Allow me to offer a word or two of praise to a man who used to represent me in the U.S. Congress.
Rep. Mac Thornberry, a Clarendon Republican, has said that Donald Trump is wrong to suggest that military forces can be deployed to build The Wall along our border with Mexico.
That is not a military mission, Thornberry said. It is not in keeping with what we ask our men and women in uniform to do.
Thornberry is the former chairman of the House Armed Services Committee and now serves as the panel’s ranking member while Democrats control the House.
“It is disappointing that the best interests of the country do not seem to be everyone’s top priority,” Thornberry said. “We should fund the rest of the government and improve border security, leaving the political posturing behind.”
There’s a touch of “both sider-ism” in Thornberry’s statement, but he is nevertheless correct. Trump has shut down part of the government. He is considering whether to declare a national emergency and he might seek to reallocate defense money to build The Wall.
Thornberry is correct to oppose this nutty notion. It well might be illegal, unconstitutional and might even constitute an impeachable offense. It won’t surprise me if Thornberry steers clear of the illegality question, given his partisan loyalty.
Still, his statement today fills me with some optimism that GOP support for the president’s foolish insistence on building The Wall is beginning to crumble.