Trump Praises ‘Very Good People’ at Nazi Rally

The president's begrudging condemnation of evil didn't last long.

nazis-with-guns

President Trump’s initial instinct after this weekend’s violence in Charlottesville was to blame “both sides.” After two days of public outcry, he finally put out a message Monday condemning Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan. Tuesday, he was back to moral equivalence.

Glenn Thrush and Maggie Haberman for the NYT (“Trump Gives White Supremacists an Unequivocal Boost“):

President Trump buoyed the white nationalist movement on Tuesday as no president has done in generations — equating activists protesting racism with the neo-Nazis and white supremacists who rampaged in Charlottesville, Va., over the weekend.

Never has he gone as far in defending their actions as he did during a wild, street-corner shouting match of a news conference in the gilded lobby of Trump Tower, angrily asserting that so-called alt-left activists were just as responsible for the bloody confrontation as marchers brandishing swastikas, Confederate battle flags, anti-Semitic banners and “Trump/Pence” signs.

“Thank you President Trump for your honesty & courage to tell the truth,” David Duke, a former Ku Klux Klan leader, wrote in a Twitter post shortly after Mr. Trump spoke.

Richard B. Spencer, a white nationalist leader who participated in the weekend’s demonstrations and vowed to flood Charlottesville with similar protests in the coming weeks, was equally encouraged. “Trump’s statement was fair and down to earth,” Mr. Spencer tweeted.

[…]

No word in the Trump lexicon is as tread-worn as “unprecedented.” But members of the president’s staff, stunned and disheartened, said they never expected to hear such a voluble articulation of opinions that the president had long expressed in private. The National Economic Council chairman, Gary D. Cohn, and the Treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, who are Jewish, stood by uncomfortably as the president exacerbated a controversy that has once again engulfed a White House in disarray.

“I’ve condemned neo-Nazis,” Mr. Trump told reporters, who interrupted him repeatedly when he seemed to equate the actions of protesters on each side.

He spoke of “very fine people on both sides.” And of the demonstrators who rallied on Friday night, some chanting racist and anti-Semitic slogans, he said, “You had a lot of people in that group that were there to innocently protest and very legally protest.”

Since the 1960s, Republican politicians have made muscular appeals to white voters, especially those in the South, on broad cultural grounds. But as a rule, they have taken a hard line on the party’s racist, nativist and anti-Semitic fringe. Presidents Ronald Reagan, George Bush and George W. Bush roundly condemned white supremacists.

In 1991, President George Bush took on Mr. Duke, who was then seeking the governor’s seat in Louisiana, saying, “When someone has so recently endorsed Nazism, it is inconceivable that someone can reasonably aspire to a leadership role in a free society.”

But Mr. Trump, who has repeatedly said he is not prejudiced, has been equivocal in his public or private statements against white nationalists and other racist organizations.

[…]

By Tuesday afternoon, Mr. Trump’s staff sensed the culmination of a familiar cycle: The president was about to revert to his initial, more defiant stance. As Mr. Trump approached the microphone in the lobby of Trump Tower on Tuesday, aides winced at the prospect of an unmediated president. With good reason.

“Alt-left” groups were also “very, very violent,” Mr. Trump said early in his exchange with reporters.

He went on to assign “blame on both sides” — echoing his comments on Saturday, and reigniting a fight that has sunk staff morale after a brief bump in enthusiasm that followed the hiring of Mr. Kelly, who was to impose discipline on a chaotic West Wing.

The WaPo editorial board (“The nation can only weep“):

TUESDAY WAS a great day for David Duke and racists everywhere. The president of the United States all but declared that he has their backs.

When a white supremacist stands accused of running his car into a crowd of protesters, killing one and injuring 19, Americans of goodwill mourn and demand justice. When this is done in the context of a rally where swastikas are borne and racist and anti-Semitic epithets hurled, the only morally justifiable reaction is disgust. When the nation’s leader does not understand this, the nation can only weep.

On Saturday, after the murder of an innocent protester in Charlottesville followed marches that included armed men and Nazi salutes, President Trump’s instinct was to blame both sides. Widespread criticism followed, including the resignations of business leaders from a White House advisory council and condemnation from political leaders of both parties. On Monday, Mr. Trump read a prepared statement condemning white supremacists and racism, delivering it in a manner suggesting he neither wrote nor endorsed the words. On Tuesday, he removed any doubt: His initial reaction, putting Nazis and those protesting them on equal moral footing, is how he really feels.

“I think there’s blame on both sides. You look at — you look at both sides,” Mr. Trump said to reporters in Trump Tower, adding that there were “very fine people, on both sides.” We’ve all seen the videotape: One side was composed of Nazis, Klansmen and other avowed racists chanting “Jews will not replace us.” The other side was objecting to their racism.

Yes, there are good and moral Americans who oppose the removal of statues of Confederate generals. Yes, there are reasonable Americans who fear that slaveholding Founding Fathers will be the next target. Notwithstanding Mr. Trump’s comments Tuesday, we don’t find it difficult to distinguish between a monument to George Washington, say, and statues to Confederate generals that were erected in the 20th century with the goal of maintaining white supremacy.

There may be a time to debate such questions — but not, as any national leader with a sense of decency would understand, now. Not in a time of mourning, with the wounds so fresh. Not when Mr. Trump has not even bothered to call the family of Heather Heyer, the young woman mowed down on Saturday. Not when Americans are looking for a clear and unequivocal condemnation of the hatred that brought those 700 marchers to Charlottesville.

