Remember June 16, 2015? When Donald Trump descended the escalator into our lives and announced his run for the presidency? During his speech, he said, “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. ... They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.” And then he added that he would build a wall between the United States and Mexico, and that Mexico would pay for it.
Perhaps this should have been an early hint that maybe, just maybe, Donald Trump is racist.
Since that speech last June, Trump has denied knowing who supporter and former KKK grand wizard David Duke is (he knows). He has reiterated his “birther” attacks on President Obama. He has said he loves “the blacks,” except that he certainly does not.
Last week, Trump stated that a Mexican American judge would be unable to act fairly in court on the basis of being, you know, Mexican American. Even conservative commentator Erick Erickson, notedly not a phenomenal human being, pointed out that Trump's comments about the judge are not “racially charged” remarks — they are racist.
And yet, it has taken nearly a full calendar year since that first speech for Newt Gingrich (Trump’s potential vice-president) and Tennessee senator Bob Corker to see it and condemn it, though only in the way you might condemn an incontinent cat who wet your couch (“Gotta move to a new level, Mittens!”).
Who can say what finally revealed Trump’s irascible racism to Gingrich and Corker? Perhaps it was that he has said and done racist things over and over again. Or that he said he couldn’t trust a Muslim judge, either. Or that he has brought white supremacists out of the comfort of their delightfully appointed basements and into the bosom of our political culture. If this were an episode of Criminal Minds, literally thousands of people would have been brutally murdered before Gingrich and Corker determined that the murderer was the guy who kept talking about how much he wanted to murder people.
This is where Trump Republicans find themselves. They have bought Trump, and now Trump is slowly disintegrating into little orange pieces, and they definitely did not purchase a warranty. Some of them once accused Obama of constitutional overreach, but apparently that totally won't be a problem under Donald “the real problem is we’re not more like China at Tiananmen Square” Trump. (“Obama’s a dictator, but let’s go with the guy who voices actual dictatorial yearnings!”)
Or: Trump Republicans criticized him at first, but after much principled thinking alone in offices while staring out of windows, they endorsed him anyway. (That means you, too, Rubio.) And Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, when confronted with examples of Trump’s racism and the conservative criticism of such, responded that winning the White House was more important.
There are two possibilities here.
One is that Newt Gingrich and Bob Corker and Paul Ryan and Marco Rubio and Mitch McConnell are all inconceivably stupid, a level of stupid not typically seen outside of Internet comment sections and Friday-afternoon meetings. Rather than beating Trump with a candidate not made out of leftover CPAC posters, they went with a candidate whose outreach to minorities is literally yelling, “Look at my African-American!” This would be profound and inimitable idiocy, idiocy on a level worthy of study in some sort of highly secure lab environment.
The other is that they don’t give a shit.
They don’t care if Trump’s racist. They don’t care if he has robbed poor people. Their ideals, their beliefs, their sense of duty and honor mean absolutely nothing in the face of a candidate who could keep them in Washington, D.C., just a few years longer, someone who could give them access to power and prestige and book deals and cold, hard cash. The “family values” ship sailed a long time ago, and with this nominee, so did “small government.” None of it matters. Nothing matters except winning the White House.
Donald Trump is racist, and we all knew it. The only people who appear surprised by this news are either complete idiots or don’t care. If that’s your Republican Party, good fucking luck.