Trump Resurrects ‘Both Sides Did It’ Excuse For Charlottesville Violence

President Trump once again revealed his true self at a press conference yesterday.

Trump Confederate Flag 2

For the third time since the protests in Charlottesville that led to the death of a young woman at the apparent hands of an Ohio man who came to participate in a rally by the so-called ‘alt-right,” President Trump spoke out again late yesterday about the violence and ended up making the situation far, far worse for him, his Administration, and the country:

WASHINGTON — President Trump reverted Tuesday to blaming both sides for the deadly violence in Charlottesville, Va., and at one point questioned whether the movement to pull down Confederate statues would lead to the desecration of memorials to George Washington.

Abandoning his precisely chosen and carefully delivered condemnations of the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazis from a day earlier, the president furiously stuck by his initial reaction to the unrest in Charlottesville. He drew the very moral equivalency for which a bipartisan chorus, and his own advisers, had already criticized him.

“I think there is blame on both sides,” the president said in a combative exchange with reporters at Trump Tower in Manhattan. “You had a group on one side that was bad. You had a group on the other side that was also very violent. Nobody wants to say that. I’ll say it right now.”

Mr. Trump defended those gathered in a Charlottesville park to protest the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee. “I’ve condemned neo-Nazis. I’ve condemned many different groups,” he said. “Not all of those people were neo-Nazis, believe me. Not all of those people were white supremacists by any stretch.”

He criticized “alt-left” groups that he claimed were “very, very violent” when they sought to confront the white nationalist and neo-Nazi groups that had gathered in Charlottesville.

“Many of those people were there to protest the taking down of the statue of Robert E. Lee,” Mr. Trump said. “So this week, it is Robert E. Lee. I noticed that Stonewall Jackson is coming down. I wonder, is it George Washington next week? And is it Thomas Jefferson the week after? You know, you really do have to ask yourself, where does it stop?”

It was a remarkable rejection of the criticism he confronted after waiting two days before naming the right-wing groups in the bloodshed that ended with the death of a young woman after a car crashed into a crowd of protesters.

Mr. Trump accused people he called the alt-left of “swinging clubs” as they “came charging at, as you say, at the alt-right.” He said some of the right-wing members of the crowd in the Virginia park were “bad.” But he added that the other side came “charging in without a permit and they were very, very violent.”

Aides had urged him for days to take the high ground, persuading him on Monday to read a brief statement condemning the neo-Nazi groups from the Diplomatic Room in the White House. But over the past day, back in his private New York residence for the first time since becoming president, Mr. Trump was alone, without his wife and young son, and consuming hours of television, with many on cable news telling him he had not done enough.

On Monday night, he was tweeting his frustration, accusing the “fake media” of never being satisfied. But by Tuesday morning, the president was fuming again. At a scheduled event about the permitting process for infrastructure, Mr. Trump asked for questions — contrary to the wishes of his aides, including John F. Kelly, his new chief of staff, who stood to the side, looking grim.

Venting, his face red as he personally executed the defense of his own actions that no one else would, Mr. Trump all but erased any good will he had earned Monday when he named racist groups and called them “repugnant to everything we hold dear.”

His largely unprovoked presidential rant on Tuesday instantly sparked an even more intense critique, especially from Republicans.

Speaker Paul D. Ryan called white supremacy “repulsive” and said “there can be no moral ambiguity.” Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Republican of Florida, tweeted: “Blaming ‘both sides’ for #Charlottesville?! No.” Senator Marco Rubio, Republican of Florida, said white nationalists in Charlottesville were ”100% to blame“ and wagged his finger at the president for suggesting otherwise.

“The #WhiteSupremacy groups will see being assigned only 50% of blame as a win,” Mr. Rubio said on Twitter moments after Mr. Trump’s remarks. “We can not allow this old evil to be resurrected.”

Senator Todd Young of Indiana, a freshman Republican, wrote: “This is simple: we must condemn and marginalize white supremacist groups, not encourage and embolden them.”

Even members of Mr. Trump’s own military appeared to take quick offense to their commander’s words. Hours after the president spoke, the Marine Corps commandant, General Robert B. Neller, wrote in a tweet that there is “no place for racial hatred or extremism in @USMC. Our core values of Honor, Courage, and Commitment frame the way Marines live and act.”

Mr. Trump delivered his remarks in the lobby of Trump Tower, where officials had spent much of the day trying to erase certain telltale signatures of the brand that would be caught on TV — most significantly, a blue curtain was placed over the Ivanka Trump display in the lobby.

