Trump Will Rely On Fear And Racial Divisiveness To Win In 2020, It’s All He’s Got

Trump's attacks on racial minorities are going to continue, and get worse, the closer we get to 2020. Because stirring up fear and racial resentment among white working-class voters is the only way he can win.

President Trump’s Twitter attacks on Maryland Congressman Elijah Cummings, which mirror his racist screed two weeks earlier against four minority Democratic Congresswomen have demonstrated yet again the extent to which his campaign intends to rely on the politics of racial division as the 2020 campaign heats up:

As condemnations have poured in over the past two weeks accusing Trump of bigotry — including a bipartisan House resolution decrying his “go back” tweets as racist — Trump’s campaign has mounted an all-out effort to defend the president and turn his offensive comments into a political advantage with his base.

epublican officials say Trump is harnessing the anger of those who continue to feel left behind despite the strong economy, and steering their fury toward members of Congress he has accused of bad-mouthing the country and embracing socialist policies.

“This is Hillary’s ‘basket of deplorables’ all over again,” said Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh, referring to a term Hillary Clinton used to brand some Trump supporters as bigots in 2016. “They’re trying to say anyone who supports this president is racist.”

Trump, who turned the “deplorables” label into a rallying cry for his base, is seeking to do the same in 2020 as he tries to retain support in key Midwestern swing states.

Trump kicked off the controversy with a July 14 Twitter attack on the four Democrats — Reps. Ilhan Omar (Minn.), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.), Ayanna Pressley (Mass.) and Rashida Tlaib (Mich.) — suggesting that they “go back” to the “totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.” All four are U.S. citizens; Omar was born in Somalia.

That was followed several days later by a campaign rally in which the crowd broke into chants of “Send her back!” as Trump was attacking Omar. Facing some criticism from a smattering of Republican lawmakers, Trump briefly distanced himself from the chants — before fully embracing the chanters as “incredible patriots.”

Campaign advisers and party officials, some of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations, said that an appeal targeted at Trump’s white working-class base will not necessarily cost him moderate voters.

“The general assumption with everything Squad-related is this helps shore up our base. It definitely helps with white working-class voters,” said one person close to the campaign, using the term that refers to the four congresswomen. “I think that shows that this can be turned into a positive, in terms of a very political viewpoint.”

Publicly, campaign aides and advisers have sought to shift the conversation away from race and toward the less explosive territory of ideology. But they have also pushed back aggressively against charges of racism, seeking to make common cause with supporters who also feel they are too quickly branded as bigots.

Murtaugh said Democratic lawmakers are seeking to “create conditions where if you are a certain gender or a certain race all criticism is considered racist or sexist.”

Bryan Lanza, an adviser to Trump’s 2016 campaign and transition, said that although he did not like the “Send her back!” chants, he hoped Republicans would double down rather than back down from their attacks on the four lawmakers.

“Usually, when they are faced with charges of racism, Republicans hide a little bit. And the president’s not hiding,” he said. “And I think that’s what the Republican voters like about him.”

Trump has shown no sign of reversing course. A few days ago, he renewed his attacks on the four minority lawmakers, calling them “very Racist” and “not very smart.”

The president’s allies say that combative approach appeals to white Republicans who are tired of being accused of racism.

“Republicans, for as long as I can remember in politics, we’ve all been called racists just because of our policy ideas,” said Kelly Sadler, a spokeswoman at America First Action, a pro-Trump super PAC. “The Republicans who have been struggling with these criticisms want somebody to fight back. And the president now is reversing the game on the Democrats.”

Republicans are funding an opposition research campaign targeting the four lawmakers, and the Trump campaign has been disseminating talking points highlighting their controversial statements and liberal policies.

But some Republicans have expressed concern with how quickly Trump’s attacks escalated into racially offensive chants calling for Omar to be deported to Somalia.

“Sometimes crowds get a little unruly at times,” said Mark Jefferson, executive director of the Wisconsin Republican Party, referring to the “Send her back!” chants at the Trump rally in Greenville, N.C. “That’s not something that I feel terribly comfortable with. You won’t see me saying it.”

Jefferson said that although Trump performed better than expected in some rural parts of Wisconsin, he performed worse than the state’s Republican senator among suburban voters and establishment Republicans.

(…)

Trump can focus on appealing to his base of white working-class voters in part because his coalition may not need to deliver a popular vote victory for him to win the electoral college in 2020, said Dave Wasserman, a political analyst with the Cook Political Report.

