Trump’s latest obsession with the Mexican border has nothing to do with immigration.

Illegal crossings are at their lowest level since 1971.

Net immigration has been negative for the last 5 years.

The scary sounding “caravans” are an annual event that has been going on since 2010, organized by human rights groups trying to draw attention to the plight of people whose lives are in danger at home. Once they reach Mexico some will apply for asylum in the U.S., and some in Mexico.

After all, if you’re trying to sneak into the U.S., traveling in a group of people large enough to attract press coverage is probably not the best approach.

So why is Trump ranting about (illegally) sending U.S. troops to the border? He’s furious about the spending bill.

The one he signed.

After threatening not to.

It doesn’t contain money for his wall. And Far Right Columnist And Truly Horrible Person Anne Coulter has been mocking his failure to get funding.

Coulter was one of the first conservative bobbleheads to publicly support Trump, and she’s a reasonable indicator of how the core of his base is feeling. She’s hitting him for not delivering on his signature campaign promise, and suggesting he’s not the all-powerful figure he pretends to be.

So, he has to pretend harder.

Dispatching the military as has “never been done before” isn’t targeting Mexicans; it’s targeting Republican voters in the election later this year. He needs them to come out and vote for Trump Republicans, especially in Senate races.

Since it’s the Senate that has the power to impeach him.

This also explains why the Secretary of Homeland Security is shamelessly claiming that repairs to the fence built by Bush and Obama count as “Trump’s wall.” No thinking person is going to fall for that. But that’s not who the message is targeting.

Trump has turned the presidency into a series of made-for-TV events designed to boost him personally. If that means the military gets used as his plaything, forced to march in front of his D.C. hotel and stand around the border where they are legally prohibited from arresting illegal entrants, so be it.

As long as Trump wins in November, anything goes.🔷

Embed from Getty Images

(This piece was first published on Medium.)

(Cover: Flickr/Gage Skidmore - President Trump speaking at the 2018 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland - 23 February 2018.)