Because he can't get enough losing, Trump is setting up his first veto override
Impeached two-time popular vote sore loser Donald Trump apparently can’t get enough of the losing. Fifty-three and counting losses in court isn’t enough. Now he’s setting up for his last big act—using his veto power—to be rejected even by Republicans in Congress. The threats he’s been making to veto defense spending—paying the troops—because Twitter’s been mean to him is now official as of Tuesday.
On Wednesday, the House passed the National Defense Authorization Act with a 335-78 veto-proof majority. Meaning the House can and will override his veto. Before the vote, Republican Rep. Liz Cheney—Cheney—told reporters: “We ought to pass the NDAA and the president should not veto it. And we should override it.” Fellow Republican Rep. Max Thornberry, the ranking member on Armed Services, echoed that: “We would be rightly and fairly criticized when we can’t come back to deal with military pay.”
Of all the must-pass bills that Congress deals with, defense spending is the granddaddy. It has never failed to pass in six decades. Six. When it’s Trump vs. 59 years of history—and again, defense spending—Trump will lose every time. Even with a Republican Senate that refuses nearly unanimously to admit Trump will no longer be president after Jan. 20 (or sooner if he resigns ahead of time to get that pardon from Mike Pence) and that has never crossed him with a veto override before. It’s going to happen now, and he’s been warned as such. Senate Armed Services Chair Jim Inhofe told Politico he had a phone call with Trump in which Trump insisted he would veto the bill if it didn’t punish social media companies and if it didn’t keep white supremacist names on military bases, and Inhofe refused to cave.
“We have a difference on this,” Inhofe simply said, indicating that the bill as passed from the House is coming to the Senate floor. Not without some handwringing by Republicans for whom Trump has—finally—gone too far. “I just don’t want him to be the president who, after 59 [NDAAs], vetoes one,” Sen. Kevin Cramer told Politico. “And given his legacy of supporting the military and rebuilding the military and what he’s done to position ourselves, I would just hate for that to end after 59 in a row.” This time, after every goddamned thing Trump has done to damage the nation, Cramer says he has no reservations about going against him. “No. None. Politics isn’t part of the calculation.” Moral worm Sen. Marco Rubio chimed in: “It’s not about going against the president.” (It’s entirely about going against Trump.) “What he wants is very legitimate.” (What he wants is totally illegitimate and an assault on free speech.) “But at the end of the day, when you balance the equities … there are more pluses than minuses.” (Translated: “I want to run for president in four years and can’t open the door to the far-right saying I’m anti-defense.”)
Not that there isn’t trepidation behind the scenes with these guys that they won’t admit to publicly. Here’s one who insisted on anonymity to speak up: “It’s no fun in today’s Republican Party to override the president. I mean, he has a following that is intensely loyal. Some of our Republican constituents are inclined, always, to take the president’s side.” And whose goddamned fault is that? This is the Republican Party these assholes handed to Trump on a silver platter to take over. They built this, they are refusing to acknowledge that, and they are refusing to tell Trump and his followers that he isn’t president anymore. Now it’s coming back to bite them in the ass and it’s the very least that they deserve.
But it’s a fitting end to 2020 and to the worst presidential administration in history, for Trump and for the Republicans who will feel the pain from Trump’s rabid followers for it. A veto override to usher Trump’s orange ass out the door is just about as sweet as it gets.