That car in Charlottesville did not kill or wound just the 20 bodies it struck. It damaged the nation. Mr. Trump not only failed to help the country heal; he made the wound wider and deeper.

The real-time reaction of those watching, even on Fox News, was stunned disbelief.

“What I just saw gave me the wrong kind of chills,” a visibly stunned Chuck Todd said on MSNBC. “Honestly, I’m a bit shaken by what I just heard.”

Unable to disguise her disgust, the Fox News host Kat Timpf said: “I’m still in the phase where I’m wondering if it was actually real life. I have too much eye makeup on to start crying right now.”

And on CNN, as the network cut away from President Trump’s extraordinary 23-minute news conference at Trump Tower, the anchor Jake Tapper could not contain his astonishment.

“Wow,” he said. “That was something else.”

For a few visceral minutes on Tuesday, television’s partisan lines dissolved as dumbfounded anchors reacted on-air — some in clearly personal ways — to Mr. Trump’s fiery remarks, in which he seemed to cast equal blame on white supremacists and the demonstrators who marched against them during the weekend’s deadly clash in Charlottesville, Va.

On Fox News, normally a redoubt of Trump support, the 5 p.m. co-hosts of “The Specialists” shook their heads, with the anchor Guy Benson saying that Mr. Trump “lost me” when he insisted that some “very fine people” participated in the white supremacist rally.

“They were chanting things like, ‘Jews will not replace us,'” Mr. Benson said. “There’s nothing good about that.”

His co-host, Ms. Timpf, a libertarian pundit who contributes to National Review Online, exhaled deeply. “It was one of the biggest messes that I’ve ever seen,” she said. “I can’t believe it happened.”

Disbelief also dominated the early reaction on MSNBC and CNN, where Mr. Tapper ended his afternoon show by directly addressing viewers.

“To anybody out there watching today who is confused and thinks, ‘I thought that the Klan and neo-Nazis and white supremacists, I thought there was no debate about this thing among civilized people’ — there isn’t a debate about it,” he said.

National Review‘s David French agreed:

Let’s be very clear about what just happened at Donald Trump’s press conference. He gave the alt-right its greatest national media moment ever. He even called some of them “very fine people.”

[…]

To understand the significance of Trump’s words, you have to understand a bit about the alt-right. While its members certainly march with Nazis and make common cause with neo-Confederates, it views itself as something different. They’re the “intellectual” adherents to white identity politics. They believe their movement is substantially different and more serious than the Klansmen of days past. When Trump carves them away from the Nazis and distinguishes them from the neo-Confederates, he’s doing exactly what they want. He’s making them respectable. He’s making them different.

But “very fine people” don’t march with tiki torches chanting “blood and soil” or “Jews will not replace us.” The Charlottesville rally was a specific “unite the right” rally that sought to bind the alt-right together with all these other groups. The alt-right wants it both ways. They want the strength in numbers of the larger fascist right while also enjoying the credibility granted them by Breitbart, Steve Bannon, Milo, and — today — the president of the United States.

The most pernicious forms of evil always mix truth and lies. So, yes, there were kernels of truth in some of Trump’s statements. No question there were hateful, violent leftists in Charlottesville this weekend. And on the question of monuments, Trump is right to point out the lack of a limiting principle. We already know that some on the Left have their eyes set on demolishing or removing monuments and memorials that have nothing to do with the Confederacy, but all that pales in importance compared to his stubborn and angry attempts not just at moral equivalence (after all, no one on the Left committed murder this weekend) but at actually whitewashing evil.

Alas, at least one conservative commentator thought otherwise:

Charles Krauthammer and Laura Ingraham exchanged opposing views over President Trump’s Q&A about the violence in Charlottesville, Va.

Ingraham said Trump would have been better served Tuesday to continue talking about infrastructure and not allow the press to “trap” him into talking about the unrest.

“To critique what he did today on the grounds that it distracts from the agenda… is a cop out,” Krauthammer said of Ingraham’s position.

“What Trump did today was a moral disgrace,” Krauthammer said. “He reverted back to Saturday.”

One hopes that most Republican leaders will take the position of Krauthammer and French, not Ingraham. I fear otherwise.

UPDATE (08:43): Thus far, the Krauthammers seem to be winning:

— Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan: “We must be clear. White supremacy is repulsive. This bigotry is counter to all this country stands for. There can be no moral ambiguity.”

— Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona: “There’s no moral equivalency between racists & Americans standing up to defy hate & bigotry. The President of the United States should say so.”

— Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida: “Blaming ‘both sides’ for #Charlottesville?! No. Back to relativism when dealing with KKK, Nazi sympathizers, white supremacists? Just no.”

— Republican Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio: “We must speak out clearly against the hatred, racism and white supremacists who descended upon #Charlottesville.”

— Republican Sen. Jerry Moran of Kansas: “White supremacy, bigotry & racism have absolutely no place in our society & no one – especially POTUS – should ever tolerate it.”

Siding against the KKK and Nazis should be easy here. We’ll see if it goes beyond simply issuing one-off statements.

FILED UNDER: Race and Politics, US Politics
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. teve tory says:

    Those earpieces the Special Forces Cosplayers are wearing is a nice touch.

