You can’t make this shit up. The GOP today does its own version of Spinal Tap by dialing it up to 11.
Martin Longeman writes at the Political Animal Blog, Trump Takes Idiot to Eleven in Scotland:
Writing in the New York Times, Ashley Parker casts some shade on Donald Trump’s triumphant reaction to the U.K.’s decision to separate from the European Union.
Early in June, Mr. Trump did not even know what Brexit referred to, and as recently as Wednesday, Mr. Trump said that his opinion on the referendum was insignificant because he had not been following the issue closely.
Amazingly, Trump landed in Scotland today to promote his golf course, seemingly without realizing that the Scots are pissed as hell about the outcome of the referendum.
In a stunning display of tone-deafness, he told the assembled reporters how great it was that the U.K. has asserted its independence. And then proceeded to explain how the tumbling English pound would help his golf course make money.
Ewen MacAskill, a reporter for The Guardian, had an interesting exchange with Trump.
Asked about [Prime Minister David] Cameron, [Trump] expressed sympathy for him, even though there had been what he described as rough patches, presumably a reference to the former prime minister’s criticism of the presumptive Republican candidate. Asked about Boris Johnson, he declined to comment.
Trump said his relationship with the UK was a “love-fest”. I asked Trump why Cameron was not prepared to meet him. He replied: “David Cameron would have met me. David Cameron was negotiating to meet me. But I do not think he wants to meet anyone right now.”
I said no senior UK or Scottish politician wanted to meet him, citing Nicola Sturgeon and Alex Salmond, and suggested it was because he was toxic. Taking offence at the question, he described me as “a nasty, nasty guy”.
Nothing unusual there.
Trump’s overall reaction, including in an official statement he placed on Facebook, was completely oblivious to the strong possibility that the Brexit vote will effectively end the United Kingdom as a country by leading to Scottish and Northern Irish independence.
The people of the United Kingdom have exercised the sacred right of all free peoples. They have declared their independence from the European Union, and have voted to reassert control over their own politics, borders and economy. A Trump Administration pledges to strengthen our ties with a free and independent Britain, deepening our bonds in commerce, culture and mutual defense. The whole world is more peaceful and stable when our two countries – and our two peoples – are united together, as they will be under a Trump Administration.
Setting aside that Scotland was the worst possible place to make this pitch, it’s not clear that anything “British” will remain after all the ramifications of this vote play out. Whatever Britain was, it is no longer that.
Of course, since Trump didn’t even know what Brexit was until sometime in the beginning of this month, it’s pretty clear that he’s just winging it.
Steve Benen adds, Republicans think ‘it’s America’s turn’ for a Brexit of our own:
The parallels are not precise, but they exist. In the Brexit vote in the U.K., younger voters overwhelmingly voted “Remain,” while older voters voted “Leave.” The more education a British voter had, the more likely he or she was to want to stay in the European Union. Voters in urban areas generally backed remaining in the E.U.; voters in rural areas did not.
You probably see where I’m going with this: the demographics of the Brexit vote had some noticeable similarities to the kind of left-right divide we see in the United States. It’s contributed, as we discussed earlier, to observers drawing a nationalistic line between Brexit supporters in the U.K. and Donald Trump supporters in the U.S.
The Washington Post had a good piece on domestic Republicans joining the Brexit celebration, even as global markets suffered a sharp slide.
Today, while stock markets careened and media coverage has asked whether British voters just sparked a “DIY recession,” a few conservatives have embraced the vote. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), one of the critics of the president’s remarks, told supporters on Facebook that Americans needed to heed Brexit.
“The results of the #Brexit referendum should serve as a wake-up call for internationalist bureaucrats from Brussels to Washington, D.C. that some free nations still wish to preserve their national sovereignty,” Cruz wrote. […]
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), an occasional Cruz ally who has become the Senate’s biggest booster of Donald Trump, had an even more supportive reaction.
He did, indeed. The far-right Alabaman, arguably Trump’s closest congressional ally, issued a lengthy statement with an all-caps headline that read, “Now it’s America’s turn.” Sessions applauded Britons who cast a “strong vote … not out of fear and pique but out of love for country and pride of place.” [B.S. It was anti-immigrant xenophobia, something with which Sen. Sessions is all too familiar.]
Former half-term Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) published a bizarre online harangue that began, “When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another. The UK knew — it was that time. And now is that time in the USA. The Brexit referendum is akin to our own Declaration of Independence. May that refreshed spirit of sovereignty spread over the pond to America’s shores!”
Palin went on to complain about “globalists who tend to aim for that apocalyptic One World Government that dissolves a nation’s self-determination and sovereignty… the EU being a One World Government mini-me.” She added – again, in all seriousness – concerns about “UN shackles.”
It’s all quite persuasive, isn’t it? In fact, I’m now convinced: the United States should definitely leave the European Union.
Cruz stressed the significance of “national sovereignty,” though America’s sovereignty is not in doubt. Sessions believes it’s “America’s turn” to, well, he didn’t actually specify exactly what it’s our turn to do. Palin wants us to embrace the “spirit of sovereignty,” apparently because she has some unidentified problem with the U.N.
Oddly, none of these Republicans mentioned immigration, which seems like the easiest and most obvious explanation for the Brexit results. Why not just acknowledge what it is about this vote that the right is most eager to celebrate?
Because Tea-Publicans do not want to be too overt in their xenophobic nativism and racism, like their presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump. Trump has tossed aside the “dog whistle” coded language and “tells it like it is” with a bullhorn of overt racism and bigotry.
But Tea-Publicans who want to get elected know that they have to stick to the “dog whistle” coded language so that a feckless media let’s them get away with it without calling them out for being the xenophobic nativists and racists they are.
Donald Trump’s GOP is the modern day version of the anti-immigrant Know Nothing Party — it is the Mass Deportation Party.