The Very Stable Genius began Friday as he has every day of his term, lying in a typically semi-coherent manner, this time claiming that he did not make racist and idiotic remarks about immigrants and their countries of origin in front of many witnesses the previous day.
While GOP sycophants and opportunists will fall over themselves explaining away this sociopathic behavior due to the Tweeter-in-chief’s newness to politics, and fellow racists and xenophobes who comprise a good portion of his base outwardly praise his fan-service to their hatred and ignorance, the rest of us are left to wonder once again just how low the bar can go. I am certain that there is no depth that he will not sink to in order to keep his shrinking base riled up. The real question is what are the supposed adults in the room willing to do about it?
If we’re talking about the mainstream GOP the answer is probably nothing. Their more subtle demagoguing on race during the Obama era effectively set the stage for the unhinged version unleashed over the last year. As long as Trump accedes to the repellent things they want, like the further consolidation of wealth, blowing up earned entitlements, and propagating endless war, they will glady tolerate his frequent tantrums that almost always target people of color. All the better since this matches what they have tried to accomplish legislatively with measures to shrink political enfranchisement, destroy public institutions, and punish their enemies. Trump is just the ugly public face of what the GOP has been working toward for decades.
If we’re talking about the national Democratic Party, I wouldn’t hold your breath either. The electoral gains in 2017 look promising, but the numbers from the 2016 election should inform how they think about 2018 and 2020, assuming the GOP is able to protect Trump from the repercussions of his treasonous collusion with Russia and clumsy attempts at covering it up. Though Clinton received nearly 3 million more popular votes than Trump, nearly 7 million more went to neither. In short, outside of the moral frauds in the Alt and Christian Right, the numbers are stacked against this clown show and all upcoming electoral efforts by Dems need to highlight the resulting chaos and divisiveness of Trumpism.
My concern is that the Dems have a history of throwing victory into the jaws of defeat when it really matters (see 2016). Their reliance on Hollywood, Wall Street corporatism, and a half-baked approach to important constituent groups, like women and people of color, demands an immediate correction. A coherent strategy, inspired leadership, and a bold progressive agenda is needed to keep enthusiasm high. Engagement at the local level requires more than a cursory series of transactions. And they need to offer some highs to contrast with the lows we will inevitably reach if this con-artist remains in charge.
In other words, it’s time for the adults to step up and deliver something better.