Sunday’s utterly distasteful “Unite the Right” rally, meant to celebrate the anniversary of what most would consider the tragedy of the events in Charlottesville, was a big fat failure in every respect. First of all, the turnout…well it was actually pretty good for the protestors who came to shame the people throwing the rally. Thousands showed up to let the White Supremacists in charge know how they felt. Unfortunately, the turn out for the actual rally part was rather impotent. I think at last count there were 12 people who ultimately showed up? So much for solidarity. For the millions of people concerned about the rise of this alt-right, neo-Nazi, white radical ideology, the lack of traction of this event should perk you up a bit. Indeed, the fact that thousands of people came out to make their voice heard against this kind of hatred and bigotry maybe shows that our country isn’t too lost after all. We may need to make our voices better well heard, but we still have the numbers. And I have to believe this event sticks somewhere in Trump’s craw. Because whether he’s willing to admit it, this is the voice of his base that’s floundered. While he probably would never openly endorse the success of such a rally, I believe Trump was hoping at least in part that this “Unite the White” event, held out in front of the White House, would have showed the power behind his message and his base. And the fact that it made that group look so small and ineffectual hopefully gives Trump a picosecond of pause regarding his message.
On the same day that Donald Trump condemned racism and violence for the anniversary of the tragedy in Charlottesville, Trump also called his ex advisor, and “Apprentice” contestant Omarosa a “low life.” To me that brings up a whole host of issues. First, it’s important to remember why Trump attacked Omarosa. She of course, among many other claims, has suggested there are recordings of Trump rather frivolously using the n-word. Also (and this may just be reading too much into things, I’ll freely admit that), but the term Trump used to denigrate Omarosa, “low life”, feels a little dog whistle-y. In my defense, when Trump goes for character assassination, he usually finds a childish way to call someone dumb, corrupt or a liar. But “Low life” feels like a term used to describe someone you think is a low class street thug. Again, maybe I’m reading too much into it, but regardless, the whole thing makes Trump’s condemnation of violence and racism ring hollow. But frankly, I feel like Trump’s statements when talking about racism, violence and unity usually do.
So Monday night, Trump went on stage during a rally in South Carolina, and riffed the way in that magical way that only Donald Trump can. He talked about all the things bugging him, he talked weirdly about David Lynch, Trade Wars, his wife’s non-facelift, some North Korea stuff, and then he weirdly got into late night comedians. I guess there was thing with Fallon where he came out to say he might have regretted aspects about his interview with Trump, and how he would have handled things differently, and Trump wasn’t too thrilled, especially since late night hosts in general have really made mocking Donald Trump’s behavior and actions a regular part of their nightly monologues. He went on to say that these guys just aren’t funny. No, it’s not that he doesn’t have a sense of humor. Donald Trump has a great sense of humor. And he’d be in pretty big trouble if he couldn’t laugh at himself…really? I can’t recall a time prior to or after the election that Don too a moment to laugh at himself. In fact, in his Comedy Central roast, an event where the sole purpose was for him to laugh at himself…well Trump largely looked offended the whole night, and rather famously complained that people pegged him wrong or just weren’t funny. Sound familiar?
Trump went to a rally in Pennsylvania for a Republican named Rick Saccone, the Republican running for the Republican seat in their special election for the House. Trump spoke for 80 minutes, 2 of which were for the reason he came for: Endorsing Saccone. The rest of the time…well it was pretty whacky. I mean, when it comes to an off the cuff Trump speech, it usually is, but come on! Calling Chuck Todd a “sleepy son of a bitch”? That’s crazy.