Trump’s willing supremacists – Daily Kos – Daily Kos

Thats why Americans need to hear more than just words from Trumps born-again GOP critics. Earlier in his career, for example, Steve Scalise described himself as being like David Duke without the baggage. Sen.Graham, who was quick to demand Boston Marathon bomber and U.S. citizen Dzhokhar Tsarnaev be treated as an enemy combatant, brushed off Charleston lone-wolf mass murderer Dylann Roof as just one of these whacked out kids, rejecting the ides that its anything broader than that. (President Bushs FBI and President Obamas DHS had warned otherwise.) In 2014, Dean Heller went even further, praising Cliven Bundy and his militia allies threatening federal marshals in Nevada as patriots. In 2012, Gov.Romney didnt just refuse to renounce Birther Donald Trumps endorsement, but called President Obamas policies extraordinarily foreign and told a campaign crowd that no ones ever asked to see my birth certificate. And in March 2016, Paul Ryan may have responded to Trumps backing by David Duke by proclaiming this Party does not prey on peoples prejudices, but did so only after blowing the dog whistle by repeatedly warning about “makers and takers” turning “the safety net into a hammock” in “our inner cities.”

In the wake of Donald Trumps surprising victory on Election Day, a new cottage industry quickly sprang up to offer sympathetic profiles of the supposedly long-overlooked and long-suffering voters who rallied to him. The New York Times was at the forefront, delivering on-the-ground stories from Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Michigan within days of the balloting. At the same time, a proliferation of competing explanations theorized that Trump spoke to the economic anxiety, blatant racism, not-so-latent sexism, or fear of diversity of white working-class voters. But heading into the election, Philip Klinkner of Hamilton College offered a much simpler rule of thumb to predict which candidate a voter would support. As Klinkner summed up his research, The easiest way to guess if someone supports Trump [over Clinton]? Ask if Obama is a Muslim.

[M]oving from the least to the most resentful view of African Americans increases support for Trump by 44 points, those who think Obama is a Muslim (54 percent of all Republicans) are 24 points more favorable to Trump, and those who think the word “violent” describes Muslims extremely well are about 13 points more pro-Trump than those who think it doesn’t describe them well at all.

At his rallies, his lines about a ban onMuslims entering the United States, building a wall on the Mexican border, and rounding up and deporting 11 million undocumented immigrants drew the biggest applause. For his most ardent backers, Trump’s toxic blend of racism and xenophobia was a feature, not a bug.

If this all sounds vaguely familiar, it should. In its basic contours, the GOP has been capitalizing on the same politics of racial backlash and white resentment for more than 50 years. That’s when the great exodus of virulently racist southern conservatives from the Democratic Party and into the open arms of the Republican Party began in earnest.

Now, FDR and especially Eleanor Roosevelt had been early supporters of expanded civil rights for African Americans. It was his successor, Harry Truman, who integrated the United States military in the face of fierce opposition from the Dixiecrats. But recall that in less than five years between 1961 and 1965, America witnessed the Freedom Riders and Freedom Summer, the March on Washington, and the Kennedy administration’s intervention to integrate the all-white University of Alabama. On June 11, 1963, President Kennedy used a nationally televised address to explain the essence of the civil rights struggle to the American people:

The heart of the question is whether all Americans are to be afforded equal rights and equal opportunities, whether we are going to treat our fellow Americans as we want to be treated. If an American, because his skin is dark, cannot eat lunch in a restaurant open to the public, if he cannot send his children to the best public school available, if he cannot vote for the public officials who represent him, if, in short, he cannot enjoy the full and free life which all of us want, then who among us would be content to have the color of his skin changed and stand in his place? Who among us would then be content with the counsels of patience and delay?

After Kennedy’s assassination, President Lyndon Johnson used the outpouring of grief and the growing support for the movement to ensure the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 VotingRights Act.

To be sure, on civil rights national Democratic leaders had followed and not led. But among their voters in the South and the white working class, Democrats would pay a steep price for their belated championing of equality and social justice. LBJ knew this at the time, lamenting before the ink was dry on the Civil Rights Act in 1964:

As it has turned out, it has been two generations. While the nation’s rapidly changing demographics now give Democrats some hope for the future in Florida, North Carolina, and Texas, the South has been a Republican fortress ever since Johnson left the Oval Office.

