Trump, like many people, is able to compartmentalize on the issue of race, segregating the masses whom he abhorred from the few he idolized.

And so, when there was a need for a Republican to run for the Senate seat in Georgia against Raphael Warnock — a man who, with the support of Black voters as well as others, shocked the political establishment in that state when he won his first Senate race nearly two years ago — Trump did a simplistic racial calculation: he knew a conservative Black acolyte who could run against the liberal Black intellectual.

He called on his old friend Walker. It didn’t matter that Walker was not a political figure or even a politically engaged person. It didn’t matter that he was wholly unsuited for any form of public office. It didn’t even matter that he didn’t live in Georgia.

Trump drafted him, and he agreed. Celebrity, Trump thought, would cover all flaws.

In the end, it did not. Trump’s brand, his celebrity worship and promulgation, was not enough to push Walker over the edge. But while Walker failed, Trump failed even worse. Unlike some races this cycle in which Trump simply endorsed a candidate, Walker was one Trump personally chose.

And even before Tuesday night, Georgia had rejected Trumpism, choosing some Republicans in November who had defied Trump’s pressure campaign to steal the 2020 election and incurred his wrath because of it.

Yes, Walker was a historically horrific candidate, but the Trump brand has also begun to sour in Georgia. This is in no way to excuse the Georgia Republicans who went along with the Walker charade, even after seeing up close that he was not only unqualified to be a senator, but likely incapable of performing the duties. They saw up close his incompetence, intellectual deficiencies and glaring defects, but they still hewed more to their partisanship than to their principles.

They twisted themselves into knots to excuse Walker, using a roundabout racism to do so. Some said that what we saw as a lack of intelligence was in fact a regional affectation: Walker speaks the way many Black people in Georgia speak.

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