“He may only need to come within 4 percent,” Wasserman said, adding that Trump’s rhetoric may boost his support among white voters in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. “The best way to come within 4 percent is to keep your core supporters motivated to turn out, especially in the upper Midwest.”

Democrats are banking on the idea that even if Trump’s language excites his base, it is likely to offend a diverse coalition of voters who will turn out to defeat him.

“I don’t think it’s going to depress Democrats. I think it’s going to make them angry,” said Jennifer Palmieri, an adviser to Clinton’s 2016 campaign.

None of this is surprising, of course. This, after all, is the same man who engage in housing discrimination in the 1970s. The same person who in the 1990s took out a full-page ad in The New York Times calling for the death penalty for the so-called Central Park Five, a group of five African-American teens who were falsely convicted of raping a jogger in Central Park. Even to this day, Trump refuses to apologize for that position and refuses to acknowledge the overwhelming evidence of their innocence. It’s the same candidate who first dipped his toes in the political waters by embracing the racist birther conspiracy. When he became a candidate for the Republican Presidential nomination in 2016, he did so by attacking MexicansMuslimsdisabled people, a Federal District Court Judge who happened to be Mexican-American and a Gold Star Family who happened to be Muslim.  In response to N.F.L. players who were peacefully kneeling to protest racially biased police violence, he responded by calling the largely African-American players “sons of bitches.” And, of course, most recently he has spent the last two week engaged in racist attacks on four minority Congresswomen and on House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings.

The reason that Trump is doing this is quite simple. He’s doing it because it appeals to his base and because he knows at this point that the only way he’s going to get re-elected is if he keeps that base fired up headed into Election Day 2020. As I’ve said before, previous Presidents running for re-election have sought to broaden their base. This President, paradoxically, seems to be intent on shrinking it and yet still believes that he can win by getting that base so scared of the future, so scared of the “other,” and so scared of people who don’t look like him that they make sure to get to the polls on Election Day.

Because of this, we’re unlikely to see this racially divisive strategy of Trump’s come to an end. If anything, it’s going to get much, much worse as we get closer to the election, especially if the current polling that shows the President losing to several of the top Democratic contenders in key states continues. With numbers like that, Trump knows that he can’t and likely won’t win if he runs a campaign that attempts to broaden his base. The only hope he has is to rile up his base and hope that their turnout in key states is stronger than Democratic turnout, or at least strong enough for him to pull off what would likely be another narrow Electoral College win, perhaps one even narrower than the one he won in 2016 which ranks at 46th among the 58 Presidential elections we’ve had since 1789. (Source) Will it work? We’ll find out on the night of November 3rd, 2020.

FILED UNDER: Donald Trump, Politicians, Race and Politics, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Joe says:

    One “benefit” of having so few elected officials of color is that we can expect these attacks only weekly instead of daily so he doesn’t run out of targets before election day.

  2. charon says:

    I don’t believe he really thinks this will help him win, if he says that it’s a pretext. Or maybe just his handlers making excuses for him.

    He is doing this because he likes doing it, and because demented people lose their social inhibitions.

    As for it getting worse, as his dementia progresses yes it will.

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  3. Jay L Gischer says:

    @charon: I think it’s a little more complicated. I think he goes to his rallies and says stuff like this, and the people at his rallies love it and respond strongly. So that’s his bubble, and he’s trying hard to inflate that bubble.

    You can’t underestimate the value of putting yourself in front of live audiences and workshopping what you say to get the best response. That’s what Reagan did. That’s what most standup comics do before going into big houses or taping specials. Where Trump is off is that he’s in a bubble.

  4. charon says:

    The Central Park Five was not a reelection strategy, nor was Birtherism. This is just who he is, he has always done as he likes.

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  5. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    Well…he has hate, fear, and an economy he inherited and that has proved resilient in spite of his efforts to harm it.

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  6. charon says:

    @Jay L Gischer:

    You can’t underestimate the value of putting yourself in front of live audiences and workshopping what you say to get the best response. That’s what Reagan did. That’s what most standup comics do before going into big houses or taping specials.

    All politicians do this, it’s part of the job description. The difference is normal people pay some attention to their handlers/advisors.

    There is a personality type that does not. Hitler, for example, ignored the prudent expert advise from his generals. That worked great until it didn’t.

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  7. michael reynolds says:

    @charon:
    I agree. This isn’t strategy, it’s character.

    He’s a nasty, racist, corrupt, woman-hating man, desperate to avoid being exposed as the fraud he is, and spiraling down like the 42% of America that supports him.

