Trump to Mexico: Stop the caravan or I'll close the border

Jazz noted in the previous post that Mexico has begun to act to slow down the illegal-immigrant caravan that began in Honduras. Apparently, it’s not slowing down fast enough for Donald Trump. As the Mexican government sends law enforcement to intercept the caravan, Trump went on Twitter to threaten Mexico with a border closure if it failed:

We can look forward to many explainers coming out today in the media as to whether a president can unilaterally close the border. Trump could certainly do so temporarily by citing a national-security threat, but it would be hard to sustain without congressional cooperation. Some of the states involved would strenuously object to the militarization of the border, California in particular and likely New Mexico as well. The political headaches this would create would multiply and intensify in no time, and it might fuel Democrats’ somewhat-quieted call for impeachment all over again.

Here’s a thought experiment: what would Republicans have said if Barack Obama sent the military to Texas’ border? Some might have welcomed the move, but only some.

All of that misses the point. Trump’s not interested in closing the border, but it making his final midterm pitch. Trump won in part by harnessing frustration over the unresolved questions in immigration reform, frustrations which Beltway media and politicians shrugged off as unenlightened.  He wants to remind voters that Democrats have been blocking his wall and common-sense immigration-law reforms, and the Honduran caravan gives him a great opportunity to highlight the issue, and to add his own brand of hyperbole to it.

Newt Gingrich laid out the strategy last night on Hannity. The election will come down to two words, Gingrich predicted:

Kavanaugh, certainly. Caravan still seems like a long shot for traction outside of the base, but who knows? If Mexico fumbles the interception, Trump might get his showdown after all.