July 30, 2019

[Above: Fox's racism on display, via Media Matters' YouTube Channel.]

I'm writing on the third day of President Trump's racist Twitter assault on Baltimore congressman Elijah Cummings. I agree with those who say that Trump does not have a well-thought-out strategy in place. He doesn't calculate the odds of success first or pinpoint his attacks based on polling or a carefully crafted timeline -- he just goes with his gut, then continues to do whatever wins him media coverage and infuriates his enemies.

But that doesn't mean that there isn't a plan. If it exists, however, it isn't Trump's.

Is it Fox's plan? And if so, what's the endgame?

CNN's Brian Stelter is certain that the Cummings attack was inspired by Fox, specifically by Fox & Friends:

[Trump's] own rich history of tweeting about Fox suggests that he was set off by a segment on the 6 am hour of "Fox & Friends Weekend."

First the talk show played a recent video clip of Cummings questioning acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan about conditions at the border. Then co-host Jedediah Bila brought in a guest named Kimberly Klacik, who went to impoverished parts of West Baltimore and talked with residents and recorded videos of trashed lots and ruined rowhomes....

"There is a crisis at the border, but there's also a crisis in Baltimore," Klacik said. "And I don't think many people realized this, but Congressman Cummings represents the most dangerous district in America."

Speaking about her visit, she said, "There's abandoned rowhomes filled with trash, homeless addicts, empty needles that they have used and it's really right next door. It's attracting rodents, cockroaches, you name it."

It has also been suggested that Trump's earlier attack on four progressive non-white first-term congresswomen was inspired by a Fox & Friends segment:

I understand that Trump believes he can win reelection by driving base turnout. But it's nearly sixteen months before the election -- won't Trump run out of prominent non-white attack targets who are hated by his base long before November 2020? Trump is attacking Al Sharptonthis morning -- Sharpton being the go-to punching bag for bigots who have run out of fresh racist ideas. Jesse Jackson will undoubtedly be a subject soon, and maybe Oprah Winfrey.

But is this building up to a renewed assault on Barack Obama? Will Fox try to steer Trump in that direction, possible urged on by Fox?

I see from the Washington Examiner that Congressman John Ratcliffe, Trump's pick to replace Dan Coats as director of national intelligence, was on Fox (though not Fox & Friends) reminding us that William Barr's Justice Department has Obama in its sights:

“I think the first thing we need to do is make sure we don’t do what the Democrats have done," the Texas Republican told host Maria Bartiromo on Sunday Morning Futures. "They accused Donald Trump of a crime and then they try and reverse engineer a process to justify that accusation. So I’m not going to accuse any specific person of any specific crime, I just want there to be a fair process to get there. What I do know as a former federal prosecutor is that it does appear that there were crimes committed during the Obama administration.” ...

“Now the things that Bob Mueller said he didn’t know about and his team clearly didn’t look at, those are things that would be fair for Bill Barr and the Department of Justice to look at. Because we know that things happened in the Obama administration that haven’t been answered. There’s been no accountability for that yet," Ratcliffe said.

Is that where this all leads? An "investigation of the investigators" makes Obama the ultimate target of Trump's racism, just as election season is heating up? Or will Trump continue to punch down -- which is much easier -- until something else distracts him?

We'll see.

Republished with permission from No More Mister Nice Blog

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