    Wonder what would happen if Black Lives Matter people started showing up in battle gear with loaded assault rifles.

  2. KM says:

    I don’t get why FOX was stunned – he was just repeating their talking points. After all, weren’t they complaining the “alt-left” was just as responsible not a day ago? Hell, it probably wasn’t even hours between the last “both sides do it” and “they didn’t have a permit and shouldn’t have been in the streets” commentary on air to that little impromptu dumpster fire.

    The difference was hearing their hateful justification come out of the mouth of the most powerful man in the county who looked like he acted believed their BS. He said little that wasn’t broadcast or put in writing by their ilk for the last few days. It was just terrifying AF to them to hear the President say it because it means sh^t just got real. Their alternate facts are now real facts to a man who controls the military and federal government. Nazis are no longer the ultimate evil for an American to combat but rather only as bad as theoretical rioters. It’s a slap in the fact to all the brave souls who spilled blood to keep that ideology from our shores.

    Hope you’re happy now, conservatives. You got what you wanted. The “alt-left” is now BAD, just as bad as Nazis. Congrats, you have your false moral equivalence and can yammer on about those terrible BLM /antifa / LBGThugs / WTFever with the blessings of the President. Meanwhile, actual Nazis are vandalizing children’s’ playgrounds, causing riots, leaving their hate scrawled all over and oh, yeah killing people all knowing the President won’t say boo. And they’re getting bolder. They’re your neighbors in your quiet little nice neighborhoods so you won’t escape all this. Sleep well – you gave Nazis a pass so you could bitch about liberals. You deserve everything karma will smack you with.

  3. CSK says:

    If you can stand to check out Lucianne.com, you’ll see that the Trumpkins thought Trump did a brilliant job at yesterday’s press conference. The press were howling jackals! He handled them beautifully! He spoke to truth to power!

    Oh, and…there are no Nazis and Klansmen in the alt right! It’s obviously a false flag operation funded by George Soros!

    Someone commented the other day that Trump’s unusually horrific conduct over the weekend would probably cause him to lose some of his supporters. On the basis of what I’ve just seen, they now adore him even more.

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Via mistermix at Balloon Juice: In Charlottesville, the Local Jewish Community Presses On

    On Saturday morning, I stood outside our synagogue with the armed security guard we hired after the police department refused to provide us with an officer during morning services. (Even the police department’s limited promise of an observer near our building was not kept — and note, we did not ask for protection of our property, only our people as they worshipped).

    Forty congregants were inside. Here’s what I witnessed during that time.

    For half an hour, three men dressed in fatigues and armed with semi-automatic rifles stood across the street from the temple. Had they tried to enter, I don’t know what I could have done to stop them, but I couldn’t take my eyes off them, either. Perhaps the presence of our armed guard deterred them. Perhaps their presence was just a coincidence, and I’m paranoid. I don’t know.

    Several times, parades of Nazis passed our building, shouting, “There’s the synagogue!” followed by chants of “Seig Heil” and other anti-Semitic language. Some carried flags with swastikas and other Nazi symbols.
    […]
    When services ended, my heart broke as I advised congregants that it would be safer to leave the temple through the back entrance rather than through the front, and to please go in groups.
    […]
    Soon, we learned that Nazi websites had posted a call to burn our synagogue. I sat with one of our rabbis and wondered whether we should go back to the temple to protect the building. What could I do if I were there? Fortunately, it was just talk – but we had already deemed such an attack within the realm of possibilities, taking the precautionary step of removing our Torahs, including a Holocaust scroll, from the premises.

    A Nazi by any other name is still a retched putrefying assault on the very essence of America.

  5. KM says:

    @CSK:

    Oh, and…there are no Nazis and Klansmen in the alt right! It’s obviously a false flag operation funded by George Soros!

    One of the richer neighborhoods around here just got their expensive new playground vandalized with swastikas as well as all the street signs (well, attempts at them. Turns out it’s a hard shape for idiots to draw). Most of the residents are shaken and think it was some libs trying to cause trouble. It’s a nice neighborhood! People like that don’t live here!! They really really *really* don’t want to admit one of those nice little white boys they live near would do this. Wait until the emboldened little bastards decide to try for more. Money doesn’t protect against hate.

  6. alanstorm says:

    So your argument is that all who oppose tearing down historical monuments are Nazis, and the horribly-misnamed “antifas”, who showed up spoiling for a fight, are blameless babes?

    Nice try.

    But really, the smug self-righteousness looks good on you.

  7. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    Our problem as a nation is that there are so many J-E-N-O-S’s and alanstorms in the world, people who cannot understand the difference between people who espouse bigotry and hatred, and those who protest against them.
    This false equivalency will be our undoing because so many are too stupid to know that they are not smart enough to understand the truth.
    Let me tell you this; “fine people”, as Dumb Don called them, do not chant

    “Jews will not replace us.”

    “Russia is our friend”

    “Blood and soil”

    And intelligent people understand the difference between Washington and Jefferson and Robert E. Lee…between the Revolution and the traitorous acts of the southern states who seceded solely to preserve the practice of keeping other humans in slavery.

  8. KM says:

    @alanstorm :

    So your argument is that all who oppose tearing down historical monuments are Nazis

    Considering they were visibly wearing swastikas and other Nazi imagery? YES. YES they are Nazis and #*^#%*%^ proud of it…. or are you arguing they are too stupid to recognize one of the most infamous symbols of history and thought it looked pretty on their fake shields?

    horribly-misnamed “antifas”, who showed up spoiling for a fight, are blameless babes?

