Yes, Trump’s response to Charlottesville was bad, but what about Obama?

A protester carries an image of Heather Heyer during a demonstration in Minneapolis on Monday against racism and the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Getty Images


A daily roundup of the biggest stories in right-wing media.

Conservatives continued on Tuesday to weigh in on the weekend’s violence in Charlottesville. At the Resurgent, Erick Erickson warned that extremist violence could escalate. “There have been far more conservatives willing to call out the alt right than there have been progressives calling out the alt-left,” he wrote. “Part of the left labeling all conservatives as bigots or enablers of bigots and all leftwing activists as moral crusaders includes prominent reporters in the mainstream media. Already, what happened in Charlottesville and its aftermath have received equal or more prominent coverage than James Hodgekinson’s mass assassination attempt.”

At National Review, Ben Shapiro called the alt-right and the alt-left symptoms of an American cancer:

And so here we are. The mainstream Left has been increasingly suckered into walking hand-in-hand with the SJWs while ignoring the most egregious activities of Antifa; the mainstream Right has been increasingly seduced into footsie with alt-right associates while feigning ignorance at the alt-right itself.

That’s why Charlottesville matters: not only because we saw destruction and terror, but because if all Americans of good conscience won’t do some soul-searching and move to excise the evil in their midst, that evil will metastasize. There is a cancer in the body politic. We must cut it out, or be destroyed.

Additionally, National Review editor Rich Lowry called for the taking down of Confederate monuments with a few potential exceptions:

Some discrimination is in order. There’s no reason to honor Jefferson Davis, the blessedly incompetent president of the Confederacy. New Orleans just sent a statue of him to storage — good riddance. Amazingly enough, Baltimore has a statue of Chief Justice Roger Taney, the author of the monstrous Dred Scott decision, which helped precipitate the war. A city commission has, rightly, recommended its destruction.

Robert E. Lee, on the other hand, is a more complicated case. He was no great friend of slavery. He wrote in a letter to his wife “that slavery as an institution, is a moral & political evil in any Country” (he added, shamefully, that it was good for blacks — “the painful discipline they are undergoing, is necessary for their instruction as a race”). After the war, he accepted defeat and did his part to promote national healing.

The New York Times’ Bret Stephens compared President Trump’s response to Charlottesville to former President Obama’s responses to Islamic terrorist attacks, which he argued were characterized by “euphemism, obfuscation, denial, and semantic yoga.”

None of this history excuses Trump’s stubborn reluctance, rectified far-too belatedly on Monday, to call out the K.K.K. and neo-Nazis by name. On the contrary, it indicts him all the more, since it’s precisely the sort of bizarre and blatant evasiveness he used to denounce in his predecessor.

But it should also be a reminder that when it comes to looking the other way in the face of extremism and violence, failing to call evil groups by their correct names and providing economic alibis for moral depravity, liberals have their own accounts to settle. That may not be the most obvious lesson from Charlottesville, but it’s one that still needs to be learned.

The Daily Caller’s Scott Greer made a similar argument about Obama’s reaction last year to the murder of five police officers during a Black Lives Matter demonstration in Dallas. “With several officers dead by the hand of a committed black nationalist, one might think the Obama administration may have considered the assassinations domestic terror and launched an investigation into groups associated with this ideology,” he wrote. “Not at all. Barack Obama condemned the shootings, but he did not call out or even allude to Johnson’s hateful views. He did, however, blame ‘powerful weapons’ for the violence.”

LifeZette’s Edmund Kozak argued that the left is hypocritically untroubled by public statues of Vladimir Lenin. “[N]ot only does Seattle’s Lenin statue stand unmolested, it has even become something of a beloved part of the local community,” he wrote. “It gets dressed in drag during the city’s gay pride parade, and is often crowned with a red star on Christmas. And it’s not even the only monument erected in a U.S. city to the Soviet revolutionary.”

Conservatives credited Trump’s bellicose rhetoric for North Korea’s backtracking on threats against Guam. Rush Limbaugh:

It is Donald Trump who told this guy what-for. It’s Donald Trump who practically begged this guy to hit Guam and everybody in Washington said, “Oh, my God! Oh, my God, he’s begging him!”

You remember this? “He’s insulting Kim Jong-un! Oh, no! He just told Kim Jong-un to go to hell. Oh, no, he just called Kim Jong-un crazy! Oh, no!” In the left’s view of things, that’s gonna make Kim Jong-un really offended and really mad and he’s gonna launch. They do not understand. You know, Rex Tillerson said, “Back off! Trump is just talking the language they understand,” and Kim Jong-un has backed off, and the last person you’re gonna see get any credit for it is Trump.

On Fox Business, Stuart Varney called Trump “the first president to successfully face down the lunatic with a nuke.”

It is North Korea and their backing down that is giving stock prices something of a boost today. In short, Kim has backed down. Two days ago he threatened to fire missiles at Guam. That is a U.S. territory. Defense Secretary Mattis said very clearly, “Don’t do it. Fire off those missiles and your regime is done.” President Trump’s policy is clear. Tell them you can take them, convince them you will do it. It worked. The NOKO’s blinked.

In the long history of threats and escalations and endless retreats by American presidents, North Korea has never backed down until now.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


three × five =