If Mr. Trump was aware of the reaction that would ensue after his clearly improvised remarks, he appeared immune to the consequences of those words, which electrified the lobby of his signature office building. It was there in 2015 that he launched his presidential campaign with a furious assault on illegal immigrants and a declaration that Mexicans were “rapists” bringing crime into the United States.

Instead, the president seemed determined to convince any doubters that he did not misspeak in his first reaction to the events in Virginia on Saturday.

You can read the transcript of the press conference at this link, or watch the whole thing if you managed to miss yesterday afternoon’s train wreck:

The President’s remarks came at the conclusion of a press conference at Trump Tower that was supposed to be about infrastructure and efforts to streamline the permitting process for infrastructure process. Indeed, originally the President was not supposed to take questions at all. Instead, he was supposed to speak for a brief period of time and then turn over the event to Cabinet officials such as Labor Secretary Elaine Chao and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, who ended up standing uncomfortably behind him as he unloaded with his vitriol and didn’t end up saying anything publicly at all. Rather than following the playbook, though, Trump decided to open the event to questions, and he did so with the full knowledge that reporters were inevitably going to ask him about the events in Charlottesville, his initial response to those events, which were clearly weak and inadequate, and the stronger statement he made on Monday from the White House in what we can now clearly see was a statement that Trump only gave reluctantly.

As James Joyner notes in his post this morning, Trump’s tirade left news commentators stunned, even on the usually pro-Trump Fox News Channel, while prompting those on the so-called alt-right, including avowed Nazis and racists such as Richard Spencer and David Duke, to cheer the President on and to say that his latest words are little more than a full-throated endorsement of the message they sought to bring to Charlottesville over the weekend. What’s clear from what happened is that the initial reaction we saw from Trump is a far closer representation of what he actually believes, something that one can tell by the passion with which is quite visible in his facial expressions and body language as he makes the intellectually absurd argument that “both sides” are responsible for the violence in Charlottesville, especially when it’s clear from numerous reports, photographs, and videos, that the violence in question was initiated by the people who were there to protest the proposal to remove the statue of Robert E. Lee that they had gathered around. To say otherwise is to either willfully ignore the truth of what happened, which wouldn’t be a first for this President, or to condone that hatred. What the President actually intended with his words yesterday is something that only he knows in his heart, but one cannot deny the reality that the President of the United States stood up yesterday and defended the actions of white supremacists and Nazis. That’s both infuriating, especially for those of us who were warning people about what kind of man Trump was before he was even a candidate for President, and really quite sad.

FILED UNDER: Donald Trump, Politicians, Race and Politics, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook


  1. SenyorDave says:

    If there was ever a doubt that Trump identifies with white supremacists it is now gone. His past actions and present statements show his true feelings. If he were just an ordinary person he probably would be out there marching with nazis and the klan.

  2. CSK says:


    If he’d been born poor, or blue collar, he’d be marching with them. But you’ll never see the Donald Trump we know and loathe on the front line of any cause, even a repugnant one. He’s far too careful of his own skin.

    Trump has no cause but himself and the constant feeding of his own ego. The white supremacists, Nazis, and Klansmen love him. And he needs their adulation the way an addict needs narcotics.

  3. al-Alameda says:

    For the third time since the protests in Charlottesville that led to the death of a young woman at the apparent hands of an Ohio man who came to participate in a rally by the so-called ‘alt-right,” President Trump spoke out again late yesterday about the violence and ended up making the situation far, far worse for him, his Administration, and the country

    ‘Both sides do it’ may be literally true, however, in this case, it is morally bankrupt.
    For Trump to circle back on his insincere and forced comments from the day before and reassert that there is no difference between those avidly oppose White Supremacy and Neo-Nazi-ism and those who strongly advocate all of that and White Nationalism is simply breathtaking.

    I’m not sure if this is what he actually believes, or if this is his way of saying to those 38% or so who support him no matter what, ‘I hear you, I’m with you.’

    All I can say is, Robert Mueller, keep on doing what you’re doing.
    Your country is counting on you.

  4. CSK says:


    I think he’s saying “I hear you; I’m with you.” Certainly that’s what the Nazis et al believe.

    I also think Bannon may have convinced him that the active Nazis and white supremacists exist in far greater numbers than they actually do, and their support is what will keep Trump in office.