In just eight years, LBJ’s 1964 landslide victory with 61 percent of the vote was completely reversed. In 1972, Richard Nixon won 60 percent of the popular vote and a staggering 520 electoral votes. “In the eight years in between,” Richard Perlstein wrote in Nixonland, “the battle lines that define our culture and politics were forged in blood and fire.” As Perlstein summed up the story behind the dynamic at work:

Even before candidate and President Nixon started executing Kevin Phillip’s “Southern Strategy,” Tricky Dick was already putting his formula of backlash politics to work in the 1966 midterm elections. Decades before the tea party and Fox News and before and Sarah Palin and Glenn Becks warnings about New Black Panthers, birth certificates, death panels, and FEMA concentration camps from the nation’s first African-American president (one they deemed a “racist” and an “angry black man” who “hates white people”), Richard Nixon hit the trail after the Watts Riots of 1965:

For instance, Iowa’s first district. A five-term Republican, Fred Schwengel, was running to recover the seat he’d lost to a young political science professor from the Bronx named John Schmidhauser. One day, Representative Schmidhauser appeared at a Farm Bureau meeting, prepared for a grilling on the Democrats’ agricultural policies. The questions, though, were all on rumors that Chicago’s Negro rioters were about to engulf Iowa in waves, traveling, for some reason, “on motorcycles.” The liberal political science professor was as vulnerable as a sapling … Now that farmers were afraid that Martin Luther King would send Negro biker gangs to rape their children, the Republican restoration seemed inevitable.

In 1970, Nixon’s henchman Kevin Phillips explained how it would all come to pass.

And to be sure, Phillips’ “Negrophobes” and their elected enablers began making the Republican Party their home. Like his home state of Texas, Gov. John Connallythe same man wounded in JFK’s limousine in Dallasswitched parties, served as Nixon’s Treasury secretary, and ran for the 1980 GOP presidential nomination. After the passage of the Civil Rights Act, others swapped blue for red as well. Before North Carolina’s Jesse Helms switched over, South Carolina senator and former Dixiecrat presidential nominee Strom Thurmond bolted over the Civil Rights Act. Thurmond’s most famous contribution to America’s national discourse came in 1948:

(During his presidency, George W. Bush would eulogize Jesse Helms as “an unwavering champion of those struggling for liberty” and praised the late Strom Thurmond for “the tremendous love he had for his constituents.”)

In 1972, a young Trent Lott similarly jumped ship. Thirty years later, Mississippi GOP Sen. Lott praised Thurmond on the occasion of his 100th birthday:

The Council of Conservative Citizens, the successor to the dreaded White Citizens’ Councils of Jim Crow days, couldn’t agree more. Which is why Haley Barbour, who campaigned for governor of Mississippi wearing a lapel pin of the state’s Confederate flag he vowed to maintain, was a fixture at the CCC’s events. Lott, too, was a speaker in 1992 at an event of the Council of Conservative Citizens. Among its offerings in seething racial hatred is a “Wanted” poster of Abraham Lincoln. Lott also offered his rebel yell in the virulently neo-Confederate Southern Partisan, where in 1984 he called the Civil War “the War of Northern Aggression.” (Former Missouri senator and Bush Attorney General John Ashcroft went a step further, praising Southern Partisan for “defending Southern patriots like Lee, Jackson and Davis” and adding “We’ve all got to stand up and speak in this respect or else we’ll be taught that these people were giving their lives, subscribing their sacred fortunes and their honor to some perverted agenda.”)

To complete that conversion, candidate Ronald Reagan traveled to Philadelphia, Mississippi, to kick-off his 1980 general election campaign. There, where civil rights workers James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner were slaughtered in 1964, Reagan declared “I believe in states’ rights.” Reagan, who had denounced the so-called “welfare queen” and the “strapping young buck” and declared the 1965 Voting Rights Act “humiliated the South,” soon had more company among Southern conservatives in Republican ranks. In 1983, Texan Phil Gramm joined the GOP. Eleven years later, Alabama’s Richard Shelby followed suit. It’s no wonder that casual race-baiting and long-discredited notions like states’ rights, secession, and nullification are now standard fare on today’s Republican menu.

