wednesday to adjourn Congress so he can unilaterally install nominees to federal positions that he said are pertinent to the coronavirus crisis, an unprecedented move that critics likened to a dictatorship.

Trump said the Senate should either approve his nominees or adjourn so he can “recess appoint” them. Congress holds pro forma sessions when it isn’t working, a process Republicans made common under President Barack Obama to prevent him from temporarily filling vacancies without Senate approval.

“If the House will not agree to that adjournment, I will exercise my constitutional authority to adjourn both chambers of Congress. The current practice of leaving town while conducting phony pro forma sessions is a dereliction of duty that the American people cannot afford during this crisis,” Trump said at a White House briefing. “It is a scam what they do.”

“Perhaps it’s never been done before. Nobody’s even sure if it has. But we’re going to do it,” he said. “We need these people here.”

The relevant constitutional provision says that the president “may, on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in Case of Disagreement between them, with Respect to the Time of Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper.” (ETA: In case you’re wondering, this bright idea has Bill Opus Dei Barr’s smudgy fingerprints all over it).

So if we’re following the rules any more, this would mean that first Moscow Mitch would have to get 50 of his fellow aspiring fascists to agree to adjourn the Senate, and then Trump would use a constitutional power that’s never been invoked before, probably because we used to think Oliver Cromwell wasn’t that great a model for Executive Leadership (I would bet you a trillion internet dollars that Donald Trump doesn’t know who that is).

At the moment McConnell doesn’t seem inclined to play along, but nascent authoritarianism has a way of birthing itself quite suddenly, even as all the usual suspects continue to claim don’t worry he’s just a harmless buffoon really and we can still control him:

You know who ELSE they used to say stuff like that about?

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