  5. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    I hate to do this, Doug, as your commentary of late has been spot-on.
    But condemning “both sides do it”?
    Pot, meet kettle.
    Now, of course, I realize this is far different.
    But the craven cynicism of “both sides do it” and “he said, she said” journalism has, in part, led to a POTUS who is free to give safe harbor to Nazi’s.
    Because “both sides do it”.

  6. grumpy realist says:

    @CSK: Hipster Nazis……

    Punks, half of whom are doing it “for the lulz” and who are going to whine like crazy when they get identified from pictures taken and discover “neo-Nazi” isn’t something you want on your resume when looking for work. And with the internet, that picture of them gleefully marching in a torchlit parade with Nazi ensigna is going to be around FOREVER.

    Antifa isn’t the way to fight these little twits. It’s overkill and unnecessary. Identify the twits (you know they still think that this is all just online trolling because they’re whining about being “doxxed”), and tag these little idiots with their stupidity forever.

  7. CSK says:

    @grumpy realist:

    In effect, what they’ve done is make of themselves a new dependent class. When they can’t get work–and a considerable number of them look sufficiently old and able-bodied that they ought to be holding jobs rather than prancing around in their Gestapo Hallowe’en outfits–who will feed, clothe, and shelter them? I sure as hell don’t want to support them.

  8. Tony W says:

    @Daryl’s other brother Darryl: I am loathe to reprimand people who are clearly on the right side of the issues of the day.

    Doug has been solid anti-Trump from the beginning, and he was also solid Anti-Hillary Clinton as well – but less so, I think. He doesn’t need me to defend him, but I’d suspect that like most of us at this point he’d gladly swap in Hillary, for the good of the country, even though she was anathema last November.

  9. Paul L. says:

    One side is “Whitewashing” Antifa.
    “The left is morally preening over Charlottesville, pretending Antifa is pure as the driven snow. Just like James Hodgkinson was.”

    But Condemning Antifa is hard.
    The Left got a pass on the 2017 Congressional baseball shooting and pretended that they were attacked too.

  10. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    @Tony W:
    Agreed, but there is no denying the role of mamby-pamby both sides commentary in getting us to this point.
    The entire Clinton/Trump was the lesser of two evils argument is cut of that cloth.
    There was no comparison of the qualifications of each. Yet they were presented as some sort of equivocation in thousands of articles. Which in turn gave license to people to vote for a buffoon.
    And the republic is paying for it.

  11. teve tory says:

    Kaili Joy Gray‏Verified account @KailiJoy 13h13 hours ago

    For eight years, Republicans were like omg the black president is worse than the Holocaust times 9/11 and now they’re like oh well tax cuts

  12. Tony W says:

    @Paul L.:

    The entire “Antifa” discussion is a distraction from the reason counter-protesters got two permits to protest against the Nazis/alt-right who want to Make America White. The president equates those who want to kill all the non-whites with those who protest against that killing.

    The Left condemned the baseball shooting as unacceptable and continue to do so.

    The right has not yet condemned the Nazis who helped them gain power.

    See the difference?

  13. KM says:

    Both Sides Do It is childish logic. It downplays responsibility by making incompatible actions equal. Anyone who’s ever dealt with a child has heard a variation of “Well, Johnny did it!!” as justification. If we don’t accept that from our kids, why in the world should we accept that from the President?

    Seriously, every time someone busts out BSDI, they are asking you to accept 3yr old logic. I keep waiting for someone to break out the classic “If they jumped off the bridge, would you?”

  14. MarkedMan says:

    Absolutely those who champion violence as the solution should be condemned, no matter who they are. It is morally repugnant and it is politically stupid. When I was a kid, it was primarily the left that was planting bombs and robbing banks in the name of their causes. They were condemned by Democratic and Republican leaders and decent people everywhere. But that is not where we are today.

    The ones who came ready to fight were the Nazi scum and Klan thugs. They were literally calling people to violence and taking up arms. They actually killed a woman, injured dozens of others and beat a young man to within an inch of his life. This isn’t hard. Except for Republicans, it is. They know that a) Trump is a vile racist himself and has been his whole life and he is their chosen leader and b) they know that the Republican Party embraced these thugs wholeheartedly, and they have no chance of winning anywhere without the racists and the racist-adjacent.

  15. Kylopod says:

    @Daryl’s other brother Darryl:

    I hate to do this, Doug, as your commentary of late has been spot-on.
    But condemning “both sides do it”?
    Pot, meet kettle.

