Background Briefing: August 7, 2019
Trump’s Unwelcome Visit to El Paso
We begin with the Trump’s unwelcome visit today to El Paso the scene of a recent gun massacre of Latinos men, women and children by a shooter inspired by Trump’s racist rhetoric who warned about “the Hispanic invasion of Texas’. Joining us from El Paso is Erin Coulehan, a writer and scholar covering the border for The New York Times, whose work has appeared in Rolling Stone, CNN, Elle and Teen Vogue. We will discuss Trump’s claim before leaving the White House today that “I think my rhetoric brings people together” and that he has “toned down” his rhetoric although his nasty tweet attacking Beto O’Rourke suggests otherwise. We will assess whether in a city that is 80% Latino, the real feelings of the people of El Paso in any way were able to penetrate Trump’s shield and reach the president who was surrounded by a phalanx of White House spin doctors as he chose to only speak with Medical staff at the city’s University Medical Center and first responders while avoiding any contact with the outside public and protesters who showed up for Trump’s visit to the recent sites of gun massacres in Dayton, Ohio earlier today and later in El Paso. On top of the injury to the peaceful city of El Paso which has one of the lowest crime rates in America, Trump has brought the added insult of stiffing the city for over half a million dollars which Trump’s reelection campaign owes El Paso for providing facilities and security for his recent campaign rally there.
Has Trump’s Racism Derailed His Reelection Plans to Run Against the “Mexican Invasion”
Then we speak with Norm Ornstein, a contributing editor for The Atlantic, a contributing editor and columnist for the National Journal and a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. The co-author of “One Nation After Trump: A Guide for the Perplexed, the Disillusioned, the Desperate, and the not-yet Deported”, he joins us to discuss whether the public’s disgust and revulsion at the recent massacres and Trump’s deliberate and consistent use of racism which clearly inspired the El Paso shooter, will derail Trump’s reelection plans to run on demonizing Mexicans and warning of an “invasion” to energize his base to vote in 2020.
The GOP Is Now a Right-Wing Cult
Then finally we examine whether the GOP is no longer a conservative party but a right wing cult led by a despotic and dangerous Fuhrer enabled by cynical sycophants who have long ago abandoned all principle for raw power. Mike Lofgren, who spent 28 years working in Congress, the last 16 as a senior analyst on the House and Senate Budget Committees, joins us to discuss his article at Common Dreams ”No Cause Has Achieved a Combination of Deranged Views and Raw Power as the Modern American Right-Wing”.