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The Big Cave

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Mar 14, 2019 4:20 PM 4+ day ago

There are two ways to look at Thursday's Senate vote to block President Trump's attempt to build a wall on the southern border without congressional approval by declaration of a national emergency.

In the end, only 12 GOP senators broke ranks and voted to rebuke the president: moderates Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski; tea-party types Mike Lee, Marco Rubio, and Rand Paul; and traditional conservatives Mitt Romney, Lamar Alexander, Roy Blunt, Rob Portman, Pat Toomey, Roger Wicker, and Jerry Moran.

The dividing line, it turns out, was first and foremost the election cycle: Collins was the only Republican up for reelection in 2020 to defy the president. Two other 2020 incumbents--who were widely expected to break with Trump--fell in line at the last minute. One, Thom Tillis of North Carolina, was particularly odd: his eleventh-hour cave came just weeks after he wrote an op-ed proclaiming his opposition to the national emergency in the grandest terms.

"Conservatives rightfully cried foul when President Barack Obama ...

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