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  8. charon says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Yes, I believe there is a widespread tendency of pundits to credit Trump with planning and thinking that really does not exist.

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  9. SenyorDave says:

    @charon: I don’t believe he really thinks this will help him win, if he says that it’s a pretext. Or maybe just his handlers making excuses for him.

    Completely agree. Trump likes tearing people down. He seems to actually seems to get enjoyment from going after people. I think it is the part of politics (as he sees it) that he really likes. Plus his aides and supporters tell him how wonderful he is when he puts out racist crap.

  10. reid says:

    I don’t think it’s so much a thought-out strategy as it is Trump just being himself. We know he’s a racist a-hole and lives for the impulsive attack/defend drama. The actions (tweeting, ranting) are a natural result. I’m sure he gets a lot of positive feedback from his nutty base, so that just reinforces it all.

    ETA: Just reinforcing what others have already said, it turns out. Must read comments….

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  11. Monala says:

    I want to make note of this passage, because it’s so typical of a false prevailing narrative:

    Republican officials say Trump is harnessing the anger of those who continue to feel left behind despite the strong economy, and steering their fury toward members of Congress he has accused of bad-mouthing the country and embracing socialist policies.

    First, “anger of those who continue to feel left behind despite the strong economy.” Note that it’s always the white (usually rural) working class referenced in this narrative. Many people of color and people in urban communities are also struggling, but it’s seen as their fault, due to some flaws in character or culture. They don’t get the benefit of the doubt that they’re being “left behind” (which implies that it’s outside the control of those so left).

    Second, “bad-mouthing the country.” No one bad-mouths the country more than Trump. There are on YouTube numerous compilations of Trump calling this country garbage, full of carnage, and its people stupid.

    Third, “steering their fury toward members of Congress he has accused of … embracing socialist policies.” As this recent article points out, Trump is actually the one embracing socialist policies (as opposed to the social democracy or social safety net policies the Democrats support). Trump is the one repeatedly bailing out farmers, attempting to control private companies, and propping up failing industries, in a very similar fashion to the old Soviet model.

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  12. charon says:

    @charon:

    It’s like Hitler was a real genius with the Rhineland, again with Austria, again with Poland. Much smarter than his overcautious generals and diplomats.

    Then Barbarossa, perhaps not so smart after all.

  13. michael reynolds says:

    @charon:
    I’ve been banging this drum for three years now: Trump is a psychopath. He has excellent predatory instincts, but he’s no more capable of real strategy than a hammerhead shark or a praying mantis. But he’s a specific variation on the psychopath: the stupid psychopath, and thankfully that places some limits on him. If he were smart enough to plan he’d be more dangerous.

    Normal people cannot get their heads around the way a psychopath thinks. They keep trying to explain it in rational terms, but their rational terms are not the rational terms of a psychopath. Trump only sees Trump. Everyone else is chum. He has a serious personality disorder and yes, it’s getting worse.

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  14. Kylopod says:

    You’re correct in suggesting it’s all he’s got. There’s no grand strategy here, Trump is just doing what’s second-nature to him. There is, however, a path to reelection doing what he does: he revs up his white racist base, tears down the Democratic nominee, hopes that the economy stays aloft throughout the next year, and depends on a mixture of Republican voter suppression and Russian meddling to further weaken the Dems. This may not be the most effective strategy, if you call it a strategy (I think a President Rubio or Kasich would be sailing to reelection by now), but it’s probably the best bet for him.

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  15. Kathy says:

    Trump is a genius in one respect: he’s managed to remain massively unpopular amidst a growing economy. That’s not easy to do, not at all. It takes a genius, albeit a self-destructive one, to accomplish this great feat.

    Seriously, he could have broadened his appeal, if not his base exactly, by the simple expedient of not insulting, demeaning, belittling, mocking, bullying, or otherwise childishly attacking every single person who disagrees with him, and having the state media to do the same.

    Truth is, a sitting president will generate enough news in the regular course of their term, be it with legislating policy, undertaking foreign policy activities, and especially in tense relations like the ones involving Iran, North Korea, Russia, Venezuela, Cuba, and China. There’s no need to add to it by manufacturing controversy.

    I’m willing to bet most people, outside the Cheeto base, are sick and tired of heating about Trump in the news. This may turn them off trump, or off the news. Or both.

