The thing is, nobody can be really sure.
His spokeswoman, Katrina Pierson, didn’t help with her Monty Pythonesque explanation Thursday morning on CNN:
“He hasn’t changed his position on immigration. He’s changed the words that he is saying.”
$#$%@#&$! *deep breath* Umm….no, never mind.
Trump had admitted to Hannity Wednesday,
“Now, everybody agrees that we get the bad ones out. But when I go through and I meet thousands and thousands of people on this subject, and I’ve had very strong people come up to me, really great, great people come up to me, and they’ve said, ‘Mr. Trump, I love you, but to take a person who’s be here for 15 or 20 years and throw them and their family out, it’s so tough, Mr. Trump.’ I have it all the time! It’s a very, very hard thing.”
Ann Coulter, who has admitted Trump had her at “Mexicans are rapists,” had a bit of a public moment as she grappled with what she was hearing. Obviously, from a photo tweeted by Charles Cook, editor of National Review Online:
“Ladies and Gentlemen, there’s been a slight change of plan.” pic.twitter.com/SRASORpp7D
— Charles C. W. Cooke (@charlescwcooke) August 25, 2016
She had just published a book praising Trump, after all, In Trump We Trust: E Pluribus Awesome! She was…well, dumbfounded at his seeming pivot. Having just praised Trump as some sort of 100-foot tall Badass McCarthyist God walking tall across the landscape, scooping up undocumented workers in each of his massive hands, what was she to think?
Now she was left to tweet, and it’s a wonder she could lift her quivering fingers to her keyboard,
Well, if it's "hard," then nevermind. Trump: "… to take a person who's been here for 15 or 20 years ….It's a very, very hard thing."
— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) August 25, 2016
Fighting a blinding wave of cognitive dissonance, Coulter – who had told MSNBC earlier in the week, “This could be the shortest book tour ever, if he’s really softening his position on immigration, but I don’t think he is” – went on Hannity Thursday and told him it was all a big mistake:
“You know, as for this idea that even if Trump believed — and look, I think he made a mistake in the things he said to you. He was using the catch phrase, “oh, and I have a glossary here for all the euphemisms for supporting amnesty,” claiming they’ll pay back taxes is one of them. No citizenship is another one. These are all the Marco Rubio cliches used to push the “Gang of Eight” bill. And even — look, I don’t think that’s true. I think it’s stupid because all Trump is doing is demoralizing his base. The never — the people who hate him still hate him, but now they can call him a flip-flopper. Way to go, whoever told Trump to say that.”
She followed this up with an email to World Net Daily, her spiritual home away from home, that,
“Unlike crazed, cult-like Hillary supporters (and Cruz supporters, fyi), I’ve provided helpful criticism to Trump in the past, e.g., over the Heidi Cruz retweet, over the H-1B sellout, and other things.
“THAT DOESN’T MEAN I’M ABANDONING HIM.”
And yes, the caps are hers.
She explained her apparently moment of loss of faith by saying,
‘Shortest book tour ever,’ was a joke! Yeah, it’s genuine criticism, but it’s made to encourage a righting of the ship, not to walk away in a tantrum the first time he says something stupid.
“He’s said stupid things before! I know he wants to put Americans first and, in the end, he won’t be fooled by the amnesty fanatics and their legerdemain.”
By Thursday night on Anderson Cooper, it was legitimate to ask, ‘What the hell just happened, if anything?’ Jeb Bush says, and here he agrees with Joe Scarborough, that it’s difficult to criticize Trump’s position(s) when you don’t know what they are. Because, you know, they change so much.
As Abigail Tracy noted at Vanity Fair,
“Before, the G.O.P. nominee touted an immigration plan that was arguably unenforceable. Now it is simply unintelligible.”
She opined that “Even Trump seems confused.” The rest of us certainly are, even people like Ann Coulter, who can gloss over her own moment of existential crisis, but it was very real.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.