See that red line? That’s Donald Trump.
His argle-babble about immigrants (who commit crimes at a lower rate than any ethnic group) has led to him being dumped by Univision, NBC, Macy’s and now Serta. Trump’s reputation is now so bad that businesses want nothing to do with him and Republicans do.
It’s important to not read too much into this as it’s largely about name recognition and the complete lack of charm of his fellow GOP competitors. The Washington Post‘s Dan Drezner points out that at the peak of his birtherism, Trump was getting something like 25 percent in the polls, probably because that wasn’t just racial dog whistling. It was just racism.
But there’s something extremely revealing about this moment.
Republicans told themselves in 2013 that they needed to reach out to Latinos and pass immigration reform but refused to even vote on in the House, where they voted to deport law-abiding undocumented people over and over and over. Now, when no one is usually paying attention to politics, the only thing the public is hearing about the GOP primary is that a clownish rich guy famous for firing people is bashing immigrants. And it’s not Mitt Romney this time.
“Republicans keep looking for a way to enter the 21st century without offending the 19th century,” Bloomberg’s Francis Wilkinson wrote. “They keep looking for a way to modernize and diversify their party without discomfiting bigots, cranks and reactionaries.”
Instead of bashing Trump’s insanity, prominent Conservatives are saying, “That immigrants are rapist stuff makes a good point.”
So let me close by pointing out that two candidates on the GOP side understand the kind of miracle with minority voters Republicans need to have any chance to win in 2016 — Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush. Whoever wins the GOP nomination will be forced to deal with this reality and Scott Walker has proven he can turn on dime to confuse voters about what he actually believes. But only Rubio and Bush had the chops to make a serious go of it.
Both have proven they know how to win in one of the nation’s most crucial swing states. Both support immigration reform exactly to the point it’s convenient to win. Both support the cruel, inane runaway wealth accumulation that kills middle class jobs and futures. Both back the brutish, babyish foreign policy that set the Middle East aflame and endangers American security. And both of them are who Democrats need to be worrying about right now.
But it’s nice to know that both of them will be booed by GOP debate audiences if they happen to correct Trump and suggest that all immigrants may not be rapists.