Live from the Republicans' Self-Made Gehenna: Donald Trump and the Ku Klux Klan: A History: "There may be no better measure of the depravity of this campaign season...:
...than the realization that it’s not clear whether Trump’s overt appreciation for fascism, and his sustained salute to American racists, will have a positive or negative effect on his campaign. For now, his opponents are rejoicing. Marco Rubio, the Florida senator, pronounced him ‘unelectable.’ Governor John Kasich, of Ohio, called Trump’s comments ‘just horrific.’ But it is by now a truism to note that Trump has survived pratfalls that other politicians have not.
A surprisingly large portion of Americans believed him when he pushed a racist campaign denying the birthplace of Barack Obama; a comparably chilling portion of Americans were attracted when he called Mexicans rapists. By the end of the day on Sunday, he had received the endorsement of Senator Jeff Sessions, of Alabama, the first sitting senator to officially line up with Trump. Sessions was not likely to be bothered by Trump’s flirtations with the Klan. In 1986, he was rejected from a federal judgeship after saying that he thought the Klan was ‘O.K. until I learned they smoked pot.’
In the weeks to come, Trump is virtually guaranteed to accumulate additional endorsements from politicians like Christie and Sessions, who have divined their interests in drafting behind the strongest candidate for the Republican nomination. Whether driven by fear of irrelevance, or attracted by the special benefits of being an early adopter, Christie seemed compelled to do it, and now the remnant of his political reputation is going from a solid to a gas.
But the true obscenity of his decision, and those of other Trumpists, may take years to be fully appreciated.
In an editorial last week, the _Washington Post _declared that ‘history will not look kindly on GOP leaders who fail to do everything in their power to prevent a bullying demagogue from becoming their standard-bearer.’ That’s true, but history will judge even more harshly those who stand with Trump now that it is indefensibly clear with whom they are standing.