What do you do when you’re the Republican nominee for President and everyone can’t stop talking about the patriots you insulted, the military family whose honesty and courage in the face of your bigotry makes you look like a small, small, small man — and we’re not just talking about your hands?
If you’re Donald Trump, the answer is call your opponent a devil and insinuate that the election is “rigged” to gin your supporters up in case you lose. Yes, Donald Trump didn’t just let his buddy Ben Carson insinuate that Hillary Clinton worships Lucifer by linking her to Saul Alinksy; in his latest gambit to shift the media cycle, he started sounding like the flailing, desperate demagogue he is, calling Clinton “the devil,” and saying the fix is in for the election during rallies and media appearances on Monday. The gist of these comments is generally making it clear that he’s digging in really, really hard, to get the chattering classes to stop talking about the fact that he and his cronies insulted and undermined the Khan family who lost their beloved son Humayun while he was serving in the US Military in Iraq.
This is a strategy that’s worked before for Trump; piling his outrageous statements on top of each other so public anger doesn’t have time to build up before the media shifts its focus to his next set of verbal antics and insults. This time, however, it seems to not be working. President Obama challenged Trump and his supporters today, saying, “the notion that he would attack a Gold Star family that made such extraordinary sacrifices on behalf of our country, the fact that he doesn’t appear to have basic knowledge of critical issues in Europe, the Middle East, in Asia, means that he’s woefully unprepared to do this job.”
In a media masterstroke, Obama went even further, challenging those in Trump’s party who hastily denounce his statements to the press but don’t withdraw their endorsements:
“What does this say about your party that this is your standard-bearer? This isn’t a situation where you have an episodic gaffe. This is daily and weekly where they are distancing themselves from statements he’s making. There has to be a point at which you say, ‘This is not somebody I can support for president of the United States, even if he purports to be a member of my party.'”
It may be that Trump sees the writing on the wall and is starting to talk about the election being “rigged” so he can have an excuse for losing. Let’s hope that’s the case.