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And the caravan is on its way


The fact that the president of the United States is a completely deranged racist seems like it’s still important:

President Trump on Monday sharply intensified a Republican campaign to frame the midterm elections as a battle over immigration and race, issuing a dark and factually baseless warning that “unknown Middle Easterners” were marching toward the American border with Mexico.

The unsubstantiated charge marked an escalation of Mr. Trump’s efforts to stoke fears about foreigners and crime ahead of the Nov. 6 vote, as he did to great effect in the presidential race. Mr. Trump and other Republicans are insistently seeking to tie Democrats to unfettered immigration and violent crime, and in some instances this summer and fall they have attacked minority candidates in nakedly racial terms.

Mr. Trump is now railing daily in speeches and on Twitter against the migrant caravan moving north through Central America, and on Monday called it a national emergency. The caravan has dominated conservative talk radio and Fox News, where there has also been loose speculation about a link to terrorism. The apparently groundless inclusion of “unknown Middle Easterners” to the caravan echoes Mr. Trump’s longstanding practice of amplifying fears about Islamic militants on the campaign trail.

“That is an assault on our country and in that caravan you have some very bad people and we can’t let that happen to our country,” the president said at a rally in Houston on Monday night. Mr. Trump suggested without any proof that the opposition was involved in instigating the caravan. “I think the Democrats had something to do with it,” he said.

It’s also worth noting that he fully represents his party:

But unlike two years ago — when some Republicans were hesitant to follow their nominee’s lead in using divisive rhetoric — Republicans are now more eagerly following the president’s cues, including in their own campaign rhetoric and ads.

“It’s a standard tactic to use fear as a motivating choice at the end of a campaign and the fact is the fork in the road is pretty stark,” said Scott Reed, senior political strategist at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, noting the possibility of investigations or impeachment proceedings in a Democratic House.

The overall strategy, Trump advisers and political operatives said, is to paint a portrait of a chaotic, dangerous world — with Trump and Republicans as the panacea.

The idea that this party has a real chance of maintaining full control of the federal government is terrifying.

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