It’s got to be scaring the bejesus out of people around the globe that the world’s biggest nuclear superpower appears to be devolving into fascism. Do not doubt that the world is watching, and that Trump is not likely to stop fomenting fascist mobs.
The Associated Press reportsthat Trump and his campaign believe that placing “racial polarization at the center of his call to voters” carries “far more benefits than risks.”
We know what Trump is doing here. The reporting has established a pattern, in which Trump’s racist provocations are employed deliberately to foment racism, rage and/or hate among his supporters. Trump’s belief that his base would cheer was partly what drove his attacks on African American athletes and his refusal to condemn white-supremacist violence.
The president* has a predator’s gift for bringing out the native self-destruction in people for his own profit. What he has done in the last three years has been his masterwork in this regard. He doesn’t plague himself with doubt about what he’s creating around him. He is proud of his monster. He glories in its anger and its destruction and, while he cannot imagine its love, he believes with all his heart in its rage. He is Frankenstein without conscience.
All of that is going to be on vivid display over the next 18 months or so, just as it was on vivid display Wednesday night in North Carolina. The details are already so well-known as to beggar repeating, but what existed in that hall exists all around us now. As a nation, in our politics, we are both Frankenstein and Creature as one, and the president* seems to be the only one who grasps this basic fact, grasps it well enough to use as both sword and shield.
It might have been interesting if Rep. Al Green had held off introducing his impeachment bill to the House until today, after last night’s hate rally shamed the nation. The representative’s bill failed, but the vote revealed growing support for impeachment. I’ll bet that support would be bigger today. I would hope so, anyway.
Unfortunately, I see no indication that the leadership of the Democratic Party has half a clue what to do about Trump and the rising fascist movement he is fomenting. Yesterday Greg Sargent wrote that Moderate Democrats are getting skittish about confronting Trump’s racism. Seriously?
The House did pass a resolution condemning Trump’s racism, but …
But, dispiritingly, some moderate Democrats now think the party is going too far. Behold this startling passage in the New York Times write-up of the ongoing battle:
While Democrats were publicly unanimous in their support of the resolution, some moderate lawmakers from Republican-leaning districts that backed Mr. Trump in 2016 privately voiced their discomfort. They said that while the president’s comments had been racist, the party was playing into his hands by spending so much time condemning his remarks, according to centrist lawmakers and senior aides who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe internal discussions.
This is just terrible. To be clear, I’m sympathetic to the plight of moderates. It’s true that they inhabit districts that are far more Republican-leaning than, say, those of Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the rest of “the Squad.” …
…But when it comes to Trump’s racism, such political skittishness is baffling and indefensible.
According to the Times, moderate Democrats feel that too much time has been spent on talking about Trump’s racist remarks. But this isn’t just some parlor debate with no real-world consequences. Trump is sending a signal to the country that it’s acceptable to treat racial, ethnic and religious minorities as fundamentally not belonging to the American nation.
There can be no squishiness now, no more paying lip service to diversity while signalling nonwhite congresswomen to stay in their place. It’s understandable for red state Democrats to express disagreement with Medicare for All or free college tuition; it’s not okay to be the least bit waffling on racial and gender equality. No more. The leadership needs to make this very, very clear, including to themselves.
Republicans, on the other hand, are either avowedly with Trump or lost in space. Mitch McConnell defended Trump today, saying that he was “on to something” in his hate speech toward the Squad. Miz Lindsey declared that it was okay for Trump to call out the hate dogs on Rep. Ilhan Omar because she has been strongly critical of Trump. It’s not racist, then, you see. But the crew at The American Conservative are aghast.
Trump must have gotten some hints of a backlash against last night’s rally, because today he is claiming he “disagrees” with the “send her back” chant. He tried to discourage it by speaking over it very quickly, he said today. You can watch for yourself how much he discouraged it —