Ann Coulter, the fringe right-wing commentator and author, appeared on a Fox News show Saturday to promote her latest conspiracy book and nudge the president into invading a neighboring country.
Coulter appeared on Judge Jeannine Pirro’s show on a network the president routinely watches (and takes talking points from). With the full understanding she was likely addressing the president, she noted that it was important to reform immigration because Hispanic voters would increasingly cost Republicans future elections. Coulter said this existential threat was a good reason to send U.S. troops — armed and on orders to shoot people — into Mexico to “stop” immigrants, solving Republicans’ election woes.
Even Pirro looks incredulous for a minute, and she initially misunderstands Coulter’s idea. Pirro points out that U.S. law (posse comitatus) prevents troops from firing on people.
“You can’t shoot americans, you can shoot invaders,” says Coulter. But she doesn’t quite buy that argument: “Even if that were true, okay, so go one yard into Mexico.”
“Reagan invaded in Grenada and Grenada was far less of a threat to Americans than what’s happening on our border.”
She’s referring to the 1983 invasion of Grenada by the U.S. The country’s prime minister, who had led a Marxist-Leninist revolution a few years earlier, had been killed and deposed by a military junta. Just five days after the killings, the U.S. led an invasion of the country, on the premise that several hundred American medical students were at risk (the Iran hostage crisis was a very recent memory). President Reagan sent more than 7,000 troops to the island, and the United Nations condemned the invasion as “flagrant violation of international law.”
By most accounts, it was a stunt to gain the U.S. a quick military ‘win’ after the embarrassments of Vietnam, the hostage crisis, and the Beirut bombings that killed 241 service-members in a Marine barracks. Members of Congress traveled to Grenada to revel in the “success.” More than 8,000 medals were awarded to U.S. military personnel.
Coulter appears to forget the core purpose of the “caravan” narrative was to boost Republicans in the midterm elections. There is no “invasion” or threat to national security happening on the southern border.
It appears the president is paying close attention to his supporters who want him to double down on the rhetoric over the border, despite heavy election losses that suggest it’s unpopular with Americans. President Trump recently authorized troops at the border to use deadly force — potentially running afoul of the law — even though there’s little evidence of any threat.
Would be very SMART if Mexico would stop the Caravans long before they get to our Southern Border, or if originating countries would not let them form (it is a way they get certain people out of their country and dump in U.S. No longer). Dems created this problem. No crossings!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 25, 2018
Congress, under Republican control and with some Democrats’ help, has been reluctant to check Trump’s ability to start a war (historically, it is the role of Congress to authorize troop deployments, combat engagement, and war).
After 9/11, Congress signed over broad powers to the presidency. Earlier this year, Sens. Bob Corker (R-TN) and Tim Kaine (D-VA) introduced a bill to keep those powers in the hands of the president, rather than with Congress.