The GOP’s dog whistle playlist has only gotten longer in the age of Obama. As I’ve documented at great length elsewhere (see, for example, “The Neo-Confederate Sin” and “It’s a Conservative Thing: You Wouldn’t Understand”), Republicans have been playing the slavery card against gun control, the national debt, Obamacare, taxing the wealthy, marriage equality, and just about every other public policy and societal trend they currently detest. Equally disturbing, GOP talking points routinely included recycled antebellum paeans to states’ rights, nullification, and secession.

And it began before Barack Obama even won the election of 2008. Throughout that summer and fall,Rush Limbaughrepeatedly described “this little boy” Sen. Obama as a “Halfrican-American” and a “man-child.”

Even before the first vote was cast that November, today’s tea party types were calling Sen. Obama a socialist Muslim and demanding his birth certificate at McCain-Palin rallies across America. Just take a look back at Alexandra Pelosi’s documentary of the 2008 campaign, Right America: Feeling Wronged. Clips from Right America look no different from the “McCain-Palin Mob” or “Tea Baggers 2009.” As one McCain supporter put it before the November 2008 election:

“We all hate the same things.”

For more proof, look no further than the Washington Post’s October 9, 2008 article, titled “Anger Is Crowd’s Overarching Emotion at McCain Rally:”

There were shouts of “Nobama” and “Socialist” at the mention of the Democratic presidential nominee. There were boos, middle fingers turned up and thumbs turned down as a media caravan moved through the crowd Thursday for a midday town hall gathering featuring John McCain and Sarah Palin.

As CNN reported in another October 2008 article titled “Rage Rising on the McCain Campaign Trail,” one nascent tea partier announced at a town hall:

“I’m mad. I’m really mad. It’s not the economy. It’s the socialist taking over our country.”

In a telling moment early in the new president’s tenure, South Carolina RepublicanCongressman Joe Wilson shouted “You lie!”at the first African-American president during Obama’s September 2009 health care speech to a joint session of Congress. (Obama wasn’t lyingthe Affordable Care Act did not and does not cover undocumented immigrants.) While many Americans responded with shock and scorn, others replied with millions in cash for Wilson’s campaign coffers. One gun manufacturer commemorated the event by offering a receiver for the AR-15 rifle featuring Wilson’s words “you lie” etched into the anodized metal. That episode recalled another one involving one of Wilson’s Palmetto State predecessors back in 1856, when admirers sent canes to South Carolina Rep. Preston Brooks after he viciously caned abolitionist Massachusetts Sen. Charles Sumner in the Capitol. As one laudatory editorial back in Brooks’ home state put it:

In the fall of 2009,Daily Showhost Jon Stewart had a simple message to the furious tea partiers inside Congress and out. Rightly noting that these foaming-at-the-mouth hardliners werewrong about almost every sound bitethey regurgitated, Stewart warned, “I think you might be confusing tyranny with losing.” And when they weren’t actively misleading Americans on taxes, health care reform, the national debt, and so much more, the GOP’s leaders remained silent. Especially on Barack Obama’s citizenship and religion.

Consider, for example, Ryan’s predecessor John Boehner. In February 2011, the new speaker of the House told NBC Meet the Press host David Gregory, “I believe that the president is a citizen. I believe the president is a Christian, I’ll take him at his word.” But when Gregory pushed him to accept the “responsibility to stand up to that kind of ignorance,” Boehner repeatedly refused.

Boehner’s right-hand man, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, used the same dodge to help fan the flames of the Fox News crowd. That January, Cantor told NBC’s Gregory that he would not speak out against those “who think that his [Obama’s] birth certificate is inauthentic.”

CANTOR: [laughs] David, you know, a lot of that has been an issue sort of generated by not only the media but others in the country. Most Americans really are beyond that and they want us to focus–

GREGORY: Is somebody who brings that up engaging in crazy talk?

CANTOR: David I don’t think it’s nice to call anyone crazy, OK?

While Cantor ultimately acknowledged, “I think the president is a citizen of the United States,” the 2012 Republican nominee for president, Mitt Romney, casually played the Birther Card as well.

