Sunday, March 13, 2016


The New York Times runs a story today titled "Donald Trump’s Heated Words Were Destined to Stir Violence, Opponents Say," and the "opponents" include quite a few Republicans. In fact, every quote in the story from a Republican politician focuses the blame for campaign-trail violence on Trump:
“Donald Trump has created a toxic environment,” Gov. John Kasich of Ohio declared. “There is no place for a national leader to prey on the fears of people.”

Senator Marco Rubio, fighting for his political life in Florida’s primary on Tuesday, likened Mr. Trump to a third-world strongman....

Christine Todd Whitman, the former Republican governor of New Jersey and a cabinet member in the administration of George W. Bush, said she has long feared the fury that Mr. Trump’s words could arouse in his supporters and detractors alike.

“You can’t dial back the emotions he’s excited in people easily,” she said in an interview. “There will be consequences for that.”

She recalled Mr. Trump’s provocative remarks about Mexicans last year. “If you were told that Mexicans are rapists or criminals and you make assumptions and you are walking down the street and see them in your community,” she said, trailing off. “People are going to do things.”
But who's to blame according to the authors of the Times story (Michael Barbaro, Ashley Parker, and Trip Gabriel)? You guessed it: both sides!

Emphasis added below:
In foreboding conversations across the political world this past year, a bipartisan chorus warned that the 2016 presidential campaign was teetering on the edge of violence.

The anger from both sides was so raw, they concluded -- from supporters of Donald J. Trump who are terrified they are losing their country and from protesters who fear he is leading the nation down a dark road of hate -- that a dreaded moment was starting to look inevitable....

The ugly and chaotic clashes that unfolded on Friday inside a tense Chicago arena between Trump supporters and a coalition of protesters were the culmination of an extraordinarily indignant year in public life in which those on both sides of a widening divide have begun to see their fellow Americans as a fundamental threat to their economic future and basic dignity.
Dear Times campaign desk: When you're less willing to put the blame on a Republican than fellow Republicans are, I think you've taken this "balance" thing a wee bit too far.

But the Times writers aren't alone in this:
“I’ve gotta believe it’s only gonna get worse,” said William M. Daley, the son of Chicago’s famed mayor, Richard Daley, who presided over the violent 1968 Democratic convention. “Both sides are fueling this,” he added.
By coincidence, the perfect response to that just showed up in my Twitter timeline, from -- yes -- a Republican campaign operative:

Yes, it's a test of character. Fire breaks out. Do you or don't you grab a can of gasoline?

I don't want to give Republicans too much credit in this situation, given how many of them vow to support their party's nominee even in the likely event that it's Trump. But assessing blame in this situation seems to be a struggle for the "liberal media" and some Democrats. Republicans -- or at least the ones who don't like Trump -- don't seem to be struggling at all. Good for them.


retiredeng said...

The NYT has fallen so bad that it's now no more than dirty toilet paper.

Victor said...

Yes, the balls and the knee, and the fist and the face, are both equally responsible for contact.

"Hey! Your balls atacked my knee! Ya gotta watch dat."
"Wassamatawitchyou? Your sneeze caused your nose to rebound off my fist! Please be more careful."

And the NY Times wonders why I went from a daily purchaser/reader from the mid-70's until the early 00's?
And then a Sunday-only one until about 2012?

They still do some great non-political reporting, and the Editorial Page is still good. But, on the Op-Ed, outside of the great Krugman, Collins and Blow and Kristoff - when he's not in his sexist super-saver of the "little-wowen" phase - are usually tolerable, occassionally terrific.

Gene O'Neil said...

The liberal media is having trouble deciding...blah, blah

What liberal media? The NYT?

Philo Vaihinger said...

Bernie supporters in an organized and deliberate way are invading, disrupting, and trying to shut down Trump rallies.

There are no comparable efforts by Trump supporters to invade, disrupt, and shut down Bernie or Hillary rallies, or any others.

So of course everyone blames Trump, including Bernie, who lies that his supporters are doing nothing of the kind.

Trump is responsible for the disruptions and violence.

Trump is the fascist and anti-democrat, out to sabotage and disrupt the orderly and legitimate political process, out to silence the free speech and negate the free assembly of others.


Ten Bears said...

Philo, you're a god-damned liar.

Would you care to step outside?

Steve M. said...


Demonstrators are going to demonstrate. Provocateurs are going to try to provoke. It's the job of security to maintain order in a responsible way.

Meanwhile, common decency imposes a minimal requirement on the candidate: not to pour gasoline on the flames. Trump is attaching a hose to an oil tanker at his rallies. Is he being pushed and prodded? Sure. But it's his responsibility to be a grown-up. He's choosing to do the exact opposite.

CH said...

And allow me to add that Sanders didn't deny that some of his supporters were involved in disruption. What he denied was that his campaign itself was involved in that effort, and so far as I know there is no evidence to cast doubt on his denial. Moreover, Sanders asked his supporters not to engage in disruption (as opposed to demonstration/protest).