    What exactly are they guilty of then? Show up to exercise their First Amendment rights? Daring to call a Nazi a Nazi? Supposedly coming armed when the other group was already armed with superior firepower first? Killing people?

    What exactly makes them just as bad as Nazis?

  9. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @alanstorm: You missed. Try again.

  10. James Pearce says:

    “Alt-left” groups were also “very, very violent,” Mr. Trump said early in his exchange with reporters.

    Someone got very, very violent with a bunch of Nazis? Who are these heroes? Can I shake their hands and tell them to keep it up?

    (I watched the Vice episode where the dumb neo-Nazi complained about getting maced. “This is the second time in two f’ing days,” he says. That’s the universe telling you to stop being an asshole, dummy.)

  11. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @KM: They still breath, don’t they?

  12. Mark Ivey says:

    German Justice Minister Heiko Maas on Wednesday condemned the current American President saying no one should play down anti-Semitism or neo-Nazi racism.

    Unbelievable, and yet here we are..

  13. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    @alanstorm:

    all who oppose tearing down historical monuments

    There were innocents simply protesting taking down a historical monument, like there were millions of illegal voters, and like Comb-over Don’s inauguration crowd was the largest ever.
    You dumb fvcks live in a fantasy world.
    So revel in the delusion that you belong to a superior race, bigot; history has shown what happens to people like you.
    I’ll revel in the fact that absent winning the lottery by happening to be born a white male in the US…and being handed the resulting white privilege…you’d likely be unable to get thru the day.

  14. Facebones says:

    @alanstorm: I could give you a reasoned, point by point discussion of how you are wrong, but it would be lost on someone determined to be obtuse.

    All you deserve is my middle finger

  15. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Daryl’s other brother Darryl: The history he defends is white washed. He fears it’s disappearance because reality will replace it, and Alan, the poor dear, can’t deal with reality.

  16. Hal_10000 says:

    As I said yesterday, there’s room to criticize antifa and other violent counter-protesters (who were a minority of the counter-protesters there). But you simply can’t draw a moral equivalence between people using violence to advance a supremacists agenda and people using violence to oppose it. And to describe Friday night as “peaceful” is insane.

    I suspect we had a few more Brownie moments yesterday. The loyalty of Trumpistas is not terribly surprising to me. Partisanship is a hard drug and the “he pisses off the other side” thing is a really satisfying fix. But he’s polling down into the thirties eight months into his Presidency, with a good economy and a news network running interference for him. Slowly, but surely, he’s destroying himself. It’s not going to happen overnight. But unless something drastic changes, he’ll be at Bush-in-2008 numbers by Christmas.

  17. MarkedMan says:

    I would like to believe that this would have some long term effect on the Republicans leadership, because we could really use sane and decent people leading both parties. But 53 years ago the Republicans made a very conscious and deliberate decision to welcome in the racists who were becoming disenchanted Democratic’s growing alliance with the civil rights movement. At the time the party leaders endorsing this “Southern Strategy” believed they could court these voters into the voting booth and then ignore them after. But other party leaders, notatably Republican Senator Jacob Javits, argued that once the corruption and hatred was taken into the Republican body, it would fester and grow and eventually consume the host.

    Today you have many Republicans who make peace with the racist core of their party, or pretend it isn’t there, but the reality is that the Republicans would not have an electable majority virtually anywhere if the racists stayed home. The party leadership knows these racists must be catered to, even if substantial numbers close their eyes to it because they couldn’t rationalize voting for these lowlifes and so must pretend they are just a minor group of hangers on.

  18. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Alan, the poor dear, can’t deal with reality.

    Supremecists sympathizers like alanstorm and J-E-N-O-S start with the myth that whites are somehow a superior race, and compound that idiocy by believing they have done anything to earn their place in it. Being born a white male in the US is a gift. The golden ticket. And these losers have been able to accomplish nothing with it.

  19. al-Alameda says:

    @alanstorm:

    So your argument is that all who oppose tearing down historical monuments are Nazis, and the horribly-misnamed “antifas”, who showed up spoiling for a fight, are blameless babes?
    Nice try.
    But really, the smug self-righteousness looks good on you.

    Why, yes, of course, there is no difference, morally and otherwise, between those who avidly promote and support White Supremacy, Neo-Nazism, White Nationalism, and monuments to those who supported the preservation of slavery and an institution, and those who strongly oppose it. The Doctrine of “Both Sides Do It” tells us this.

    Good luck with that moral relativism, unfortunately both you and the president wear it well.

  20. teve tory says:

    all who oppose tearing down historical monuments

    Kevin Drum:
    [graph showing these ‘historical monuments’ were mostly put up around 1890-1910, then again in the 1960’s and 70’s]

    This illustrates something that even a lot of liberals don’t always get. Most of these monuments were not erected after the Civil War. In fact, all the way to 1890 there were very few statues or monuments dedicated to Confederate leaders. Most of them were built much later. And since I’m not an academic, I feel comfortable squeezing this history into a very short, oversimplified summary:

    1861-1865: Civil War.

    1865-1875: Reconstruction Era.

