Despite What You’ve Read In the New York Times, Trump Actually Looks Terrible

By now, I hope all shebeen regulars have taken note of the single worst passage to appear in the New York Times since the days when Walter Duranty was writing about how high-on-the-hog Ukrainians were living under the enlightened rule of Joseph Stalin. If you somehow missed it, or if you never finished it because projectile vomiting overcame you before you could, here it is. Gaze in awe:

Mr. Biden’s voice has grown softer and raspier, his hair thinner and whiter. He is tall and trim but moves more tentatively than he did as a candidate in 2019 and 2020, often holding his upper body stiff, adding to an impression of frailty. And he has had spills in the public eye: falling off a bicycle, tripping over a sandbag.

Mr. Trump, by contrast, does not appear to be suffering the effects of time in such visible ways. Mr. Trump often dyes his hair and appears unnaturally tan. He is heavyset and tall, and he uses his physicality to project strength in front of crowds. When he takes the stage at rallies, he basks in adulation for several minutes, dancing to an opening song, and then holds forth in speeches replete with macho rhetoric and bombast that typically last well over an hour, a display of stamina.

Where was Rebecca O’Brien Davis’s brain when she was typing this? And where were the editors to give this avalanche of nonsense the editing that it deserved? Maybe nobody on the desk could find the flamethrower. El Caudillo del Mar-A-Lago looks about as healthy as John Tyler, and I mean how Tyler looks right now. Dig him up and see if I’m lying.

This job of work looks even worse because the former president* went to Pennsylvania in the immediate aftermath and delivered an entire truckload of bananas on the stump while speaking at the NRA convention. People already have dissected this endless lunatic aria for its recklessness on foreign policy—good luck, Estonia!—and for its extravagant mendacity, and for its transparent evidence that the guy should be surrounded by soft walls for the remainder of his time among the living. But there was something else worth noting about his speech. He flapped his gums about how he’d killed the compromise immigration bill in Congress, and then went off riffing about immigration in general.

“They give tens of millions, millions of dollars to lawyers to represent the illegal immigrants that come into our country. It’s not even believable.”

Well, immigrants are not entitled to lawyers, so he at least gets half-points for that one.

“They rush into the store and they walk out with television sets. I mean I saw one the other day walking out with a refrigerator. I said ‘he’s a pretty strong guy’”.

I don’t think the Border Patrol officers would have much trouble chasing down a dude toting a refrigerator out of Best Buy. If so, more calisthenics may be necessary.

All of this foreshadows the former president*’s apparent determination to conduct massive Velodrome d’Hiver-style raids and roundups all over the country. In The Atlantic, Ron Brownstein gave us a very good look at the sweep of what the former president* has in mind on this issue if and when he gets the chance again.

Trump has repeatedly promised that, if reelected, he will pursue “the Largest Domestic Deportation Operation in History,” as he put it last month on social media. Inherently, such an effort would be politically explosive. That’s because any mass-deportation program would naturally focus on the largely minority areas of big Democratic-leaning cities where many undocumented immigrants have settled, such as Los Angeles, Houston, Chicago, New York, and Phoenix…How Trump and his advisers intend to staff such a program would make a prospective Trump deportation campaign even more volatile. Stephen Miller, Trump’s top immigration adviser, has publicly declared that they would pursue such an enormous effort partly by creating a private red-state army under the president’s command. Miller says a reelected Trump intends to requisition National Guard troops from sympathetic Republican-controlled states and then deploy them into Democratic-run states whose governors refuse to cooperate with their deportation drive.

At the heart of the effort will be human jackboot Stephen Miller, who intends to revenge himself on all those people who blocked his promotion to Hauptsturmfuhrer the last time around.

In the interview, Miller suggested that another Trump administration would seek to remove as many as 10 million “foreign-national invaders” who he claims have entered the country under Biden. To round up those migrants, Miller said, the administration would dispatch forces to “go around the country arresting illegal immigrants in large-scale raids.” Then, he said, it would build “large-scale staging grounds near the border, most likely in Texas,” to serve as internment camps for migrants designated for deportation. From these camps, he said, the administration would schedule near-constant flights returning migrants to their home countries. “So you create this efficiency by having these standing facilities where planes are moving off the runway constantly, probably military aircraft, some existing DHS assets,” Miller told Kirk.

In the interview, Miller acknowledged that removing migrants at this scale would be an immense undertaking, comparable in scale and complexity to “building the Panama Canal.” He said the administration would use multiple means to supplement the limited existing immigration-enforcement personnel available to them, primarily at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, better known as ICE. One would be to reassign personnel from other federal law-enforcement agencies such as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the DEA. Another would be to “deputize” local police and sheriffs. And a third would be to requisition National Guard troops to participate in the deportation plans.

Much has been written about how the former president* torpedoed the immigration bill because he “wants the issue.” That is certainly the case, but that’s not what he wants the most. He wants the raids and the roundups and, especially, the videos of the raids and roundups. He wants to demonstrate his unbridled sadism to the country so nobody will doubt his political will. He wants the videos to make the tiny mushroom grow. He wants the videos to demonstrate that nobody ever again will laugh at his mighty sword. (Why do they laugh at his mighty sword?) He wants the video because he is, frankly, a barbarian who wants one exercise in chaos after another to show that he king of the mad empire in his head.

Charles P Pierce is the author of four books, most recently Idiot America, and has been a working journalist since 1976. He lives near Boston and has three children. 

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