Friday, September 22, 2017

What’s The Matter With Alabama?

It seems they’re about to elect a theocrat to the Senate to fill out the rest of the term of Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III.

The man who has the edge to become Alabama’s next senator didn’t hedge away from his hardline socially conservative positions on Thursday, returning to his central campaign theme of a lack of godliness as a central reason for society’s woes.

Controversial former Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore warned that America was falling apart because of things like transgender troops in the military.

“Our foundation has been shaken. Crime, corruption, immorality, abortion, sodomy, sexual perversion sweep our land. When we become one nation under God again, when liberty and justice for all reigns across our land, we will be truly good again,” he said in his first and only one-on-one debate against appointed Sen. Luther Strange (R-AL).

The comments came shortly after he said he wanted to free the country and military from “political correctness and social experimentation like transgender troops in our bathrooms.”

Moore’s entire career has been focused on a hardline religious right philosophy — one that’s gotten him thrown off the Alabama Supreme Court twice, first for refusing to remove a statue of the ten commandments then a decade later for refusing to accept the Supreme Court’s ruling legalizing gay marriage. His Thursday statements are far from the only controversial remarks he’s had to say on the campaign trail.

One of my first blog posts here back in 2003 was about Judge Moore being tossed off the state supreme court after his stand-off with the Ten Commandments.  At the time I basically thought we were done with him.  But as any summer blockbuster that includes an evil villain will remind you, they have a way of coming back.

I know people who live in Alabama and they say it’s got some good things going for it, including the long-running Alabama Shakespeare Festival. But wow.  What are they trying to do, make Mississippi look good by comparison?

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Chickenshits

We’ve always known Trump is a bully and a coward, and the craven way he dealt with DACA — sending out Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, whose idea of a legal immigrant is one brought over in the hold of a ship in chains — is only too happy to do Trump’s dirty work.

As an up-and-coming politician in Alabama, Jeff Sessions watched as his state’s poultry industry illegally hired Mexican and Central American immigrants to jobs that had once been filled by poor, unskilled American workers. As a senator, Mr. Sessions argued that displaced American workers like these — not the people replacing them — deserved compassion.

So when President Trump chose Mr. Sessions, now the attorney general, to announce on Tuesday the end of an Obama-era immigration program that shielded young immigrants from deportation, there was no doubt what message he would deliver. Mr. Trump has expressed conflicting emotions about those who were brought to the country as children, but Mr. Sessions expressed no such qualms.

“There is nothing compassionate about the failure to enforce immigration laws,” Mr. Sessions said.

Just a few weeks ago, Mr. Trump was so enraged that Mr. Sessions had recused himself from a Justice Department investigation into Russian meddling into the 2016 presidential election that Mr. Trump publicly expressed his regrets about making him the nation’s chief law enforcement official. The president criticized Mr. Sessions so often that he seemed to be encouraging him to quit. But Mr. Sessions, the first senator to endorse Mr. Trump in the campaign and his first cabinet appointment, endured.

And on Tuesday, Mr. Sessions not only served as the administration’s spokesman, he also spoke directly to Mr. Trump’s base in a blunt, uncompromising way that the president himself was uncomfortable doing.

“The White House needed him to do this because I don’t think Trump would have delivered a convincing performance,” said Mark Krikorian, a Sessions ally and the executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies. “His own body language and ad-libbing would have undercut his message.”

But Sessions is Rudolf Hess in this grossenscheißesturm.  Trump is still the main villain.  He hasn’t got the guts to back up his own campaign rhetoric, and the only way he can address the issue is in an airplane hangar in front of a hoard of sweating knuckle-draggers who are gullible enough to fall for his fear and loathing and still cough up $40 for a cheap hat — made in China — with some neo-Nazi slogan on it.

So he sends out this squeaky little rabble-rouser — one who is apparently into the political version of S&M by enduring Trump’s tantrums — and makes him do it.  And because he’s into marginalizing people who don’t look or sound like him, Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III is only too happy to oblige.

It’s easy to speak of the “rule of law” and what is and what isn’t legal when you remove the elements of compassion and don’t bother to think of the human cost.  Neither of these alleged human beings ever lost a moment of sleep over whether or not they’re impacting anyone other than themselves.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Rapturous Applause

The Religious Reich is having the best time ever with Trump in office.  Even more than they would have if the Republicans had elected one of their own.  Peter Montgomery in The American Prospect reports:

Not only is Trump a reckless and divisive president who shows contempt for anyone who crosses him and who has energized a white nationalist movement that could wreak havoc on American political and social culture for a long time to come—he’s also the best thing that’s ever happened to the religious right.

