Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America react to the indictments of Paul Manafort and Rick Gates and note that none of the charges appear to be connect to the Trump campaign. They also discuss the guilty plea from former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos on charges of making false statements. And they are aghast as a new ad from the Latino Victory Fund paints anyone who supports the GOP candidate for governor in Virginia as racists who want to kill minority children.
CNN’s ‘Copycat’ Canard, Antifa’s Illogical Anarchy, Statue Wars Escalate
David French of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America close the week with three crazy martinis. They unload on CNN’s Wolf Blitzer and Jim Sciutto for speculating on air that the radical Muslim terrorist in Barcelona got the idea for a van attack from watching the events in Charlottesville. They also hammer Antifa’s argument that it engages in violence to protect nonviolence and only against white supremacists, pointing out that Antifa viciously attacks anyone it doesn’t agree with and that it is the job of police to protect nonviolence. And they sigh as liberals start calling for the removal of statues of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, just as their critics predicted earlier in the week.
McDaniel Makes It Clear, Bannon Goes Rogue, Kasich’s Quixotic Dream
David French of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America applaud Republican National Committee Chairman Ronna Romney McDaniel for simply stating there is no room in the Republican Party for white supremacists and that the GOP does not want their votes. They’re also surprised by Steve Bannon’s on-the-record interview with a liberal publication, in which he dismisses the military option on North Korea, outlines his push for a trade war with China and more. And they take a deep sigh as Ohio Gov. John Kasich gets closer to convincing himself there is a “moral imperative” for him to run against President Trump in 2020.
Police, Politics, and Protests
While the debate rages on about the violence and ideology on display in Charlottesville on Saturday, a prominent black conservative is fuming over the lack of an appropriate police presence to prevent the clashes and says whether or not we see a replay in other American cities probably depends upon the politics of the political leaders there.
The Charlottesville police admit they should have done more to separate the different protesters, but that’s not good enough for former constitutional law professor Horace Cooper. Cooper is now co-chair of the Project 21 National National Advisory Board. Project 21 is a leadership network of black conservatives. He says law enforcement has an obligation to plan for the worse.
“In the event that we are apprehensive that a particular public expression could lead to heightened tensions between communities, you don’t send your officers home for the weekend. You, in fact, call some of those who are taking off and say, ‘I want you on standby,'” said Cooper.
And he Cooper is dumbfounded that police were not at least ready to intervene as the likelihood of violence increased.
“The second that you get concerned that something is happening that’s going to be very aggressive and dangerous, you bring those people in. Our Constitution allows for peaceable expression. Freedom of expression does not include burglary, does not include theft, does not include rape, does not include mayhem,” said Cooper.
But while Cooper says the police could have prevented at least one death and many injuries by keeping order more aggressively, he says this is just the latest incident where he believes politics trumped public safety.
“We’ve seen it in Ferguson. We’ve seen it in Baltimore. We’ve seen it in Berkeley. In all too many instances, the voices of condemnation call off the responsible authorities to see to it that all parties stay in their lanes, and instead allow private mayhem to occur,” said Cooper.
“It looks like it’s precisely to let the private mayhem have its way over the so-called injustice that the media and the political leaders that are doing this have identified,” said Cooper.
So will the revolting images we witnessed from Charlottesville play out in other American cities? Cooper says that largely depends upon who is in charge in those places.
“If these things happen in jurisdictions where people are willing to allow the space for mayhem to occur, it will occur and it will not be good. If they happen in jurisdictions where leaders are willing to hold individuals accountable, we can stop this. I am hopeful that the latter is true,” said Cooper.
He says leaders can set a proper tone long before tensions and passions rise, noting stark differences in how protesters responded to the George Zimmerman verdict in Florida verus the rioters in Ferguson, Missouri.
“[Florida Gov. Rick Scott] insisted that they were going to hold all people who rioted and committed mayhem criminally liable and it killed off almost all aspects of the over-the-top rhetoric. The governor of Missouri (Jay Nixon) did exactly the opposite and we saw nights and nights of criminal activity,” said Cooper.
As for his personal thoughts on Charlottesville, Cooper says he urges everyone to always wait for the facts before leaping into outrage mode. He says an online mob mentality almost devoured the wrong person for the deadly vehicle attack.
“The prior owner of the 2010 Dodge Challenger had been identified all across social media and threats were being made to his family and his household even though this was a car he had already sold years ago,” said Cooper.
Cooper clearly finds the views of the white supremacists “repugnant” but takes solace in the fact that their views are representative of just a tiny fraction of the American people.
“That is not a significant number of the American polity. It is not a major influence in our country today, and when the attention is given to them, it is my hope that the little attention that they get helps to remind people this isn’t your next door neighbor. This isn’t the person you work with. These are very, very marginal individuals,” said Cooper.
Trump’s Alt-Right Albatross, Pro-Life Texas Win, Eugenics Posing as Progress
David French of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America discuss President Trump defending some of the people attending the rally in Charlottesville, including those who were at the torch protest, and David explains why he sees Trump’s words as the dream scenario for the alt-right.. They cheer a new law in Texas that prevent insurance companies from requiring Texans to subsidize elective abortions through their own coverage. They are deeply disturbed, however, by a CBS report declaring Iceland has virtually eliminated Down Syndrome through abortion.
‘The Left Wants to Have a One-Way Hate Campaign’
Best-selling author Dinesh D’Souza says there were fascists on both sides of the violence in Virginia on Saturday and he posits that Democrats and their allies in the media are now focused on painting all Republicans and conservatives as responsible for the racism that still exists in the United States.
