As Hillary Clinton secures the Democratic nomination today, the Donald Trump campaign appears to be imploding over his obsession with the federal judge overseeing Trump iversity lawsuits.
Overruling a consensus of campaign staff that attacks on US District Judge Gonzalo Curiel were counterproductive, on Monday Trump ordered his team to escalate the public relations offensive against his honor — as well as any reporters who ask questions about Trump’s incendiary comments regarding Curiel’s nationality.
Paralyzed by dysfunction, the Trump campaign is only as focused as the candidate on any given day, with many important communications staff positions still left unfilled or occupied by sycophants. Whole news cycles are passing without effective response while Trump deepens the popular impression that he’s racist by repeatedly declaring that a “Mexican” born in Indiana cannot be unbiased in cases that have nothing to do with a proposed wall on the Mexican border.
It’s a purely racist and stupid argument, and one that many Republicans loudly reject as un-American. If he was serious about his charges against Judge Curiel, Trump would either fire his lawyers or order them to follow through on his complaints with a recusal motion. The fact that his legal team has made no such motion speaks volumes about how unserious it is as a point of law.
But that isn’t stopping Trump surrogates from obeying his bizarre edict. Appearing on CNN yesterday, surrogate Katrina Pierson actually went a step further to argue that a female judge could also be accused of bias in cases related to gender. Gamely, Pierson wouldn’t abandon the point even after Wolf Blitzer pointed out that Trump’s sister is a federal judge.
Note that a male judge is not likewise assumed to be biased in such an event:
There’s an injustice occurring here. The media doesn’t understand it. That’s the way it has always been for Republicans. He is not backing down because the media wants to pressure, call him names, call him racist. Doesn’t matter which GOP individual comes out, they’re not there and they don’t have the facts. That’s why Mr. Trump is the nominee.
Pierson speaks the language of white supremacy and male privilege fluently, but it’s only when she gets the most incoherent that you can clearly hear Trump’s voice. He says it’s unjust for the media to ask him about the racist words that come out of his mouth, because hey, those unguarded words are why grassroots Republican voters picked him over the establishment losers who are now all kissing his ass, right?
Trump assumes that black people and Latinos and women are against him. The only people Trump considers inherently unbiased are white males, and that very bias is exactly what his most enthusiastic supporters love most about him; he’s ‘not politically correct.’
But Trump still demands immunity from the consequences of his incorrectness, especially where race is involved.
Look, he’s got a black friend right over here, not to mention a female African American spokesbot in Pierson, so how could you even suggest he’s racist? Why, you must be the real racist! Indeed, that’s what he actually said during Monday’s campaign conference call:
“The people asking the questions—those are the racists,” Trump said. “I would go at ’em.”
Suggesting a broader campaign against the media, Trump said the campaign should also actively criticize television reporters. “I’d let them have it,” he said, referring to those who Trump portrayed as hypocrites.
It’s a long way to November, yet Donald Trump is still not focused on his opponent and playing directly to his worst image. We’re going to see this pattern repeat itself in the months to come.
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