GOP Knows Who's The REAL White Nationalist Terrorists, And It Is ... Oh, You Know The Drill
New Zealand is still mourning after the horrific attacks on two mosques in Christchurch. As news and social media deal with their influence on the shooter, there were plenty of comments on CNN's "State of the Union." Let's begin with the US Ambassador to New Zealand, former Massachusetts senator and part-time male model Scott Brown. Jake Tapper pressed Ambassador Brown about New Zealand's prime minister's request that Trump show support for the Muslim community. After Brown affirmed HIS stance & support for the Muslim community, Tapper asked a very illuminating question:
TAPPER: Have you spoken with President Trump about this attack?
BROWN: I speak to the, obviously, the White House, the Situation Room and all parties to be on a very regular basis. There's no need for me to specifically speak to the president because I'm here as his representative and do what I have been doing, which is making sure that whatever the new Zealand government needs, including the prime minister or any of the other agencies, we make sure it's available.
So the answer is "NO," Ambassador Brown. Apparently while Trump hasn't had time to speak with his own ambassador to New Zealand, he's had time to feign ignorance that white supremacy is on the rise and trash the late Senator John McCain. Tapper continued:
TAPPER: Would it make your job easier, though? The prime minister has specifically said to the president that she would like to see him say something to address the Muslim community. There are American Muslims very concerned, Muslims worldwide concerned about this horrific anti-Muslim massacre. Would it make your job easier? Would you like to see the president specifically say that he is standing with our Muslim brothers and sisters, exactly the way you did?
BROWN: […] The biggest priority is to deal with the — make sure that love over hate, reach out to your local communities and do the things important to make this country heal.
It's not surprising the GOP has had the hardest juggling act. From the Trump to Fox News's Tucker Carlson & Laura Ingraham basically espousing the same views in the shooter's manifesto to Fox News's Jeanine Pirro taking "previously scheduled vacation" after comments about Rep. Ilhan Omar's hijab. Just last week the GOP was "standing-up" for anti-Semitism by throwing thinly veiled Islamophobic insults at Rep. Omar. So much so that 24 Republicans voted against a resolution condemning bigotry of ALL kinds (GREAT timing) because it wasn't directed specifically at Rep. Omar. A perfect example of this disconnect was found later on during the "State of The Union" panel discussion featuring Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana, CNN commentator Karen Finney, former Rep. Mia Love of Utah, and Justice Democrats communications director Waleed Shahid. The discussion got a good & truthful start form Shahid:
SHAHID: […] I appreciate Joe Biden's strong words here that the president doesn't feel like he needs to condemn white nationalism or sympathize with Muslims right now because he's sympathetic to white nationalism. I mean, this is a president and a politician who peddled the birther conspiracy about President Obama, called for a complete and total shutdown of Muslims, said that he was open to closing down mosques in this country after the Paris attacks. Has suggested that he's open to getting rid of Muslims in this country.Tapper moved on to Banks, who then proceeds to show why GOP is so tone-deaf about this.
TAPPER: What do you think, Congressman?Oh, you mean THIS Steve King? The one that the GOP took 16 years to condemn his racism? The one still being a bigot now fantasizing about a violent a civil war?
BANKS: The president condemned white nationalism and the actions that happened in New Zealand. There's no question about it. None of us can be --
TAPPER: I don't think he specifically mentioned white nationalism -- he condemned the attacks.
BANKS: Yes. None of us can be emphatic enough though in our condemnation of hate in all of its forms. That's why -- that's why we have to step back and talk about what we can do about it. And I'll give you an example. When white nationalism reared its ugly head in the House of Representatives, the Republican leader Kevin McCarthy stripped Steve King of his committee assignments. Today as we sit here Representative Omar still sits on the foreign affairs committee after her anti-Semitic comments because Democrats and Nancy Pelosi refuse to do anything about it.
King doesn't realize he's cheering for Iowa to get shot. Fantasizing against constituents to "own the libs"
Thankfully Karen Finney was on hand:
FINNEY: That's a very shameful comparison to make, Congressman. I'm disappointed you'd use this moment to do that. A couple of things. Steve King has, for years, made all sorts of horrendous comments that have gone without, you know, just a deafening silence from your party. And I actually think this is a moment to lift this up. I mean, you are correct, Jake. The president did not specifically call out white nationalism and the way that we have to combat hate and sexism and bigotry and anti-gay bias, you name it we have to name it. We have to say it. We have to have that courage.
But the last word on this belongs to Shahid, who explained perfectly why the GOP, Trump and segments of America have a hard time calling this out or labeling white nationalist attacks what they are: Terrorism.
SHAHID: For years after 9/11 we've heard this call of moderate Muslim leading (ph) to condemn radical Islam terror but I don't think moderate Republicans are doing enough to hold President Trump accountable for his rhetoric. And at the same time if you look at what's peddled on Fox News, on Breitbart, you have these billionaires like Rupert Murdoch and Robert Mercer. Any time you read Breitbart or Fox News, it's just conspiracy theories about how Muslims, immigrants, people of color are to blame for this country's and the world's economic problems and no one is standing up to any of these people, no one is standing up to Donald Trump. No one is standing up to Rupert Murdoch.
Chuck Todd said some bullshit too, for a change, but Stephen will address that later. Until next week!
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Your friendly neighborhood Puerto Rican Political Freelance Writer for @wonkette. Pop Culture observer, Amateur Movie reviewer & Comics fan. Former Active Duty Marine. All opinions are mine only.