If a “blue wave” – which history, polls, Democratic fervor and piles of money tell us should sweep the land in Tuesday’s mid-term elections – turns into no more than a ripple, it’s likely that Democratic leaders, and their many media enablers, will have only themselves to blame.
President Trump hands them so many ways to attack him – he’s turned himself into the proverbial “target-rich environment.”
But they apparently can’t be satisfied with legitimate, truthful attack vectors. So they keep giving Trump supporters, plus those somewhere in the middle, evidence to say they really are purveyors of fake news.
Or that they have one standard for Republicans and another for Democrats.
Start with the accused pipe bomber, Cesar Sayoc, who allegedly mailed those devices to a long list of Democratic luminaries and supporters, from President Barack Obama to President Bill Clinton and his wife, former secretary of state and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, to billionaire leftist George Soros and the cable network CNN.
Fortunately, none of the devices exploded. And that fact doesn’t make this a “false flag” or any less of a terrorist act.
But coverage of the incident, especially once Sayoc was arrested, was all about how Trump was responsible for it because he had “inspired” Sayoc with his incendiary rhetoric. We all saw endless images of Sayoc wearing his MAGA – Make America Great Again – hat.
Compare that with the aftermath of the June 2017 shooting spree at a baseball practice of congressional Republicans in Alexandria, Virginia, in which Rep. Steve Scalise was grievously wounded.
The now deceased shooter, James Hodgkinson, was a left-wing activist and outspoken supporter of Vermont senator and self-described “democratic socialist” Bernie Sanders, who spent much of his unsuccessful campaign for president uttering incendiary attacks against what he alleged was solely Republican support of “millionaires and billionaires.”
He did much more than just imply that they had stolen their wealth from everybody else. Never mind that there are plenty of Democratic millionaires in Congress.
But after the shooting, which nearly killed one and injured a number of others, the mainstream media downplayed Hodgkinson’s politics. And Democrats like House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said it would be “outrageous” to blame Sanders, or connect his rhetoric to the attack in any way.
In fact, there were a number of declarations from “progressives” that the injured Republicans deserved it, since they hadn’t been sufficiently aggressive in disarming the population – framed as “common sense gun safety laws.”
All of which is an obvious double-standard. It’s inexcusable for Trump to be hateful and divisive – and sometimes he is – but fine for Democrats when they do the same thing.
Recall that they never got tired of comparing President George W. Bush to Hitler – one of the greatest mass-murderers in history – even though Bush was vastly more classy and polite in response. Indeed, being civil to #theresistance doesn’t get you any civility in return.
Then there is the more recent, hideous mass murder of worshipers at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh that left 11 dead and another two worshipers and four law enforcement officers injured.
The accused shooter, Robert Bowers, is not just an outspoken anti-Semite. He is an outspoken hater of Trump, who claimed the president was being controlled by Jews.
So, based on the “Cesar Sayoc rule,” those who hate Trump – and there are millions who proudly say they do – are at least partly responsible for inspiring Bowers’ alleged crimes.
Yet, the mantra from #theresistance was the same – Trump was to blame for the alleged actions of a man who hated him.
Really? Keep in mind that the left’s support of Jews is, let’s say, selective. They were the harshest critics of Trump besides the Palestinians when the president announced the move of the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
Keep in mind that after the shooting, Trump called for wiping out “the hateful poison of anti-Semitism from our world.
“The scourge of anti-Semitism cannot be ignored, cannot be tolerated, and it cannot be allowed to continue,” he said. “It must be confronted and condemned everywhere it rears its ugly head. We must stand with our Jewish brothers and sisters to defeat anti-Semitism and vanquish the forces of hate."
Yet when Trump visited Pittsburgh after the shooting, one protester contended that his “words, actions, and polices have espoused and emboldened the type of violence and hatred our community so tragically endured with the massacre of 11 Jews in their place of worship.”
And before the president made the trip to Pittsburgh, there were also demands from some in the Jewish community that he renounce “white nationalism.”
What had Trump said or done to prompt that? He had said, at a rally, that he is a nationalist. Not a “white” nationalist – simply a nationalist.
Another version of what he has said since he began campaigning for the office – America first.
Being just a nationalist, in the view of a number of my progressive friends, is bad enough. Oh, they say it might be OK for a person’s first loyalty to be to his home country, but he should never commit the unseemly act of saying so publicly.
Tacky – very tacky. Not something sophisticated citizens of the world would say.
OK, I disagree, but can respect criticism of something Trump actually said.
But that wasn’t enough. They had to demand that he renounce something he didn’t say.
And, of course it was reported that way. Anybody simply hearing or reading the demand would assume he had publicly declared himself a white nationalist.
Which is just what they wanted them to think.
This may not be “enemy of the people” stuff, but it is definitely enmity to the truth. And an increasing number of people are getting wise to it.
Taylor Armerding is an independent columnist. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org