Trump, critics escalate rhetoric soon after week of horrible violence
After a week of sheer hate and violence, a lot of individuals, like me, had hoped that there may be a brief period of healing, a toning down, a pulling back, an work by all sides to rise above our political variations and uncover typical ground as Americans.
It is not happening.
In truth, things are acquiring worse.
And all sides are to blame. So a lot of individuals are so addicted to divisive and inflammatory politics that virtually nothing — not the mailing of pipe bombs to Democrats and CNN, not the mass slaughter of Jews praying in a synagogue — causes a lot more than a momentary pause.
A lot of in the media are nonetheless engaged in raw, blame-game journalism and commentary. The Washington Post above-the-fold headline the morning right after the synagogue attack set precisely the wrong tone: "Critics Say Trump Has Fostered the Toxic Atmosphere for the Political Environment He Denounces." The critics quoted have been liberals, and the overall piece blamed Republicans as properly.
That, in turn, prompted Sarah Huckabee Sanders to post this response: "Is there any tragedy the Washington Post won’t exploit to attack President @realDonaldTrump?"
Soon right after the 11 Jews have been killed at the Tree of Life Synagogue, GQ writer Julia Ioffe tweeted: "And a word to my fellow American Jews: This president makes this achievable. Right here. Exactly where you live." Ioffe, who cited the move of the embassy to Jerusalem, turned that into an op-ed and "Morning Joe" appearance. (In fairness, she was the target of on the web abuse and death threats right after writing a critical piece on Melania Trump.)
The president was eloquent at a rally speech the night of the Saturday shootings, denouncing the evil and poison of anti-Semitism and noting that Jews have faced centuries of persecution. But soon after calling on each political players and media members to tone issues down, he reverted to his usual type yesterday on Twitter:
"There is great anger in our Nation brought on in portion by inaccurate, and even fraudulent, reporting of the news. The Fake News Media, the accurate Enemy of the Men and women, must stop the open & obvious hostility & report the news accurately & fairly. That will do much to put out the flame of Anger and Outrage and we will then be in a position to bring all sides collectively in Peace and Harmony. Fake News Need to Finish!"
For Trump to go back to the enemy-of-the-American-individuals rhetoric is not just wrong, painting journalists as practically traitors, but at odds with his own appeals to reduce the temperature.
This became a flashpoint at yesterday’s press briefing, exactly where CNN’s White Property correspondent Jim Acosta got into it with Sanders:
"I imply, if the president is going to say the ‘fake news media are the enemy of the folks,’ and if you’re going to stand there and continue to say that there are some journalists, some news outlets in this nation that meet that characterization, shouldn’t you have the guts, Sarah, to state which outlets, which journalists are the enemy of the people?"
The press secretary replied: "I feel it’s irresponsible of a news organization like yours to blame duty of a pipe bomb that was not sent by the president — not just blame the president, but blame members of his administration for those heinous acts. I think that is outrageous and I believe it’s irresponsible."
This goes beyond the rhetorical warfare between the White Residence and the press. With Trump scheduled to pay a visit to Pittsburgh right now, a group of Jewish leaders there, below the rubric Bend the Arc, put out an open letter:
"President Trump, you are not welcome in Pittsburgh till you fully denounce white nationalism." The letter accused Trump of getting "targeted" the Jewish community, of undermining the security of several minority groups, and says that the synagogue shooting is "not the very first act of terror you incited."
That you incited.
With all due respect to these who are grieving, this is just political point-scoring. You do not have to point to Trump’s robust relations with Israel to say it is an absurd overreach to argue that the president inspired a lunatic with a lifelong history of hating Jews. The rabbi of the Tree of Life temple says he welcomes Trump’s pay a visit to.
I know we’re in the house stretch of a divisive midterm election, and the default setting for pols and pundits, left and right, is to keep on the offensive. But when it comes to the terror that has lately plagued America, that is just pouring salt in some quite big wounds.
Published at Tue, 30 Oct 2018 07:30:54 +0000