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  16. Jay L Gischer says:

    @charon: I don’t think that’s entirely accurate. I don’t think that politicians do this all that often in some cases. Like a senator in a very secure seat. They may give speeches, but they don’t really study the response and try to improve it. For instance, I doubt that Diane Feinstein does this.

    In fact, someone trying to improve what is a core skill is rare. Once you get to a certain level, there’s a tendency to be complacent, to think you’ve made it and you don’t have to study.

    As far as birtherism is concerned, oh, yeah, Trump was “running” for president at the time. He’s had that ambition for at least 20 years. He tried for the Reform Party nomination in 2000, for instance.

  17. CSK says:

    @Kathy: Trump has said he thrives on all the things you cited: attacking people, causing chaos, and keeping people in the dark. He believes it works for him.

  18. Jay L Gischer says:

    Honestly, I see Trump as less of a psychopath and more of a narcissist. I mean, that’s where “it’s always about him” points. The acclaim of the crowd in front of him is super, super important to him, which is why he works so hard to get even more.

    His father did severe damage to him. He’d have my sympathies if he weren’t hurting so many people. But he in no way is fit for the Oval Office.

  19. Kylopod says:

    @Jay L Gischer:

    He’s had that ambition for at least 20 years. He tried for the Reform Party nomination in 2000, for instance.

    Longer than you think, dad, longer than you think.

    “The New York developer Donald Trump [in 1988] mentioned his availability as a vice presidential candidate to Lee Atwater. Bush thought the overture ‘strange and unbelievable.'” — Jon Meacham, Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush

  20. Kylopod says:

    @Jay L Gischer:

    Honestly, I see Trump as less of a psychopath and more of a narcissist.

    The two are closely related, and there’s a strong element of narcissism in psychopathy. Both involve extreme self-centeredness and total lack of concern for the well-being of other people. But narcissists usually have something Trump is totally lacking in, which is a sense of shame.

  21. michael reynolds says:

    @Jay L Gischer:
    IANAP (I am not a psychiatrist) but I think they are steps on the same descending escalator: narcissist (me, me me!), sociopath (me, me, me and fck you!) and psychopath (me, me, me and there is no you).

    Part of what makes his rise so inexplicable is that he’s not even good at being a psychopath. He’s too stupid, too undisciplined, too lazy and ignorant to take full advantage of his soullessness. It’s one thing to be fooled by, say, Ricky Jay doing card tricks, it’s a whole ‘nother level of stoopid to fall for a 3-card monte street hustle again and again and again. Trumpaloons didn’t just fall for a con, they fell for a lousy con.

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  22. Kylopod says:

    @michael reynolds: Yeah, as I’ve said before: Trump would be an abysmal poker player (he has over a dozen tells)…unless the other players were all Fox News watchers.

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  23. charon says:

    @Jay L Gischer:

    Honestly, I see Trump as less of a psychopath and more of a narcissist.

    If you look at the DSM, he hits all the markers for both Narcissistic Personality Disorder and Antisocial Personality Disorder, so, both.

    @Kathy:

    I’m willing to bet most people, outside the Cheeto base, are sick and tired of heating about Trump in the news. This may turn them off trump, or off the news. Or both.

    Could be. My very partisan RWNJ brother tells me he has been following politics too much, needs to find other stuff to do. So Trump could be demotivating a lot of people with his behavior. (But I think he is still too partisan not to show up to vote R. But maybe people not that super partisan?)

  24. CSK says:

    @michael reynolds: Trumpkins identify with Trump the same way they did with Palin.

  25. michael reynolds says:

    On a tangent, you know who was a great psychopath? Fidel Castro. A murdering piece of sht who despite the undying enmity of a superpower 90 miles away, died peacefully in his bed, still in complete control. He was smart. He won against incredible odds.

    Stalin was a great psychopath (by the low standards of Russians), possibly the greatest in modern history. He believed in nothing but Stalin, and he, too, died of natural causes after 10 years of horror. Had his health held up he’d have made it another decade. He won.

    But Castro and Stalin were rocket scientists compared to Trump, not to mention being far tougher.

  26. charon says:

    I think pundits and political analysts are prejudiced against the idea that a stupid guy could do stupid stuff and bumble his way to victory. So they pontificate about the planning involved. Enough people saying there is planning and it becomes conventional wisdom, but conventional wisdom is not necessarily so.

  27. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    “He’s got one trick to last a lifetime, but that’s all a pony needs.”

    (Apologies, truly, to Paul Simon.)

