Hey, remember that “threatening” migrant caravan Donald Trump and right-wing media wouldn’t shut the hell up about for weeks before the midterms? They’ve been pretty quiet about it lately. In fact, the 5,000+ troops Trump sent to do busy work in Texas are already being sent home and the caravan hasn’t even reached the border. Sure, the political stunt might have cost $150 million in taxpayer funds (and at least 11 lives, thanks to a paranoid gunman who bought into the lies), but at least it helped them hang on to the House of Repre—OH WAIT! They lost the House. No matter, the border is finally secure, right?
We know the border is secure because President “Mexico Will Pay For The Wall” tweeted a photo of a very non-wall looking structure decorated in sparkling new concertina wire (AKA “racist tinsel”).
The Fake News is showing old footage of people climbing over our Ocean Area Fence. This is what it really looks like - no climbers anymore under our Administration! pic.twitter.com/CD4ltRePML— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 19, 2018
His fans went absolutely ga-ga over the photo, praising him for his courage to defend America against… desperate, faraway refugees yearning to breathe free (or at least be free from violence).
holy shit https://t.co/cmDGVvQcOM— Benny (@bennyjohnson) November 19, 2018
This is the real thing. No longer a joke. https://t.co/bv6zE32Gen— CM JAVIER (@cmjavier) November 21, 2018
Turns out there’s a little problem with this piece of crude set design—it’s all a lie:
This NBC News reporter showed the “border security” stagecraft for what it is. For those keeping score at home, 200 feet is less than the length of a football field and an infinitesimal fraction of the distance the caravan has traveled so far. I mean, if you traveled over 1,000 miles on foot do you think you’d be stopped from moving a couple hundred feet to one side?
There are a couple thing going on. First of all, Trump is trying to trick his most gullible supporters into thinking he’s constructed some sort of impenetrable razor-wire barrier across the border. He has not. Secondly (and relatedly) the right-wing grifters are gleefully playing along with this lie because they have every incentive to promote Trump’s presidency.
Trump’s biggest media/activist supporters (like Charlie Kirk) don’t actually care if the border is secure. They’re not going to get upset when they find out this stunt was all a lie. They’re not going to demand a “real conservative” secure the border. They’re just going to attack anyone who questions the lie. They’re in it for the grift and the money and the fame, just like Trump.
And it’s a safe bet that none of the anti-immigrant true-believers in Congress aren’t going to make a peep about this either. No matter what you think of Republicans’ (odious) stated policy goals, you can take some comfort in knowing that achieving them is secondary to the message that they’re achieving them (under a Republican president) or that they’re being neglected (under a Democratic one).
The Republican Party is running on racist fumes and their base is huffing them. These are not serious people trying to do serious things, but they’re still having serious effects.