The Immigration EO has a surprisingly strong basis in law but was issued in haste, without proper interagency coordination, without proper notice, without adequate consideration of its implications, and with a media strategy, if it was that, that suggested that the EO was motivated by discrimination against Muslims....It's easy for Trump's antagonists to get distracted running with the theory that he's a brutish lout who doesn't know what he is doing. It's important to pursue the alternative interpretation — that Trump does know what he is doing — and that is what Goldsmith is doing.
The clearly foreseeable consequence of the roll-out combined with Trump’s tweets is to weaken the case for the legality of the EO in court. Why might Trump want to do that? Assuming that he is acting with knowledge and purpose... the only reason I can think of is that Trump is setting the scene to blame judges after an attack that has any conceivable connection to immigration.... If Trump assumes that there will be a bad terrorist attack on his watch, blaming judges now will deflect blame and enhance his power more than usual after the next attack....
Goldsmith seems like the Scott Adams of Trump antagonists. This is something we need — analysis that assumes Trump is savvy and brilliant, coming from people who don't like what he is doing.
It makes sense to me to theorize that Trump is hoping to lose in court. It would relieve Trump of the burden of following through on a key campaign promise. He won't have any responsibility for the consequences and failures of a policy he was prevented from carrying out, and he can blithely insist that it would have worked. But the judges stopped him. People will be stirred up and angry at the judges — those terrible activist judges.
OR: Maybe Trump's trick is to get the judges to think he wants to lose so he can win. Devious!!