“After years of wondering about how dry cleaning works, Seinfeld recently ventured into a library and searched through dark and mildewing shelves of the reference section until he found an accursed book about industrial garment care. As he read the ancient tome, the hapless stand-up’s eyes widened in shock and tears streamed down his face while his mouth formed into a rictus grin of horrified delight. Hours later he put down the book and maniacally cackled, “I understand the deal now. I understand the deal with dry cleaning!”

I think we can all be thankful that he never learned what the deal was with airline peanuts.

It was not a good week for Le Grand Orange. He was starting to rise in the polls before his responses to last week’s tragedies.

He made some grave errors: asking everyone to “have a good time” in the wake of tragedy, failing to tone down his rhetoric, failure to condemn extremist rhetoric in general, and continuing to blow his anti-Semitic dog whistles after the synagogue tragedy.

Once again, I’ll point out that all of the following terms are the neo-Nazi code words for “Jews”: Soros, deep state, Hollywood, globalist. Those are always just surrogates for the J-word in white nationalist internet pamphleteering. (George Soros himself is just a very feeble old man who donates to progressive causes, and almost never has any relationship to the things he’s accused of. For example, there is no reason of any kind to connect him to the infamous caravan. This is another case exactly like “Obama was born in Kenya” of pure scaremongering with no basis in reality.) The other common terms that are starting to fall into this “synonyms for Jews” category are “fake media” and “drain the swamp.” (“Drain the swamp” basically translates to “purge the Jews” on wackadoodle web sites.)

In fairness, I should point out that I haven’t seen any persuasive evidence that Trump is really anti-Semitic. I really doubt that Trump knows precisely what he’s communicating to the neo-Nazis because that would require a subtlety and depth of understand far beyond his capabilities. But he does know that the far-right nuts love this stuff, and he is pandering to them because their cheers at his rallies stoke his ego, and he wants their votes. (His Soros/Caravan narrative is the Obama/Kenya meme repeated again with a new cast. Trump may or may not have known those things were false when he said them, but the truth would not be a relevant consideration for him, not would the implicit racism. He only cares that those things bring him cheers and votes.)

This move is “almost certain to draw legal challenges on constitutional grounds.”

Yeah, no shit, Sherlock.

The vast majority of constitutional scholars believe that ending birthright citizenship would be a violation of the 14th Amendment. You know what? He may be right, and those scholars may be wrong. It is not an action that will defy the explicit words of the 14th, but rather the common interpretation of the italicized phrase beneath. The Amendment states: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside.”

But whether he is right or wrong on the principle of birthright citizenship, this is not a matter that should be decided by an executive order. It should either be a new amendment to the Constitution or a new law subject to interpretation by the courts in the usual manner. Needless to say, the problem with ruling by executive orders is that it is tantamount to having laws written in pencil. If a President can determine such an action, so fundamental to American law and values, with an executive order, then the next President can undo it with his own executive order, and so forth. That’s not the way the American rule of law should work. It is the function of the legislative branch to to create laws, and the judicial branch to interpret them.

Personally, I don’t think he will actually do this at all. I’m guessing that this is just a rhetorical strategy to get immigration to the top of the news cycle prior to the election (as opposed to right-wing violence). Trump and his advisers feel that immigration is the one issue which resonates most strongly with their base, and is most likely to get people to the polls. This is why he keeps haranguing and scaremongering about the migrant caravan.

But then again, Trump is like that stereotypical movie character who “might just be crazy enough to do it.”

By the way, in two related issues:

Shep Smith of Fox News said of the caravan, “There is no invasion. No one is coming to get you. There is nothing at all to worry about.” The pundits on his network are obviously pushing a different narrative.

Some parts of this debate are matters for interpretation, but there is one case where Trump is just completely wrong. He claims America is the “only country in the world with birthright” citizenship. That’s just him making things up, as usual. Because the Western Hemisphere is built on migration, every major country in the Americas offers it, and almost all of the smaller countries. (There are only three exceptions: Cuba, Costa Rica and Suriname.)