In the wake of Donald Trump’s dimwitted apologia on Tuesday for the triumphalist white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, public condemnation has been swift. Few Americans are able to stomach blaming a rightwing “alt-truth”construct, the “alt-left,” for violence that left one peaceable anti-racist demonstrator dead, 20 wounded including a protester who was severely beaten in a parking garage. As Steve Benen observes, Trump’s unhinged press conference amounted to a “moment of national shame,” adding that “it’s also the basis for a challenge to Donald Trump’s partisan allies: what exactly does the Republican Party intend to do with its president in the face of such a scandal?”
But wait – Donald Trump has an idea about how Republicans should answer that question:
The White House is asking Republican members of Congress to follow the President’s lead as he blames “both sides” for the violence that broke out in Charlottesville, Va. during a white supremacist rally over the weekend, according to a memo obtained by The Atlantic.
Just hours after President Donald Trumps gave a provocative press conference — claiming that both the “alt-left” and the “alt-right” are to blame for the deadly violence that broke out in Charlottesville when a self-proclaimed white supremacists allegedly drove his car into a crowd of counter protestors — the White House gave Republicans guidance on how to discuss Charlottesville.
I don’t know about you, but today I’m calling GOP Senator Roy Blunt’s office and that of my Republican Representative, Ann Wagner (2nd Dist.), to find out if they’re planning on going along with the President’s directive. Trump’s memo gives rise to several pertinent Charlottesville-related questions that these folks need to answer:
- Do they think there is actually an alt-left that corresponds to the group of Nazis and white nationalists who are now often collectively referred to as “alt-right.” If so, why?
- Do they believe that “both (or many) sides”were equally to blame for the atrocities of last Saturday?
- Do they believe that figures known only for their association with the Confederacy, an armed rebellion against the government of the United States for the purpose of continuing black chattel slavery. can be equated with historical figures, such as the Founding Fathers, who may have owned slaves, but who never took up arms against their government to defend it, and whose honored status has nothing to do with oppressive beliefs?
- Do they believe that white people who are aggrieved about “political correctness,” which is to say the recognition that they are no longer call the shots and abuse women and minorities at will have a legitimate complaint?
If the answer to any of these questions is “yes,” I intend to let my GOP congresspersons know that I support their right to disgusting beliefs, but that I’ll be doing all that I can do to see that they lose their government job come next election.
If the answer to these questions is “no,” I intend to ask my GOP congresspersons, assuming that they have remained silent or have responded, as has Senator Roy Blunt (at least to my knowledge at this point) in the blandest way possible, where they’ve stored their spine.
Oh … and I’ll also l let them know that unless they can do better than mouthing safe platitudes when it comes to standing up to abomination, I’ll support anyone coming after their jobs who promises to do what’s necessary when it comes to shipwrecks like the Trump presidency.
I suggest you do the same.