You are 100% correct on “ We craft the ban to be about 20% more extreme than we actually want it to be” than back down later to get 100% of what we actually wanted. That is consistent with Trump’s own published book on persuasion and negotiation: always make your opening offer far more than you want or need, then compromise back to your actual desired outcome. That is classic Trump.
You then conclude in a bizarre paranoid fantasy that “we’ve tested the loyalty of a department we’ll need later on, we’ve proven we can ignore an entire branch of government, and we’ve slipped in some subtle moves that will make the next test even easier. We’ve just tested the country’s willingness to capitulate to a fascist regime.”
This is BS, pure and simple. You acknowledge this with some weasel words: “I have no idea what the administration intends,” which is clearly true. How about assuming that Trump will do his very best to honour every election promise he made, regardless of how unwise some of them are? That exactly explains the first week of the Trump Presidency: he honours every pledge even though some will be over-ruled by the Supreme Court or watered down later. Result: the USA sees a non-politician President who keeps his word. No greater contrast could be presented to the Obama years.