    1875-1895: Reconstruction Era ends. Blacks are steadily disenfranchised, allowing Southern whites to enact Jim Crow laws. In 1896, Jim Crow is cemented into place when the Supreme Court rules it constitutional.

    1895-1915: With blacks disenfranchised and Jim Crow laws safely in place, Southern whites begin a campaign of terror against blacks. Lynchings skyrocket, the KKK becomes resurgent, and whites begin building Confederate statues and monuments in large numbers.

    1915-1955: Jim Crow reigns safely throughout the South.

    1955-1970: The Civil Rights era starts after the Supreme Court rules in Brown v. Board of Education that Jim Crow laws are unconstitutional. Southern whites mount massive and violent resistance, and start putting up Confederate monuments again.

    Yes, these monuments were put up to honor Confederate leaders. But the timing of the monument building makes it pretty clear what the real motivation was: to physically symbolize white terror against blacks. They were mostly built during times when Southern whites were engaged in vicious campaigns of subjugation against blacks, and during those campaigns the message sent by a statue of Robert E. Lee in front of a courthouse was loud and clear.

    No one should think that these statues were meant to be somber postbellum reminders of a brutal war. They were built much later, and most of them were explicitly created to accompany organized and violent efforts to subdue blacks and maintain white supremacy in the South. I wouldn’t be surprised if even a lot of Southerners don’t really understand this, but they should learn. There’s a reason blacks consider these statues to be symbols of bigotry and terror. It’s because they are.

    the real story behind all those confederate monuments

  21. teve tory says:

    MarkedMan says:
    Wednesday, August 16, 2017 at 10:05
    I would like to believe that this would have some long term effect on the Republicans leadership, because we could really use sane and decent people leading both parties. But 53 years ago the Republicans made a very conscious and deliberate decision to welcome in the racists who were becoming disenchanted Democratic’s growing alliance with the civil rights movement. At the time the party leaders endorsing this “Southern Strategy” believed they could court these voters into the voting booth and then ignore them after. But other party leaders, notatably Republican Senator Jacob Javits, argued that once the corruption and hatred was taken into the Republican body, it would fester and grow and eventually consume the host.

    At the time it was a good strategy, if you ignore the amorality. You want to stop government from taxing you and your rich buddies, but there aren’t many of you, so you find racist white idiots who hate the gummint cuz desegregation, you tell em you hate stupid ol Big Gummint too, states rights, job creators, stupid environmental regulations! they vote for you, you set the agenda and get your big tax cuts and debt and free pollution, the racists get virtually nothing but poorer schools, infrastructure and benefits, and health problems from the Coal Ash slurry pit in their backyard, and the national discussion is set by educated people at the networks and newspapers who prevent the racism from getting much oxygen, and bob’s your uncle.

    Then Limbaugh, Fox, and worst of all, The Internet come along, and educated people no longer control the discussion. All those cretinous racist shitheads you brought to your side now set the tone at Drudge, Breitbart, TownHall, NewsMax, Gateway Pundit, etc. Now they’re gonna organize and primary your stupid educated RINOs and install assclowns like Roy Moore and Louie Gohmert and James Inhofe.

    Then you yell OMG What Happened, Where did all these racists come from? This. Isn’t. Us!

  22. James Pearce says:

    @Facebones:

    All you deserve is my middle finger

    That’s it? We should be more generous.

    Don’t worry, alanstorm. From me, you’ll get a gallon of milk. When your hurt feelings over the loss of “historical” monuments get too much to bear, you can warm up a glass and drink it. (If you’re feeling particularly despondent., drink two.)

    And then you can use the rest to wash the mace out of your eyes.

    @Daryl’s other brother Darryl:

    Being born a white male in the US is a gift. The golden ticket.

    I really wish we’d knock this stuff off.

    I saw at that rally a bunch of young 20-something white dudes, who have been told all their lives that they won the lottery and are really really mad that they didn’t. They’re a bunch of losers with deeply unsatisfying personal lives. That should be obvious to any observer.

  23. grumpy realist says:

    @alanstorm: You can’t be that stupid to not see the fallacies in your argument, can you?

    (Checks alanstorm’s previous comments)

    Never mind…..

  24. KM says:

    @teve tory :

    Then you yell OMG What Happened, Where did all these racists come from? This. Isn’t. Us!

    As I mentioned above, a whole suburb full of millionaires is going through this right now. Their beautiful new playground is destroyed and countless street signs need to be replaced. We’re talking tens of thousands of dollars here, possibly more since the assessment isn’t done yet and they are constantly finding more. It’s costing them real money and respectability – the local arts & craft fair reported a record low attendance for opening day. Residents interviewed expressed uneasiness with going out at night or with their kids for fear of running into the “hoodlums” who did this. They don’t want anything like Charlottesville to happen here.

    But it can’t be a local. It had to have been somebody running around at night (that no one noticed and security cams didn’t see) that ruined their perfect little suburbia. Maybe someone who took a bus from the inner city?? One of those damn liberals. They’re good people so it has to be some kind of false flag thing like FOX mentioned, right? Antifa?? People trying to start trouble.

    And they’ll all be shocked, SHOCKED when it’s inevitably discovered to be some rich kid(s) getting their hate on. Because that’s who lives here – strangers get noticed pretty quickly. Daddy Warbucks raised a little Nazi and its going to be so embarrassed when his business suffers because of it.

