Yesterday, on the very day that Trump was finally pushed into signing the joint resolution against hate groups -- passed UNANIMOUSLY by the House and Senate -- the only people who he slammed when talking about it were (wait for it...) Antifa! Yes, that's right, a group which WASN'T a part of the condemnation -- since...well, they're not neo-Nazis, the KKK, white supremacists or a hate group. One would think that was pretty clear.
I know, I hear you cry, why on earth would Trump do such an inexplicable thing? This was a tap-in putt, after all. A gimmee. Condemn white supremacists, the KKK and neo-Nazi. UNANIMOUSLY condemn hate groups. Give a thumbs-up and move on. Easy. Well, to him it's because, as he put it, Antifa has "some really bad dudes."
Note to Trump, so does the Republican Party. And most dive bars. And Oakland Raiders fans. And several talent agencies I know of. And y'know, I'll bet even the Democratic Party. And Libertarians. And the DMV. And the CEOs of the Dow Jones Industrials. I'm sure they all and indeed many groups have "some really bad dudes" in them. But the joint resolution isn't about "really bad dudes" (whatever Trump's warped definition is about that), it's about HATE GROUPS.
It's specifically and solely about hate groups. White supremacists, the KKK, neo-Nazis and other hate groups. They're named -- actually named -- in the joint resolution. Not Antifia, though. Because they're NOT a "hate group." No matter how many or few or any "really bad dudes" Trump may think they have.
By the way, just as a point of clarification, "really bad dudes" are not the same as "really bad hombres." The latter are just Mexicans. It's not clear which Mexicans, since Trump never made clear -- though being Trump, it's safe to just presume "most" as a starting point. And neither group should be confused with eating "really bad clams." Though all three seem to give Trump indigestion.
So, yes, it's really quite adorable, and telling. Once again, Trump tried to bring up that old chestnut (which to be clear is precisely what caused so much outrage in the first place, indeed so much that it prompted the House and Senate to each propose this very same joint resolution that they passed UNANIMOUSLY), Trump's bizarre and egregious claim that "both sides" are part of the problem. No, one side is white supremacists, the KKK, neo-Nazis and other hate groups. The other side -- isn't.
So, let's recap --
The House and Senate each UNANIMOUSLY pass a joint resolution condemning white supremacists, the KKK, neo-Nazis and "other hate groups." And send it to Trump...who doesn't instantly sign it. Instead, his spokesman says, "No announcements at this time." Days go by.
Only after several days of public pressure does Trump finally get around to belatedly signing the resolution that UNANIMOUSLY condemned white supremacists, the KKK, neo-Nazis and "other hate groups." -- far too late, having already shown to everyone very clearly who he is.
And the day he finally signed this UNANIMOUS condemnation of white supremacists, the KKK, neo-Nazis and "other hate groups." -- Trump didn't condemn a single hate group mentioned in the joint resolution. He only condemned one group that was NOT named because it was NOT a hate group, but actually existed to specifically fight hate groups.
Whether you approve of Antifa's methods or not, they are not a hate group. They may be a noble group, they may be an aggressive group that is occasionally violent. But they are not a hate group. They fight hate groups.
And they are the only group Trump condemned. And he once again equated both sides as being part of the problem. The very day that he signed a UNANIMOUS joint resolution condemning white supremacists, the KKK, neo-Nazis...and other hate groups.
This was another slam dunk. A gimme putt. A no-brainer. You couldn't miss on this one. Trump was asked to sign a joint resolution that UNANIMOUSLY condemned white supremacists, the KKK, neo-Nazis...and other hate groups. And the only group he condemned was one that fights hate groups! He not only missed the one-inch putt -- he took a full swing and hit it 200 yards in the wrong direction!
Once again, in case anyone wonders why ESPN's Jamele Hill considered Trump a white supremacist, there's another reminder. If you needed one.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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