Birther-in-Chief Donald Trump appears to be laboring under the idea that it's a really good idea to defend his base against Hillary Clinton's claim that they fall into a "basket of deplorables."
This, from the man who led the birther movement into the GOP nomination, lifted up by neonazis, white supremacists, and people cheering for a full ban of an entire religion in this country. You go, Donald.
"The disdain that Hillary Clinton expressed towards millions of decent Americans disqualifies her from public service," he said, reading from a teleprompter. "You cannot run for president if you have such contempt in your heart for the American voter. And she does."
Trump continued, "Hillary Clinton still hasn't apologized to those she slanders. In fact, she hasn't backed down at all. She's doubled down on her campaign conspiracy and contempt. If Hillary Clinton will not retract her comments in full, I don't see how she can credibly campaign any further."
This, from the guy who does a call and response at his rallies to "Build the wall!" and "Lock her up!"
I don't know, what would you call these folks, if not deplorable?
This was pretty deplorable.
And speaking of not retracting comments, a reminder:
Dave Neiwert explained how Trump wishes away his racist deplorable base back in June:
- First, Trump appears to embrace the racism and/or violent acts committed by his followers and admirers, either by making excuses for the behavior or pretending not to know about their racist reputations, as he demurs, hems and haws.
- Second, Trump either briefly disavows the act or issues a brief statement making an official disavowal of the person or behavior in question that briefly mentions why such things are unacceptable.
- Third, he reflexively refers to this pro forma disavowal whenever the subject is raised by the press without ever explaining or describing the motives for it.
So when you hear Trump saying, "She just took it to a whole new level by applying it to tens of millions of people. She used these vile words in order to bully and intimidate honest citizens out of seeking government reform," and he immediately follows that with, "There has to be reform. People who want their immigration laws enforced, and we have no choice. We have to do that. And their borders secured are not racists," you are witnessing the racism excuse phase of his strategy.
When he goes on to say this, "They are patriotic Americans of all backgrounds who want their jobs and families protected. People who warn about radical Islamic terrorism are not they're not Islamophobes. They're decent American citizens," he reinforces hate, fear and loathing, which are all deplorable.
To Trump and his base, only white people are "decent American citizens." The rest are a true danger to our society.
Ta-Nahesi Coates ripped media for enabling Trump in his endeavors:
White racial grievance enjoys automatic credibility, and even when disproven, it is never disqualifying of its bearers. It is very difficult to imagine, for instance, a 9/11 truther, who happened to be black, becoming even a governor. And yet we live in an era in which the country’s leading birther might well be president. This fact certainly horrifies some of the same journalists who attacked Clinton this weekend. But what they have yet to come to grips with is that Donald Trump is a democratic phenomenon, and that there are actual people—not trolls under a bridge—whom he, and his prejudices against Latinos, Muslims, and blacks, represent.
We graded Republicans on a intellectual curve when they embraced a fundamentalist splinter of American Protestantism and brought themselves to a pass in which they are the 21st Century Know Nothings. They have followed movement conservatism to the point where they can ignore science and promote creationism and supply side economic foolishness simply because they can sell it to the same audiences that gobble up the red meat that's been marinating since George Wallace ran for president. Because they are graded on a curve, they can still claim to be shocked when the purist product of all of that work hijacks the nomination and gives the entire game away. Of course, Trump has been graded on a curve. If the electorate hadn't graded modern conservatism on an intellectual curve, it would've flunked out of Human College decades ago.
It is timidity now that grades this ridiculous man running this ridiculous campaign on the biggest curve of all—the timidity of a people who have declined the responsibilities of serious citizenship and the abdication of its duty under the Constitution of a putatively free press too timid to call them on it. That is the political correctness that truly is hurting the country and may yet hurt it beyond all repair. There's only one candidate now running however gingerly against that.
Hillary Clinton speaks the truth about deplorable people, and our media groans and shivers, pronouncing it "bigotry" and a "gaffe." They excoriate her for her lack of transparency about her health while smacking down her honesty about racists and haters at every turn.
Media or no media, this is a fight worth having. You betcha. Trump can whine and call her disqualified all he wants, because he enjoys the privilege of being a white man. But he might just discover that white men aren't all that anymore. When he does, he'll go down in flames and hopefully light the whole damn basket on fire once and for all.