When border agents fired canisters of tear gas into a crowd of unarmed migrants in Tijuana over the weekend, officials in the Department of Homeland Security and White House quietly cheered.
It was exactly the fodder they needed in the waning days of Republican-controlled Washington to pressure Congress for billions to fund the border wall.
Ah, yes! Genius! Chaos = control, and control = victory! If this sounds like a Stephen Miller fever dream, you've been paying attention. But does this chaos play right into the hands of the black hats in the White House?
Well, the President didn't get the memo:
At a roundtable in Mississippi later Monday, Trump seemed to acknowledge that children were affected, asking, "Why is a parent running up into an area where they know the tear gas is forming and it's going to be formed and they were running up with a child?"(there is, in fact, only one form of tear gas ).
He said it was "a very minor form of the tear gas itself" that he assured was "very safe."
Nor did the President's supporters (or Border Patrol supporters), who variously argued the immigrants in Mexico were tear gassed only with hot peppers you find on nachos; that they were using children as human shields; or that the whole thing was a "false flag." They understand how this looks, in other words, and they don't like it.
Turns out that's a good idea, not liking it:
NEW: TRUMP TEAR GAS FOR TODDLERS!!! "1st of all, the tear gas is a very minor form of the tear gas itself- It's very safe. The ones that were suffering, to a certain extent, were the ones putting it out there. But it's very safe!"- DJT #SafelyAvailableAtABorderNearYOU pic.twitter.com/OuQsGJIoR3— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) November 27, 2018
Don’t know how you get lower than tear gassing babies. But if anyone can, Trump will find a way. We must never get used to the horror that is this President.— Rob Reiner (@robreiner) November 26, 2018
But even if one agreed that rock throwing warranted an aggressive response from border agents, the fact remains: The toddlers who were tear-gassed at the border could not be called anything other than innocent victims.
Mexico’s foreign ministry presented a diplomatic note to the U.S. government on Monday calling for “a full investigation” into what it described as non-lethal weapons directed toward Mexican territory on Sunday, a statement from the ministry said.