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FACE-OFF: Biden & Trump plan DUELING border visits

FACE-OFF: Biden & Trump plan DUELING border visits

One of the single most fundamental rules of our governing Republic is that there is only one president at any time, and yet, today, we learn that “both” presidents are readying themselves to visit the border.

There is nothing wrong or offensive to democracy in Donald Trump running for a second term after losing his first reelection bid for a second term — leaving aside the criminal trials. The Constitution has no prohibition against it.

But that doesn’t mean that Trump’s need for relevance hasn’t been debilitating to our democracy.

Every other “ex-president” has gone away on leaving office. From Bill Clinton to George W. Bush and Barack Obama. They all took about six months away from things, took stock, and mostly did non-political work or confined themselves to speeches on behalf of candidates.

Yet Donald Trump never “went away” in the sense that he never stopped referring to himself by the “president” title and stayed involved as if there was a 1(a) and 1(b) president. We see it today in a tweet by a Bush family member, but the attitude is similar to many in the MAGA crowd who still refer to Trump as “the President.”

“Great to see ‘both presidents’ at the border… ”

It is a dangerous idea and would’ve been just as dangerous had Barack Obama— who lived in Washington DC until his daughter finished high school — been on television and went around the country complaining about Donald Trump.

It has led to a situation where the legitimacy and primacy of Biden’s presidency have been transcendent from a legislative point of view.

But there is a real issue when it comes to the border, the budget, and international relations. The border will be front and center as President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump are separately going to two border towns ahead of the March 5 primary.

We have a basic rundown of the schedule for the coming week from the Texas Tribune’s report.

The border has become an increasingly difficult issue for the Democrats — in part because they cannot get the needed budget packages through Speaker Johnson’s House. But also in part because the administration just got a late start on the issue.

But both sides know that the border must be addressed quickly as an election issue because the public lists the border as a concern that is just below the economy in importance. Right now, Democrats bear the burden of the late start. The issue is now shifting over as the border issue swings toward the budget negotiations.

But without regard to whether a deal gets signed to fix huge problems with our infrastructure on the border, there is only one president who can sign solutions, and there is a potential president who can propose them.

There is never an instance in which there are “two” presidents. Though, during the last three years, it sure has seemed like it at times.

This article is based on original reporting by Mathew Choi of the Texas Tribune

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Editor’s note: This is an opinion column that solely reflects the opinions of the author


Jason Miciak
Jason Miciak is an associate editor and opinion writer for Occupy Democrats. He's a Canadian-American who grew up in the Pacific Northwest. He is a trained attorney, but for the last five years, he's devoted his time to writing political news and analysis. He enjoys life on the Gulf Coast as a single dad to a 15-year-old daughter. Hobbies include flower pots, cooking, and doing what his daughter tells him they're doing. Sign up to get all of my posts by email right here:

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