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WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 26: Committee Chairman Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) conducts a markup hearing before the House Oversight and Reform Committee June 26, 2019 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 26: Committee Chairman Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) conducts a markup hearing before the House Oversight and Reform Committee June 26, 2019 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Trump’s ‘skillful’ political strategy with racism

President Donald Trump intensifies racist attacks to keep his voter base intact as Democrats increasingly approach impeachment.

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To understand American politics in the Trump era, one must know that actions always speak louder than words – and not in the good way.

The worrying evidence exposed by the hearing of special counsel Robert Mueller before Congress during the past week was countered by a new episode of presidential racist verbiage over the weekend.

In a thread on Twitter, Trump attacked Baltimore Democratic Representative Elijah Cummings last Saturday, calling his district "a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess.”

In this way, the president not only attacked again a Representative of color - as he did a few weeks ago with the new representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortéz, Ilhan Omar and other members of the so-called "Squad" - but the entire community of color that Cummings represents.

According to The Guardian, Cummings represents the seventh congressional district in Maryland that includes parts of Baltimore and other African-American counties, controlled by Democrats since 1953.

Likewise, Cummings is the chairman of the Congressional Government Oversight and Reform Committee and has spearheaded the harsh investigation against immigration agencies of the Trump administration.

In what appears to be a coordinated smear campaign, the Fox & Friends team published a segment with image montage that allegedly showed the deterioration of the Cummings’ district, which gave the president material for his attack on social media.

“Why is so much money sent to the Elijah Cummings district when it is considered the worst run and most dangerous anywhere in the United States,” he said. “No human being would want to live there. Where is all this money going? How much is stolen? Investigate this corrupt mess immediately!”

The intensity of the president's attacks only seemed to indicate his desperation to make Mueller's testimony disappear from the front page.

Accordingly, the president has continued for the third consecutive day in the crusade against the Baltimore representative, attacking left and right against characters such as Al Sharpton, civil rights activist, Baptist minister, and controversial African-American politician.

The intention of the president is now, undoubtedly, to turn the tables in the racism debate and give enough material to the media for a couple more days, while much of the Democratic Party exerts pressure to begin impeachment inquiries.

The speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, again described the president's comments as open signs of racism, to which the president replied:

“There is nothing racist in stating plainly what most people already know, that Elijah Cummings has done a terrible job for the people of his district, and of Baltimore itself. Dems always play the race card when they are unable to win with facts.”

But if we refer to the facts, the racism card has been the only safe route for the president when he believes that his electoral base could be moved by Democratic attacks or, realistically, by his self-sabotage.

A Reuters/Ipsos public opinion survey determined that support for the president increased significantly in his Republican base after his racist attacks against Democratic congresswomen.

As The Daily Beast explained, "the survey showed that his net approval among Republicans increased by 5 percentage points."

Being outrageous is then profitable when keeping the necessary votes intact.

That seems to be the reasoning of the Trump campaign, which is still facing the public crisis of Mueller’s testimony.

However, on Friday - and as a preamble to the vicious presidential attack - Democratic representatives Mary Gay Scanlon, David Cicilline, Pramila Jayapal and Verónica Escobar issued a press release in which they announced the beginning of impeachment inquiries, taking another step forward in the difficult internal battle of the Party on how to deal with the Donald Trump case.

“While many people believe that beginning an impeachment investigation can begin only with a vote of the full House of Representatives, this is not true,” they said. Article I authorizes the House Judiciary Committee to begin this process.”

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