As we’ve been noting, ahead of this week’s Senate vote on the resolution to block Trump’s unconstitutional emergency declaration, the Trump administration has been relying on a vicious cycle of circular logic and lies to attempt to justify that there’s a crisis that only a border wall will fix.
As Greg Sargent of the Washington Post’s Plum Line writes in new must-read analysis, the entire manufactured crisis is best viewed and understood through a political lens. Despite the fact that xenophobia backfired in 2018, the Trump re-election campaign promises to be a turbocharged version of the previous and ongoing anti-immigrant ugliness.
Below, read key excerpts from Greg Sargent’s analysis: “Trump’s emerging reelection strategy: Double down on failure and lies”:
Earlier this year, top Republican donors sounded a loud, clanging alarm about President Trump’s reelection strategy. They leaked word to Politico that Trump has not absorbed the lessons of the GOP’s 2018 bloodbath and has lost major ground in the “blue wall” states that are crucial to reelection.
“There’s a lot of anxiety,” one GOP donor said, largely due to Trump’s evident inability to grasp how deeply his relentless focus on his base has alienated moderates and independents.
We are now learning new details about Trump’s reelection strategy, and there is zero indication that his team is taking these concerns seriously. It looks as if Trump’s operation is only leaning harder into that base-only strategy …
… This week, Trump will launch a fresh effort to secure an additional $8.6 billion in funding for his border wall — $5 billion in straight funding, and $3.6 billion in new military construction funds that he’s redirecting via his declaration of a national emergency …
… Trump’s strategy will turn heavily on his economic nationalism — his alleged “America First” trade policies and xenophobic anti-immigration agenda. As The Post notes, this “relies on a risky and relatively narrow path” to reelection
… It’s hard to see how this will win back voters that GOP donors fear Trump has alienated. Polls have shown that large majorities of independents and college-educated whites oppose the wall, disapprove of the national emergency, and crucially, don’t believe there’s an emergency on the border in the first place. Among college-educated white women in particular, opposition to the emergency is overwhelming.
Indeed, The Post reports that some in Trump’s orbit acknowledge this is a serious problem: “Some advisers are particularly concerned about the president’s persistent unpopularity among female and suburban voters.”
… I want to highlight a crucial difference between 2016 and 2020 in light of Trump’s vow to run again on his virulent nationalism. The difference this time is that the American electorate has seen what this means in practice and has recoiled.
… now the horrors of Trump’s immigration agenda have been vividly illustrated for all to see. The results: Immigrant children in cages, families broken up by deportations, mass protests over his thinly veiled Muslim ban and a wall obsession that’s nothing short of pathological. All this surely drove away swing voters in the midterms — Trump made those elections all about his immigration agenda — yet Trump appears unable to grasp that this rejection happened. Beyond this, though, Trump’s economic nationalism is failing. Asylum-seeking families have spiked, unmasking cruel deterrence as an unnecessary and ineffective disaster.
In short, Trump’s economic nationalist agenda has proved to be both a failure and a fraud.