Late Condemnation, Trump Campaigning
Monday, August 14, 2017
Vol. 6, No. 215
What He Meant Was: Charlottesville, Va. Mayor Michael Signer yesterday blamed President Trump for creating an atmosphere that emboldened white racists involved in violence in his city.
“Look at the campaign he ran,” Signer said on CNN. “Look at the intentional courting both, on the one hand, of all these white supremacists, white nationalist groups like that, anti-Semitic groups. And then look on the other hand, the repeated failure to step up, condemn, denounce, silence, you know, put to bed all those different efforts.”
Under attack for Trump’s equivocal condemnation, the White House delivered a sharper denunciation of “white supremacists” for the Charlottesville violence Saturday in demonstrations that led to the death of a 32-year-old woman. An unattributed statement from the White House said, “The President said very strongly in his statement yesterday that he condemns all forms of violence, bigotry, and hatred. Of course, that includes white supremacists, KKK Neo-Nazi and all extremist groups.” Trump did not speak or issue the statement under his own name.
On Saturday, the President had merely decried “hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides,” as if there were an equivalent side to violent racism. Former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke seemed to think even that was too much, tweeting, “I would recommend you take a good look in the mirror & remember it was White Americans who put you in the presidency, not radical leftists.”
So far, the only senior member of the administration to lay it on the line under their own name is Ivanka Trump, who tweeted, “There should be no place in society for racism, white supremacy and neo-Nazis.”
Is that so hard to say?
The Suspect: The man arrested after a car drove into the protest crowd, killing that 32-year-old woman is James Alex Fields Jr., 20 of Maumee, Ohio. A teacher told the Cincinnati Enquirer that Fields had neo-Nazi views as far back as his freshman year in high school.
The Victim: Heather D. Heyer has been described as a woman who stood up against discrimination and injustices. She lived alone with her dog and worked as a paralegal.
Eyewitness: Hawes Spencer, a reporter working for the NY Times, described the scene Saturday, writing, “Protesters began to mace one another, throwing water bottles and urine-filled balloons — some of which hit reporters — and beating each other with flagpoles, clubs and makeshift weapons. Before long, the downtown area was a melee.”
Under the state’s “open carry law,” some men dressed in combat gear were carrying assault rifles, but never used them.
PermaCampaign: Just six months into his presidency, Trump has unveiled a new commercial for his re-election campaign. The narrator says, “Democrats obstructing. The media attacking our president. Career politicians standing in the way of success. But President Trump’s plan is working.”
The ad features montages of Democratic politicians and television hosts with the narration, “The president’s enemies don’t want him to succeed but Americans are saying, ‘Let president Trump do his job.’”
Permawar: Two US servicemen were killed and five injured in combat operations in Northern Iraq. Somewhat mysteriously, the Pentagon said the deaths and injuries did not come as a result of contact with the enemy.
The Obit Page: Actor Joseph Bologna, who could play the tough guy but made his name with sensitivity, has died at age 81. Bologna and his wife Renée Taylor
Taylor made their name with “Lovers and Other Strangers,” four short plays about love and commitment. It had a short run in New York, but became a movie and they were on their way.
Bologna played mobster Joe Bonanno in the TV movie “Honor Thy Father,” but he had a long career with comic roles and had a lifelong working partnership with his wife. He said, “I can have an affair with my director, writer and co-star at the same time. That saves a lot of wear and tear at my age.”
Let Them Eat Cake: Conservationists working in Antarctica have found a 106-year-old fruitcake left by an expedition of Robert Scott. It was found among 1500 artifacts, wrapped in paper and in its original “tin-plated iron alloy” container, made by the British biscuit company Huntley & Palmers.
Fruitcake was considered a high-energy food for explorers. The cake was described as “almost edible,” which is what a lot of people think about fruitcake.