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Arriving at rally last night in Wisconsin

Trump Tips His Hand On How He’ll Whip Up Frenzy Leading To The Midterms

Tells Rally In Wisconsin “Just Wait To See What Happens Over The Next Couple Of Weeks” At The Southern Border

Adding: “the military is ready.” Here’s that clip:

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The Washington Post’s Nick Miroff has an excellent story and photo essay, which points out a distinction that’s being lost in all the heated discussion of caravans and drug gangs, etc. Illegal immigration to the U.S. — that is, people trying to sneak over the border — is way down and has been for some time. What we’re seeing a lot more of however, is migrants seeking asylum on the grounds their lives are in peril if they stay where they are (for instance, Honduras).

Which means a couple of things as far as they relate to Trump:

  • The President is right in terms of the need for reform of asylum laws and procedures. (At the same time, it’s hard to make progress if your primary strategy is just to call everything “stupid”, and blame Democrats for everything as it exists now when you need them to help you).

One thing that struck us as we watched the rally is how much smaller the country has become with Trump in charge. Not simpler, but smaller. Primarily because he’s successfully keeping the spotlight almost exclusively on himself, thanks to his continuous barrage of outrageous Tweets and policies.

But this day was a little different. While some people connected the President’s angry, violent rhetoric to the undetonated pipe bombs delivered to the Clintons, and the Obamas, and Maxine Waters, and Eric Holder, and Robert DeNiro, and the CNN New York Bureau, and more, that story didn’t immediately center around the President.

So the rally was also his opportunity to guide the national discussion about that. What came out was extraordinarily convoluted. Even though — uncharacteristically — the President was carefully reading prepared remarks from teleprompter.

Trump did immediately address the mail bombs, saying “no nation can succeed that tolerates violence or the threat of violence as a method of political intimidation, coercion or control”. But then he almost immediately blamed the problem on politicians who need to “stop treating their opponents as morally defective”, of which, of course he is the #1 offender. And he threw in damnation of people who confront politicians “in public places”. And he blamed the media, saying it “also has a responsibility to set a civil tone and to stop the endless hostility and constant negative — and often times, false — attacks and stories”. (And really slammed the media again this morning in a Tweet.)

So in the end, mostly all that happened is Trump modulated his “rally voice” down from a 10 to about a 7. And we think the Washington Post is spot on when it says the President made “a show of being civil”. Several times he pointed to himself, and pointed out to the audience that “I’m trying to be nice”.

Here’s a clip of all of that (if you’ve got the stomach for it):

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We think the President passed up a big opportunity for an historic message of unity and reconciliation that might’ve even served him better in the long run and gained him broader support than his winner-take-all zero-sum way of governing. But Trump doesn’t run in that gear. And hey, it’s a rally, and he’s got an election to win — even though he’s not running.

Written by

Peabody award winning journalist. Streaming media pioneer. Played @ CBGB back in the day. Editor-In-Chief "The Chaos Report" www.thechaosreport.com

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