  25. Kylopod says:

    Even before getting into the fact that he’s talking about Nazis, one thing that needs to be understood about Trump is that anytime he talks about “fine people” or “good people,” those words don’t have the same meaning as they would to a normal, civilized human being. He’s got such a warped value system that to him, a “good person” isn’t someone who’s kind-hearted, moral, compassionate, etc. (concepts completely alien to his experience), it’s someone who praises Donald Trump and makes Donald Trump feel good.

  26. grumpy realist says:

    @James Pearce: The loser white males have at least the same chances as anyone else in their position. Half of their problem is that it’s easier for them to marinate themselves in self-pity and blame everyone else rather than deal with their own lack of intelligence, abilities, drive, and self-discipline.

    If the hipster Nazis/White Identity actually were as fantastic as they so loudly proclaim they are, they wouldn’t be marching in torchlit parades. They’d be founding the next Facebook or Microsoft.

  27. CSK says:

    @Kylopod:

    …it’s someone who praises Donald Trump and makes Donald Trump feel good.

    This is my mantra. What do you want to bet he stages another rally for himself before the end of this month? As I said, he needs that love the way an addict needs narcotics.

  28. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    @James Pearce:

    I saw at that rally a bunch of young 20-something white dudes, who have been told all their lives that they won the lottery and are really really mad that they didn’t.

    They did win the lottery…tell a kid born in Ethiopia this morning that the kid born in Westchester County this morning didn’t win the lottery…but lottery winners blow their winnings everyday.
    When you are handed a gift you need to do something with it…not just wait for the next gift.

  29. KM says:

    @Daryl’s other brother Darryl:

    but lottery winners blow their winnings everyday.

    Ain’t that the truth? The days of just being to walk into a factory and make good money with no skillset are OVER. Welcome to the historical norm. People like them toiled in the dirt or factory floor till they died. These twenty-somethings expect the world their Boomer parents had but in reality are getting the world their great-grandparents had. They are disposable workers to the rich – unless they have something of value to contribute, their skin tone makes them no different then the other wage slaves.

    They won the lottery by being born into a country that marginally cares about its citizens that don’t succeed. They got the megaball by being high up in the hierarchy (just not as high as they’d like). Try living elsewhere in the world and we’ll talk how “cheated” you were, buddy.

  30. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    @James Pearce:

    I saw at that rally a bunch of young 20-something white dudes, who have been told all their lives that they won the lottery and are really really mad that they didn’t.

    I also have zero compassion for people who voted for a man that has absolutely no policies that will aid in their plight, other than making their hatred and bigotry normal.

  31. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    My math comes out a little different:

    5 on Krauthammer’s side

    287 Silent

    That’s not winning.

  32. James Joyner says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’nint cracker: I’m just quoting a single source report; my guess is that many more than five spoke out. But I take your point.

  33. James Pearce says:

    @Daryl’s other brother Darryl:

    tell a kid born in Ethiopia this morning that the kid born in Westchester County this morning didn’t win the lottery

    Not only will I tell the Ethiopian baby he didn’t lose the lottery, I’ll explain to him why outcomes in Westchester County are better. (Access to education, running water, nutritious food, representative gov’t etc) Not only that, but I’ll show him how he can duplicate Westchester County’s success by following “these simple steps.”

    But then again, I’m more of a liberal than a progressive.

  34. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    @James Pearce:
    That makes absolutely no sense.

  35. James Pearce says:

    @Daryl’s other brother Darryl:

    I also have zero compassion

    Whenever someone explains they have “zero compassion” for a different group of people, I’m always interested to hear the reasons.

    Just kidding. I’m not.

  36. KM says:

    @James Pearce :
    And by the time he’s old enough to understand what you’re telling him, the damage is done. That’s like telling a severely malnourished child a good diet later in life will correct all health problems and damage their early deprivation caused. A kid with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is done no favors by teaching him tee-totaling at age eighteen.

    I do get what you’re saying – the system they were born into failed them and needs to be corrected to prevent this from happening again. You are not understanding what we’re saying – those lucky enough to have been born into a working system should count their blessings instead of whining.

  37. grumpy realist says:

    @KM: Plus it looks like a lot of these hipster Nazis have marinated themselves in the self-pity baths provided by 4chan and other alt-right sites. “There there, it’s never your fault. All those mean feminazis who refuse to go out with wonderful you, no one appreciates your brilliance, no one rewards you….”

    ….when the fact is the individual is a person devoid of physical hygiene, spends all of his time playing videogames and then whines about the results. But that’s ok! Because he’s got white skin he’s supposed to deserve EVERYTHING!!!

  38. teve tory says:

    Not only will I tell the Ethiopian baby he didn’t lose the lottery, I’ll explain to him why outcomes in Westchester County are better. (Access to education, running water, nutritious food, representative gov’t etc) Not only that, but I’ll show him how he can duplicate Westchester County’s success by following “these simple steps.”

    Yeah, it’s really the ethiopian kid’s fault that he didn’t build his own roads, schools, drinking water, temperate farmland, etc. Little bastard’s just lazy.

    When you make good comments, James, I and others upvote you. But when the topic is race/privilege, you go Full Retard.

  39. MarkedMan says:

    It’s interesting to see who speaks out on the Republican side.

    The Alabamans running to fill Racist Jeff Sessions seat fell all over themselves to kiss Trump’s ass, but Alabama is a racist cesspool, so that is to be expected.

