Trump says it’s not his violent rhetoric, but the press that’s responsible for political violence

When I last left you, we were discussing the fact that an explosive device had been discovered in the mailbox of George Soros, a man who Trump and his allies on the far right have been spinning wild conspiracy theories about for years. [Just today there’s a new conspiracy theory about how the billionaire philanthropist is financing the so-called “caravan” of terrorist immigrants heading to our southern border from Central America.] Well, it would appear that Soros wasn’t the only one targeted for execution in this manner. Over the past 48 hours, a total of ten bombs have been discovered, sent to the offices and homes of not only Soros, but Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Joe Biden, former Obama administration Attorney General Eric Holder, former CIA Director John Brennan, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, and Robert De Niro. All of these bombs were apparently packaged in the same fashion and sent with the same return address… that of Democratic Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz. [Waters and Biden both had two bombs sent to them. The bomb addressed to Brennan was sent in care of CNN. And the bomb sent to Holder, deemed undeliverable by the Postal Service, was “returned” to the office of Wasserman Schultz.] All of these people, of course, have one thing in common. They are people who have been criticized and ridiculed relentlessly by our President.

There was some hope yesterday that Donald Trump, who has, since becoming President, not only continued to engage in violent rhetoric, but aligned himself more closely with white nationalist figures, might take the opportunity to come out aggressively against this most recent escalation in political violence, and attempt to calm the waters, urging respect and understanding. That, however, wasn’t what happened. At a rally last night in Wisconsin, Donald Trump, after condemning the sending of these explosive devices, attempted to shift the blame onto the press. This environment we find ourselves in, he said, is in large part due to those in the media who “carelessly compare political opponents to historical villains.” Journalists, he then added, need to “stop treating their opponents as morally defective.” And he then went even further this morning, saying that, “the anger we see today in our society is caused by the purposely false and inaccurate reporting… (which) has gotten so bad and hateful that it is beyond description.”

So, to sum up, the problem, at least as Donald Trump sees it, isn’t that he’s been holding rallies where he talks about the American press being “the enemy of the people,” and ranting about how protesters should be “roughed up,” and his adversaries should be “locked up” in order to be stopped from harming our nation, but those of us who criticize him for saying such things, and attempt to hold him accountable… If only we didn’t complain about his supporters throwing white power hand signs and chanting “lock her up” about innocent people, I guess, all of this might have been avoided. If only we’d told them that they were heroic, maybe these bombs never would have been sent.

This should have been a relatively easy thing for him to navigate as our President. Had this happened under any other administration, the President would have cancelled his rally, called together members of both parties, and made a joint statement urging calm, reminding the American people that, although we may have different ideas as to how we should move forward as a nation, we all love this country, and want the best for our families, and those of our neighbors. Instead, however, he essentially justified the attempted assassination of these eight American citizens by saying that the media is to blame for painting his supporters as “villains.”

And, apparently, it’s finally becoming obvious to some members of the Republican establishment what they’re dealing with in Donald Trump. As Ohio Governor John Kasich said today, “I gave him every chance, but I’ve come to the conclusion that Donald Trump is simply incapable of being a unifier or accepting any personal responsibility.”

Sadly, though, we’re moving so fast down the slippery slope of authoritarianism, I doubt this will make much of a difference, at least not to those who form the MAGA base. One would have hoped that, as Trump blamed the press for the sending of these ten bombs, we might have shared some kind of collective moment of clarity… like during the 1954 Senate hearing in which Joseph McCarthy was asked, “Have you no sense of decency, Sir?,” laying bare the charade of McCarthyism once and for all. But, no, we just keep right on sliding on to the next fleeting outrage.

I should add a this point that we don’t yet know who sent the above-mentioned bombs. For all we know, it could have been a deranged liberal who felt as though this might somehow help the party’s chances in the midterms. I think that’s unlikely, but I suppose it’s possible. What I know for certain to be true, however, is that this President’s rhetoric is not helping anything. When Donald Trump urges his supporters to “rough up” those who would criticize him, praises those who beat up journalists, infers that all Mexicans are murderers, rapists and drug dealers, and says that his critics were “born fucked up,” it shouldn’t surprise anyone that political violence follows. When you consistently dehumanize your opponents, and demonize them, this is exactly what happens. When you tell people that an army of bloodthirsty criminal terrorists are heading for our border, as Donald Trump just did, and then say that the Democrats want to allow them in, so that they can kill our families, we really shouldn’t be all surprised when some small percentage of people, who don’t understand what’s really going on, turn to domestic terrorism.

We know from history that this is what happens in fascist regimes. We’ve seen it happen before.

