As AP via the Colorado Springs Gazette’s political blog reports, the U.S. Senate attempted yesterday to override President Donald Trump’s veto of a resolution to terminate the national emergency declared to allow Trump to divert Department of Defense funds from projects across the globe to construction of a wall along the southern U.S. border–a wall Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado has repeatedly claimed he doesn’t support:
The 53-36 vote — 53 for overturning the veto and 36 for sustaining it — was well short of the two-thirds required to overturn the veto.
In Colorado, Democratic U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet voted in opposition to Trump’s veto and Republican U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner voted to sustain it.
“The minority is once again refusing to provide funding for border security,” Gardner said in a statement. “Even though Senate Democrats have finally admitted the humanitarian crisis at our border is real, they still refuse to do anything about it.”
Sen. Gardner’s former position against the construction of a wall on the southern border has always been what we’d call passive opposition, not delivered with anything like the same vigor that Gardner goes after Democrats. Gardner has more recently tried to present a moderate face on immigration after years of safe-seat demagoguery, while generally voting the GOP hard line on both immigration reform legislation and (more importantly) the GOP leadership who ensure gridlock on the issue persists no matter what Gardner claims he supports.
Gardner likewise claimed to oppose Trump’s national emergency declaration giving him the power to divert the funds to wall construction, but that claim didn’t survive the three votes Gardner has taken now to back Trump and turn back the attempt in the Senate to terminate the national emergency. At this point, Gardner isn’t even trying to reconcile what he said before about both the wall and Trump’s emergency with what he says today, because there’s simply no way to do it. Gardner has 100% caved on his previous opposition, and is meekly parroting a line he would have rejected before.
There’s no excuse, it looks terrible, and it contributes directly to Gardner’s freefalling approval. But Gardner can’t blame anyone else after so many chances to change course. All the damage now is self-inflicted.