STEPHANIE RUHLE: How does attacking Senator John McCain, a man fighting for his life, how is that a win for the president?
STEVE SCHMIDT It's not a win for the president. He's literally alienated every group from the NFL to prisoners of war, that you could think to name in America. He is the great divider. It's not accidental. He gets up every day. Every day, premeditatively, purposely, how do I divide the American people? How do I inject toxins into the body politic for the purposes of my political transactional benefit?
RUHLE: Why does it work? Why do the American people fall for three-word slogans?
SCHMIDT: I disagree that it works. The overwhelming majority of the American people stand united whether Republicans or Independents or Democrats are against this. You have 35%, 36% of the country. What you're reacting to and it's astounding, is how many people fall for it. It's a big number in a country of 350 million people. We should never buy into the notion that this is a majority of the country that he's speaking to.
Consider the Fuzzy Math of Mr. Steve Schmidt -- a respected Republican strategist who, in the space of 90 seconds, makes the entire Republican party completely disappear:
According to Mr. Schmidt, the Good Guys who think that Donald Trump is a bigoted ahole who injects "toxins into the body politic for the purposes of [his] political transactional benefit" are "the overwhelming majority of the American people." They are "Republicans or Independents or Democrats [who are] are against this".
And the Bad Guys? The ones who will gleefully and proudly stand with Il Douche, no matter what?
Mr. Schmidt would have you believe that those people are some mysterious, politically unidentifiable and unaffiliated group who just so happen to make up "35%, 36% of the country."
You see, distant traveler, Mr. Schmidt is lying to you. He fcking well knows down to nine significant digits exactly who these people are. They are the base of his own fcking party: a base which Mr. Schmidt fcking well knows has been methodically conditioned and programmed by 30 years of relentless, toxic political propaganda and racist dog-whistling from the leaders of his Republican party to prepare them to behave just like this.
But Mr. Schmidt can't say that without implicating himself and every one of his friends and fellow travelers. So he tells one of the biggest Beltway-approved lies of all -- that the fault for all of this belongs waaaaay over there with Donald Trump and some enigmatic group of people who are certainly not the base of the party for whom Mr. Schmidt has worked his entire adult life.
Excerpted from Driftglass