No such thing as ‘off the record’

Michael Smerconish is a smart commentator and CNN TV host.

He offered a prime piece of political wisdom this morning when he said, “There’s no such thing as ‘off the record.'”

There it is. A lesson that no doubt has not been lost on the “stable genius” who sits in the Oval Office of the White House. Donald Trump clearly knew that when he described African nations and Haiti as “sh**hole countries” would be picked up and flashed around the world.

As Smerconish noted today, seemingly everyone has a smart phone equipped with a camera and a recording device.

When the president blurts out a racist comment, or when he makes declarations that are sure to offend millions of Americans — let alone billions of other world inhabitants — he is speaking only to a narrow audience: his political base, the 30-some percent of Americans who stand with him no matter what.

As Smerconish noted today, Barack Obama was caught telling a fundraising crowd that many Americans “cling to their guns” and their religious faith; four years later, Mitt Romney was overheard telling a crowd that “47 percent of Americans” who live on government programs will vote for President Obama “no matter what.”

The world is listening to these politicians.

I get that Trump’s sh**hole comments aren’t a precise parallel to the examples cited already. Still, Donald Trump called an entire continent a place full of “sh**hole” countries populated by dark-skinned people. Lawmakers heard him say it and have declared they heard it. Such a statement sounds pretty damn racist to me.

He has offended millions of Americans.

Trump doesn’t care. His base hangs with him.

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