|Trump's basket of hate; cartoon by Clay Jones|
After all this is the same guy who literally kicked off his 2016 presidential campaign last year by claiming that Mexican immigrants in this country were drug dealers and rapists.
But that person happened to be Hillary Clinton, and Trump quickly seized on a single line from the now infamous "basket of deplorables" speech she made at a campaign event last Friday in New York to attack.
As has been widely reported, Clinton speculated that fully half of Tump's supporters could be labeled as deplorables because of their tacit acceptance of the rampant bigotry, divisiveness and intolerance consistently served up in large doses by the orange-skinned ringmaster himself.
Largely left out of what has essentially become massive over-coverage of Trump's reaction to Clinton's speech (rather than the content of the actual speech itself) was the fact that she was introduced by transgender actress Laverne Cox from the Netflix series Orange Is The New Black.
If you read the actual text of her remarks, which were posted on the LA Times Website, Clinton began by building on Cox's enthusiastic declaration of support by citing a laundry list of issues with the Trump campaign that she said she found deplorable.
Including his pledge to nominate Supreme Court justices who oppose marriage equality if elected and the fact that as governor of Indiana, Trump's running mate Mike Pence supported legislation that would have made it legal for business to discriminate against LGBT customers.
It's not like Hillary just walked onstage and declared that 50% of Trump supporters were deplorable.
Trumpies were quick to try and harvest some political crops while the sun was shining.
Some were photographed holding up hand-made signs reading "Deplorable Lives Matter."
It certainly didn't take very long for t-shirts like the one pictured above to pop on the Internet for sale; just Google the images of "Basket of Deplorables" t-shirt and see what comes up.
This morning on the opening segment of The Brian Lehrer Show, the former Rolling Stone executive editor Eric Bates, the recently-crowned editor of The New Republic, observed that despite Trump's display of outrage, Clinton's comment is actually accurate.
He noted that polling data reveals that significant numbers of suburban white voters find Trump and his supporters to be divisive racists - no need to waste money polling Hispanics, African-American, Asian-American and American Muslims on how they feel about that.
Is there really any question that a large chunk of Trump's supporters are in fact fueled and motivated by bigotry, xenophobia and what can only be described as a slightly polished form of white nationalism?
columnist Charles Blow's op-ed piece on Monday presented a selection of poll data that backs up Hillary's claim. Some highlights:
A Public Policy poll of Trump supporters taken in February showed that 38% of them wish the south had won the Civil War and 80% supported Trump's proposed ban on Muslims entering the U.S.
A Reuters/Ipsos poll taken in June showed that nearly 50% of Trump supporters described blacks as more violent than whites and 40% believed blacks were more lazy than whites.
So I'm not the only one who finds Trump's outrage to be phony and self-serving.
He's been intentionally cultivating people eager to blame the nation's problems on people who don't look like them, or worship like them or who immigrated here from other nations.
Trump has been criss-crossing the country for more than a year filling up his basket of hate; Hillary just called him (and his supporters) out for it.