To be fair, there was a logical foundation for believing that Trump would be less of a culture warrior than a president who is a conservative evangelical. Pence has a long anti-choice and anti-LGBTQ record. And there is a basis for the argument that Trump is so incompetent that a Mike Pence or a Ted Cruz might have been more successful dealing with Congress.

But it is hard to imagine the religious right doing any better under a President Pence or President Cruz than they are with President Trump. But because the president is the crass, amoral, prideful, and dishonest huckster Trump, rather than a faith-on-their-sleeve true believer like Pence or Cruz, the religious right has been able to have to wield an outsized influence on national policy while avoiding the kind of scrutiny that would come if they were working with one of their own in the White House.

When they think “one of their own,” they’re not thinking about someone who shares their religious convictions; they’re thinking about someone who knows how to run a good con and pluck the pigeons.  Religious hucksters like Jerry Falwell, Jr. and Jim Bakker see in Trump a fellow con artist and one they admire because he was able to pull off his swindle without having to hide behind a veil of piety and false prophecy.  He was even able to get away without paying taxes, the same as they do, but without having to come up with the religious angle.

Sometimes it’s hard to figure out who’s using religion more cynically, Trump or his right-wing religious boosters. Trump’s evangelical advisers have been sticking with him even as corporate CEOs started walking away after Trump gave political cover to white nationalists. As long as President Trump is giving them what they want, the religious right continues to explain away his dishonesty, cruelty, and recklessness, and even portrays his political opponents as enemies of God. “Values voters,” indeed.

The most maddening thing about this collection of god-botherers and pompous, arrogant, and cynical fraudsters is that when the walls come a-tumbling down around Trump and his gang, they’ll all walk away without a scratch, claiming they were doing God’s work to try to rescue the country through any means possible and that human failings are just another challenge for the faithful.  And they’ll raise a ton of money off of it.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

A Drowning A Long Time Coming

Charles P. Pierce on the ecological disaster that was waiting to happen long before Hurricane Harvey.

The effects of climate change are just an exacerbating bonus. It is now apparent that the city of Houston has managed itself in a way that was not dissimilar to the Monty Python sketch about the apartment building constructed through hypnosis. Stop believing in it, and it all falls to pieces.

The spell, of course, in this case, was cast 30 years ago, when it became political death to increase anybody’s taxes who had any political influence at all. It was cast 30 years ago, when conservative movement politics pitched deregulation as a panacea. It was cast 30 years ago when the fiction of a “business-friendly” environment overcame Republican governors, and more than a few Democrats as well. It was cast 30 years ago when conservative movement politics declared that important decisions on things like the environment and public health were better left to the states, despite the fact that many states, like Texas, were unable or unwilling to pay to do these jobs properly. It was cast 30 years ago when conservative movement politics consciously moved away from empirical research and science, beginning the long march that has ended with a Republican party committed root and branch to all of these fanciful propositions, and to climate denial. It has filtered down through all the levels of politics, from the White House and the Congress, to the state houses and the local zoning boards.

Once, long ago, the conservative activist Grover Norquist famously said that he wanted to shrink “government” to a size at which it could be drowned in the bathtub. Well, people actually are drowning in Houston now, and so is the political philosophy that reached its height when Ronald Reagan said in his first inaugural that government wasn’t the solution, but the problem itself. We all moved onto a political flood plain then, and we’re being swept away.

This is what is known as the universal truth best summed up as “karma is a bitch.”

Walling Off Reality

From the AP:

Trump is promising billions to help Texas rebuild from Hurricane Harvey, but his Republican allies in the House are looking at cutting almost $1 billion from disaster accounts to help finance the president’s border wall.

The pending reduction to the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s disaster relief account is part of a spending bill that the House is scheduled to consider next week when Congress returns from its August recess. The $876 million cut, part of the 1,305-page measure’s homeland security section, pays for roughly half the cost of Trump’s down payment on a U.S.-Mexico border wall.

It seems sure that GOP leaders will move to reverse the disaster aid cut next week. The optics are politically bad and there’s only $2.3 billion remaining in disaster coffers.

“The optics are politically bad”?  How about delusional.  Taking money from a real disaster to build some fantasy wall is nutty.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Pretty Much Says It All

Via the San Diego Tribune:

Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) on Friday gave President Donald Trump a double-edged, profane compliment.

As quoted by the San Diego Union-Tribune, Hunter said at a Riverside County Young Republicans meeting that Trump is “just like he is on TV.”

