During MSNBC's coverage of the Nevada caucus, they ran a graphic that showed how Donald Trump of all people -- the man who had maligned Mexicans (among others...) -- had won an apparently stunning 50% of the Hispanic vote in the state. Fortunately Lawrence O'Donnell was there to put it in proper perspective.
As O'Donnell pointed out, only about 1,500 voters of Hispanic heritage voted in the caucus, and Trump won around a whopping 800 of them. And to add more perspective, Rachel Maddow followed up on O'Donnell's lead and noted that there are 800,000 Hispanics in the state. To which O'Donnell added for emphasis, not that it was needed, let's not make too much of that statistic that looks so impressive.
Also, while watching the coverage, it stood out that we are slowly starting to get to the point I wrote about a while back, where many Republican pundits -- who three months ago were freaking out at the prospect of Donald Trump (!!) leading their party -- now are beginning to accept the reality that Trump might actually win the GOP nomination, and so we're seeing them "explain" the supposedly rational reasons why he is winning, and why it's the "will of the people," and why he's speaking to voter unrest about Washington. And how this is all natural, to be expected, and ultimately good.
The usually-responsible Steve Schmidt has been doing this on MSNBC for a few weeks, and Nicole Wallace on joined the fray there tonight in high form. There she was, talking about "voter unrest" and how The People are upset with Washington and that they want change. Now, let's be clear: there isn't "voter unrest." There is anger among Republicans that they don't have a Republican in the White House, and for many Republicans that the man there is black. And after eight years of it, they're really pissed off. If Mitt Romney had won the 2012 election, Republicans would be just fine and wouldn't want to "shake things up." They're just going getting their way, and therefore have found someone who can express their irrational anger in as visceral and crass way as possible. (And try as they might to compare to the two, Democrats are not voting for Bernie Sanders for the same reason, because they're angry at holding the White House for eight years and don't like who's in office there. Democrats are quite happy with having the presidency, very like President Obama, and have long liked Bernie Sanders, who's been repeatedly elected to national office for over a quarter of a century.)
But most notably, Ms. Wallance drove her point home by ignoring the issue that Lawrence O'Donnell had raised about how how Donald Trump is basically running a "talk radio" type campaign, where you attack the weakest and smear and don't have anyone disagreeing with you because you're preaching to the converted, and instead she said how it made her "laugh," how it made her "chuckle" every day when she saw liberals defending big boss Superdelegates, while Republicans were happily supporting The Will of the People. And then she went on to ignore O'Donnell's point some more (which he later noted and didn't let her get away with) and she kept talking about The Will of the People on and on (and more about Democrats making her laugh -- I expected her at one point to put her hand over her mouth and say, "tee-hee"), as if having Donald Trump's lying, hate-filled, near-fascistic, misogynistic, un-Constitutional ravings were just what a party wanted as the Will of its party.
Who knows, maybe if and when Donald Trump get the Republican nomination as party leader, all these GOP pundits will by then be celebrating the triumph of the Will.
And yes, that was a cheap shot. But unfortunately, it has far too many overlaps of valid similarity as at least a starting point to be realistically uncomfortable.
And for those who missed the allusion, feel free to look it up...
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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