The modus operandi of President Trump, when it comes to unflattering news, is to distract. Perhaps you think that’s been the case with every Republican, or even with most politicians in general — we saw the on-the-fly invention of the Friday Night News Dump happen just within the last 15 years, after all — but it’s likely that there’s never been anyone quite as skilled at distracting at least his own base and much of the media as Donald Trump.
There’s a reason for that: His distractions are often worse than whatever it is he’s attempting to distract people from.
The latest example of this is Trump’s media treatment of the “caravan” of immigrants who are roughly 1,000 miles away from the United States, making their way northward in an effort to legally seek asylum in this country. I say “media treatment” because his proposals to repel what he is calling an “invasion” are so bad that it’s difficult to imagine that they’re anything but simple sleight of hand, intended to be forgotten after the midterm elections take place.
Not only did Trump declare, during the premiere of Axios on HBO, that he intended to use an executive order to overturn parts of the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution (something he cannot do by any stretch of the imagination), but he also pronounced his intention to send the United States military to the border for some unclarified purpose: Does he mean for them to attack the refugees in a military-style intervention? Does he believe that the refugees intend to attack the United States?
Democratic activist Scott Dworkin, in fact, got a weigh-in from someone one might consider an authority on the wisdom of sending US troops to the border — which of course would likely require a suspension of habeas corpus and a large-scale invocation of posse comitatus to carry out:
Fmr NAVY Seal just told me this about putting troops on the border: “It’s literally the dumbest fucking thing I’ve ever heard come out of his mouth. And that’s saying something. We didn’t spend $50,000 per soldier so they could go fight the bogeyman on the border. What a waste.”
— Scott Dworkin (@funder) October 31, 2018
This elite soldier is correct: The caravan might as well be a million miles away in terms of when our troops might ever see it. Does Trump intend to place them at the border until the caravan arrives a month or more from now? Are we using barracks? Will they be sleeping in tents?
All to repel an “invasion” of sandal-clad refugees, hungry and battered by the elements, desperate for a chance to escape their home countries.
Featured image via Wikimedia Commons