    I had the same thought as soon as I saw this post. I’m not surprised your comment is receiving downvotes, and I bet mine will too, so let’s be clear: making false equivalence between Nazis and anti-Nazis is obviously orders worse than making false equivalence between, say, Obama and Romney. The Beltway/OutsideTheBeltway variety of “Both sides do it” is at bottom just lazy. The Trump variety is downright evil.

  16. grumpy realist says:

    AAAAND Another One Bites The Dust.

    Note the lofty position that this “white-guys-are-better-than-everyone-else” scion managed to attain before he was so unrighteously kicked out of his eminent position just for marching in a wee Nazi torchlight procession. Oh, how my heart bleeds.

    In other words, yeah, these critters have the IQs of Venetian blinds.

  17. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    @Paul L.:
    A link to Erik Erikson?

  18. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:


    “Both sides do it” is at bottom just lazy. The Trump variety is downright evil.

    Sure…no question, and the difference is manifest…but lazy normalizes the practice. Evil takes advantage of that normalization.

  19. Gustopher says:

    To be fair to Trump, this is the first time he’s shown any loyalty to anyone who wasn’t a family member or The leader of a foreign country. These are just little people — horrible, hate-filled little people — and Trump is able to feel empathy for them, despite them being little people.

  20. CSK says:


    But ONLY because they worship the ground he walks on. Otherwise he wouldn’t care if they dropped dead tomorrow.

  21. Gustopher says:

    I could actually accept a “both sides do it” argument if it was made by someone who wasn’t just trying to score points.

    If Trump had come out and said

    1. Nazis and white supremacists are disgusting

    2. A lot of protesters on both sides came armed and armored for a fight — this is getting out of hand, I’m directing the justice department to look into options for how to restrict protesters from coming with weapons. Security zones, etc. Keep tense protests from escalating too far.

    3. Nazis and white supremacists are disgusting.

    Had he said that, we all would have been shocked because it would have been reasonable, and balanced.

  22. CSK says:

    According to the latest Monmouth University poll, 25% of the American public will support Trump no matter what he says or does.

    Bloody hell, that’s depressing.

  23. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    @grumpy realist:
    That’s hilarious. Particularly ironic because…Vermont. Really?
    I grew up in Vermont. In 1976 my high school, in the second largest city in the state, had exactly one black student (and one black teacher, his father).

  24. MarkedMan says:

    @Gustopher: I doubt Trump feels empathy for anyone, including these losers. But he recognizes that they hold the same beliefs as he does. His “empathy” is really just self defense

  25. grumpy realist says:

    Welp, it looks like the strategic part of President’s Business Advisory Coalition has had enough of him.

    I suspect we’ll see a similar reaction from the other board as well. (The CEO of 3M just walked away)

    Expect a bunch of rage-tweeting from the Mangolini.

  26. Kari Q says:

    @Paul L.:

    Why are you, and some others on the right, working so hard to protect and distract people from the behavior of white supremacists?

  27. george says:

    There should be a middle ground between saying Antifa is equally to blame as the Nazi’s for the violence in Charlottetown (clearly not the case, it was 90% Nazi) , and saying Antifa was blameless.

    This is done all the time in engineering. If a structure fails more often than not the analysis will end up that its something like 80% the fault of original material, 15% of the installers, 5% of the installation procedure. Why can’t something similar be done in politics?

    The problem with sayings its 100% the fault of one group is that such an obvious overstatement (and its easy to find video clips showing individuals from any group starting violence) tends to fall apart with even a single counter example, and leads to the “both sides do it” argument, because nothing is ever completely 100% one side.

    Whereas if you say its 90% Nazi, then even if the people find the inevitable example of the other side in fact doing it, the preponderance of evidence will show the statement (90% Nazi) is correct. It also reduces the feeling people have that you’re being unfair.

    We’ve been using this successfully with a number of first nations issues. If we say its always white racists starting things we get into long arguments, and end up spending all our time having to explain away the 10% of incidents started by an aboriginal (and yes, it happens, we’ve some bad people in our group is well). Whereas when we started saying that yes, we have bad elements too, but most are on your side, we get much more co-operation – people tend to admit its true (whereas they know that its not 100% their side and that gets their backs up), and we can move on to dealing with the problem.

    Once again its amazing that engineers are so much more nuanced in their analysis of structures – which are orders of magnitude simpler than political violence), than political people are in their politics. You’d expect it to be the reverse, that discussion of simpler issues (engineering) would be less nuanced than discussion of far more complex ones (political violence).