  28. Paul L. says:

    All Trump got is Fear And Racial Divisiveness To Win In 2020.
    That and opposing the popular common sense reforms of
    DACA and Open Borders.
    Gun Registration and Confiscation.
    Government Funded Infantcide up to 6 months after birth.
    Treating hate speech the same as physical assault under the law
    Removing due process rights from men accused of sexual assault.

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  29. Paul L. says:

    @charon:
    The Center Park Five were indicted which progressives said is the same as guilt in the Mueller Investigation and credibly accused Duke Lacrosse Frat Gang Rape .

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  30. Kylopod says:

    @charon:

    I think pundits and political analysts are prejudiced against the idea that a stupid guy could do stupid stuff and bumble his way to victory.

    In a way he’s a prototypical comedy character you see in countless cartoons, sitcoms, and films (say, Mr. Magoo) who despite being totally clumsy and inept and clueless, improbably survives again and again by the pure hand of fate.

    Now I don’t think it’s quite that extreme, as I do think has some real skills, such as the ability to consume media oxygen. I continue to believe that his one truly impressive (albeit deplorable) achievement was winning the Republican nomination. Everything after that has been pure coasting: he didn’t defeat Hillary because of his Trumpiness, he defeated Hillary because he was a Republican running against the most unpopular Democratic nominee in history after two terms of Democratic rule. That’s it. There was no special “Trump trick” that enabled him to win other than being a Republican at just the right time. He’s managed to stay in office not because of any special Trump ability but because the GOP is committed to maintaining and enlarging its power at all costs. And he may win reelection not because he’s done a skillful job of winning over voters, but because he’s an incumbent presiding over a strong economy. That’s it.

    From the moment his nomination became inevitable, his continued survival since then hasn’t been because of who he is, but simply because he managed to get himself into a system that’s built to protect whoever’s inside of it.

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  31. Teve says:

    @Kylopod: “this is a tremendous, tremendous hand. In fact, Phil Ivey saw this hand and he said “sir I can’t believe it sir, sir that is maybe the best poker hand I’ve ever seen in history sir.”

  32. KM says:

    @charon @michael reynolds:
    He’s most likely co-morbid. One *can* have more then one disease at a time, you know.

    It’s been a long time since I practiced but @charon’s closer to the mark – he’s as close a textbook NPD as you can get. He’s also got more then a few hints of Borderline Personality Disorder with the only thing making me hesitate is a lack of clear self-harm behaviors.

    Axis II Cluster B disorders share a few common traits such as being drama queens, deliberate manipulators for gain and having wildly erratic emotional instances. They have difficulty regulating their emotions and tend to be insanely impulsive to the point of damaging themselves and others. It’s a lifelong affliction where, unless one is vigilant in reigning in the thoughts and behaviors characteristics of the disorder, can cause immense trouble for everyone around them. You don’t get better from a Axis II disorder in question – you learn to manage it and keep the damage at a minimum.

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  33. Steve V says:

    @charon: Also, see “The Brainwashing of My Dad.” As long as he continues to consume RW media this is how he’ll be.

  34. Barry says:

    @charon: Get him some good books and music. Books on paper, music on CD’s. That way he won’t be holding a internet-connected device in his hand while reading or listening.

  35. charon says:

    @Barry:

    Non-starter. He never reads anything, not even half-page briefing memos, unless with pictures and his name a lot.

    He has a reading disability, can not read:

    https://yastreblyansky.blogspot.com/2019/07/its-literacy.html .

    … The reading disability isn’t something familiar like dyslexia, where the problem is in decoding the letters into speech sounds; he’s good enough at that to make it most of the way through reading a 45-minute text aloud. It’s in comprehension, recognizing the meaningfulness of what he’s reading, and its name in the business is Specific Reading Comprehension Deficit or S-RCD, defined in the DSM as

    Difficulty understanding the meaning of what is read (e.g., may read text accurately but not understand the sequence, relationships, inferences or deeper meanings of what is read).
    (For more, here’s a good quick primer.)

    He literally doesn’t know what he’s saying when he reads a text out loud unless he does it slowly enough that he can listen to himself, and he can only understand it fragment by fragment; he can’t assemble it into a meaning-whole. Moreover, he can’t read ahead of himself, guessing an upcoming word on the basis of the context, because he doesn’t know what the context is until it’s too late and all he can do is try to repair the error on the fly, …

    https://www.edubloxtutor.com/when-children-read-well-yet-lack-comprehension/ .

