Just when you think Donald Trump can’t sink any lower the man finds new ways to do so. First he failed to condemn the behavior of neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and members of the Ku Klux Klan for their behavior in Charlottesville, Virginia, last Saturday. Trump argued that many were to blame for what happened.
Then on Monday he read a statement that did condemn the hate groups. But he quickly backed off the following day at a press conference in which he said blame for the violence should be shared between the hate groups and those gathered to protest their presence.
Both sides contained “very fine people,” he said, revealing his true character in the process.
Key administration officials remained silent throughout, including, among others, Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner, and National Economic Council Chairman Gary Cohn, all of whom are Jewish, and Chief of Staff John F. Kelly.
Let’s be clear. Very fine people would never join hands with neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and members of the Klan. Very fine people would never stand by silently while others with whom they were marching chanted “Jews will not replace us” or “blood and soil.”
There is no moral equivalence between those who preach hate or drive cars into a crowd injuring and killing others and those who protest the people doing this.
For that reason alone it was heartening to see many Republicans pushing back against Trump. Speaking to local media in his home state of Tennessee, Senator Bob Corker admonished Trump for his response to the weekend violence and said the president “has not demonstrated that he understands the character of this nation.”
“I think our president needs to take stock of the role that he plays in our nation and move beyond himself, move way beyond himself, and move to a place where daily he wakes up thinking about what is best for our nation,” Corker added. “Helping inspire divisions because it generates support from your political base is not a formula for causing our nation to advance, our nation to overcome the many issues that we have to deal with right now.”
“He has not demonstrated that he understands what has made this nation great and what it is today,” Corker continued. “He’s got to demonstrate the characteristics of a president who understands that. And without the things that I just mentioned happening, our nation is going to go through great peril.”
“The president has not yet, has not yet been able to demonstrate the stability nor some of the competence that he needs to demonstrate in order to be successful.”
Other Republicans spoke up as well. “There are not two sides to bigotry and there are not two sides to hatred,” former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said. “If you choose to march with the flag that symbolizes the slaughter of millions of people, there are not two sides to that.”
Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential nominee in 2012, excoriated Trump for his equivocating response to the violence and urged him to apologize in remarks posted on Facebook.
“In homes across the nation, children are asking their parents what this means. Jews, blacks, Hispanics, Muslims are as much a part of America as whites and Protestants. But today they wonder. Where might this lead? To bitterness and tears, or perhaps to anger and violence?”
And don’t be fooled. The removal of Steve Bannon changes nothing. The cesspool that passes for Trump’s brain is still there, still sucking up to people who made their anti-Americanism all too evident last weekend in Charlottesville.
Our runner-up for the week is still another commentary on Trump’s moral depravity.