An unlikely champion of civic values offers a blistering TV performance.
The rapper Eminem performed a freestyle takedown of President Trump on television Monday, calling out the hypocrisy of his extravagant travel, his bumbling incompetence, and his disrespect for a POW before dubbing him “Donald the bitch.”
The performance was perhaps the most prominent instance of a white celebrity defending the NFL players protesting the killing of African Americans by police officers.
And the flagrant disrespect the entertainer showed for the president felt like karma, and not just because Trump has called the protesting NFL players sons of bitches. Recall that during last year’s Republican primary, Trump was able to excel in part by taking advantage of the fact that he had no respectability to maintain, no sense of shame or decency to limit him, and no reputation for good character to lose.
None of the other candidates could pull off bragging about their penis size on stage, insulting a rival’s wife, or appending juvenile nicknames to competing pols. The Access Hollywood tape would’ve sunk any other candidate. But why would it lower anyone’s opinion of a man who gave a radio host permission to call his daughter “a piece of ass”?
To fight Trump as Trump fought would have required a Jeb Bush or John Kasich or Marco Rubio to embarrass their mothers, spouses, and kids, to sully their souls and their respectability.
The superstar rapper has been marshaling profane lyrics, rejecting political correctness, calling out hypocrisy, and raising a defiant middle finger at critics for 25 years, a period in which he became one of the world’s best-selling recording artists. His many fans appreciate that he says what he thinks. Oh, and he’s from the Rust Belt. If there’s a more apt foil for Trump, or any celebrity of comparable stature who could seem half as authentic calling him “Trump the bitch” on national TV (while insisting that the president doesn’t have the balls to respond), I don’t know who it is.