The fight for the Republican Party is long over, and Donald Trump won — bigly. But Bill Kristol keeps fighting anyway.
The conservative writer’s persistence has cost him. Once at — or at least near — the center of power in Washington (he was Vice President Dan Quayle’s chief of staff), the 66-year-old now must snipe from the distant right-field bleachers. His conservative magazine The Weekly Standard recently went under.
Kristol’s latest heckling effort: he’s attempting to shame Senate Republicans into voting against President Trump’s national-emergency declaration.
His Republicans for the Rule of Law organization has put out a 30-second ad in which prominent GOP senators declare their horror at then-President Barack Obama’s 2014 executive actions that offered temporary legal status to millions of illegal immigrants and expanded the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
“If this president can impose his own immigration laws unilaterally, we stop having a constitutional system of checks and balances,” Sen. Ted Cruz says in the ad. “It’s the power of a monarch or an emperor.”
Cruz, like almost all of his GOP colleagues in the U.S. Senate, has not opposed Trump’s Feb. 15 declaration, which allows him to use federal dollars for a southern-border wall even though Congress allocated the money for other uses. On Monday, 58 former senior national-security officials issued a bipartisan statement declaring, “Under no plausible assessment of the evidence is there a national emergency today that entitles the president to tap into funds appropriated for other purposes to build a wall at the southern border.”
The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives on Tuesday is expected to pass a resolution to overturn the emergency declaration, sending it to the Senate. Right now, only two Republicans in the upper chamber, North Carolina’s Thom Tillis and Susan Collins of Maine, have indicated they will support the resolution.
“If Republicans were against executive overreach [during the Obama Administration],” the Republicans for the Rule of Law ad says in closing, showing GOP Sens. Cruz, Lindsey Graham, Chuck Grassley and John Cornyn, “they should be against it now.”
In an effort to influence Republican senators who might be wavering in their support of the president, Kristol’s group is running the spot on Fox News in the Washington, D.C., market. Watch the ad below.
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