From Smirking Chimp
As we mourn the death of Heather Heyer, murdered by a white supremacist at the Charlottesville "Unite the Right" rally on Saturday, and hope for the recovery of the dozens of other anti-racist counter-demonstrators injured that day, Donald Trump continues to fan the flames of hatred and bigotry he has nourished throughout his brief presidency.
The president's reprehensible behavior in this moment creates a new sense of urgency. We cannot postpone consideration of impeachment until Special Counsel Robert Mueller finishes his criminal investigation. It is time to pressure the House of Representatives to bring articles of impeachment against Trump for his abuse of power. We must stop this president before he launches a new civil war and/or nuclear war.
Commentator Robert Tracinski, writing on the conservative website, The Federalist, concurs. "We're done with the 'Well, maybe it won't be so bad and we should take what we can get' phase of this administration," he wrote, apparently referring to Republicans who are holding their noses while hoping for tax cuts and more right-wing Supreme Court justices.
"It's time for the 'He's a disaster and needs to go' phase," Tracinski continued. "For everybody's good, Donald Trump needs to not be president, and he needs to not be president yesterday."
Tracinski noted, "In a country where 99 percent of the population is opposed to Nazis, it should be the easiest thing in the world for an American president to unite the country by appealing to our shared values."
But that is not what Trump did after the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville resulted in the death of Heyer and wounding of 34 people. The rally drew together neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klan members and self-described members of the "alt-right" -- a racist, radical right-wing movement that seeks to rebrand white supremacy, anti-Semitism, anti-immigrant, anti-feminist politics, homophobia and transphobia under a more polished, middle-class veneer.
In a classic example of false moral equivalency, Trump ultimately responded on Tuesday to the racist, anti-Semitic attacks by saying there were "very fine people on both sides" and "many people in that group other than neo-Nazis and white nationalists."
Outrage at Trump's Remarks
A Washington Post editorial stated, "Tuesday was a great day for David Duke and racists everywhere. The president of the United States all but declared that he has their backs." It continued, "We've all seen the videotape: One side was composed of Nazis, Klansmen and other avowed racists chanting, 'Jews will not replace us.' The other side was objecting to their racism."
As Tracinski pointed out, "this was a Nazi march from the beginning, planned by Nazis, for Nazis." The day before the deadly rally, the neo-Nazis and white supremacists marched through Charlottesville with Ku Klux Klan-like tiki torches, also chanting the Nazi slogan, "Blood and Soil."
Five members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, including Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and National Guard, condemned the neo-Nazis, stating that their beliefs contradicted the military's core values.
A dozen CEOs of powerful corporations, outraged at Trump's remarks, agreed to disband the Strategic and Policy Forum, an elite group chosen to advise the president on economic issues.
After Trump's comments conflating the neo-Nazis and white supremacists with anti-racist protestors, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin), tweeted, "We must be clear. White supremacy is repulsive. This bigotry is counter to all this country stands for. There can be no moral ambiguity."
Ryan is no anti-racist hero; if his policy proposals were enacted, they would devastate communities of color. But Trump went too far, even for Ryan.