Donald Trump spoke to a gathering of police officers yesterday. He returned to two themes which he rode all the way to the White House -- encouraging violence and trashing immigrants. He told the police officers not to go easy on those they arrested:
When you see these thugs being thrown into the back of a paddy wagon, you just see them thrown in, rough, I said, please don't be too nice. Like when you guys put somebody in the car and you're protecting their head, you know, the way you put their hand over. Like, don't hit their head and they've just killed somebody. Don't hit their head. I said, you can take the hand away, okay?
With his usual rambling incoherence, he stood enraptured by the good old days when immigrants had white skins:
You say what happened to the old days where people came into this country, they worked and they worked and they worked and they had families and they paid taxes and they did all sorts of things, and their families got stronger and they were closely knit. We don't see that. Failure to enforce our immigration laws had predictable results. Drugs, gangs, and violence.
He did not mention the various ethnic mafias with whom he has done business over the years. These days it's all about keeping "them" out. Dara Lind writes:
Trump’s concern with immigration has always primarily been with crime. He won early political allies in Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Arizona and the “Angel Moms” whose children were killed by unauthorized immigrants. The vision of America promulgated in his most important speeches — his more-Nixonian-than-Nixon speech accepting the Republican nomination, his “American carnage” inauguration address — is unusually dark for a successful politician in this country. In Trump’s rhetoric, America was no longer great not because it was in some graceful decline, but because it was under siege from the forces of disorder: unlawful immigrants and lawless protesters.
All the tough talk is a mask for a man who is powerless. The man who likes to suggest that his testosterone levels are higher than anybody else's can't get anything done. Pundits have suggested that, while John McCain delivered the final blow to Trump's asinine health care legislation, it was two women senators -- Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins -- who possessed more testosterone than anyone else in the Republican Party.
Truth be told, when Trump speaks these days -- whether it's to the Boy Scouts or to police officers -- it's the barking of an impotent man.