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  36. SenyorDave says:

    @Paul L.: The issue with the Central Park Five was not the initial guilt or innocence. It was a powderkeg situation (NYC at that point was a high crime city with a bad race problem), and Trump decided to pour gasoline on the fire with his ad calling for the death penalty. The so-called perps were 14 – 16 years old, and it was pretty obvious to anyone that the call for the death penalty played into the old “black thugs raping white women” trope. Add to that Trump’s history of racism both prior (refusing to rent to blacks) and subsequent (birtherism), and there’s a pretty clear pattern here. Naturally he can’t admit 1. he was wrong to put up such an ad in principle and 2. they were actually innocent of the crime.
    Some people think Trump plays at being a racist, I believe he is an actual racist. It’s a lifelong pattern with him.

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  37. Scott F. says:

    Trump’s racism is no longer the story. That he is a racist is self-evident at this point.

    The story is the racism Trump is encouraging his most ardent supporters to bring into the sunlight. From the WaPo article linked to by Doug:

    “Republicans, for as long as I can remember in politics, we’ve all been called racists just because of our policy ideas,” said Kelly Sadler, a spokeswoman at America First Action, a pro-Trump super PAC. “The Republicans who have been struggling with these criticisms want somebody to fight back. And the president now is reversing the game on the Democrats.”

    Some Republicans have been called racists in the past because it’s been true for a large number of them and because many of their policies work by design against ethnic minorities at least in some part due to racial animus. In the past, they’ve sustained an ability to deny racial motivations through dog whistle rhetoric and whining about “political correctness.”

    How’s it going to play now that Trump leading by example and giving them permission to drop the facade? As Trump continues to stir the pot, more and more of his supporters are going to let loose with their “send her back” chants and say out loud what they’ve begrudgingly had to keep to themselves all these years. The more explicitly racist the “fighting back” is, the more it will fire up the base. I suspect it could also shrink the base as guilt by association starts to feel more like real guilt as people’s associates are more blatant.

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  38. mattbernius says:

    @SenyorDave:

    It was a powderkeg situation (NYC at that point was a high crime city with a bad race problem), and Trump decided to pour gasoline on the fire with his ad calling for the death penalty.

    And it’s also important to note that this was a call to apply the death penalty to assault and rape — heinous crimes, but ones that have never historically drawn the death penalty. And that wouldn’t have fit under NY law at the time.

    However, people were lynched for that (often who like the Central Park 5 were innocent of the charges).

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  39. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Paul L.:

    Government Funded Infantcide up to 6 months after birth.

    You’re an idiot.

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  40. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @michael reynolds:

    He’s too stupid, too undisciplined, too lazy and ignorant to take full advantage of his soullessness.

    On point analysis, but dude, that was harsh! (Gonna leave a mark, for sure.)

  41. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kylopod: I see Trump more as a buy in at multiple times the average stake and just buy the pots kind of poker player. But in a level entry game, he wouldn’t be able to do very well. And he’s not the kind to be willing to think that he’d need a mirror to see the mark.

  42. SenyorDave says:

    @mattbernius: Actually the death penalty was used for rape in the south, pretty much only came into play with a black man raping a white woman. Eventually the Supreme Court outlawed the death penalty for rape in 1974, accepting the argument that it was excessive and used far more often on blacks.

  43. CSK says:

    Trump is a creature of appetite and impulse. He doesn’t think; he only reacts reflexively.

  44. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Paul L.: I have to admit, I’m soooooooo relieved that I don’t live where you do–either geographically or metaphysically. Both places seem abyssmal to me from how you describe your concerns/fears/triumphs.

    (I promise I will not feed the troll again this thread.)

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  45. Teve says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: He’s bizarrely entertaining though. I lived in Durham in 2005-6 and nobody I ever knew is as obsessed with the Duke Lacrosse case as he is. Mike Nifong doesn’t think about Duke Lacrosse as much as Paul does. 😛 😀 🙂

  46. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Teve:
    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    I promise I will not feed the troll again this thread.

    Sadly…I don’t think he is smart enough to be a troll.
    He just repeats what he reads at nut-job sites…thinking it makes him seem smart.
    J-enos was a troll. Paul is just an idiot.

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  47. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl: Okay. How about “I promise I won’t taunt the idiot again this thread” instead? 🙂

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  48. inhumans99 says:

    I think it was a Politico article I recently read that quoted McConnell as saying he felt that saying President Trump is racist is the same thing as Hillary Clinton saying his base was deplorable, so they could get some traction out of that but the reason why the GOP will not be able to gain any traction is that one, Hillary saying the voters most likely to vote for Trump are deplorable was organic, Hillary actually said that and Fox loved showing folks on TV at rallies, etc., wearing shirts that said Deplorable on them, or I am proud to be a Deplorable, Proud Deplorable, or something to that effect.

