What Trump wants to talk about:

1. Black sports professionals who won’t stand during the national anthem.

What Trump doesn’t want to talk about:

1. Bob Mueller asking his staff for all kinds of documents.

2. His failure to get funding for his border wall.

3. His failure to repeal Obamacare.

4. His preferred candidate in the Alabama special election losing on Tuesday.

5. The fact that Puerto Rico has no power and may have no power for months and months.

I’d also like to point out that Trump doesn’t want to talk about why some black athletes aren’t standing for the national anthem. He’s says it’s lack of gratitude. He says it’s disrespect. He doesn’t say it’s because a lot of police officers have gotten away with murder.

And, now, as of today, athletes of all colors aren’t standing because they’re protesting Trump and his racism and his disrespect.

He’s a sick person, but his calculation isn’t irrational. He’s forcing a conversation on us where he unfortunately has the opportunity to benefit politically.

Trump thinks this is a win for him and so do some of his most influential supporters:

It could be that he’s taken things too far now and miscalculated. That remains to be seen. But he can’t distract Bob Mueller. He can’t fake legislative victories that aren’t forthcoming. Puerto Rico isn’t going to fix itself. If Luther Strange loses on Tuesday, he’s still going to look weak and stupid.

So, it’s pretty clear that his plan is to continue to racially polarize the electorate while hiding behind the flag. It won’t work forever. Hopefully, it has already stopped working.