As a quick backward glance shows, it wasn’t just Romney surrogates like John Sununu wishing “this president would learn how to be an American.” On July 17, 2012 Mitt got in on the act, too, telling listeners that “his course is extraordinarily foreign.” Two days later, Romney repeated the charge in response to the growing outcry about his mystery tax returns, shockingly low tax rate, and private equity parasitism:

When Gov. Romney wasn’t accusing the president of the United States of being “extraordinarily foreign,” he was providing aid and comfort to conservative fabulists claiming they could prove it. After all, Mitt Romney didn’t just refuse to repudiate Obama birth certificate fraud Donald Trump. Truth be damned, Romney suggested, instead arguing that cobbling together a majorityany majoritywas what his candidacy was all about:

Among those “good people” were Romney’s five sons, the same ones Mitt boasted in 2007 were “showing support for our nation” by “helping me get elected because they think I’d be a great president.” The Five Brothers also regurgitated the birther lies vomited forth by the likes of Limbaugh, Trump, and Romney campaign traveling companion Jerome Corsi. When Tagg Romney wasn’t joking about “taking a swing” at President Obama, his brother Matt got laughs from New Hampshire Republicans when he brushed off requests for his father’s secret tax returns this way:

While he later apologized on Twitter (“my bad”), there was no need for Matt to say sorry to dad. After all, in August 2012 Mitt Romney himself told an audience in Michigan:

Those Michigan Republicans laughed and cheered. And within three years, they were doubtless lining up to behind Donald Trump. In May 2015, a PPP poll found that “Trump Supporters Think Obama is A Muslim Born in Another Country.”

As it turned out, stoking the hot coals of white racial resentment wasnt just a campaign strategy for Team Trump. His White House has adopted the same approach to governing. When President Trump speaks of defending civilization (as he did in Poland) or protecting the culture (as he did in regards to Charlottesville on Tuesday), hes regurgitating the whitewashed worldview of Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller. Trumps Muslim ban, his administrations attacks on immigration (legal and undocumented), Kris Kobachs vote suppression operation and Jeff Sessions backtracking on criminal justice reform and a renewed war on drugs are just some of the measures designed to appease the hardest of his hardline supporters. Using three straight days of public remarks after the violence in Charlottesville to provide aid and comfort to neo-Nazis, neo-Confederates, and white supremacists represents loyalty rewarded by Donald Trump.

All of which means its time for Republicans in the House, the Senate, in the states and among the conservative commentariat to end their loyalty to Donald Trump. Words of concern alone are grotesquely insufficient. To stand up and be counted, Republicans must first demand Donald Trumps resignation or removal from office. The nation cannot wait for Robert Mueller or for impeachment. (To paraphrase Sharron Angle, Republicans leaders may have to look to 25th Amendment remedies.) But that still is not enough. The GOP must renounce once and for all its shameful Southern Strategy. That doesnt just mean no more antebellum nostalgia, no more Willie Hortons, no more white hands and no more welfare queens. Republicans must end their war mythical vote fraud, move to restore the Voting Rights Act gutted by the Roberts Court, and pressure the Trump Justice Department to withdraw its support for draconian voter ID laws in Texas and North Carolina. Congress should hold hearings on neo-Nazi, white supremacist, and other anti-government groups. Republicans should acknowledge that the distance between their rhetoric and right-wing terror is short.

When it comes to white supremacy in the United States, there are not many sides. There is only the monument to the 54th Massachusetts in Boston or Stone Mountain in Georgia. There is only right or wrong. The President of the United States is on the wrong side of the American people, of American history, and of American morality. For Donald Trumps enablers in the Republican Party, silence is complicity. Inaction is acquiescence. As one black soldier put it during the Civil War, Liberty must take the day, nothing shorter. If the Party of Lincoln isnt on his side now, as the 16th President warned, it should be damned in time and eternity. To put it another way for Republican partisans now so fond of comparing everything they hate to the Holocaust, they cant say theydidnt know what was going on. They cant say they werent members of the Party. And they certainly cant say they were just following orders from Donald Trump.

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Trump’s willing supremacists – Daily Kos – Daily Kos

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August 21, 2017   Posted in: Council of Conservative Citizens |

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