It's interesting that we must all take to our fainting couches because Hillary Clinton called some of the supporters of Donald Trump "deplorable."
Like the white supremacists; or the KKK; or the man who punched a 69 year old woman on an oxygen tank to the ground.
The people upset, as Charlie Pierce pointed out, are not the racists and xenophobes and Islamophobes who rally around Trump with such zeal. Pay attention to who is upset, and gauge the matter accordingly. It's the pundit class who are tut-tutting at how impolite Hillary was; while, for reasons known only to the pundit class, Donald Trump can call all Mexicans rapists and cut-throats and declare that African Americans all live in crime-ridden ghettoes (has he not watched so much as a TV crime drama since 1970?), and we are still supposed to treat him and his supporters with the kindest regard and not notice the elephant in the room. Probably because, as Mr. Pierce helpfully points out, that elephant has been allowed to stay in the room for so very, very long.
Or watch the video above, where Trump folds immediately when politely challenged, and returns to the topic he is supposed to be talking about. He changes what happened, however, when he is no longer confronted by her but is asked a question on FoxNews:
“Everyone plays their games,” Trump replied, calling Timmons “a nervous mess.” “It doesn’t bother me. I'll tell you what really made me feel good, the audience was saying, ‘Let him speak, let him speak.’ The audience was so great and these are mostly African-American people, phenomenal people and they want to see change.”
If you watch the video, it's clear Trump crumples like an empty suit. It's also clear the applause is for the pastor, not for him. And there's no sound of "Let him speak!" anywhere on the tape. Members of a church, especially a black church where vocal support of the pastor is common, never speak that way to their pastor. Maybe in private, never in public. And Trump describing Timmons as a "nervous mess." Pop psychology calls that projection; ancient Christian wisdom calls it the log in your own eye.
Imagine this man negotiating with Putin. A man who can only talk back to a black pastor when he's safely away from her is going to negotiate on the world stage for the United States?
And can we call what he said a clueless message? Congress has to deal with the matter of Flint's water supply, because Congress has to decide whether or not to use federal funds for a local matter like how a city gets its water and even who pays for it (which was part of the problem with Flint's water in the first place). A Trump Administration couldn't do anything about that preemptively, and probably couldn't get Congress to do anything about it either (in a House hell-bent on impeaching the IRS Commissioner because, by Gawd, they're gonna impeach somebody or bust!). In a few sentences Trump all but said he would ride roughshod over the entire Constitutional structure and separation of powers and do what he wanted because he would be Supreme Ruler of the Nation; or something. And either we take him at his word (in which case he's either dangerously ignorant or dangerously megalomaniacal) or we just pass over it because, well, that's Donald Trump. But let Hillary decry the racists and xenophobes and white supremacists who praise Trump (and whom even Mike Pence won't denounce), and my heavens, where is the fainting couch?
No, no, this will not do. Hurling insults may be one thing, but describing a situation for what it is, is simply speaking truth. There are deplorable people supporting Donald Trump, and he is running a campaign of deplorable ideas. He is, himself, clearly a racist and a buffoon and his business dealings leave him ridden with so many conflicts of interest it would be impossible for him to serve as President of the United States.
And yet it is Hillary Clinton who is the questionable candidate. I'll retire to Bedlam.