    The point being, its not about emotional satisfaction, its about stopping the violence and racism. And the best way to do that is to get away from blanket statements, and into nuanced statements. For whatever reason – I don’t pretend to understand why, its just something I’ve seen consistently played out – “Its mainly your sides fault, but we have our portion of blame too” gets a lot less resistance than “Its all your sides fault”

  28. Lounsbury says:

    @CSK: This sounds right and in some ways is indeed worse than actual principalled (to use the word) identification.

  29. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    No one that I’ve read is saying the so-called antifa is innocent. That’s a straw-man argument.
    What people are saying is that there is no equivalence between nazi’s and white supremacists and the people who protest their hatred and bigotry.
    Add into your engineering equation that absent the nazi’s and white supremecists the antifa wouldn’t even be there.

  30. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    All of the CEO’s in Trumps Manufacturing Council were quitting…so Trump now says he is disbanding the council.
    Show of hands…who is fooled by this spin?

  31. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Paul L.: Let’s see, Nazis on one side, and on the other side we have… People fighting the Nazis.

    Just like my Father, and my Uncle Alex, and my Uncle Frank, and my Uncle Walt, and my Uncle Tony, and my Uncle Gus, and my Uncle Joe… Sounds like pretty good company to me.

  32. grumpy realist says:

    @Daryl’s other brother Darryl: Eh, I have to (mildly) protest. I think that at least part of the antifa group are the “anarchistic” professional protester type who will eagerly show up at anything on the left to protest. Several years ago they were showing up at WTO meetings and making a nuisance of themselves.

    As said, violence on the left isn’t the way to solve this problem. We’re not Freedom Fighters in occupied Poland. The best way to deal with the alt-right is to get their identities out in public and then laughed at.

  33. Kari Q says:


    Pretty sure Ike would have stood against the Nazis too. He would be furious at what has happened to the Republican Party.

  34. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    @grumpy realist:
    No doubt…

  35. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:


    why in the world should we accept that from the President?

    Because we don’t have a choice. A majority of the 50 states decided to elect a racist bloviator. We’re all stuck with it now. Democrats need to stop with the outrage and decide to work on getting the vote out in 2018 if they want to change things.

  36. grumpy realist says:

    Oh, even cuter. It looks like El Donald now claims to have disbanded both of his advisory councils because “he didn’t want to put pressure on them” . This is after one of them decided internally to disband and the other had lost 7 members.

    You can’t fire me! I quit!

  37. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’nint cracker:

    Democrats need to stop with the outrage and decide to work on getting the vote out in 2018 if they want to change things.

    No. Don’t know why you think one excludes the other. It’s the outrage that is going to motivate them to get the vote out. It’s just plain human nature that if people don’t feel a need to try, they won’t do it.

  38. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    @grumpy realist:

    You can’t fire me! I quit!

    Or…you can’t quit, you’re fired!!!

  39. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    @grumpy realist: Well Trump has apparently already gone with “I decided to disband these do nothing parasites,” so you can draw your own conclusions.

    To me, the more important element is that these guys gave up their positions rigging things to benefit themselves exclusively because they’re unwilling to be associated with Trump. What’s up with this–giving up a chance to rig and plunder the system to take a moral stand? What are these guys thinking? Are they already rich enough?

  40. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    @george: “…we can move on to dealing with the problem.”

    In this case, it may be that very few are interested in solving the problem. Most of us are usually only interested in having our way on issues.

  41. teve tory says:

    Fuq Michael Dell. He put out a statement saying he wouldn’t quit trump.

    I have a 2 yro Lenovo that’s a POS. When I get a raise in a month I was looking at a Dell with an SSD to replace it. Forget that. Asus it is.

  42. CSK says:

    @grumpy realist: @Daryl’s other brother Darryl: @grumpy realist: @Daryl’s other brother Darryl: @Just ‘nutha ig’nint cracker:

    Well, gee golly gosh. Didn’t he just say the other day he had plenty of people to replace these “grandstanders,” as he called them?

  43. george says:

    @Daryl’s other brother Darryl:

    Add into your engineering equation that absent the nazi’s and white supremecists the antifa wouldn’t even be there.

    Unfortunately, as I said there are bad individuals in any group. That includes antifa. We’ve had some show up at our events, supposedly supporting us but in practice initiating confrontation and sometimes violence in what were peaceful disputes. We now have individuals who try to ward them off when they show up, because they’re looking for a fight, whereas we’re trying to solve a problem that affects us deeply.

