If you're of a certain age, you vividly remember the infamous "Willie Horton" ad. Back in 1988, as George H. W. Bush's presidential campaign was going up in flames, he put the job of winning him the presidency and running the Republican National Committee into the hands of this guy:
And Atwater delivered. He did indeed "strip the bark off the little bastard" (Democratic candidate Michael Dukakis) and made "Willie Horton his running mate". He made George H. W. Bush president, taught his two eager proteges -- Dubya Bush and Karl Rove -- all the tricks of his filthy trade, and poisoned the heart of the Party of Lincoln beyond repair.
This is settled, American political history, in the books and undisputed. But it is an American history which flies in the face the today's "Both Siderist" media fairy tales. An American history which absolutely wrecks the mandatory Beltway narrative that racism and bigotry are not, not, not a long-standing mainstays of modern Conservatism and the indispensable pillars of Republican electoral politics but instead are unfortunate anomalies which just glided down an escalator and into the Republican party, unbidden, one sunny day in June of 2015 -- fully formed and unrelated to anything that had gone before -- in the person of Donald J. Trump.
And so Mark Halperin -- in true, soulless Mark Halperin form -- takes the best speech that candidate Clinton has given to-date and (at the 1:08 mark of this video) uses it it to erase the horribly inconvenient reality of Lee Atwater from American political history.
"You think back to 1988. George Herbert Walk Bush. People thought his chances of winning were bad. He was 17 points behind Michael Dukakis. He gave a convention speech well above a performance level people thought he could achieve and that pretty much did it. "The greatest trick the Beltway media ever pulled is pretending that Republican racism did not exist before Trump.
And like that...