    A few Republicans could actually be in danger because of Trump’s remarks, such as the Rep from Florida with its large population of northeastern retirees, a surprising number of whom are Jewish. Trumps sweaty groping with the Nazis could hurt here there. So it makes sense that she dipped a toe into the “repudiate” camp.

    Ryan and McConnell have to tread very carefully. It goes without saying that they are not going to do the right thing simply because it is right. But in addition to their own seats, they actually have to worry about the Republican majority. A change in that would change their situation for the worse. So they kind of sorta dip their toe in repudiate, but don’t specifically mention Trump’s name. Walking the tight rope.

    Good for McCain, but there is virtually no chance he will run again. So his stance doesn’t cost him much. Still, good on ‘im.

    Does anyone know of any Republican leader who risks real backlash by repudiating Trump and has done so? I can think of Kasich, but that’s about it. I’m sure there are others, I’m just wondering how many there are.

    There used to be many, many principled Republican leaders, but ever since Reagan they have been driven out of the party one by one.

  40. James Pearce says:

    @KM:

    And by the time he’s old enough to understand what you’re telling him, the damage is done.

    Point is….other factors besides “white privilege” are responsible for the discrepancy between the Westchester baby and the Ethiopian one.

    @teve tory:

    Yeah, it’s really the ethiopian kid’s fault that he didn’t build his own roads, schools, drinking water, temperate farmland, etc.

    Again, if Baby Westchester is more privileged than Baby Ethiopia, it’s because of those factors. Race has very little to do with it.

    Also, I’m applying a liberalism that accepts no real difference between the races and contrasting that with a progressivism that takes for granted that white people, by definition, are privileged and black people, by definition, are oppressed.

    Hence the Westchester to Ethiopia comparison.

  41. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    @James Joyner: Don’t get me wrong, I’m willing to go as high as 10 or 15, too. Maybe even 20.

  42. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    @James Pearce: Be fair. What’s the likelihood that Ethiopia can duplicate Westchester or even acquire the resources to do so?

    I see your point, but the differences that would be James Pearce’s life in Westchester, Mississippi, Ethiopia, born black, born Native American are tangible and can’t be waved off with some “bootstraps sermon.”

  43. KM says:

    @James Pearce:

    Again, if Baby Westchester is more privileged than Baby Ethiopia, it’s because of those factors. Race has very little to do with it.

    Then WTF is the problem then? Why do white nationalists even exist? What’s Baby Westchester complaint if they have all these positive factors going for them even if race isn’t one of them? Why “blood and soil”? They clearly think white privilege exists – they just call it white power and want it back.

    You acknowledge that some privilege exists. Explain what these angry twenty-somethings are so bitchy about when they are clearly Westchester and not Ethiopia…. and why they keep bringing up race as a reason they think they’re getting screwed when they really, really, by pretty much every measure available, aren’t.

  44. gVOR08 says:

    @MarkedMan:

    Does anyone know of any Republican leader who risks real backlash by repudiating Trump and has done so? I can think of Kasich.

    Kasich is term limited. Looks like he’s planning another run for prez. His shtick will be playing the anti-Trump. So no. Not Profiles in Courage country.

    Back in ’93 Kasich said he’d “”have to become a Democrat” if the Clinton tax plan worked.” It did, he hasn’t. Think he learned anything from the experience?

  45. James Pearce says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’nint cracker:

    can’t be waved off with some “bootstraps sermon.”

    Well, it’s more of a “benefits of a liberal democracy” sermon than a “bootstraps” sermon. If I were born black, I’d prefer to have been born in Westchester County than in Ethiopia.

    @KM:

    Then WTF is the problem then?

    Aside from having white supremacists marching in the streets and killing people and a president winking and nodding at them….no problem at all apparently.

  46. DrDaveT says:

    @James Pearce:

    Point is….other factors besides “white privilege” are responsible for the discrepancy between the Westchester baby and the Ethiopian one.

    No. The point is that even if the Ethiopian were born next door to the Westchester white boy, she’s playing the game on “difficult” and the white boy is playing on “beginner”. Many of us are working to make that no longer true, but we’re a long way away still.

    Being given a huge head start and not having to wear the ankle weights doesn’t guarantee that you’ll win the race, but if you don’t you shouldn’t whine.

  47. de stijl says:

    @teve tory:

    New Black Panther Party folks carrying legal long arms and appropriately and legally obtained “shall issue” side-arms into a white-panic situation.

    The story then flips. It becomes unacceptable. Oddly, the NRA dissavows it’s previous position.

    The 2nd Amendment support can be leveraged.

    Google *Reagan Mulford Act* and why it happened.

  48. de stijl says:

    @James Pearce:

    “If I were born black….” Crikey Moses!

    @DrDaveT:

    You are not imagining it. He is being a massive douche. You are being polite, which is a good thing. Maybe not always, though. There are times to not be polite and that is the right thing to do.

  49. de stijl says:

    @DrDaveT:

    Scrappy McBootstraps born in Ethiopia are less scrappier and less boot-strappier than Westchester born folk.

    @James Pearce will deny that statement to his dying breath, but that is exactly what he means. Look at what his says and how he says it.

  50. James Pearce says:

    @DrDaveT:

    she’s playing the game on “difficult” and the white boy is playing on “beginner”

    Video game metaphors might work on the millenials, but life isn’t a game and there are no “difficulty” settings.

