On Tuesday, a typical, but no less still unnecessarily combative, Omarosa Manigault spoke with MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts about her role in the orgy of audacious idiocy and political amateurism known as the Donald J. Trump for President campaign.
As Omarosa spoke very seriously about an unserious person, I noticed that she was listed as the “Vice Chair of Donald Trump’s National Diversity Coalition.” Who knew such a thing existed? After I stopped laughing, I watched a noticeably ticked off Omarosa shoo, shoo away Roberts’ question about her referring to herself as Trump’s “Valerie Jarrett” in a Washington Post interview that ran earlier this month.
Omarosa claimed the statement was “paraphrased,” but what sticks out most about that interview is the logic she employed to validate her involvement in Trump’s increasingly polarizing campaign.
Although Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks says Omarosa “doesn’t represent the campaign in an official capacity,” she is undoubtedly one of Trump’s strongest surrogates. So, why would a black woman voluntarily speak on behalf of the political ambitions of a man whose ideology is marinated in at least three forms of bigotry? According to Omarosa, “I’m the person who pulls him back when he goes too far.”
Since anyone paying attention can confirm that that is not going especially well, again, why be a part of this campaign in any fashion?
Omarosa says that while she can elect to leave “the room,” i.e., the place where key decisions for the campaign are made, there is a reason she sticks around. To Omarosa, “anyone that thinks we don’t need to be in those rooms is naive.” It takes a lot of confidence to speak in condescension, but confidence alone doesn’t make dubious statements any more convincing than they actually are.
To her credit, Omarosa is quite adept at sounding like actions done out of self-interest are rooted in principle. In this instance, that would be the belief that Donald J. Trump would make a capable president and that she’s involved to make sure he places his best foot forward in convincing a skeptical public of that reality. Unfortunately, I am not one who has ever fallen for the GOP illusion that businesspeople are uniquely qualified to hold elected office. However, even if Omarosa did genuinely believe that Trump would make a better president than Hillary Rodham Clinton, her statement is rooted in a belief that being present matters more than it has largely ever proven to be with Republicans.
That’s why Omarosa’s assertions are not particularly new. There are plenty of blacks, Latinos, women and members of the LGBT community who work with Republicans who would make the same argument. However, what did Michael Steele’s run as the head of the Republican National Committee do as far as getting Republicans to be more respectful toward black voters? It certainly did not get the bulk of them in Congress to have any more urgency in restoring the Voting Rights Act. Likewise, it did not get many Republicans to skip the bad habit of being grossly disrespectful to our nation’s first black president.
When it comes to women’s rights, the GOP gets an F. Actually, the party gets an F and a U, but you get it. The same grade is assigned for its record on LGBT rights, though oddly enough, Trump is arguably the most progressive Republican presidential candidate on the LGBT community by the very low barometer that is merely acknowledging us without complete contempt. As for Latinos, the bulk of the Republican Party has worked to actively thwart immigration reform for years. Couple that with Republican primary voters electing a man who wants to build a “big, beautiful wall” along the Mexican border, and sorry to inform Latino Republicans, but they don’t love ya, girl.
Read the rest at The Root.