“He’s an asshole, but he’s our asshole,” Hunter said.

Another attendee, Whitney Walsh, told the San Diego Union-Tribune that the crowd was more than onboard with Hunter’s assessment.

“Very much,” she said. “They were fine with that answer.”

That’s the difference between Republicans and the rest of us: they would align themselves with the worst and most venial if they thought they could advance their agenda and make money at it.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Had It With You

Charles P. Pierce is done with Trump supporters.

A guy basically went mad, right there on the stage in front of you, and you cheered and booed right on cue because you’re sheep and because he directed his insanity at all the scapegoats that your favorite radio and TV personalities have been creating for you over the past three decades. Especially, I guess, people like me who practice the craft of journalism in a country that honors that craft in its most essential founding documents. The President of the United States came right up to the edge of inciting you to riot and you rode along with him. You’re on his team, by god.

Are you good people? I keep hearing that you are, but let’s go back to Tuesday night’s transcripts and see what we find.

One vote away. One vote away. We were one vote away. Think of it, seven years the Republicans — and again, you have some great senators, but we were one vote away from repealing it.

(CROWD CHANTING)

But, you know, they all said, Mr. President, your speech was so good last night, please, please, Mr. President don’t mention any names. So I won’t. I won’t. No I won’t vote — one vote away, I will not mention any names. Very presidential, isn’t’ it? Very presidential. And nobody wants me to talk about your other senator, who’s weak on borders, weak on crime, so I won’t talk about him.

Right there, in the passive-aggressive fashion of the true moral coward, he made a bobo out of a former POW who currently is undergoing treatment for what is likely a terminal brain cancer. And you chanted and cheered. Do good people chant and cheer a rhetorical assault on a dying man of respect and honor?

I have no more patience, and I had very little to start with. I don’t care why you’re anxious. I don’t care for anybody’s interpretation of why you voted for this abomination of a politician, and why you cheer him now, because any explanation not rooted in the nastier bits of basic human spleen is worthless. I don’t want any politicians who seek to appeal to the more benign manifestations of your condition because there’s no way to separate those from all the rest of the hate and fear and stupidity. (And, for my colleagues in the Vance-Arnade-Zito school of Trump Whispering, here’s a hint: They hate you, too.) I don’t care why you sat out in a roasting pan since 5 a.m. Tuesday morning to whistle and cheer and stomp your feet for a scared, dangerous little man who tells you that your every bloody fantasy about your enemies is the height of patriotism. You are now the declared adversaries of what I do for a living, and your idol is a danger to the country and so are you. Own it. Deal with it. And, for the love of god, and for the sake of the rest of us who live in this country, do better at being citizens.

I get it why people are sticking with Trump.  For whatever reason, be it racist backlash against Barack Obama and his genteel and maddening way he put up with the vulgarities, never letting them get his goat, or the misogynistic madness against Hillary Clinton, or whether they truly fell for the balls, bullshit, and poppycock that Trump sold them on in the same way a late-night infomercial sells boner pills and teddy bears, and now they’re damned and ashamed to admit that they were snookered.  Or they’re genuine racists and sexists and have as low opinion of the rest of the country as Trump does; they’re even envious of his ability to acquire wealth, wives, and stiff hair.  But the show’s over, folks; not only has Elvis left the building, he keyed your cars on the way out.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Crazy From The Heat

Trump went to Phoenix in August where a cool day is when it’s not over 100F and delivered a stream-of-conscious rant about everything from the economy to how to wrap a bear for mailing (okay, I made up the part about the bear but it wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility).

Josh Marshall summed it up.

There were a lot of random weird asides through the speech, some of which I flagged in real time. One example: In the course of defending himself on Charlottesville he gave a shout-out to CNN Trump supporter Jeffrey Lord who was recently fired for using a Nazi slogan in a Twitter fight. He had kinder and lengthier words for Lord than he did for Heather Heyer. He had kinder words for Kim Jung Un. Everyone said “you won’t bring [quarterly economic growth] up to 1%.” What?

Aside from the rambling weirdness, the big things are these. President Trump spent something like forty-five minutes in a wide-ranging primal scream about Charlottesville, ranting at the press, giving what might generously be called a deeply misleading and dishonest summary of what he actually said. It all amounted to one big attack on the press for supposedly lying about him.

There were some other points that were momentary and perhaps easy to miss but quite important.

1. Trump essentially promised he would pardon Sheriff Joe Arpaio, a major sop to the anti-immigrant, white nationalist base.

