Much has been made of Mr. Trump’s casual elasticity with the truth; he has exhausted an army of fact-checkers with his mischaracterizations, exaggerations and fabrications. But this lie was different from the start, an insidious, calculated calumny that sought to undo the embrace of an African-American president by the 69 million voters who elected him in 2008.Whether Trump was really going to admit that President Obama was born in the United States was far less interesting than learning about why he peddled this lie for so long and what happened to the information he claimed to possess that purportedly proved what all reasonable minds knew was utter bullshit.
But Trump bamboozled the media yet again. With reporters anxiously awaiting for Trump's remarks on birtherism, he pivoted to promoting his new D.C. hotel ("I think it may be one of the great hotels anywhere in the world") and promoting himself (with a group of decorated war veterans to sing his praises). He then gave the following statement and took no questions:
Now, not to mention her in the same breath, but Hillary Clinton and her campaign of 2008 started the birther controversy. I finished it. I finished it. You know what I mean. President Barack Obama was born in the United States—period. Now we all want to get back to making America strong and great again. Thank you. Thank you very much.Of course, Hillary Clinton did not start the birther movement and Donald Trump did not resolve it. These were brazen, ridiculous, easily provable lies.
But Trump wasn't done.
Later in the day at a rally in Florida, he falsely stated that Clinton intends to "destroy your Second Amendment" -- which she doesn't and constitutionally couldn't -- and then suggested that Clinton's bodyguards should "disarm immediately" and then "let's see what happens to her. Take their guns away, okay? It would be very dangerous." Of course, this isn't the first time Trump has suggested a "Second Amendment" solution to a Clinton presidency.
Another normal day for Donald Trump. Relentless lies, sidestepping his own racist behavior while blaming others, and thinly veiled calls for violence. Normal for Trump, but not normal for a presidential candidate of a major party.
It is far past time for the mainstream media to stop covering the campaign as a contest between two equally flawed candidates. Donald Trump is more than flawed. He is a dangerous, indeed, deplorable demagogue. He is unapologetically corrupt, and he lies or spews hate and violence almost every time he opens his mouth.
The New York Times finally called him a liar today. Hallelujah. Others in the media signaled that they were disgusted (and hopefully embarrassed) by his political chicanery and dishonesty. Has the media finally reached a tipping point? We better hope so.