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Tue Feb 13, 2018, 08:27 AM

Trump's budget 'science fiction' and Republican tales of horror


Trump's budget 'science fiction' and Republican tales of horror
By Mark Sumner
Monday Feb 12, 2018 · 11:39 AM EST


Unable to agree on a budget, unable to find any remaining crumbs to create a real infrastructure plan, unable to agree on anything other than that average people really should be made to suffer, Republicans are struggling to come up with a solid approach to the coming elections.

A source close to the White House tells me that with an eye to getting Republicans excited about voting for Republicans in midterms, the president this year will be looking for "unexpected cultural flashpoints" — like the NFL and kneeling — that he can latch onto in person and on Twitter.

The Republican plan for the fall is literally looking for ways to divide the nation … for the win.


So Republicans won’t be running on the economy — except in a sort of vague, hand-wavy fashion as they attempt to retro-attribute nine years of growth to a tax cut that hasn’t yet gone into effect. Instead, they’ll be running for office on the American Horror Story.

The source said Trump "is going to be looking for opportunities to stir up the base, more than focusing on any particular legislation or issue."

Last week, Trump devoted a day to talking about the MS-13 gang, a threat which continues to be inflated at least ten fold, with claims that “thousands” of gang members have been apprehended and that all of them are invaders.

President Donald Trump is portraying the violent MS-13 gang as a collection of immigrants sneaking illegally into the U.S., an account that ignores the organization's homegrown roots and the fact many of its members are U.S. citizens.

By fall that’s sure to translate into a theme of how Democrats blocked the building of the wall, and ads that portray every Democratic candidate as somehow personally responsible for a murder by an immigrant. Even where no immigrant is responsible. Or there’s no murder.

On the night of Nov. 18, Border Patrol Agent Rogelio Martinez was found dying on the side of an interstate in West Texas. There were immediate signs it had been an accident. Martinez’s partner, Stephen Garland (who suffered a head injury and doesn’t recall the incident), had radioed for help, saying he thought he ran into a culvert.

But President Trump and his allies saw an opportunity to whip up anti-immigrant fervor. At a Cabinet meeting Nov. 20, Trump announced, with cameras rolling, that “we lost a Border Patrol officer just yesterday, and another one was brutally beaten and badly, badly hurt. . . . We’re going to have the wall.” He also issued a similar tweet.

That’s going to be 2018 in a nutshell. Republicans have carried through on the one point they all agreed on—the extremely rich deserve to be even richer. Now they’re united only by racism and a disdain for the people they nominally serve. So … it’s going to be horror stories, right through till election day.

Which could make for a massacre … metaphorically.

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