I don’t suppose I deserve the Nostradamus Prize for predicting that Trump would take to calling Kamala Harris nasty, which, of course, he is. I guess, too, that it didn’t take the Seer of Seers and Prognosticator of All Prognosticators to foresee that the inevitably vicious GOP attacks on Ms. Harris would be characterized by dirty low-down racism and misogyny, generously larded with preposterous lies and outlandish conspiracy theories. You could have hauled a hibernating Punxsutawney Phil back out of his hole, given him a good shake, and he would have seen all that coming. So it was the obvious call, I admit it, OK? You get right down to it, my crystal ball is every bit as scratched and cloudy as the next moron’s, which is why Trump, despite everything he telegraphs and all he’s proved capable of doing, routinely catches me with my pants down. Damn near every time. Likewise, though for once I saw it all coming just like everybody else, the sheer gob-smacking speed with which the Republican smear machine went from zero to sixty was beyond even my darkest imaginings (and I used to believe my imaginings were pretty frickin’ dark).
Sure, there was an initial adjustment period when the attack was a little wobbly, with the various dimbulbs on Fox News last night making, within the span of just a couple of hours, the mutually contradictory claims that Harris was too tight with the cops, but hates the cops, was soft on crime as AG but too hard on criminals, is so radically leftist that she makes Elizabeth Warren look like Barry Goldwater, except she’s really a faux liberal who’s practically a closet Nazi, and so on. Somehow, Biden’s pick of the obvious candidate for Veep caught them all off guard – maybe they figured, not unreasonably, that Harris couldn’t possibly get the nod because Democrats always screw the pooch. There’s nothing so reliable as a good old Donkey kick in the teeth for all the sadly hopeful liberals like me, right? But the Donkey didn’t kick me and mine in the teeth, and that seems to have thrown them off for a second. In the subsequent mad scramble to demonize the woman, they shot wildly in all directions, none so hilariously as Mike Pence, who tried this to rile up the MAGA brainstems:
Kamala Harris – oh my God – wants to take away your meat, America!! Your meat!! No steaks for you! No cheeseburgers, no, she’ll take it all away and leave you with nothing but a stinking pile of broccoli and maybe some Brussels sprouts.
I guess this was actually only mildly ludicrous when juxtaposed against Donald’s recent claim that known commie atheist Joe Biden was going to hurt God.
So it looked pretty farcical for a while there, but boy, did they right the ship. By this morning they’d rolled out the great grand-daddy of all Trumpian smears, the Original Big Lie of Lies that got the ball rolling all the way back before Donald even took that fateful ride down the escalator: birtherism. Really. Sounds crazy, I know, but bear with me here, and think about it: Kamala’s Black, sort of, right? Not White anyway, and we all know what that means: she’s not eligible for office. She’s not one of us. Just like that Kenyan usurper with the terrorist middle name wasn’t either.
Now, Ms. Harris was, to be sure, born in California, and not even the most craven dingbat on the GOP roster claims different, which might seem to doom the whole line of attack, but here’s the thing: her parents were immigrants. That’s right. Immigrants. Both of ’em. One was from India or some such Donald-certified shithole, and one was from Jamaica, or Barbados, or one of those benighted islands out there (surrounded by water, just like Puerto Rico!) and neither was born in America, so there you go. That means their daughter isn’t eligible. She’s Constitutionally disqualified, sorry.
This, er, theory wasn’t the product of Trump’s re-election brain trust, having originated in the usual right wing fever swamps over at 8Chan or somewhere just like it, but for some reason Newsweek picked it up, and in a heartbeat Donald was off to the races. In classic Trump style, he made no particular claims for the argument that Harris was disqualified, he doesn’t know – how would he know? – he’s just saying, is all, that people are saying, which is interesting, right? Maybe she is, maybe she isn’t. Some people think so, including a smart lawyer, that’s what he’s hearing.
Now I know what you’re thinking, my poor, deluded reader, you’re thinking but if Kamala was born in Oakland she’s a full natural born citizen by birthright, which is still a thing in the United States, and that means she’s Constitutionally eligible for the highest office no matter where her parents came from. Of course that’s right. The thing is, and it’s sad, really, that you haven’t yet figured this out, it doesn’t matter in the slightest what’s obviously the correct legal conclusion. The MAGA Monsters don’t care, and anyway they’ll believe anything that the trolls, Russian bots, and Alex Jones can sneak on to their Facebook feeds. Maybe QAnon will chime in to confirm Donald’s Constitutional suspicions, and then it’s God’s Truth to at least 120 million mouth-breathers, and that’s that.
Twenty-four hours, thirty-six tops. All it took. They’re back on their heels for a minute but then boom, out they come with the birther shit, tweaked as necessary to suit the circumstances, like the kid in Christmas Story who breached protocol and skipped straight to the Triple Dog Dare.
What’ll it be tomorrow? Maybe that Kamala wants to hire Cory Booker to make it a law that you have to rent your spare bedroom to a needy inner city family of six (and guess what colour they’ll be), so there goes your Suburban Dream, you unfairly put-upon housewives of America. Or the guns – yes of course, the guns. Biden and Harris will go straight for your Second Amendment home defence Bushmaster Specials, and then what’ll you be packing on your front lawn when it’s time to stand your ground against the Antifa hordes? You think you can beat the rabid maniacs back with your garden hose? Plus there’s still the meat thing. Listen, Murricans love their T-bones. You can laugh, but muscle of cow is pretty much a religion down there, and the meat thing might have legs. Let’s have Pence pitch it for a couple of more days, see what happens.
82 days to go.