    Most antifa I’ve met are okay, they’re there to defend. But not all of them. And unfortunately entropy seems to be a law of human interaction too – just a few people looking for a fight can spark one even if most people are disciplined enough to keep the confrontation verbal.

    Moreover, from what I’ve seen in these things, its never one big battle – we’re not armies, we don’t have that kind of command structure or discipline. Its always a series of small altercations between individuals, and more often than those skirmishes are started by people who came there looking for just that. I’d guess that would be 90% Nazi, 10% antifa/professional protester.

    Again, its easy enough to say “we have some bad characters, but most of them our yours.” Not only is it always true, but it helps calm things down. I can’t think of a single downside of that approach, so why not use it?

  44. KM says:

    @teve tory:
    I have regretted every Dell I’ve ever owned. You aren’t missing much.

  45. KM says:


    Again, its easy enough to say “we have some bad characters, but most of them our yours.” Not only is it always true, but it helps calm things down. I can’t think of a single downside of that approach, so why not use it?

    Because the other side will immediately do what we just saw happen. Duke, Spencer and the like immediately started saying you shouldn’t talk Trump’s words seriously as he didn’t mean it. When he trotted out BSDI, they started jumping for joy at how he validated them. To them, stating they weren’t completely at fault was the same thing as saying it wasn’t their fault. They now feel completely justified in what happened because Trump called out the “evil alt-Left”. That’s their victory – they are officially no longer the worst people in the room according to the President of the United States.

    You have to remember, you are dealing with twisted people who will twist your words. In a rational discussion, your point is eminently valid. When dealing with dog whistlers and professional paranoiacs, nuances goes right out the window and they hear what they want to hear. Give an inch, they take the continent.

  46. grumpy realist says:

    @george: Heck, if we didn’t have the political identities attached to these groups, a lot of this “fighting” looks like the messes the soccer hooligans get into in Europe.

    Some people just want to thump other people.

  47. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:


    Unfortunately, as I said there are bad individuals in any group.

    Yes, I understand one or two these Nazi’s and White Supremacists might not be the nicest people. But certainly the people who protest quietly along side them are “fine people”, indeed.
    Again…there is no equivalency here…even having the discussion is stupid…history shows us that anyone who stands up to Nazi’s is good, even if there methods may be lacking.

  48. michael reynolds says:

    Once the swastika appears there are only two sides: Nazis and Not Nazis.

  49. Kylopod says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Once the swastika appears there are only two sides: Nazis and Not Nazis.

    True enough. But it says a lot about how warped our culture is that the Confederate Flag isn’t the deal-breaker the swastika is. There are people out there who insist the swastika is also about heritage, not hate.

  50. MarkedMan says:

    Ah, Dell computers. From the mid ’90s to Dec 31st 1999 the world spent billions upon billions of dollars to prepare for Y2K (and yes, if we had done nothing, it would absolutely have been a disaster). At the time for my companies projects we used exclusively Dell computers but interfaced with systems of all types. And when I returned in January 2000 with my team to restart an installation that used a dozen or so new Dell computers, they failed one by one (on exactly the second time they were powered down and restarted. I would happily geek out with anyone interested and go into agonizing detail about why that was. Elsewhere.) Bear in mind, these were new Dell computers and for the 2-3 years before that all new computers came with a certification saying they were Y2K compliant. We discovered a workaround (duh – booting into recovery mode and setting the time to pre Y2K) until Dell finally came up with a patch, but they never admitted it was a Y2K problem and ol’ Michael was on the news saying they had no problems. That was the only real Y2K problem I encountered as all the other systems we dealt with had been truly fixed.

  51. MarkedMan says:

    @Kylopod: The Swastika is actually, in my mind, more complicated than the so called Confederate flag. When I lived in Shanghai I lived near a buddhist temple and the swastika was everywhere. I remember how startled I was when I first moved there and was hailing a taxi and looked down and realized I was standing on a swastika etched in the sidewalk. All over Asia it is a common symbol in buddhism and has no negative connotations. I could understand if people wanted to reclaim it in the west, although I don’t think it would be successful. But the “Confederate Flag” wasn’t even the flag of the Confederacy. It was adopted long after the civil war and used as a symbol by white southerners to show dominance over their black fellow citizens. There is no original ambiguity there. Today, white Southerners are taught a false history, so they don’t realize what it represents.