2. Trump suggested he would probably end up withdrawing from NAFTA because negotiations will fail. That statement will have major repercussions.

3. Trump threatened to shut down the government to force Congress’s hand on getting his border wall.

4. While grandiosely not mentioning the names of Jeff Flake or John McCain, he nonetheless went after them and made his opposition to both quite clear. Presidents don’t generally attack members of their own party going into a midterm elections.

In other words, just another Trump speech full of sound and fury and Nuremberg-like exhortations to the minions.

By the way, Trump pardoning former Sheriff Joe Arpaio would be as much a slap in the face to the Latino community as a President George Wallace pardoning Bull Connor would have been to the African-Americans in Birmingham.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Mythed Again

No, General Pershing did not dip 50 bullets in pig’s blood and shoot 49 Muslims and let the 50th go to spread the word to his cohorts.  It’s one of those internet myths spread by the likes of your crazy uncle who also believes that jet contrails are evil and that they faked the moon landing.  But Trump keeps telling the story as if it was true.

It would be a lot better if he was the myth; the scary story we tell around the campfire or the internet meme we spread to warn the nation about what could happen if we let a dangerous egomaniac loose upon the land.

Short Takes

13 killed in van attack in Barcelona; police stop a second attack.

Trump defends Confederate statues.

Navy to discipline crew of destroyer damaged in collision with freighter.

White nationalists vow to return to Charlottesville.

South Korea says there will be no war with the North.

Tropical Update: TS Harvey is heading west across the Caribbean.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Okay, GOP, Now What?

Now that we have Trump basically siding with the racists, white supremacists, anti-Semites, and the rest of the raggle-taggle collection of knuckle-draggers who long for the days of really being losers at Appomattox and Berlin, what about the rest of the party he’s the titular head of?

So far no major party figure has stood next to him to support him, but neither have they stood up and called him out other than to make the easy call that Nazis are bad people.  As Charlie Pierce notes:

The problem is that the only way all that works is if Republican officeholders en masse run away from the man as fast as these CEOs have. So far, we haven’t seen anywhere near enough of them doing that. There is a lot of bold talk deploring white supremacy, and the Klan, and white supremacy. That and six bucks will get you a latte.

[…]

Say his goddamn name. Don’t tell me how much you deplore racism in the abstract. That does not make me feel good as a citizen. Tell me you deplore racism in the specific human being who’s now president* of the United States. For anyone whose moral compass still points true north, that’s the proper response. Otherwise, shut up.

There are a couple of reasons why the party leaders won’t call him out.  First, the obvious: they don’t want to be the subject of a 3 A.M. tweetstorm and lose their seat on the couch at “Fox and Friends.”  While being the target of Trump’s wrath isn’t the shaming that it used to be, it’s still something you’d rather not have to put up with on your Facebook page.

But the second reason is that the Republicans still think they can rescue themselves and maintain their majority in the House and Senate going into the 2018 midterms.  No, really; somewhere they’re gaming it out that if they make a token condemnation of Trump and move on to the issues they think really matter such as wiping the record clean of anything Barack Obama said or did and rigging the districts so that every last white Christian male has a two-to-one advantage over the majority of minorities, they’ll stay in office and that clown down the street in the White House will be the target, not them.

So the GOP will now go about its business of dismantling the last eighty-plus years of progress in providing for the general welfare of the people, disenfranchising all but the nice white landowners and as a bonus giving them even more tax loopholes to jump through, all the while letting their whirling dervish spin himself into oblivion and possibly taking the rest of us with him.  It shows a complete lack of moral character to do it, which is why it comes so easy to them.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Beyond The Tiki Torches

This is how they really show their dictatorial bent.

Web hosting provider DreamHost announced Monday that is is engaged in an ongoing legal battle with the United States Justice Department over its demand to see records of visitors to an anti-Trump website.

At the center of the conflict is disruptj20.org, a website run by a group of activists who were attempting to build “the framework needed for mass protests to shut down the inauguration of Donald Trump and planning widespread direct actions to make that happen.”

The U.S. Justice Department, currently headed by Attorney General Sessions, has demanded DreamHost—the company currently hosting disruptj20.org—to provide all information available about the website, it’s owner and its visitors.

On July 12, a search warrant was issued by the Superior Court of the District of Columbia that required DreamHost disclose a significant amount of information that would be stored on the company’s servers. The warrant included a request for all files associated with the site, email accounts the contents of those accounts associated with the site and contact and billing information of the person who registered the site.

