I’ll have more—much more—on the Clintons’ recent condescending comments in my column later this week. Hillary’s claim that “you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables…racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic – you name it” was insultingly general, even if Trump has sometimes leered in the direction of the noxious alt-right. And Bill’s snotty lament that “the coal people don’t like any of us anymore” because “they blame the president when the sun doesn’t come up in the morning now” is tin-eared liberalism at its worst.
In the meantime, let’s focus on that “basket of deplorables” remark. Setting aside its illiteracy (who puts “deplorables” in a basket?), what do you suppose she meant by it?
Would someone who dashed back to his home state to supervise the execution of a mentally retarded black man in order to garner support among white voters be considered a “racist” deplorable? What about somebody who, according to three eyewitnesses, once called an aide a “fucking Jew bastard”? What about someone who allegedly scoffed of Barack Obama, “a few years ago, this guy would have been getting us coffee”?
Would a person who was accused of sexually assaulting a woman, biting her lip and then callously advising her to “get some ice on that,” qualify as a “sexist” deplorable?
Could a candidate who gamed the gay community, opposing gay marriage when it was unpopular and then supporting it when it was popular, be called a “homophobic” deplorable?
Would a hypothetical jokester who quipped that Mahatma Gandhi “ran a gas station down in St. Louis” be regarded as a “xenophobic” deplorable? What about someone who claimed in 2003 that she was “adamantly against illegal immigrants”—not immigration, immigrants—and, like Trump, wanted to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexican border?
Could a senator who stumped for the war in Iraq, which resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of Muslim civilians and tore open a part of the world she failed to understand, be described as an “Islamophobic” deplorable? What if she made the same lethal mistake in Libya as secretary of state?
If so, then toss Bill and Hillary Clinton into the basket (seriously, this is ridiculous: you put soaps in a basket, not deplorables). It’s fashionable to drench American flyover country in the ink of bigotry, even if you don’t have a shred of evidence to back up your accusation. Pointing out the narrow-minded failings of progressive politicians, however, is far less trendy.