As usual, Republicans are scrambling away from the overt racism at Wednesday's Trump rally in North Carolina, so that they have plausibly deniability when it inevitably happens again at the next Trump rally, when they'll then shrug and lament, "well, what can you do?"
The chairman of House Republicans’ campaign arm on Thursday criticized the “send her back” chant that animated the crowd at Donald Trump’s Wednesday night rally and added a dimension to the president’s attacks on four Democratic freshman women.
“I didn’t watch the rally last night, but there’s no place for that kind of talk,” said Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Minn.), who heads up the National Republican Congressional Committee and hails from the same state as the Democrat who was primarily targeted, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.). “I don’t agree with it.”
Emmer, speaking at a breakfast with journalists hosted by The Christian Science Monitor, was pressed later whether the chant was racist. He declined to address that question, instead saying it was “not acceptable.”
Emmer also stopped short of directly criticizing Trump for his comments about Omar and three other Democratic lawmakers, all of whom are women of color, calling the controversy “manufactured.”
Trump wrote on Twitter this past weekend that the four women should “go back” to where they came from — even though the three other progressive lawmakers, Reps. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, were all born in the United States.
“There’s not a racist bone in this president’s body,” Emmer said. “What he was trying to say, he said wrong. What he was trying to say is that if you don’t appreciate this country, you don’t have to be here. That goes for every one of us. That has nothing to do with your race, your gender, your family history. It has to do with respecting and loving your country.”
Understand that this isn't about denying the "send her back!" chant, this is about the fact that to Republicans, being called a racist is still worse than actually being a racist and saying racist things. Since Republicans have no choice but to admit that the chant was racist, they're trying to do everything they can to separate Trump (not a racist bone in his body, that goes for every one of us) from the racism he's responsible for.
They have to do this, or else, well, they're racists.
Take Matt Bevin, still the most unpopular governor in America (please!) as an example.
President Donald Trump is "absolutely not" a racist, Kentucky's strongly pro-Trump governor said Wednesday while sidestepping questions about the president's tweet declaring that four congresswomen of color should go back to the countries from which they came.
Gov. Matt Bevin drew media questions about the explosive tweet after appearing at a Kentucky Farm Bureau forum with his Democratic challenger, Andy Beshear. Bevin routinely plays up his alliance with Trump, making it a big part of his reelection campaign.
Trump's weekend tweet said the four congressmen should back to the "broken and crime infested" countries they came from, ignoring the fact that all of the women are American citizens and three were born in the U.S.
Asked if the social media remark was racist, Bevin replied: "I will let the president speak for his own tweets. I will speak for any tweet that I put out. Do I think the president is racist? Absolutely not. I know him personally."
Trump's attack has drawn a scorching condemnation from Democrats who labeled the remarks racist and divisive.
Beshear told reporters Wednesday that the president's remarks "were wrong and ugly and he should have never tweeted them."
"I don't think anybody should ever be told to go back to another country," said Beshear, the state's attorney general. "Those are U.S. citizens. They ought to be treated with respect."
Because now the fight isn't over wheterwhat Trump said or did is acceptable, now the fight is over whether or not calling him a racist is acceptable. The outcome of course allows his stochastic terrorism to continue.
This is how it works.