Trump went off a-babbling again yesterday. It wasn’t exactly worse than normal, because Trump babbles every single time there’s an audience in front of him, but it was noteworthy this time because apparently the Very Scary Caravan of Asylum-Seekers, the one that vanished immediately after Election Day and hasn’t been an issue since, will be coming back, in Trump’s brain. And the new version is, of course, scarier than before.
“The caravan, they’re saying, is massive. The caravan that’s coming up. Thank you very much, Honduras.”
Trump paired this with his usual racist ramblings, the very same premise he used to first launch his presidential campaign: Central American countries are sending us refugees on purpose, Trump bleats. They “encourage the caravans because they want to get rid of the people from their country.”
This is not true. It is also deeply stupid, but Trump relies extensively on the conspiracy-theory-obsessed parts of conservatism, the stuff that bubbles up from white supremacist circles to Tucker Carlson’s show and NRA newsletters, and then to Fox & Friends. The notion that immigration patterns are controlled by secret plot, whether it be by George Soros or through coordination between nations, is tremendously popular in white supremacist circles, so it’s not at all surprising that this raging idiot would of course latch onto it as an explanation for the world’s ills.
He also stepped on his own administration’s messaging, piping up with the usual insults of the governments involved.
“Honduras is doing nothing for us. Guatemala is doing nothing for us. El Salvador is doing nothing for us,” Trump said during a White House roundtable on immigration.
Which is actually a bit of a problem, because just one day before Trump said that, his vice president had, according to his office, rather vigorously “commended [Honduran] President Hernandez” for his efforts to curb Trump’s dreaded “caravans.” Trump either doesn’t know his vice president did this, or he forgot it, or he simply doesn’t care either way. It’s entirely possible nobody on his staff even told him, due to his famous lack of interest and inability to retain the information anyway.
The federal government is currently mired in a shutdown, and the sitting president is sitting in a room, babbling about racist conspiracy theories, unaware of what’s happening in his own offices and, as always, teetering on the edge of what seems to be dementia. Oh, good. Super. And a big thumbs-up to his rotten staff for doing absolutely nothing to intervene.