While Hillary Clinton was taking her victory lap last night, celebrating become the first female nominee of a major American political party (more on that later) Donald Trump was delivering a speech from a teleprompter, something that he had previously mocked in other candidates. At this point, however, even Trump must have recognized that his campaign had jumped the rails. His party was blowing up all around him, and the defectors were starting to come out of the woodwork. Lindsay Graham had advised party members to withdraw their endorsements, because of comments Trump had made about a federal judge. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan had called those comments the “textbook definition of racism.” Republican Senator Mark Kirk withdrew his support for Trump, and an Iowa state senator, David Johnson, officially left the Republican party over comments made by Trump. Meanwhile, the media has the GOP right where it wants them, and no Republican is going to escape the “Do you endorse a racist?” question anytime soon.
The handbasket has arrived, and in an effort to slow its descent into hell, Trump only ended up hastening it. You’d think Trump could manage to deliver a 13-minute speech from a teleprompter without completely shitting himself, but you would be wrong. In between doubling down on immigrants and threatening to smear the Clintons even more, Trump — who hailed the support of “my African American” at a rally last week — dropped this line:
We’re going to rebuild our inner cities, which are absolutely a shame and so sad. We’re going to take care of our African-American people that have been mistreated for so long.
Our African-American people?
Take it away, Twitter:
Trump: "We are going to take care of our African-American people"— Roger Simon (@politicoroger) June 8, 2016
Translation: Trump still doesn't get it.
Trump: It's gonna be great. We are going to give "our African American people" 3/5 of a vote.— jeremy scahill (@jeremyscahill) June 8, 2016
"Our" African-American people all live in the inner cities, huh Donald? https://t.co/ldMO2RhWAO— American Bridge (@American_Bridge) June 8, 2016
Did Trump say "our" African-American people? As in possessive?— Sarah Wood (@SarahWoodwriter) June 8, 2016
No, that's not racist at all.
When Trump says he will "take care of our African American people" it sounds like a threat.— Ginger Zoe (@ZoePerdue) June 8, 2016
It’s reassuring to see in the last week or two that the media — instead of celebrating the ratings it brings — has finally decided to call Trump on his bullshit. They’re coming after him and they smell blood, and the more Trump speaks, the bigger a hole he digs. At this point, Trump is advising his surrogates thusly: “The people asking the questions—those are the racists. I would go at ‘em.” They’re listening, too. One surrogate called Paul Ryan a racist, and another GOP Congressman called Obama a racist.
I honestly feel like this is the kind of election year where, once it becomes apparent that Trump is going to lose in a landslide — and Clinton is leading now even in the latest GOP-skewed Rasmussen poll — he takes his ball and goes home. That he drops out of the race in October and blames it on his unfair treatment by the media, rather than taking any of the blame himself. He can be a martyr to no one.