Who still believes that Trump will build a big, beautiful wall and that Mexico will pay for it?

Will anyone still cheer for Trump's ludicrous promise at his Phoenix rally?

President Trump speaks at a rally in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
(Image credit: Cedar Rapids, Iowa)

On Tuesday, fresh from a week of getting hammered over his belief that when neo-Nazis march into town and there's a terrorist attack you have to look for the nuance of "both sides," President Trump is going to Phoenix for what will surely be a lively rally. Whenever he feels beleaguered and put-upon, Trump heads for the warm embrace of his most ardent supporters, who reliably demand that he play all the old hits and know they won't be disappointed. "Lock her up! Lock her up!" they shout, like the crowd at a Billy Joel concert singing along to the words of "Piano Man."

Phoenix is a good place for this rally, since the state of Arizona has been on Trump's mind of late. One of the state's Republican senators, Jeff Flake, recently published a book critical of the president, which led the president to call Flake "toxic" and all but endorse one of his primary challengers. Trump is also considering a pardon for Joe Arpaio, the authoritarian goon who ruled over Maricopa County as sheriff for two decades. Arpaio was convicted of criminal contempt after a federal court ordered him to stop his relentless racial profiling and he went on TV to proudly proclaim he'd ignore the order, which makes him a natural for Trump's first pardon.

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Paul Waldman

Paul Waldman is a senior writer with The American Prospect magazine and a blogger for The Washington Post. His writing has appeared in dozens of newspapers, magazines, and web sites, and he is the author or co-author of four books on media and politics.