  52. george says:


    You have to remember, you are dealing with twisted people who will twist your words. In a rational discussion, your point is eminently valid. When dealing with dog whistlers and professional paranoiacs, nuances goes right out the window and they hear what they want to hear. Give an inch, they take the continent.

    Sure, but they’re a pretty small percent of the population. Most people are way more moderate (again, I’ve experienced this many times), and those are the ones we’re trying to reach. If we make a reasonable statement, the crazy’s are going to twist the words, but moderates (most of which just want to get on with their lives) hear what they think is fair, and you find them coming up to you afterwards and helping out. Whereas if you take the line that its 100% the other guy’s fault moderates give up on both sides and go back to their day to day lives.

    And moderates outnumber everyone else – the problem with moderates is getting them involved, and you don’t do that by making statements they can see are wrong. “Its 90% the other guy” they’ll listen to. Say “Its 100% the other guy” and they won’t believe you, partly because the other guy can always find an example, that one in ten occurrence when they didn’t start it, partly because people know from their own lives that there are bad people in every group.

  53. george says:

    @grumpy realist:

    Yup, there’s always that element. Its a major problem when organizing events.

  54. george says:

    @Daryl’s other brother Darryl:

    I’m not making an equivalency. What part of “Its 90% Nazi, 10% antifa” sounds like an equivalency? Its basic math, 90 >> 10.

    Geeze, this is straightforward. Equivalent means equal. Saying its 50-50 is equivalency. Saying its 90-10 is stating that its very far from equivalent.

  55. george says:


    I have a number of east Indian friends who call the association of the swastika with Nazi’s just another example of cultural appropriation – its history in the east goes back 2000+ years and is one of peace, but as soon as a white group uses it the eastern context is meaningless.

    However, they’re realistic enough to know its not going to change anytime soon.

  56. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    fighting nazi’s = good
    fighting white supremacy = good

  57. grumpy realist says:

    @MarkedMan: There are actually old quilts out there where the main piecing is a swastika block. No particular meaning; it’s just that when you’re trying to come up with a quilt block pattern with four-fold symmetry you’re bound to stumble upon the swastika since it also doesn’t require many pieces to make.

    I’ve always wondered who ends up buying said quilts when such go up for auction on Ebay.

    Also, if anyone is curious, there’s no particular occult meaning associated with the swastika Chinese ideograph. There’s a left-handed version and a right-handed version, and both of them mean, duh, a swirl.

  58. HarvardLaw92 says:

    An American president defending, hell, finding common cause with white supremacists.

    Nazis marching in the streets of American cities.

    Shoah memorials smashed.

    Armed thugs threatening to burn down temples.

    And crowds of “real” Americans cheering them on.

    I had a soul-crushing thought earlier today – this is what my family must have felt like watching the same things happen in Berlin. In Vienna.

    These people never change. They never have and they never will. They’re a disease on humanity.

    Ask me again why I got my family out …

  59. Sleeping Dog says:


    According to the latest Monmouth University poll, 25% of the American public will support Trump no matter what he says or does.

    I think you’ll find that no matter how crazy an idea is, or how wrong an a statement is, ~25% of the population will support the idea or believe the statement. Looking at the polling this week, Trump is down to 34-35% approval rating, he is approaching the point where he has no support beyond the crazies.

  60. george says:

    @Daryl’s other brother Darryl:

    Sure. And there are people who say fighting communists are good, who will point to the hundred millions killed by them last century. And people who say fighting religious people is good, pointing to the millions killed by religions over the last few thousand years. There’s always a reason to fight whoever you want to fight, humans have a proven track record in rationalizing violence.

    Me, I say stopping white supremacists, stopping Nazi’s is good. Initiating skirmishes is not doing that – if anything its strengthening it, because it makes it about fighting, and there have always been enough bored or frustrated people around to make a good war. If there’s a fight, there are always those who want in, and the reason for fighting soon becomes secondary, then tertiary, and finally forgotten – it becomes about fighting for fighting’s sake. Do you really need me to go through the hundreds of historical examples of how that works out?

    The moment anyone assumes they have the right to answer speech with violence they are part of the problem, not part of the solution. Fighting back against violence? Sure, sign me up. Responding to verbal conflict with violence? Not interested.

    Fighting when physically attacked is very different than fighting when verbally attacked. I don’t know how else to put it.

    Look, I agree fighting can be fun. I boxed for a long time, I understand why people can enjoy it. But its not useful in solving problems that are still in the verbal stage. And so far the conflict is still 99% verbal. Look at the stats, the deaths from political killings is much, much less than deaths from non-political killings. Same for beatings. Lets keep it that way.