    The GOP must have got down on their knees and praised the lord when Hillary uttered the word Deplorable. Talk about a bell she was unable to ring (Romney had his own issue with utterances when he claimed 47% of voters were moochers, Clinton clearly did not learn from that lesson), but how many of Trump’s base are going to be proud to wear shirts that say Racist or Proud To Be A Racist on them? Even if they are trying to be funny it will go over about as well as passing gas at church.

    This is the reason why McConnell will just keep trying to change the subject, because I had to shake my head and chuckle every time I saw someone on TV with the word deplorable on their shirt and just sigh, and say Hillary you did this to yourself. You are not going to see Fox news making a bee line to speak with the average Bubba who feels it is unfair that Trump is being called a racist because they are just as likely to say something on TV that makes half the GOP want to take a quick walk off of a very short pier due to the words coming out of this person’s mouth.

    What Fox will do is just focus on soundbites from the politicians who want to defend President Trump and even then, the GOP knows that doubling down on Racism in the year 2019 is not a winning strategy.

    I could have made my point with a much shorter post by simply asking if Paul L, Bandit, Jenos, Guarneri, James P, John430 (that is the guys handle, yes?) would be willing to wear a shirt that swapped out the word deplorable with racist? I bet the answer is no, and that is why McConnell needs to figure out a way to move past this. President Trump is the lobster preventing any GOP member from climbing out of the pit with him and that has got to be giving some members of Congress the heebie jeebies as they try to move past this nightmare.

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  49. Teve says:

    The Atlantic says there’s a newly released tape of Reagan talking to Nixon where Reagan calls Africans “monkeys”.

  50. mattbernius says:

    @SenyorDave:
    Thanks for the correction on the application of the death penalty to take and other crimes. For those who are interested here is the Wikipedia page on the decision:

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coker_v._Georgia

    It’s still worth noting that Trump was calling for unconstitutional punishment in the 80’s. So how lack of interest in the Constitution goes back at least that far…

  51. gVOR08 says:

    I’d like to believe that all of this is because of Trump’s psychology. But as has been extensively discussed in these threads, as Republicans go, Trump is not an outlier, he is the apotheosis, the inevitable outcome of the several decades since the Southern Strategy. Doug’s title could just as well have read, “Republicans Will Rely On Fear And Racial Divisiveness To Win In 2020, It’s All They’ve Got”

    Yes, Trump is a racist, not just using race as a political tactic, but deep in his tiny, black heart. But it’s taken decades for GOP politicians and the Conservative Echo Chamber to till the soil for Trump. Without Trump they would still be running on fear, race, and division. What else can they do, run on policy?

    Trump didn’t create this situation, but he’s the perfect candidate to exploit it. As William Yancey said of Jefferson Davis, “The man and the hour have met.” (Davis was a lousy president and the whole enterprise ended in bloody disaster.)

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  52. charon says:

    @gVOR08:

    Non-Republican people who pay attention to politics know the GOP is white nationalist/supremacist, but Republicans like to kid themselves plus gullible naifs about that. Trump is destroying that game, they no longer have even vaguely semi-plausible deniability about their herrenvolk attitude. It’s getting to be less respectable to admit to being a Republican, so that is a cost – they are losing votes over this.

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  53. An Interested Party says:

    It’s too much to hope for the Republican Party to fade away, but, hopefully, the current form of it will die out like all of these political parties did…it’s a pity there are no viable third parties in the country to help that process along…I marvel at the delusions some people hold which tells them that the trash in the White House isn’t a racist…

  54. Mikey says:

    @Kylopod:

    Longer than you think, dad, longer than you think.

    I understood this reference and am starting to feel like Trump’s tenure is even longer than that…

  55. Kylopod says:

    @Mikey:

    I understood this reference

    I knew I was really going down the nerd rabbit hole with that one, but it just popped into my head as I was writing my post and I couldn’t help myself.

  56. Scott F. says:

    @charon:

    This is what I was getting at as well. Once the inherent racism in the base loses it’s plausible deniability, there will be more people who won’t want to be associated with the base. As the base more and more colors the GOP’s identity, Democrats need to make Republicans face up what it means to stay affiliated.

