The dramatic ascendance and national exposure Sen. Kamala Harris has commanded is apparently too much for the Trumps, both senior and junior, to ignore.
“I think she’s getting far too much credit for what she said,” Trump senior said last Saturday, commenting on Harris upending Joe Biden during the debate. “It was right out of the can. It was right out of the box. He didn’t respond great. This is not Winston Churchill we’re dealing with, but it wasn’t as bad as they portend it to be.”
Who’s the Churchill and what does Trump mean by “portend?” It’s never easy deciphering Trump’s comments and their meanings. His command of language is very much like his command of domestic and foreign policy—there is never a clear understanding of his intentions or directions.
Like his father, Trump junior is equally tone deaf and inept. A good illustration of this occurred in the recent sharing of a tweet with his millions of followers that falsely claimed that Sen. Harris was not Black enough to be discussing the plight of Black Americans. (She is of Tamil Indian and Jamaican ancestry.)
Trump junior tried to cover the gaffe by claiming that he was merely forwarding the tweet as a question. “Is this true?” he asked and later deleted the tweet after saying it was misconstrued.
Being misconstrued is a common Trump trait, and both father and son are prone to this blundering behavior, and it’s even more troublesome and dangerous when the so-called leader of the nation is consistently beset with the problem.
The eldest son’s stumble is reminiscent of the “birther” conspiracy campaign against President Obama that was promoted by his father insisting that Obama was not a citizen and not qualified to seek the presidency. None of this was lost on Harris. “This is the same thing they did to Barack,” Harris said. “This is not new to us.”
She said that “powerful voices [are] trying to sow hate and division among us. And so we need to recognize when we’re being played.”
And divide and conquer and being played are essential to Trump and his team, and this, along with lying and cheating, are basic elements on their campaign trail.
Harris has emerged most significantly from the pack, at least for the moment. The consequences are mixed, and stepping away from the other contenders makes her a bigger target for attacks.
She can expect racial and gender denunciations, which may strengthen or weaken her ambitions. That outcome remains uncertain, but one thing we are certain of and that is to Make America Great Again—Trump Must Go!