The madness of King Donald blew up on him this week—when an international outcry that finally forced the president to issue an executive order undoing some (though, shamefully, not all) of the cruelest elements of his own program of separating immigrant children from their parents.
Trump backed down as governors across the country distanced themselves from his draconian policies.
Democratic governors, led by Oregon’s Kate Brown, announced that they would not facilitate Trump’s cruelty by dispatching National Guard troops to the southern border. And so, too, did some Republicans.
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, a Republican who is seeking reelection this year, decided to cancel a scheduled deployment of Massachusetts National Guard troops to the border amid horrific reports of crying children being grabbed away from their parents by federal authorities who were under orders from the president. “Governor Baker directed the National Guard not to send any assets or personnel to the Southwest border today because the federal government’s current actions are resulting in the inhumane treatment of children,” announced his office.
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, another Republican, ordered a Maryland National Guard helicopter crew to immediately return from the region and declared: “Until this policy of separating children from their families has been rescinded, Maryland will not deploy any National Guard resources to the border.”
Trump faced harsh criticism this week from religious leaders, experts on immigration policy, and anyone else who had a heart. It is fair to say, however, that the explicit criticism by Republican governors of his separation policy—coupled with a commitment to act on that criticism—helped to hasten a presidential retreat.
Even Republican governors who did not have National Guard troops on the ground or scheduled to deploy, like Vermont’s Phil Scott, signaled publicly that they were not inclined to assist the president.
But Trump was not entirely on his own. He could still count, of course, on the most vitriolic Republican governors—like Maine’s deliberately abhorrent Paul LePage.