Andrew Rosenthal writes: When Donald Trump attacked a federal judge whose parents were born in Mexico, Hispanic Americans were outraged. Other minority groups saw a pattern of bigotry. Democrats had a hard time concealing their glee. Republican leaders pretended they disapproved.
Well, to be fair, they did disapprove in a way — not because Trump believes the things he says, but because he says them so directly.
Far too many Republicans share this kind of racism and have for a long time. Trump has just dispensed with dog whistles and revels in his bigotry instead. But this is the party the Republicans have been deliberately and assiduously building for many decades, the party of division and intolerance. George H.W. Bush’s racist tactics in 1988 against Michael Dukakis — the Willie Horton ad in particular — seem almost genteel by comparison.
Today’s Republicans have stymied every effort at reforming immigration, at achieving true equality for women, at ending the scourge of racist drug laws and criminal sentencing rules. The Republican Party has generated a wave of laws designed to make it harder for black Americans and other minorities to vote. It’s not that Republicans don’t want to deport millions of Mexicans and ban Muslims from our shores. They just don’t like to talk about it in the open. [Continue reading…]