The GOP has always had a problem with racists in their ranks. It's been well hidden and relatively quiet for the most part. They sneak in legislation and rhetoric that can be easily masked behind other things. They cut food stamps, welfare and unemployment benefits under the guise of helping people fend for themselves and somehow incentivizing them to build better lives for themselves, while stripping away anything that could help that happen.
Donald Trump has managed to push what used to be an undercurrent of racism and bigotry to the forefront of his presidential campaign and the party isn't exactly falling over itself to deny it. Trump has recently accused a federal judge of being biased against him in a case involving fraud and Trump University. According to Trump, the Judge, Gonzalo Curiel, is being unfair to Trump because he's Mexican. Despite Curiel being a second generation American, born in Indiana, Trump won't let up.
During an interview, Jake Tapper asked Trump about his racist remarks a record 23 times. Trump evaded the question and spoke mostly about the wall he plans to build and continued to insist that the Judge is Mexican and has some kind vendetta against him.
In another interview with John Dickerson, the host of CBS's "Face the Nation" Trump said that Muslim judges would also be biased against him.
Let's be clear. These statements are the very definition of bigotry.
And what does the GOP leadership have to say about these comments? Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was also on the Sunday shows and was asked about Trump's comments. While he may have dodged the question three times as to whether he thought they were racist, he didn't answer the question. He just kept repeating the same response.
CHUCK TODD: You know what he has said about this federal judge that's overseeing the Trump University lawsuit. He has called - he has essentially said he cannot be impartial because he's Hispanic. That's - is that not a racist statement?
SEN. MCCONNELL: I couldn't disagree more with a statement like that.
CHUCK TODD: Is it a racist statement?
SEN. MCCONNELL: I couldn't disagree more with what he had to say.
CHUCK TODD: Okay, but do you think it's a racist statement to say?
SEN. MCCONNELL: I don't agree with what he had to say. This is a man who was born in Indiana. All of us came here from somewhere else...
I made a comment on today's episode of the T&Z Talk podcast about this in which I said, Trump could say that he was going to round up all the Muslims and put them into gas chambers and the Republican leadership would simply say that they don't agree with what he says, but he's their nominee and they're going to stick with him. After all, as they put it, anyone is better Hillary Clinton. Really? Anyone?
The GOP has consistently put the party before the people and an intelligent person would have predicted that someone like Trump, who embodies the worst parts of humanity, would have changed that. Apparently that would have been naïve.
I'm going to save the Huffington Post some trouble and add their editor's note to the end of this post. In the meantime you can listen to today's podcast of T&Z Talk below and subscribe to the newsletter here.
Editor's note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims -- 1.6 billion members of an entire religion -- from entering the U.S.