I think I may have figured out the formula for identifying what Trump cannot get away with.
We know that he can insult people of color, be racist, misogunist, criticize military heroes, ally himself with dictators, and, frighteningly, that he seems to get away with it. This is mainly because the party he has taken over is unable to do or say anything significant in response without threatening to tear the party apart.
However, as the New York Times points out, the two outrageous statements that seem to have broken through, again mainly because his party can not, consistent with its self-image, allow them to pass, are the attack on Judge Curiel, and the one on the Khan family.
What’s different? Both these cases involve an attack on someone who would be off limits to anyone other than Trump, a Federal judge and a military hero. That’s not unusual. Think John McCain or Justice Ginsburg.
What makes these attacks unacceptable to Republican leaders and followers is that they are combined with explicit racism — in one case the so called “Mexican” judge, and the other the so called “Muslim” family, to which direct attention is drawn in both cases. Again, there’s plenty of explicit racism that Trump gets away with — and plenty of implicit racism that the party gets away with, and has gotten away with since Nixon..
Why is this different? Why is this unacceptable?
Because the only way Republicans can get away with their systemic and implicit racism is by saying, and believing, that people like the ones Trump is now attacking prove that they, their party, and indeed the country, are not racist. Look at how we allow minorities to achieve in America.
Its a terrible thing to attack your own fig leaves Its really very tender underneath.