    @de stijl:

    Crikey Moses!

    Why is that so shocking? I mean, it’s nice there’s so much sympathy on the left in regards to race, but where is the empathy? Display one little bit of it and it’s Crikey Moses!

  51. KM says:

    @James Pearce :

    Video game metaphors might work on the millenials, but life isn’t a game and there are no “difficulty” settings.

    Yes there are. The whole Westchester/Ethiopia analogy this threads been riffing off was your explanation of why the difficulty settings for some weren’t race-based but due to other factors. The org article the video game metaphor came from even has a rebuttal for you:

    And maybe at this point you say, hey, I like a challenge, I want to change my difficulty setting! Well, here’s the thing: In The Real World, you don’t unlock any rewards or receive any benefit for playing on higher difficulty settings. The game is just harder, and potentially a lot less fun. And you say, okay, but what if I want to replay the game later on a higher difficulty setting, just to see what it’s like? Well, here’s the other thing about The Real World: You only get to play it once. So why make it more difficult than it has to be? Your goal is to win the game, not make it difficult.

    Oh, and one other thing. Remember when I said that you could choose your difficulty setting in The Real World? Well, I lied. In fact, the computer chooses the difficulty setting for you. You don’t get a choice; you just get what gets given to you at the start of the game, and then you have to deal with it.

    In reality, the difficulty setting is predetermined for you by your parents and all their baggage, economy, country, time, genetics and whole host of other things. You have no say in what happens to you until you are about a decade old at best. That’s why people are so offended whenever the boostraps things comes up. Yes, it is totally possible to make lemonade out of lemons…. but you kinda need the lemons and assorted materials to do that. Acknowledging that maybe, just maybe not having lemons means one can’t make lemonade and isn’t a lazy drinkless bum by default.

    These twenty-somethings who are marching with tiki torches? They have lemons, sugar, a jug and a place to set up a stand to sell their wares. However, they are pissed nobody’s buying their crappy lemonade and want the powdered or pre-mixed stuff so they can mark it up. Westchester is whining that their lemonade stand is only pulling in $100 a day – that’s not worth give up video game time for!!! Meanwhile, Ethiopia down the street has a slightly more bitter mix (no sugar) in slightly dodgy reused paper cups but is bringing in a brisk $50 a day because he’s out yelling down every car he can. He’s thrilled because he’ll finally be able to buy a TV in a year and see what all the fuss is about. Westchester sees Ethiopia outside the store and gets bitchy – why can the poor kid get a TV when he can barely afford to buy the new Xbox? Unfair! He needs to go as he’s cutting into Westchester’s profits! Don’t people know how hard it is to be Westchester – look at all the sales being stolen from him!!

  52. James Pearce says:

    @KM:

    the difficulty settings for some weren’t race-based but due to other factors

    One factor: Life isn’t fair or easy for anyone, black or white, African or American.

    Now we try and make it as fair as possible, but people have enough variance that life will always be unfair. This talented young guy everyone loves gets cancer. This awful person who hates everything lives into their 80s. One guy is born poor and dies rich. Another is born rich and dies poor.

    And frankly, I’m unpersuaded by this.

    These twenty-somethings who are marching with tiki torches? They have lemons, sugar, a jug and a place to set up a stand to sell their wares. However, they are pissed nobody’s buying their crappy lemonade

    They’re marching in the streets with tiki torches not because they’re privileged* but because, like most Americans these days, they reject pluralism. They don’t believe in equality and justice for all. They believe in equality and justice for their tribe and all the other tribes can go to hell.

    The one thing all Americans can agree on is that we’re all justified in saying “F that guy.” We just can’t agree on which guy.

    *Privileged people hide behind their walls; they don’t march on the streets.

  53. KM says:

    @James Pearce :

    *Privileged people hide behind their walls; they don’t march on the streets.

    No, *rich* people have walls. You are making the common conservative mistake of inflating *economic* privilege (which *nobody* denies exists) with *white* privilege. One is socially based and one is financially-based.. Granted, they do usually go together but it’s the source complaint of these Aloha Nazis. When they say nobody handed anything to them, they mean money and all the doors it opens. The thing is, they expected to have the combo not one or the other. As Chris Rock noted: “None of ya would change places with me! None of ya! And I’m rich! That’s how good it is to be white!”

    It’s soooo funny to listen to someone complain about how rich people aren’t treated the same as poor people, then turn right around and deny they are treated better then their black neighbors. Same behavior, different causative factor. They’ve got no problems with the concept in general but only when the factor is something they happen to possess. That’s why they are so furious they’re getting named, shamed and fired for this little stunt. The one privilege they do have isn’t protecting the one they want.

  54. James Pearce says:

    @KM:

    You are making the common conservative mistake of inflating *economic* privilege (which *nobody* denies exists) with *white* privilege.

    I am? Half the time what’s considered “white privilege” is, in fact, economic privilege.

    As in mistaking the economic privilege the Westchester baby enjoys over the Ethiopian baby as, dun nuh nuh, “white privilege.”

  55. Grewgills says:

    KM, you’re right and I’m glad you’re saying for the peanut gallery, but James Pearce will NEVER admit white privilege exists even if you get him to separately admit every single factor that creates white privilege. He is constitutionally incapable of it. The compartmentalization it requires is truly mind boggling.