Republicans Patiently Waiting For President Proud Boy To Explain How Not Racist He is
Republicans are overall pleased with Donald Trump's (allegedly) drug-free performance at the first presidential debate Tuesday. White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany boasted that her boss “steamrolled" Joe Biden and “exposed" the former vice president, presumably by pulling down his gym shorts during PE.
Trump is a bully with no actual accomplishments, but former South Carolina Governor and current Trump stooge Nikki Haley repeated the president's canned zinger that he'd “done more in 47 months" than Biden has done in 47 years. That's true. Trump has shredded the Constitution and permanently damaged America's global standing in record time. And if, like the president, you ignore all the Americans who died this year, Trump has nailed the dismount in his first term.
Yet, there's one niggling little detail that's keeping conservatives from popping open the champagne. McEnany alludes to it, despite herself, in one of her nonsense tweets from last night.
Holy Smokes! 💨 Watching Cuomo-Lemon late night anchoring tells you what you need to know about tonight: - “Exact… https://t.co/GfcySIj4rb— Kayleigh McEnany (@Kayleigh McEnany)1601446810.0
Notice the chryon in the picture: Breaking News: Trump Creates Chaos At First Debate, Non-Stop Lies And Insults, Refuses To Condemn White Supremacists. Maybe that is in fact “exactly what Donald Trump wanted." It's certainly not what Republicans wanted. GOP strategist Scott Jennings suggested that the president “clean this up," but cuddling with white supremacists isn't a gaffe. It's Trump's core competency.
Republican strategist Scott Jennings says President Trump needs to clean up his remarks at the first presidential d… https://t.co/GpiC6beGtQ— Anderson Cooper 360° (@Anderson Cooper 360°)1601440433.0
JENNINGS: He has to clear it up. It's the wrong answer ... There's a clear right answer to this question, which is anyone who's committing violence — left, right, white, Black, up, down ... if you're in a city and you're committing violence and you're doing it in the name of white supremacy or antifa or anything else, you're all the same. You're hurting America. It's always been that clear. And the fact that he can't look into the camera and say it is a problem.
It's a problem but not like Fonzie's inability to say he was wrong. Trump is exclusively the commander-in-chief for white supremacists, bigots, and all Klan-adjacent Americans.
JENNINGS: I hope that they come out later tonight or tomorrow or whenever and clean it up.
Never shall sun that morrow see.
Last night, Rick Santorum claimed that Chris Wallace, who we are told was in attendance at last night's debate, put Trump in an awkward situation when he asked him to condemn violent racists. This is the same Rick Santorum who grossly said Barack Obama and George W. Bush “gave Muslims a pass" by not directly connecting their faith to terrorist violence.
Just an incredible, oblivious own of Trump here from Rick Santorum https://t.co/V59xPa43Xr— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar)1601440046.0
SANTORUM: He was asking the president to do something he knows the president doesn't like to do, which is say something bad about people who support him.
So, He Who Shall Not Be Googled, why do white supremacists dig Trump so much? It can't just be about the low marginal tax rates.
MSNBC's Hallie Jackson asked perpetual stupid machine Peter Navarro why Trump didn't denounce the Proud Boys “more strongly" (or, you know, at all), and Navarro blamed Wallace, who is not the president.
NAVARRO: I think that moment for me underscored just how poor Chris Wallace did as a debate moderator. There's an expression in boxing, there is a cutman in a corner. Chris Wallace functioned, essentially, as Joe Biden's cutman and also as a second debater on the president.
Navarro claimed Trump was all set to condemn white supremacists but Wallace “cut him off," and as the few surviving viewers of last night's debate can confirm, Trump never once talked over Wallace or Biden when he wanted to say something.
You'd think prominent Black Republicans such as Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron and South Carolina Senator Tim Scott might find it troublesome that the Proud Boys took Trump's words as a call to fuck up people who look like them. But maybe they're stuck in the 1996 Chris Rock routine about “good" and “bad" Black people (one Rock has since repudiated). If so, good luck assuming that white supremacists bother to see any difference.
Scott was asked today about Trump's refusal to say anything mean about white supremacists, and his response was pathetic.
SCOTT: I think he misspoke. I think he should correct it. If he doesn't correct it, I guess he didn't misspeak.
He didn't “misspeak," Senator. There was no “misspoke." Also, even Stevie Wonder could see that Trump's body language, tone, and language were far different when he was ranting about antifa, Hunter Biden, and puppies than when he asked his Proud Boys to “stand back and stand by."
Meanwhile, some of the whitest white people who ever whited have pushed back against President Klan Robe's latest hate crime.
This morning on “Fox & Friends," Brian Kilmeade said it was real rude-like of Biden to call the president a “clown" and a “racist." Then he wondered why Trump “ruined the biggest layup in the history of debates by not condemning white supremacists." Well, gee, that's probably because Trump is a racist clown as Biden so rudely pointed out.
Brian Kilmeade: "Donald Trump ruined the biggest layup in the history of debates by not condemning white supremists… https://t.co/9sNdDHVB5V— Bobby Lewis (@Bobby Lewis)1601462368.0
KILMEADE: I don't know if he didn't hear it.
He heard it.
KILMEADE: But he's gotta clarify that right away.
The president of the United States shouldn't give out day-old condemnations of white supremacists, like it's the stale bread your cheap-ass nana serves: “Just pop it in the toaster. It'll be fine." No, we demand fresh-baked, piping-hot denunciations of violent bigots. A lot of damage can occur between the president's “gaffe" and the reassuring clean-up statement penned by Stephen Miller, a white supremacist.
Trump has not issued any clarifying statements yet today because what he said last night was already clear as crystal. He continues to deny the so-called “good" Republicans any plausible deniability. He's a racist, but he'll keep their taxes low, and that's good enough for millions of Americans who are ultimately no better than he is.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."