    Maybe we could arrange some MMA matches between Nazi’s and antifa representatives. Sport started out as symbolic war, and its a lot better than real war.

  61. JohnMcC says:

    @HarvardLaw92: There is no guarantee that the good guys win this round. And it could get very bad indeed. You were wise. I probably would have left too if I’d had the money and was blessed by being either Muslim or Jewish.

  62. teve tory says:
  63. grumpy realist says:

    @george: I think the next time these hipster Nazis wanna march, whoever gives them the permits should arrange it so that they’re preceded by a “Springtime for Hitler” LARPing parade and followed by a set of can-can dancers. I want to make it so that little old ladies dash up to the hipster Nazis, pinch their cheeks, and gush “oh, how CUTE you are!”

    Heh. They won’t last a week.

  64. de stijl says:

    @grumpy realist:

    I like it because ironic hipster Nazis probably wouldn’t be ironic hipster Nazis in front of mom.

  65. Matt says:

    @KM: For any activity that requires high performance (3d cad, gaming, rendering etc) Dell is not the way to go. You can get better performance and better quality components for cheaper if you build your own.

    I was involved in the maintenance of about 500 dell desktops and 180 dell laptops at my last job. They were reliable for office work and the warranty was quite helpful. I really hated the lenovo laptops we had though. Cheap components, clunky, and ergonomically inferior.

    Asus makes some solid laptops but so do other manufacturers. It just depends on how much you’re going to be spending.

    @george: The nazi version is tilted 45 degrees and no one seems to notice that. The Gammadion cross Is the only one I know that was actually tilted like the Nazi Swastika.

  66. teve tory says:

    @teve tory:

    Fuq Michael Dell. He put out a statement saying he wouldn’t quit trump.

    Trump says a buncha racist shit, a buncha CEOs freak and quit his council, people ask the other CEOs if they’re going to stay on Trump’s side, Michael Dell says, ‘We’re not going to quit trump’s council’, he gets a buncha shit for it, then almost the next day Trump says screw all y’all and disbands the council.

    It’s amazing to me how every…single…person who supports trump comes away damaged.

  67. teve tory says:


    I have regretted every Dell I’ve ever owned. You aren’t missing much.

    I got this Lenovo in 2015 based on their high reputation. In 2 years:

    *The screen has blotches
    *If you use F2 or F3 you have to reboot to get sound back
    *The DVD drive won’t eject
    *the power cord will be plugged in, the windows icon will say it’s charging, but it’s draining.
    *The first power cord lasted less than 2 years
    *some USB devices work in some slots, some don’t.
    *If the Bluetooth is on, the WiFi won’t work

    It’s the worst laptop I’ve ever owned. I’m trying Asus next.

  68. MarkedMan says:

    @teve tory:

    It’s amazing to me how every…single…person who supports trump comes away damaged.

    Read more:

    I’ve been saying for two years that Republicans are fools for delaying their break with Trump. Oh, sure, they all say, “I’ll just keep my head down and let someone else can go first, and then I won’t lose my seat”. But they need to wake the F up and smell the coffee. Everyone associated with Trump gets covered in sh*t. Trying to stay on his good side or that of his fans doesn’t help. Breaking with Trump does cause a risk that you will lose your seat. But sticking with him makes it more likely, not less.

  69. barbintheboonies says:

    I am so fed up with all this mud slinging. I hate the far right wackos, and the far left nuts. We all need to pull closer to the middle, and start moving forward. Does anyone here really want a civil war? I do not. As far as pulling statues down, it sickens me. This is our history, good and bad. We the people paid for them to admire or despise. I visited a cemetery in Alabama, there were rows of unknown soldiers there. I could not help but cry. I know most of them were poor farm boys who had no choice but to fight. Should we destroy their headstones too?. The Union soldiers were victors, but I bet many were not the same when they came home. War is hell, and I never want this to ever happen again.

  70. george says:

    @grumpy realist:

    That is brilliant.

  71. Matt says:

    @teve tory: I have a dell 7520 that is still working great despite my heavy handedness. I use it for school and for gaming when I go to visit relatives. The only problem I have had with it is that one of the speakers stopped working recently. I need to take it apart and redo the thermal paste anyway so that’s just one more thing to check out. Amazingly the battery is still giving me hours of non gaming use.

    I could provide assistance with picking out your future purchase if you want.