Here Comes Willie Horton 2.0
by Deacon Blues
In the last several days, Trump has brought aboard Roger Ailes as an unacknowledged senior advisor, and just this morning he’s also shaken up his senior campaign team to enable the continuation of a combative approach rather than an integrated approach with the national party. Therefore, no one should be surprised that Trump went into a largely-white, remote suburb of Milwaukee last night to give a “law and order” speech blaming Hillary Clinton for cops killing African Americans.
Get used to it. Given who he’s brought in to run his campaign now, it’s all about to get even worse and more divisive than it’s been already. It is now quite predictable that the Trump campaign will keep the focus on stoking the white base in a race-baiting effort, with Ailes launching a likely “Willie Horton 2.0” media campaign as early as this weekend, and Steve Bannon launching open warfare on the media.
The Republican National Committee should be petrified at these recent developments, because it signals that Trump has no intention of broadening his appeal to help the party and its down-ballot candidates. But Team Clinton should plan and counter-message for an onslaught of negative race-based media from Ailes and Trump from this point on. In just the last two weeks, Trump has blamed Hillary for creating ISIS and now for Black America being mad at cops.
Who knows what Trump and Ailes will blame Clinton for next week?
I would advise Clinton to pre-empt the negative messaging, by making fun of these efforts. She could start by saying “Last week, I was responsible for ISIS. This week, I’m responsible for racial inequality and the problems between Black America and law enforcement. Next week, I’ll be responsible for slavery and global warming, and the week after that, I'll be responsible for 9/11 and Trump’s casino bankruptcies. By the way Donald, where are your tax returns?”
Update, Wednesday afternoon: Even the Wall Street Journal editorial page thinks Trump's move will make things worse.