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Trump goes into full panic mode as Supreme Court takes hammer to his re-election argument

Trump goes into full panic mode as Supreme Court takes hammer to his re-election argument

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Today, in a decision that is sure to infuriate bigots and white supremacists across the country, the Supreme Court ruled that the Trump administration cannot at this point in time unilaterally terminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

DACA allows some 700,000 so-called Dreamers—people who were brought into the United States as children as undocumented immigrants who then grew up in America—to remain in this country they’ve always called home. To anyone not pulsing with xenophobia, they are every bit as American as those who immigrated here legally or were born natively. They’re just as red, white, and blue as the rest of us.

The court decided that Trump’s surrogates failed to sufficiently justify and defend their decision to end DACA. The government can try to make their case again with the chance that a proper explanation for why they want to end the popular program could find them success the second time around, but it’s unclear at this point whether Trump will try.

“We do not decide whether DACA or its rescission are sound policies. We address only whether the agency complied with the procedural requirement that it provide a reasoned explanation for its action,”  wrote Chief Justice Roberts.

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While Trump took the pro-LGBTQ ruling from the Supreme Court earlier this week in stride and said he could “live with it” today’s DACA decision has him hitting a very different note. The president took to Twitter to slam the Supreme Court’s “horribly & politically charged decisions.”

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Our laughably dramatic leader decried the rulings as “shotgun blasts” to Republicans conservatives. He added that he and his ilk “need more Justices” or they could lose the “2nd Amendment & everything else” before urging his followers to reelect him.

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The tweet could not be any more transparent. Many Republicans, especially social conservatives, didn’t particularly like Trump in 2016 but they held their noses and voted for him in the hopes of getting Supreme Court appointees that would push their agenda from the bench. Now that it’s become clear in the wake of Justice Gorsuch’s support of LGBTQ rights this week that Trump’s choices can’t be trusted to always push a reactionary agenda, the president fears the conservative calculus might not fall in his favor this time. If voting for Trump doesn’t get them the Supreme Court rulings they want, what’s the point in putting up with such a monstrous man?

Trump followed the first tweet up with one of his most pathetic to date. Sounding almost exactly like a whiny middle schooler worried about his popularity he asked his followers if they “get the impression that the Supreme Court doesn’t like me.”

In addition to being just an intensely weird thing for the commander-in-chief to ask, it also fundamentally misrepresents the point of the Supreme Court. Justices aren’t appointed to carry out the president’s wishes. Ostensibly, they’re chosen for their ability to interpret the law fairly and neutrally. In practice, that’s rarely the case but Trump’s dropping of the facade is a tacit admission that Republicans see the Supreme Court as the best way to foist their unpopular, regressive worldview onto the rest of us.

Apparently, Trump’s embarrassing little outburst wasn’t done there. This DACA decision has clearly burrowed deeply beneath his skin and he sees it as a possible death knell for his reelection prospects. He tweeted that conservatives need “NEW JUSTICES of the Supreme Court” and then engaged in some boilerplate fearmongering about Democrats taking away rights.

The president then made a strange pivot from whining to claiming without explanation that the new ruling gives the president “far more power than EVER anticipated.” It’s unclear what he was talking about so the simplest explanation is that he was simply trying to make himself appear strong after his defeat in court.

“Nevertheless,  I will only act in the best interests of the United States of America,” he claimed. Of course, anyone who has been paying attention the last four years knows that Donald Trump only ever acts in the best interests of himself and his cronies.

Trump then said he will try again to repeal DACA, tossing red meat to his racist voters in the process.

Trump rounded out his tweetstorm with a promise to release a list of Supreme Court Justices he will appoint if he wins a second term. He said the list will only include conservative legal minds and insisted this will be “more important than ever before” and once again urged his supporters to show up for him at the ballot box in November.

Clearly, Trump is deeply worried about the election. He’s doing his best to convince conservatives that they made the right choice with him in 2016 and that his judicial defeats this week are not an indication that he will fail to deliver victories in the future. If this is the best argument he can make for a second term, this man is in deep trouble.

Follow Rob Haffey on Twitter.

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