Folks, the world is coming to an end. Don't believe me? Just ask some of our cable media overlords, who are absolutely apoplectic over Hillary Clinton saying a thing which she has said before. She even said it in a speech, broadcast live and streamed on the internet, even right here on this site.
Of course there’s always been a paranoid fringe in our politics, steeped in racial resentment. But it’s never had the nominee of a major party stoking it, encouraging it, and giving it a national megaphone. Until now.
No one should have any illusions about what’s really going on here. The names may have changed… Racists now call themselves “racialists.” White supremacists now call themselves “white nationalists.” The paranoid fringe now calls itself “alt-right.” But the hate burns just as bright.
And now Trump is trying to rebrand himself as well. Don’t be fooled.
And even then, with that speech laying out so many instances of why Trump and his supporters are indeed in that "basket of deplorables," we had Chuck Todd fingering his worry beads over a "race to the bottom."
Apparently racism is only supposed to be spoken of in quiet rooms where Serious Men are convened, at least if you're Chuck Todd. For balance, MSNBC brought Ann Coulter -- a "deplorable" of the highest magnitude -- on to discuss things.
Why the blowout now? Aggrieved Trump supporters and Trump himself finally got a clue, because cable media decided to flip out over The Thing She Said. Then she went and clarified what she said without apologizing for it. They simply could not have the little lady doing a thing like that, which is why you will hear her statement mischaracterized by cable networks and some journalists as an "apology" for the entire statement, which it was not. (I'm looking at YOU, Poppy Harlow).
Before they deleted the tweet, the AP managed to mischaracterize what she said twice in one tweet. They said she called ALL Trump supporters a "basket of deplorables" and then said she apologized for it. Neither are true.
Trump has, of course, struck up the Grievance Band, in his third statement of the day.
"Isn't it disgraceful that Hillary Clinton makes the worst mistake of the political season and instead of owning up to this grotesque attack on American voters, she tries to turn it around with a pathetic rehash of the words and insults used in her failing campaign? For the first time in a long while, her true feelings came out, showing bigotry and hatred for millions of Americans. How can she be President of our country when she has such contempt and disdain for so many great Americans? Hillary Clinton should be ashamed of herself, and this proves beyond a doubt that she is unfit and incapable to serve as President of the United States. I will be President for all of the people, and together we will Make America Great Again." - Donald J. Trump
Which Great Americans are those again, Donald? Here are some hard poll numbers from his supporters.
Or, you can just peek in on Twitter at the #MAGA hashtag on any given day to get a whiff of what they're about, if you dare.
Or you can watch this New York Times video where Trump supporters were simply recorded doing what they do. If you can stand it.
There is nothing in Hillary Clinton's statement that was factually incorrect or wrong. But that will not stop the screaming and crying about it, because there are different rules for Hillary Clinton and Democrats than there are for anyone else. For over a year, Donald Trump has normalized hate. Now someone is saying so, and that is apparently enough for the world to end.
Digby's post about "ritual defamation or humiliation" is a must-read today, because she outlines the clear tactic Republicans use of ginning up faux outrage over every single thing Democrats do, with Democrats and liberals cowering before the screaming masses, saying whatever in order to just Make. It. Stop.
I post this because I can see a lot of Democrats on television insisting that Clinton has made a grave mistake in calling out the racist haters in the Trump coalition. If they keep up the drumbeat it's highly likely she will be forced to do more than issue that statement. The race is close and she cannot allow this truth-telling to dominate the campaign going forward.
If it fades over the next few days she will have dodged a bullet. But the immediate response of the Democratic pundits and surrogates to Clinton telling a simple and obvious truth about many of Trump's voters (and frankly, all of them, since they are willingly voting for an authoritarian white nationalist ) tells me that they are looking for a reason to distance themselves from anyone making the observation she made. The people Clinton was talking about are white conservatives, and no matter how racist and xenophobic they are, the political establishment still considers them to be the only Real Americans.
It's up to us, and the media, to get this one right. We are where we are because unabashed hate, racism and bigotry isn't called what it is. Now she's done that, and it's not the time to shrink away from it.
We need to have her back on this. All liberals, whether high profile or not. Because this is not just about the November election. This is about calling bigotry what it is, flushing it out, and refusing to tolerate it any longer. As liberals, that should be our first priority.