Mona Charen Tells It Like It Is — And Isn’t
Syndicated columnist Mona Charen, a hard-core conservative, is to be congratulated for condemning Republicans for their reticence in speaking out against President Trump’s comments following the racist violence in Charlottesville, Va.
But she almost contradicted her criticism with a preceding remark, saying “the left’s febrile imagination” was at play in liberals’ accusations that the GOP was riddled with racism.
“That the entire Republican Party has not risen up, en masse, to renounce Donald Trump’s comments about Charlottesville is a disgrace,” Charen wrote in a column that appeared Tuesday in the Palm Beach Post.
Hey, but that’s not because the party is full of racists. I mean, c’mon, give ’em a break. It was the weekend. Everybody needs time off. Can’t get upset about a little thing like the president of the United States’ bloviating that there were some “very good people” among the neo-Nazi, Ku Klux Klan, white nationalist, skin head, and assorted other members of the alt-right goon squad that staged a rally against the removal of statues commemorating the glorious deeds of Civil War leaders fighting for the noble cause of retaining the institution of slavery. Okay, so they killed a few people and injured 19 others. Bad things happen.
Charen wrote that “the Hitler Youth wannabes who paraded through Charlottesville last Friday night are not sincere Republicans falsely accused of being Nazis. They are the real thing. It should have been the most basic act of American civic hygiene to condemn and anathemetize them. (Some Republicans did.)”
Gen. Robert E. Lee
Noting Trump’s insistence that the people on the right were there to protest against the removal of the statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee, Charen quoted Gen. Ulysses Grant, who said Lee “fought so long and valiantly, and had suffered so much for a cause, though that cause was, I believe, one of the worst for which a people ever fought, and one of which there was the least excuse.”
Charen was doing well, putting the blame where it belonged. And then she showed her unwillingness to face the truth about the Republican Party leadership. “Hanging racism around Republican necks is the fulfillment of the dearest wish of the left,” she wrote, “and unless powerfully rebutted by however many decent Republicans still exist, will discredit the party for years to come.”
Gen. Ulysses S. Grant
Yeah, it’s pure fantasy to think there is much racism in the GOP. Hmmm, let’s see … The day after Barack Obama was sworn in as president in January 2009, Republican congressional leaders called a meeting, after which Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell went on national television and declared that the No. 1 priority of the Republican Party was to make Obama a one-term president. In other words, make him a failed president. In other words, make the country worse off.
Ed Rendell, Democratic governor of Pennsylvania at the time, declared, “That McConnell would say that in the first nine months of Barack Obama’s tenure is absolutely stunning, disgraceful, disgusting — you name the term.”
Sen. Mitch McConnell
Why did GOP leaders adopt that cause? To be sure, the GOP has been anything but bipartisan in the last three or four decades. But working for the wholesale detriment of the country just for the sake of political power? Unprecedented – in modern American history, at least, and perhaps ever. Something else motivated such a vehement reaction. Had Obama enraged the Republicans with some untoward act? No – except for winning the election.
So what was it about this new president that was different? The answer is as transparent as skin color. The Republicans could not accept that a black person had become president of the United States.
And they still can’t. Because he didn’t fail, and he became a two-term president. Through eight scandal-free years, against Republican stonewalling of everything he tried to accomplish, he lifted a beleaguered country and set it on an ever upward path. He was successful.