Donald Trump is a bigot and a racistYou don't say! Really, Dana? Tell me more.
... Some will think this an outrageous label to apply to the frontrunner for a major party’s presidential nomination. Ordinarily, I would agree that name-calling is part of what’s wrong with our politics.At Balloon Juice, Betty Cracker looks at this op-ed and other recent media denunciations of Trump and asks the right question -- but I'm not sure I agree with her answer:
But there is a greater imperative not to be silent in the face of demagoguery. Trump in this campaign has gone after African Americans, immigrants, Latinos, Asians, women, Muslims and now the disabled....
It might be possible to explain away any one of Trump’s outrages as a mistake or a misunderstanding. But at some point you’re not merely saying things that could be construed as bigoted: You are a bigot.
Beltway creature Dana Milbank is pointing out the obvious: Trump is a racist and a bigot. But we’ve known that all along. As Milbank himself acknowledges, Trump’s true colors have been on public display for more than 25 years, at least since he purchased newspaper ads calling for the death penalty for the black and Hispanic juveniles who were (falsely!) accused of gang rape in the Central Park jogger case.Yes, why now?
More recently, Trump was a high-profile band-wagoneer in the baldly racist “birther” movement; he claimed to have dispatched investigators to Hawaii to uncover evidence that the president wasn’t a US citizen back in 2011. So why is this apparently lifelong racist and bigot being called out now?
A few days ago, another Beltway media creature, Jake Tapper, called a Trump advisor out for Trump’s lies about thousands of Muslims in New Jersey taking to the streets to cheer the World Trade Center terrorist attacks as well as Trump’s mockery of a disabled NYT reporter. The advisor flat-out lies, and Tapper is moved to display the incredulity and exasperation he might have more properly expressed when he interviewed Trump himself earlier. Again, why now?
Betty agrees with what David Roberts wrote in a much-discussed post at Vox: that mainstream journalists and pundits are defending their Beltway turf. They're supposed to be the gatekeepers, the people who decide what's within the pale and what's beyond it. Usually they're passive, but their occasional moments of righteous indignation keep them relevant. Trump, however, doesn't care what they think, and isn't harmed when they say he's violated the rules. So, Betty thinks, they're fighting back on their own behalf, in order to reassert their relevance.
That's an interesting explanation for why there have been little bursts of anti-Trump outrage from the likes of Milbank and Tapper (and Chuck Todd, who pressed Trump on the matter of alleged 9/11 celebrations on TV a couple of days ago). But I think something else is going on.
I don't think a few members of the press are suddenly challenging Trump now as a way of defending themselves. I don't think they have that much self-respect.
I think they're suddenly attacking Trump now on behalf of their buddies in the Republican Establishment.
What have been reading for the past weeks? Article after article after article about the GOP Establishment's deep desire to take down Trump, and its trepidation about actually taking the plunge and going after him. Opposing candidates are skittish about taking Trump on. So are billionaire donors. So are party insiders.
What fool will take this suicide mission on? Hey, let's ask our stenographer pals in the mainstream media! I bet they'll do it!
We know most mainstream political journalists and pundits have lots of friends in the GOP Establishment. We know that most mainstream journos and pundits are deeply committed to the notion that the GOP isn't crazy, therefore the system isn't irreparably broken. So if they're asked by the Establishment to do their bit in the fight to take down Trump, so the game can be played in the usual way next year and everything that's wrong in American politics can once again be reduced to "both sides do it," I'm sure they're more than happy to oblige.
Yeah, they could also be defending their own turf. But I think the main explanation for the uptick in Trump denunciations is that they've been recruited into the war on Trump -- and they're happily volunteering to fight on the GOP Establishment's side.