According to Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank, there was only one problem with Hillary Clinton’s assertion that half of Donald Trump’s voters should be put into a “basket of deplorables”: She underestimated the percentages.

“This isn’t a matter of gratuitous name-calling,” Milbank writes. “This election has proved that there is much more racism in America than many believed. It came out of hiding in opposition to the first African American president, and it has been welcomed into the open by Trump.”

Milbank uses a couple of dubious studies to prove his case. One, a 2012 poll that asked voters to rank blacks and whites, with only a photograph to go by, on a scale from “hardworking to lazy and from intelligent to unintelligent.”

“The researchers found that 62 percent of white people gave black people a lower score in at least one of the attributes,” Milbank says. “This question is a good indicator of how one votes: Republican Mitt Romney won 61 percent of those who expressed negative stereotypes.”

So…IF that study means anything…and IF it was carried out correctly…and IF a white person marking any black person as lazy or unintelligent is racist…and IF you agree that a 61% correlation is a “good indicator of how one votes”…well then, this is a significant piece of information. But damn, that’s a lot of IFs.

But interestingly, this study only “proves” that Republican voters were already a basket of deplorables long before Trump came on the scene. That undermines Hillary’s central argument: That Trump, through his inherent bigotry, has awakened millions of zombie racists that everyone else thought were dead. And it makes it clear that what she was really saying was that half of all GOP voters, for a long while now, are somehow worse Americans than those who vote for Democrats.

The second study Milbank cites came from Pew Research Center this summer. According to their poll, 79% of Clinton voters see “the treatment of racial and ethnic minorities” as a priority issue while only 42% of Trump voters feel the same.

This is even less helpful than the other study. Few of us would say that Great White shark attacks are an important campaign issue, but that doesn’t mean we’re pro-shark bite. It just means we don’t believe that it’s a national epidemic, no matter what a bunch of media hype packages tell us. If anything, it just proves that Trump voters are less easily swayed by the national narratives produced and propagated by the Democratic Party and its affiliates.

Milbank, fearing that he may have missed his own point, concludes the column by  saying that if you’re excited about a Trump presidency, you’re a racist:

Few people embrace the “racist” label, so let’s help them. If you are “very enthusiastic” about a candidate who has based his campaign on scapegoating immigrants, Latinos and African Americans, talked of banning Muslims from the country, hesitated to disown the Ku Klux Klan and employed anti-Semitic imagery — well, you might be a racist. But if you are holding your nose and supporting Trump only because you think him better than Clinton, that doesn’t put you in the basket.

  • Immigrants: Not a race.
  • Latinos: Have never been “scapegoated” by Trump.
  • African-Americans: Have never been “scapegoated” by Trump.
  • Muslims: Not a race.
  • Six-Sided Star: Not anti-Semitic.
  • Ku Klux Klan: Disavowed multiple times by Trump.

So, no, supporting Trump – enthusiastically or otherwise – does not make you a racist.

And supporting Clinton wouldn’t seem to make you a liar…but it sure seems to work out that way.