Donald Trump
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I learned a long time ago not take any bait Ann Coulter is offering because that’s how she makes herself rich. But it’s kind of fun to see Josh Marshall having so much fun at her expense. The way Trump “softened” his immigration stance at the same moment that Coulter’s new book was launching was kind of exquisite, considering that the book praises Trump above all for his hardline anti-immigrant stance. Even so, I’d let this whole episode pass without noting if it didn’t tie into something else that was in the news yesterday.

Here’s how Marshall characterizes Coulter’s discomfort:

Just today her new book In Trump We Trust was released, a genuflecting, tour de force of leader principle obsequiousness. As many have noted, in the book itself she writes that Trump can do anything, change his position on anything – none of it matters. She and they are that devoted. Everything except shift on immigration.

So today, the very day her book comes out he shambles his way to embracing the Rubio/Bush ‘Amnesty’ agenda he spent the last year railing against and using as a cudgel to destroy the Republican establishment’s favored ones. She even had an opening book party hosted by Breitbart.

Already at the book party, photos snapped by Twitters journos showed a sad visage and perhaps a growing thunder …

That thunder is something Glenn Beck is warning about in his typical apocalyptic tones. He invited Trump voters to call into his show yesterday and explain their support for him, and he seems to have been badly rattled by the experience. He even agreed to go on Lawrence O’Donnell’s MSNBC show last night to talk about it. I guess Beck has a variety of concerns about Trump and his fans, but what’s really got him going is the realization that there are hordes of people out there who took Trump seriously about his mass deportation promises, and they’re going to be irate if Trump doesn’t follow through. To demonstrate the point, let’s look at a caller named “Nate from Virginia.”

“As long as he does the basic things, the foundational things, which is build a wall, he’s not going to have people like me coming after him,” Nate responded.

“So if he doesn’t build a wall like China, then he’s in trouble?” Beck said.

“Oh, he’s in so much trouble,” the caller quickly shot back. “You don’t even understand the backlash of us, the ones who are so frustrated and angry and tired of all the political stuff. We’re going to come after him personally. You know what I mean? We’re going to get him.”

The caller later seemed to soften his stance a little, somewhat going along with Beck’s suggestion that impeachment might be a sufficient punishment. Still, Beck pressed him to clarify that he wasn’t recommending violence, and the response was “Well, I mean, hey, you yourself said he’s condoned violence in the past, hasn’t he?”

And then the caller further explained his position:

“I’m just saying, he’s appealing to people who are very frustrated and angry. Their frustration and anger can only be subsided if he makes his promises true,” Nate said. “And he has a lot on his shoulders. Maybe he himself doesn’t even know how much. But if he doesn’t come through for us, he’s going to have bigger problems, bigger problems than what you know.”

Yeah, I know that this is just one caller to the radio show of an unhinged shock jock, but I don’t bring it up to cherrypick.

As a political matter, Trump may win more votes than he loses by adopting a more status quo/mainline stance on immigration and undocumented workers, but there are a lot of people who didn’t care about any other issue in his whole campaign. There’s a reason why a slew of white supremacists have praised Trump not only for his positions but for making white supremacy respectable again.

They probably can live with Trump losing, but having Trump betray the cause before the first ballot has been cast?

That might be more problematic. For Trump.

Either way, though, Trump opened a can of worms and perhaps even Pandora’s Box. He can pivot away from the issue that got him to this point, but he can’t undo the damage he’s already done.

Martin Longman

Martin Longman is the web editor for the Washington Monthly. See all his writing at