What energizes Trump’s base? In Trump’s mind and by his words, the answer is clear. It’s racism. Whenever he’s in trouble, and he’s in big trouble now, racist tropes come out of his mouth, fast and furious, to rally his die hard supporters around him. Yesterday he did it again when he said he was the victim of a “lynching” by Congressional Democrats who are doing no more than exercising their constitutional duty as a check and balance on presidential misbehavior and lawlessness.

Here we have the appropriation of a word and act that has a particular meaning and long and shameful history and its redeployment in the service of — of all things — an out of control white supremacist president. This isn’t so much an irony of history as a butchering, emptying, and refashionig of history by a political descendant of racist hangmen and redeemers of the 19th and 20th centuries in the South and elsewhere. Impeach now, and if necessary, defeat next fall.