Photo: Andrew Harrer-Pool (Getty Images)
One of the things I find most fascinating about stupid people is the unseen machinations of their minds. When they commit acts of numbskullery, I always wonder about the things they didn’t do.
Did Jussie Smollett consider a story about being abducted by racist, homophobic aliens before he devised the post-Subway sandwich MAGA kidnapping idea? Did Lynnette Hardaway and Rochelle Richardson consider bringing in a cousin and calling themselves “Rock, Paper, Scissors” before they settled on “Diamond and Silk?”
Well, a new report from the New York Times offers some insight into the Trump administration’s brainstorming session on how to stop migrants from crossing the Mexican border. The article focuses on one week in March 2019, revealing that Trump had what Very Smart Brothas Editor-in-Chief Damon Young would call a “myriad” of batshit-crazy ideas, including moats filled with alligators, electric cattle fences and firing bullets at migrants—an idea the President suggested twice.
According to the Times, the President, spurred by the Lex Luthor of white nationalism—Senior Adviser Stephen Miller—was pressuring former Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen to take drastic measures to stop border crossings (which, by the way, were at an all-time low). Miller was reportedly exasperated by administration officials’ disgusting displays of sympathy and adherence to the law. The President and Miller applauded Nielsen when she ordered tear gas to be fired at migrants, but now they feared that she was too intent on treating the border-crossers like human beings. Plus, he hated that Nielsen didn’t look “tough,” telling her: “Lou Dobbs hates you, Ann Coulter hates you, you’re making me look bad.”
Miller allegedly believed the border patrol agents who offered asylum to migrants in distress to be “bleeding hearts, too quick to extend protections to immigrants,” and he, along with the President, pressured Nielsen, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney and son-in-law-who’s-probably-a-meerkat Jared Kushner to come up with a new plan. At first, Trump suggested that the DHS shut down the entire 2,000-mile border, but Nielsen talked them out of it, so they offered a few other ideas.
The Times’ Michael D. Shear and Julie Hirschfeld Davis report:
The advisers feared the president’s edict would trap American tourists in Mexico, strand children at schools on both sides of the border and create an economic meltdown in two countries. Yet they also knew how much the president’s zeal to stop immigration had sent him lurching for solutions, one more extreme than the next.
Privately, the president had often talked about fortifying a border wall with a water-filled trench, stocked with snakes or alligators, prompting aides to seek a cost estimate. He wanted the wall electrified, with spikes on top that could pierce human flesh. After publicly suggesting that soldiers shoot migrants if they threw rocks, the president backed off when his staff told him that was illegal. But later in a meeting, aides recalled, he suggested that they shoot migrants in the legs to slow them down. That’s not allowed either, they told him.
“The president was frustrated and I think he took that moment to hit the reset button,” said Thomas D. Homan, who had served as Mr. Trump’s acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, recalling that week in March. “The president wanted it to be fixed quickly.”
While those ideas sound like they come from the Third Reich playbook, here are a few other suggestions Trump may or may not have suggested:
The Jedi Mind Trick: We’re already building a Space Force. I don’t read the daily briefings, but I’m almost positive that we’re training our best and brightest in the ancient ways of the Jedi. Until we build Fort Trump on the moon, why not use those Trumponauts (cool name, right?) to patrol the Mexican border and tell the migrants: “This is not the asylum you’re looking for.”Jesus: I’m pretty sure there’s something about walking through the valley of the shadow of immigrants in Two Corinthians. Can someone get him on the mainline and tell him what I want?Civil War: Why don’t we just secede from North America? I’m pretty sure that it means we could re-institute slavery. My base would love that. It worked the first time, right?Anvils: No, hear me out. What if we got those very tall construction cranes they use to build skyscrapers and drop anvils on them? I’ve actually seen this technique used by a roadrunner who was trying to elude a very wily coyote. We could order the anvils in bulk from the Acme Corporation, which controlled 80 percent of the mail-order anvil and dynamite market before Amazon took over.Black Girl Magic: People would really think we were progressive if the border patrol hired a bunch of black women. We could harness their powers to protect our borders. I’m sure Diamond and Silk would be willing to go down to Tijuana to do some test runs. Has anyone hired Omarosa yet?
According to the Times’ report, the affair ended with Trump firing Nielsen, her deputy secretary and the head of U.S. Immigration and Citizenship Services. A few days later, the administration said they would limit the number of green cards and announced a plan for indefinite immigrant detentions at the border.
Thankfully, Jared Kushner kept his position as Secretary of Meerkats.
Photo: iStock/Getty Images/US Department of Meerkats