Thursday, August 25, 2016


Hillary Clinton gave a terrific speech in Reno today:
Hillary Clinton on Thursday delivered a blistering denunciation of Donald J. Trump, saying he had embraced the “alt-right” political philosophy and presenting his choice as an especially ominous turn in a presidential election full of them.

In her most direct critique yet connecting the Trump campaign to white nationalists and the conservative fringe, Mrs. Clinton is framing Mr. Trump’s run as unprecedented in modern politics.

“He is taking hate groups mainstream and helping a radical fringe take over the Republican Party,” she said.

Asserting that a racially charged and “paranoid fringe” had always existed in politics, she said, “It’s never had the nominee of a major party stoking it, encouraging it and giving it a national megaphone. Until now.”
For decades, beyond-the-pale hatemongering has been an undercurrent in conservative politics, though the political mainstream has pretended that the hatemongering either wasn't taking place or was utterly insignificant. The mainstream media ignored talk radio, including overt racists such as Michael Savage and Bob Grant, and pretended that right-wing conspiratorialism (Clinton Body Counts and so on) were too lowbrow to take seriously. This has continued to the present day, as hate has migrated largely to the Internet.

Hillary Clinton's speech demands that attention be paid.

That's a good thing, although I fear that some in the political establishment don't want to hear it because, well, accusing one party of stepping across a line the other party hasn't crossed just isn't done! Here's a Time reporter's response to the speech:

Um, really? So Trump himself didn't call Mexican immigrants rapists? That was somebody else? And it was somebody else who attacked Judge Curiel?

There may be a number of journalists who say the speech was just too much. I hope not. I hope even our media can understand that the alt-right-ization of conservatism is a serious matter.

On the other hand, the right has been trending this way for years. Matt Drudge retransmits every crime story out of inner-city Chicago. The GOP works to deprive non-whites of voting rights. Republicans run against the "Ground Zero mosque." And on and on.

One downside of the Clinton speech is that it suggests that the GOP was fine until Trump came along. He's made the party worse, but it wasn't fine.

On the other hand, Clinton has diagnosed the disease. Maybe the political establishment will be forced to acknowledge symptoms of the disease when they manifest themselves in the future -- even after Trump leaves the scene.


sdhays said...

"Guilt by association" is a thing, though. It's scurrilous when they tar elected Democrats with some intemperate comments on a liberal website, but when you "associate" with a "white nationalist" by making him your "campaign chairman", you're due some guilt, methinks...

Why are our "journalists" so stupid?

Victor said...

Because their paychecks and future employment is based on making it seem like a competetive race like between a political Babe Didrikdon, and soed fat and puffy blowhard from the KKK.

Of course, they have to exclude his and his supporters hoods and robes, to make it look more competitive!

Tom Hilton said...

It was a terrific speech. Whatever else comes out of it, she attacked the sickness head-on in a way we've never seen in a presidential race.

Zeke Miller's idiotic response may well be typical of the mainstream press response. But I don't think their reaction is the one that matters.

Benjy Sarlin pointed out that every slimy crawling thing from the alt-right is ecstatic to get this attention, and they'll all be cluttering the cable waves over the next week or so...which is not good news for Trump.

The other reaction that matters is Trump's own. One of the Clinton campaign's tactics is to troll Trump (that line about tweeting in her foreign policy speech) and count on him to react in a way that reinforces his fundamental instability. There's a pretty high probability he'll oblige (again) this time.

Redleg said...

I appreciated Hillary's speech but am skeptical that the media will respond in a positive way. Some of the media will gasp as Hillary's temerity and will then head for the fainting couch. Others of the media will just say that Hillary is trying to change the subject from the Clinton foundation. Others will use some sort of false equivalency argument. Some, like Zeke Miller, will say it's just politics. Only a few will actually give Hillary's statements the attention they deserve.

Danp said...

One downside of the Clinton speech is that it suggests that the GOP was fine until Trump came along.

Not to disagree, but this is how you welcome Republicans into the tent without compromising policy. As a liberal, I draw little distinction between Trump and Kasich, for example. They will both vote the same on virtually every issue. However, this strategy isolates Trump. Suggesting that he is the predictable result of an ongoing Republican strategy (which he clearly is) makes Republican voters defensive.

Feud Turgidson said...

Danp, R U saying in essence Expect the reaction to when Trump doesn't just lose but gets pastey-faced to be Alt-Nazi can never fail Alt-Nazi can only be failed?

Ten Bears said...

I think, Feud (you really gotta' get another keyboard), what Damp is trying to say is Clinton was being really rather conciliatory to the Retards, offering they as astonished party members an olive branch, so to speak, while feeding Dumpf uck 's fat to the fire. Could be mistaken, it has happened a time or two, but both her speech and Danp's comment struck me as so.

Danp said...

Ten Bears read me right.

KenRight said...

It seems today Bannon possibly preferring his kids attend school with Christians rather than Jews is a more important story than Obama, with Clinton's approval, continuing to assist Saudi decimation of Yemen.