Desperate Democrats have apparently decided that the way to win in 2020 is to paint President Trump as a racist, perhaps even a hood-wearing, torch-carrying grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.
The Democrats appeared ready to thunder to Election Day with a “Russia, Russia, Russia” war chant, but former special counsel Robert Mueller wee-weed all over that plan when he declared that neither Trump nor his campaign colluded with the Kremlin to alter the outcome of the 2016 election.
Now they’re putting all their little eggs in the big racist basket.
"We have a president who actively demonizes racial and religious minorities, who coddles Nazis and Klansmen, and who wields white supremacy as a political weapon," blared Sen. Bernie Sanders, a 2020 presidential candidate.
Another presidential hopeful, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, told The New York Times that Trump backs white supremacy with a "wink and a nod."
"He has talked about white supremacists as fine people. He's done everything he can to stir up racial conflict and hatred in this country," she said.
Fellow candidate Robert "Beto" O'Rourke was asked by CNN's Jake Tapper: "Do you think President Trump is a white nationalist?"
"Yes I do," the zero-percent candidate said. "The things that he has said both as a candidate and then as the President of the United States, this cannot be open for debate."
Former Vice President Joe Biden, asked by reporters whether he thinks Trump is a white supremacist, said it might be "worse" than that.
"I believe everything the president says and has done encourages white supremacists, and I'm not sure there's much of a distinction. As a matter of fact, it may be even worse," he said.
And Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, apparently the new leader of the Democratic Party, went on a Twitter tear last week, saying we've all got to be talking non-stop about white supremacy.
"What this moment is asking of us is to discuss *white supremacy and racism* as much — or possibly more than — *white supremacists and racists*," she tweeted.
She sought to differentiate between "supremacy" and "supremacist," saying for many Americans their inherent racism is merely lying "dormant."
"There is a difference between white supremacists & white supremacy. White supremacy is like a virus. Supremacists are those who have been completely overcome by the disease, but supremacy — the virus — exists on a larger scale beyond just the infected. It also lays dormant," she tweeted.
So, the Democrats have shifted seamlessly from hyping alleged Russian collusion to hyping white supremacy. Just as they painted the Tea Party as racist in the early days of its emergence, Democrats are now seeking to label the entire Republican Party as white supremacists. It’s the opposite of a strong strategy.
Republican strategist John Feehery told The Washington Times last week that Democrats "look desperate" by leveling that accusation against Trump.
"They are making these accusations because they make their base happy and because they believe that, short of impeachment, the only way they beat Trump is making him so toxic that suburban voters won't vote for him," Feehery said. "I think they have gone way overboard because they aren't just attacking Trump; they are attacking everybody who voted for him."
Trump, for his part, has repeatedly declared that he abhors racism and said last week that he is "concerned about the rise of any group of hate."
"Whether it's white supremacy, whether it's any other kind of supremacy. Whether it's Antifa," he said, referring to the far-left, "anti-fascist" movement. "Whether it's any group of hate, I am very concerned about it. And I'll do something about it."
And he tweeted: "The Dems new weapon is actually their old weapon, one which they never cease to use when they are down, or run out of facts, RACISM! They are truly disgusting! They even used it on Nancy Pelosi."
With a dozen pressing issues facing the country, Democrats have decided that supposed white nationalism is the new Russia. According to a 2018 Gallup poll of top issues for voters, "white supremacy" didn't appear at all. Health care, the economy and immigration top the list of concerns for voters, while the other two top issues being pushed by Democrats — climate change and Russian collusion — came in 11th and 12th.
But that won't stop the Democrats. Once again, the aim is to divide Americans, but also to tar all Republicans — who Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton famously called "deplorables."
How'd that work out for you?
• A version of this article previously appeared in The Washington Times.