Last week, prior to the violence in Charlottesville, D’Souza likened the Antifa movement and their pattern of stopping speech through violence to Adolf Hilter’s brown shirts and Benito Mussolini’s black shirts. But with white supremacists and neo-Nazis on one side and Antifa on the other, which side is the fascists?
“Clearly, there’s a fascist streak running between both sets of violent activists. The mayor of Charlottesville said, ‘These people all came to fight.’ They didn’t come to peacefully protest. They wanted to tangle with each other,” said D’Souza, author most recently of “The Big Lie: Exposing the Nazi Roots of the American Left.”
While many in the media and in Democratic circles suggest that the white supremacists are Trump voters, D’Souza says that’s not true of the organizer of the rally.
“What’s really strange is that the white supremacist who organized the rally is a former Obama guy and a former Occupy Wall Street guy. So right away you know that something fishy is going on here,” said D’Souza.
When it comes to the rest of the neo-Nazi and KKK figures in Charlottesville, D’Souza says the story is more complicated.
“This white nationalism was actually invented in the Democratic Party, but the Democratic Party has moved from embracing white nationalism to embracing every other type of minority nationalism. So the Democrats like black nationalism, black pride, black solidarity. They’re telling every ethnic group – blacks, Hispanics, Asians – be proud of what makes you distinctive,” said D’Souza.
He says Democrats now mobilize all of these groups against white nationalists, and that has created some changing voting patterns among white supremacists.
“Today if you’re a white nationalist, you don’t find a hospitable home in the Democratic Party. You don’t find much of a home in the Republican Party either, because Trump is not a white nationalist. Trump is an American nationalist. So I think that’s why some of these white nationalists are for Trump,” said D’Souza.
“They normally would be Democrats, if the Democrats hadn’t created a type of multiculturalism in which these guys are not welcome at the multicultural picnic,” said D’Souza.
But rather than acknowledge these bigoted elements as a fringe of the American political landscape, D’Souza says liberals and the media are trying to paint the political right with a very broad brush.
“The media is up to something very vile and very cunning. They’re trying to excuse the much more dangerous fascism on their own side. Think about it: the driving of speakers off campus, not just the Antifa violent guys, but the deans and the studio bosses in Hollywood. If you have a different point of view, they’ll run you out of town. They’ll make sure you never work again,” said D’Souza.
“This is the fascism, not just of the street but of the institutions. The Democratic Party today has much more of a fascist ideology and fascist tactics than anything you see in the Republican Party,” said D’Souza, who says he’s never seen a white supremacist at a GOP event in more than 25 years of speaking around the country.
D’Souza says this effort is a massive exercise in blame-shifting.
“There’s an effort to transfer responsibility from the actual guilty party, the Democrats, onto the non-guilty party, the Republicans,” he said.
“What’s underway here is an effort to create a national shaming of the right. For example, look at the stuff about, ‘Trump is a fascist.’ Trump has never said one kind thing about fascism,” said D’Souza. “The left wants to have a one-way hate campaign.”
He says there’s plenty of evidence of Democrats praising the most vile fascist regimes in history.
“When you had real fascism, very dangerous fascism, I’m talking about Mussolini’s Italy and Nazi Germany. We have [Franklin Roosevelt] praising Mussolini, sending members of his braintrust to fascist Italy to study Italian fascism, which he thought was more progressive than the New Deal. He wanted to bring fascist ideas over here,” said D’Souza.
In the wake of Charlottesvile, the debate is turning once again to the fate of Confederate memorials and monuments. Some want to destroy them, others believe they should be limited to museums and cemeteries, while others fear tearing them down is tantamount to erasing history.
D’Souza says this North vs. South debate raging around the Civil War is badly misplaced.
“The real slavery debate was not between the North and the South. It was between the pro-slavery Democratic Party and the anti-slavery Republican Party . Most southerners did not own slaves. Most Confederate soldiers did not own slaves. The northern Democrats led by Stephen Douglas were actively and cunningly protecting slavery and did so for 40 years,” said D’Souza.
He says that should mean plenty of statues and memorials getting razed in the North, since so many figures openly or tacitly approved of slavery.
D’Souza also notes that the Democrats are never under any pressure to denounce any figures from their party’s past, even those as recent as longtime Sen. Robert Byrd, D-West Virginia, who spent years in the KKK.
“No one is pulling his statues down. He was lionized in the Democratic Party. Hillary called him her mentor. So you know there is a big lie underway. It’s just a matter of getting our fingers on it so we can expose what’s really going on,” he said.
Kim Backs Down, Solving A Monumental Problem, ESPN’s Pathetic Politics
David French of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America are glad to see Kim Jong-Un has publicly back down from his threats to fire missiles towards Guam and discuss whether some new blunt talk from Defense Secretary James Mattis made the decision an easy one. David rejects the push by the left and some on the right to move or remove Confederate memorials and statues and instead proposes more memorials to honor Union, slave, and free black figures from the war to provide more context. And they roll their eyes as an ESPN commentator says he hopes a positive outcome from Charlottesville will be Colin Kaepernick getting a job in the NFL again.
Trump’s Troubling Response, The ‘But Obama’ Defense, Media Misdirection
David French of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America address the horrific violence in Charlottesville over the weekend. David and Greg criticize President Trump’s failure to condemn the specific white supremacist and Neo-Nazi groups that led the marches and the connection of the man who committed the vehicular homicide– particularly when the president has a history of getting specific with other targets. They also groan as far too many on the right deflect from President Trump’s stumbles by pointing out egregious mistakes President Obama made along similar lines – mistakes the same people roundly condemned. And they ridicule the news media for grossly manipulating terrorism statistics to suggests right-wingers kill more Americans than Islamic radicals and for relying on the far-left Southern Poverty Law Center to decide who is a right-wing extremist.