I can’t believe my last post on this blog is about James Comey. Looking back, he seems like a political dud. Everything I posted since then seems ancient relative to the present.
Fast forward to now? So much has happened in my absence. Most recently, the Supreme Court handed Trump a victory by approving his third iteration of the now infamous travel ban. The timing for the president is perfect it seems, after suffering probably his largest political setback, concerning family separations at the border.
Like it or not, Trump has made immigration the flagship issue heading into the midterms. Under the current presidency, if you lose, you still win. Not only are America’s eyes locked on the issue via family separation, but the highest legal authority in the country seemed to vindicate Trump’s anti-immigration stance by approving the expansion of his powers.
As if all that weren’t bad enough, Trump has also advocated for ending the due process rights of those that enter the US illegally. He’s gone full autocrat when it comes to immigrants. Since day one, we’ve witnessed his desires to expand the ability to “do whatever the hell he wants” (my words, but essentially, that is what what it is). To appease his base, he must take a hardline stance on immigration. But make no mistake, he enjoys it too. With immigrants, Trump can live out his wildest dreams of boundless authority.
The only thing that made Trump “back down” at the border? Not the law, but America’s disapproval of his actions. And now with the Supreme Court ruling, a legal victory seems to him a moral permit to continue human rights abuses. Again, this aligns with Trump’s desires to rule unchecked. If he can’t do so generally, he will clamp down that much more on the immigrant population.
How will this play out in the midterms? Seems like both voting bases are fired up to vote come November. Since we will likely see more harsh immigration policies coming down the pipeline, we can look at it in this way: Trump is on the campaign trail. Bellicose rhetoric propelled Trump into office, and he thinks it will allow him to coast through the midterms and be elected in 2020. Is he wrong? I certainly hope so. But his branding of the southern border as a “crisis” is firmly embedded in the minds of many on the right, and is taking certain stage, sidelining other conservative priorities. Or, letting the maneuvers of the Republican government go largely unnoticed as Trump incessantly attacks immigrants. To the president, immigrants are his meal ticket, and potentially, a way to avoid prison (it’s hard to indict a sitting president).