The warrant also demanded DreamHost disclose any information it had about people who simply visited the website. The Justice Department asked for the IP addresses of visitors, which would generally provides information about a visitor’s location and other potentially identifiable information, as well as contact information of people who used the site.

DreamHost was required to comply with the search warrant within 10 days of it being issued but has been fighting the broad demands the Justice Department has made. The company filed an opposition motion in response to the warrant, objecting to its requests.

“In essence, the Search Warrant not only aims to identify the political dissidents of the current administration, but attempts to identify and understand what content each of these dissidents viewed on the website,” the company said in a legal filing.

As anyone who has watched re-runs of “Law & Order” will tell you — not to mention anyone who paid attention in high school civics — you need probable cause to obtain a search warrant.  In other words, compelling evidence of a crime will be obtained by violating someone’s privacy and digging through their personal effects.

The Justice Department is going to have to explain exactly what crime they thought was being committed through this website other than being mean to Trump.

Marching and chanting Nazi slogans is one thing.  Trashing the Fourth and Fifth Amendments is something else entirely.

Off The Rails

When I got home last night, Bob called and asked me if I’d seen Trump’s press conference.  No, I was driving home, but I heard the BBC News relay the story of a “bad-tempered press conference” and their network’s analyst say about Trump’s comments about the inflammatory situation in Charlottesville: “He poured kerosene on the fire and danced around it.”  (Leave it to the BBC to be both serious and seriously droll.)

I did get to see the press conference in full thanks to MSNBC re-running it.  Stunned, yes.  Surprised, not at all.  After watching Monday’s hostage video, I could tell that this was what was really in him and all it took was a question from a reporter at a photo op about infrastructure to blow the lid off.

If you didn’t know that this was what truly is what he is, then let me say welcome back from the Delta Quadrant; there’s a lot that’s been going on while you’ve been away.  We’ve got a Nazi sympathizer in the White House.  And I don’t mean a guy who secretly sneaks a peek at “Triumph of the Will” or has a collection of back-issues of Völkischer Beobachter.  I’m talking about a person who thinks there were “nice people” marching with tiki torches to rally to chants of “Blood and Soil,” a popular tune from the heady days of Nuremberg in 1938.  His attempt to equate both sides and blame them equally is roughly equivalent to saying the Americans were the aggressors when they came ashore on D-Day.  And his contempt for both the truth and the people who believe in reality is just the cherry on top of the nutbar sundae.

Charlie, over to you.

All the hinges are gone now. The rails are far behind. The trolley is missing and presumed lost. The president* came down to the lobby of his Manhattan tower, ostensibly to sign an executive order on “infrastructure.” He then took questions and we all went on a magic carpet ride through what he really thinks about the events in Charlottesville last weekend. For three days, whatever sensible people remain at Camp Runamuck have been trying to find some way to run damage control on the president*’s initial, ridiculous non-response to those events, whereupon, on Tuesday, the president* stepped up to the mic and blew all that work into tiny bits. Quite simply, the only president* we have lost his shit so badly on live TV that he’ll never be able to find it again.

It’s been said so many times it’s become like a subliminal hum from under the house: this has got to be the last straw.  It was said after his insult of John McCain as a POW; it was said after he went after the Khans at the Democratic Convention; it was said after the pussy-grabbing tape; it was said after the Russian connection blew open; it was said after he fired James Comey, and on and on.  But when he normalized Nazis rioting on the streets of America, this may be the time the wheels really ran off the rails.  One could only hope, because how much worse could it get?  Do you really want to find out?

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Too Little, Too Late

Trump finally said something.

“Racism is evil, and those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists,and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans,” Trump said in unscheduled remarks at the White House, where he arrived Monday on a day trip as part of his two-week “working vacation.”

He said “anyone who acted criminally in this weekend’s racist violence” would be “held fully accountable.”

Well, whaddayaknow, racism is evil.  Who knew?  I’m so glad he cleared that up.

Watching the video, I’ve seen that same look on the face of hostages reading the propaganda of their captors, except they’re far more convincing.  (Funny Or Die’s take is here.)

Later he complained that the “fake media” wasn’t satisfied with his too-little-too-late statement of the glaringly obvious.  “Truly bad people!”  Which apparently means that his statement was bogus in the first place and he was pissed that everybody watching it knew it and called him out on it.

