Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Tuesday, September 13, 2016


Ta-Nehisi Coates writes a comprehensive takedown of the "basket of deplorables" statement.  While he couches it in "white grievance" it's perhaps broader than that.  Yes, there are racial components at play - as they are in almost everything - but this really a journalism story.  Combined with the Matt Lauer debacle, the lack of rigor applied to the basket statement is damning.

TNC quotes WaPo's Aaron Blake:
“Clinton appeared to be slapping the ‘racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic’ label on about 20 percent of the country,”

OK, and the next question is: Is that accurate?  The press more or less skipped that question and went to an "optics" story and a "horse race" story.  In a separate story, Coates gives us the numbers:
We know, for instance, some nearly 60 percent of Trump’s supportershold “unfavorable views” of Islam, and 76 percent support a ban on Muslims entering the United States. We know that some 40 percent of Trump’s supporters believe blacks are more violent, more criminal, lazier, and ruder than whites. Two-thirds of Trump’s supporters believe the first black president in this country’s history is not American.

How is THIS not the story?  As Matthew Yglesias keeps pointing out, Trump has broken our capacity to evaluate him on any normal scale.

Clinton is still winning, but the fact that it is close is appalling.  And the fact that we can't talk about the "Deplorables" is part of the reason why.

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