  57. Mikey says:

    @Kylopod: It’s one of my favorite King stories. He said he originally wrote it for Omni magazine but decided not to submit it to them because the science was so bad.

  58. charon says:
  59. 95 South says:

    @inhumans99: What if RWNJ’s don’t want to wear the shirt?

  60. Kylopod says:

    @charon: This brings back memories of when one of the tapes revealed that Billy Graham had once told Nixon that Jews control the media, and when this came out Graham claimed not to remember the conversation. Nixon really did have a fantastic capacity for bringing out the Klan in others. I wonder if there are any other public officials revealed by some as-yet-unpublicized portion of these tapes as an unapologetic bigot.

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  61. charon says:

    @Kylopod:

    I wonder if there are any other public officials revealed by some as-yet-unpublicized portion of these tapes as an unapologetic bigot.

    Whatever his personal beliefs, Lyndon Johnson did the right thing signing civil rights legislation.

    Politics abhors a political vacuum, this opened an ecological niche for a racist party to fill, which the GOP filled with the “Southern Strategy.”

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  62. MarkedMan says:

    @michael reynolds:

    He has excellent predatory instincts, but he’s no more capable of real strategy than a hammerhead shark or a praying mantis.

    I hope you’re right about the praying mantis analogy. It means eventually Melania will bite his head off and eat it during sex.

  63. al Ameda says:

    @charon:

    The Central Park Five was not a reelection strategy, nor was Birtherism. This is just who he is, he has always done as he likes.

    Exactly. This is who he is, who he’s been his entire life.

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  64. Jim Brown 32 says:

    I think Trump is providing the racist white element of society an outlet for their natural inclination…Which they can under no circumstances display in the real world.

    MAGAtes lose jobs, get their heads whooped and red hats stuffed up their ass when they try to get their rascism on in the real world. Trump is their little play Klan doll.

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  65. grumpy realist says:

    I’m sure that people reading this will say “oh no, not Brexit again!”–but also don’t forget the possibility of a huge shock to the global economy if Boris Johnson and his minions actually do take the U.K. out with a no-deal Brexit. I don’t know what it is about the Brits–they have a knee-jerk reaction of bluffing, no matter what the circumstances are. Here it’s even sillier because a) the EU can see that they’re bluffing, and b) there’s no alternative. What does the U.K. want? Nobody knows, not even the U.K. It’s all hope and flowers and sunny uplands.

    At least one mildly amusing result of Trump’s knee-jerk sharkitude when it comes to “a deal”: Nigel Farage and that crowd are going to find themselves the target of a lot of extremely indignant Brits as soon as the details of “the deal” become public.

  66. Aaron says:

    @KM: Well doesn’t appear you’ve read the DSM-5. Axis I and II have been abolished. Further if you knew anything about BPD, you would know that you need 5 out of 9 criteria which leaves over 250 combinations. Great way to stigmatise mental health by aligning this utter dropkick moron alongside those who are genuinely unwell.

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  67. KM says:

    @Aaron:
    Did you skip over the part where I mentioned “it’s been a long time since I practiced”? DSM-5 has only been in play for a few years – I was using DSM-4 criteria because that’s what he would have been diagnosed under for much of his adult life. Furthermore, Trump *does* meet 5 criteria under DSM-5 based on his public behavior:

    (1) frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment (rallies, tweets, obsessive need to have people talk about him)
    (2) a pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation (you’re fired ring a bell? All the divorces?)
    (4) impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging (e.g., spending, sex, Substance Abuse, reckless driving, binge eating).
    (6) affective instability due to a marked reactivity of mood (e.g., intense episodic dysphoria, irritability, or anxiety usually lasting a few hours and only rarely more than a few days) (rage tweeting at 2am)
    (8) inappropriate, intense anger or difficulty controlling anger (e.g., frequent displays of temper, constant anger, recurrent physical fights) (does this need an explanation?)
    (9) transient, stress-related paranoid ideation (witch hunt!!!)

    A diagnosis of BPD is entirely possible but that’s for someone who spends time actually treating him to make. We’re armchairing it based of his (possibly fake) public behavior. I’m less likely to cite BPD then NPD in his case but in terms of basics, he’s eligible.

    I also think it’s interesting you didn’t call out anyone who characterized him with any other disorder mentioned on this thread. Why not yell at @micheal for causally stigmatizing MH with his use of “psychopath”? Only my mention BPD seems to have irritated you. Struck a nerve, perhaps?