Disquieting omens

Aaron Rupar live-tweeted Trump’s rally in Minneapolis last night and wrote it up for Vox:

It wasn’t surprising that Trump attacked one of his most regular targets of abuse, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) while rallying in the heart of her district in downtown Minneapolis. But what was jarring was not only how extreme his attacks were, but also the fact that he went out of his way to demonize the Somali community more broadly in a city that has one of the country’s largest Somali populations.

Citing articles from a fringe right-wing Minnesota-based blog, Trump called Omar “a disgrace to our country” and pushed unfounded conspiracy theories about her marital history. He also attacked the community of Somali refugees in Minneapolis of which Omar is a part.

“For many years, leaders in Washington brought large numbers of refugees to your state from Somalia without considering the impact on schools and communities and taxpayers,” Trump said, as his mostly white crowd broke out in boos — in effect jeering their neighbors.

Trump’s attacks on Omar and Somalis illustrated how, with an impeachment inquiry underway in the House and the legal net tightening around his associates, the president is doubling down on the sort of barely varnished bigotry that got him there in the first place.

Unsurprising and completely disgusting.

Trump’s rally in Minneapolis was also remarkable for just how incoherent it was. The president, who has spent the past couple weeks pretending to be deeply concerned about corruption abroad, at one point made a full-throated defense of his own corruption at home by dismissing the conflicts of interest that result from foreign governments spending money at hotels he still owns and profits from.

“If somebody stays, from let’s say a Middle East country, in one of my hotels, and we charge him $392.53 for staying, and I’ve never heard of the guy and I don’t want to hear about him, they say, ‘Trump is getting rich from our nation,’” Trump said. “If somebody rents a room someplace and they pay me two months in rent or hotel fees — I never heard of the people, I never know who they are — they say, ‘emoluments!’ Nobody ever heard of the word ‘emoluments’ before. ‘Emoluments!’ It’s the craziest thing I’ve ever seen.”

That’s that other minds problem again. He’d never heard the word ‘emoluments’ before, so he assumes no one had.

As the walls close in on the president, he’s lashing out and framing the impeachment process that’s enshrined in the Constitution as something akin to an “overthrow.” These are disquieting omens for those holding out hope that the next transition of power in America, whether it happens after an election or Trump’s impeachment and removal from office, will be an orderly one.

Bumpy road ahead.

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