Monday, August 14, 2017

This Is Us

Trying to make sense of what happened in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Saturday is a fool’s errand because things like that don’t — or shouldn’t — make sense in the true meaning of the term.  The people who organized the march to “unite the right” knew they would provoke a strong reaction from other people; they were counting on it.  And they got it, and I’m probably not alone in thinking that the bloodier it got, the more they liked it.

The organizers called it a march to “Unite the Right,” but it’s not as if the right really wants to “unite.”  The right-wing Establishment controls all three branches of the federal government, but to the folks who paraded through the streets with Nazi and Confederate flag, they don’t think of themselves as the same kind of right wingers that have been elected to Congress and state houses.  The marchers consider the Establishment to be weak and ineffective, and the fact that Nazis and Confederates felt compelled to come up with this demonstration, aside from provoking the outrage, was to register their opinion that the Republicans who dog-whistled and winked and nudged their way into office by exploiting the far-right base have not delivered what the Nazis and gun nuts demanded.  They want to see the immigrants loaded onto boxcars, they want to see the gays and lesbians marginalized and Muslims terrorized; they want to see whatever it is they think will make America great again, and if it takes killing a few freaks and coloreds to do it, well, that’s how they do it.  The Establishment wants basically the same thing but without the violence and echoes of Nuremberg.

Despite a tweet or two to the contrary, the far right was probably just as disappointed in Trump’s limp statement of condemnation as the rest of us were.  They expected him to stand up for them — after all, what about all those rallies where he said he would? — and now he comes out with this P.C. line about “many sides”?  To them, a true patriot would have stood with them and given them the “fire and fury” support that they saw in the campaign.  This is the one who said to “knock the crap out of them,” and cheered when demonstrators got roughed up.  Where is he now? they wonder.

The shock and the horror will fade, but now comes the reckoning.  There will be investigations, there will be the funerals, there will be the TV interviews with the neighbors, and the delving into what drove the kid from Maumee, Ohio, to step on the gas.  But if past is any guide, it will be the same kind of short-term navel-gazing until the next distraction comes along, the same way we deal with mass shootings and similar fits of madness.

It’s common practice for pundits and TV shrinks to say things like “we are all to blame” for whatever is the incident of the moment, whether its a mass shooting or a bridge collapse.  It’s an easy way to get out of offending anyone and letting us move on.  But in this case, that’s not the case.

Every person who voted for Trump owns this.  It doesn’t matter why; whether they hated Hillary Clinton and her e-mails or her laugh or her wardrobe collection; whether they were an aggrieved white person who had harbored resentment against Barack Obama for being the first black president and who was able to pull off two terms without so much as a whisper of scandal and thereby disproving all of their crackpot theories about the inferiority of the African-American race; or if they just voted for Trump because that’s the way to show the rest of America that they too think the way to run the country is through tantrums and bullying.  In the end it doesn’t matter why; they just did.  And now they see what they have wrought.

We heard a lot of Republican elected officials express outrage and put forth a lot of “thoughts and prayers” for the victims, and they felt safe joining the chorus who said Trump’s Saturday statement was less than enough.  But they have been enabling him since the election — some of them long before — and now they’re shocked and saddened as if this was completely unexpected.  All that proves is that they are either too stupid to recognize what was going on or they were willfully ignorant of the shouts and banners that came along with the marchers who goose-stepped through Charlottesville.  They have been to these rallies before.  They have heard the chants.  They were there.  They did nothing.  Now they have to answer for it.

So what do we do?  First, we do not accept that there are two sides to this.  In their worst day of whatever demonstrations the left has held in the last forty years, they never came close to the vitriol and aggravated hatred that has been seen at the average Trump rally, let alone last weekend.  There is simply no comparison, and anyone who says there is is full of shit.  Second, we must stand up to this kind of bullying and hatred and not allow it to be bellowed unanswered.  There must be a firm stand against this kind of hatred and bigotry.  That they have the right to say it is not in dispute.  But that doesn’t give them the license to go unanswered or not be held responsible for the consequences.  If people get fired from their jobs for spouting hate, that’s not a violation of the First Amendment; it’s an enforcement of a code of civil and responsible behavior as a citizen.

Most importantly, we need to recognize that this is who we are.  There are people in this country who would do it harm by trying to remake it in a perverted interpretation of laws and genetics.  It’s not a matter of “both sides are equally responsible.”  It’s a matter of seeing those among us whose values and objectives are dangerous to the country we have become over the last 240 years and who believe the only way to get it to where they want it is through violence and tyranny.  There are more of us who believe in stable government, the rule of law, equality for all, and peace in our streets than those who don’t.  It is well beyond the time to stand up.  That is what we do.