The usual suspects are blaming Donald Trump for the synogogue shooting in Pittsburgh over the weekend. Suddenly, a man with Jewish grandchildren is an anti-Semite. Mid-term elections are a week away. Can you tell?
“Ordinarily, a politician cannot be held responsible for the actions of a deranged follower,” Adam Serwer writes in The Atlantic. But these are not ordinary times when Donald Trump is available to be scapegoated.
“But Serwer then documents — in the clearest way I’ve read,” David Leonhardt of the New York Times writes approvingly, “why the anti-Semitic massacre in Pittsburgh is different.”
Charles Blow of the Times says “Trump has flirted with the deepest racists and Nazis and it has not gone unnoticed, least of all by them.” Not to be outdone, the socialist Nation screeches, that the shooting “is the inevitable result of Trump’s vile nationalism.”
The Trump hatred is so bad that a small group of progressive Jews in Pittsburgh demands that the President not visit that stricken city. (More here.)
Politicizing a tragedy
Thankfully, the rabbi of the Pittsburgh synagogue where 11 people were massacred was not possessed of their hate.
“The president of the United States is always welcome. I’m a citizen, he’s my president. He is certainly welcome,” Tree of Life Rabbi Jeffrey Myers said on CNN.
Proving two can play that game, the Republican Jewish Coalition is calling for the resignation of seven Democratic members of Congress whom it claims are “connected” to controversial Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. The group describes him as a “known anti-Semite.”
Most recently, just last the speech Farrakhan called Jewish people “my enemy.”
The lobbying group called for the following lawmakers to step down: Reps. Keith Ellison, D-Minn.; Barbara Lee, D-Calif.; Maxine Waters, D-Calif.; Danny Davis, D-Ill.; Andre Carson, D-Ind.; Gregory Meeks, D-N.Y.; and Al Green, D-Texas.
Can we blame Trump retrospectively?
Oddly, Trump is not being blamed for a white supremacist’s massacre of nine black parishioners at a Charleston, S.C. African-Methodist Episcopal Church. That may be because the massacre occurred June 17, 2015 — a year and one-half before Donald Trump was sworn in.
Or for the slaughter of six and wounding of three more at the Sikh temple in Oak Creek WI. Barack Obama was president on October 5, 2012.
Obama was chief executive on June 12, 2016 when 49 people were slaughtered and 53 wounded at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida.
Homosexuals, blacks, and Asians murdered but no one blamed President Obama.
It is at this point that this dedicated conservative Republican dons his official Robes of Journalism. Words do matter. Our hero, Winston Churchill, mobilized the English language and sent it into battle to defeat fascism. No pulpit is bullier than that of the President of the United States. Leaders set at tone.
We do not like the tone that Donald Trump sounds. He summons no “better angels of our nature.” No thousand points of light. No morning in America.
But his opposition has gone all batshit crazy. None more so than so-called “journalists” like Jim Acosta who drown their credibility in their own bile. The likes of Rachel Maddow, Don Lemon, and Anderson Cooper have become Segway Boy, Thistle, and Pink Dress Guy. Blame everything bad on people you hate.
When seconds count, police will be there in minutes
Trump has suggested that religious institutions post armed guards. This brings swift condemnation from the Ban All Guns lobby who are convinced Donald Trump is trying to impose the third Reich.
Trump again expressed his inclination to meet violence with the machinery of a police state. — Vann R. Newkirk II of The Atlantic.
Take a long, deep breath, Mr. Newkirk II. Now let it out slowly, slowly … slowly. There, isn’t that better? Snap quiz: think back to all the massacres in recent memory. Columbine high school (1999), Virginia Tech (2007), Sandy Hook elementary (2012), the San Bernardino government office (2015), and churches, temples, and synagogues cited above. What have they all in common? You got it: they were soft targets!
No guns allowed.
A Facebook acquaintance asks:
What are your thoughts about a President who seems to think that posting armed guards and including packing parishioners in congregations is the answer to preventing mass shootings in places of worship?
I asked a friend of mine, a very religious Lutheran, whether his church was protected by firearms. He answered, “It is when I’m sitting in the pews.”
A committed Democrat asks:
“When you need armed guards at churches there is something wrong with our country. Perhaps we should be looking at solutions rather than living in fear.”
That reminded the Policy Werkes of the parable of the woman driver stopped for speeding. She tells the cop she’s got a pistol in the glove compartment, another under the dashboard, and a third in her purse. “What you afraid of, lady?” Cop asks. Woman answers, “Not a damn thing!”
So then you’re saying we are responsible for ourselves because police are too far away to be useful, why have police then?
Why have police? To process the bad guys at the front end of the criminal justice system after the crime has been committed. But here in the People’s Republic of Madison, your social justice warriors are trying to expel the police from our schools.
Blaska’s Bottom Line: Keep police in Madison’s troubled high schools; join me at 6 p.m. this Monday evening, October 29, at school district HDQ, 545 W. Dayton St.