While, as I said above, I have no idea who might be responsible for the mailing of these bombs, some people seem very certain that they know exactly what happened. Here are three quotes from prominent conservatives. 1) Ann Coulter: “Bombs are a liberal tactic.” 2) Lou Dobbs: “Fake News, Fake Bombs.” 3) Geraldo Rivera: “I believe that this whole thing was an elaborate hoax.”

And, meanwhile, of course, they’re aggressively playing the victim card, as they’re known to do… Yesterday on Fox, they were talking about the incivility of Democratic “mobs” when news broke about these eight Democratic leaders being targeted with explosive devices. If you have a moment, I’d encourage you to watch the footage, as it really puts into sharp relief what we’re dealing with here. On one hand, you have Republicans complaining that, just because they’re rolling back protections for people with preexisting conditions, “Democratic mobs” are keeping them from enjoying their taxpayer-funded dinners out on the town. And, on the other, you have actual bombs being sent to the homes of our most recognizable Democratic leaders… Just think about that for a minute.

According to the folks at Fox, though, it’s the press that’s playing the victim here. “It’s the victim mentality all over again,” said Fox anchor Trish Regan. “The media refusing to take any responsibility for themselves.”

Lastly, I’d like to leave you with these words from CNN President Jeff Zucker, who had to evacuate his staff yesterday, when one of these ten bombs was found in their mail room. “There is a total and complete lack of understanding at the White House about the seriousness of their continued attacks on the media,” Zucker said. “The president, and especially the White House press secretary, should understand their words matter. Thus far, they have shown no comprehension of that.” And that, of course, is a generous interpretation. Another, perhaps more plausible interpretation, is that they know exactly what they’re doing, and either do not care, or actually desire this violence to escalate.

Either way, we would be foolish to think that this is the end, and not just the beginning.

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55 Comments

  1. anonymous
    Posted October 25, 2018 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

    Don’t quote Coulter, Rivera and Dobbs. Quote David Simon.

    “My friends died after being labeled ‘enemies of the people’ by their president. Just fuck you.”

  2. anonymous
    Posted October 25, 2018 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

    Or Maxine Waters.

    “We have to keep to doing what we’re doing in order to make this country right; that’s what I intend to do, and as the young people say, ‘I ain’t scared.'”

  3. Anonymous
    Posted October 26, 2018 at 4:14 am | Permalink

    There is a total and complete understanding at the White House about the seriousness of their continued attacks on the media. The president, and especially the White House press secretary, understand their words matter. Thus far, they have shown comprehension of that.

    Zucker doesn’t get the game. He’s not playing with amateurs. He’s brought a knife to a gunfight.

  4. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted October 26, 2018 at 6:32 am | Permalink

    Violent rhetoric? Wtf are you talking about? Joking about roughing up disrupters at his rallies? That’s all you got? Pathetic. Your people PAID people to cause VIOLENCE at Trump rallies. You should be ashamed of yourself for lying like this.

  5. Eel
    Posted October 26, 2018 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    Elect a fascist, get fascism. Who would have thought?

  6. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted October 26, 2018 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    “chanting “lock her up” about innocent people”

    Wait, what? Hillary has this frame job on her head. She paid for that phony Russian intel to try to undo the election. That’s treason right there and that is only the latest issue she will have to deal with.

  7. Another One
    Posted October 26, 2018 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    BREAKING NEWS: Suspicious package addressed to Sen. Cory Booker recovered in Florida https://fxn.ws/2qkf2EB

  8. Frosted Flakes
    Posted October 26, 2018 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    “[Trump] infers that all Mexicans are murderers”.

    No.

    Infer versus imply. You can argue that the deliverer of a message implied something which led you to your inference about a message, but an inference, can also occur, in the absence of any actual implying on the part of the deliverer of a message.

    Questions: Has Trump clarified his statement? If he has clarified his statement then what does that imply about your inference?

  9. Rat
    Posted October 26, 2018 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists…. And some, I assume, are good people.” -Donald Trump

    Keep clinging to that last sentence, FF.

  10. Another One
    Posted October 26, 2018 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    It’s being reported that another bomb was found at CNN.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/26/nyregion/cnn-cory-booker-pipe-bombs-sent.html

  11. see also
    Posted October 26, 2018 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    A (white supremacist) gunman who killed 2 (black) people at a Kroger in Kentucky tried to enter a predominantly black church minutes before the attack, the police said. “I’m just thankful that all of our doors and security was in place,” the church administrator said.

  12. anonymous
    Posted October 26, 2018 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    You left out this Republican quote.

    Milo Yiannopoulos: “Disgusting and sad (that they didn’t go off, and the daily beast didn’t get one).”

    Source: https://www.thedailybeast.com/instagram-refuses-to-pull-down-milo-post-praising-mail-bombs

  13. EOS
    Posted October 26, 2018 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    I feel bad for anyone who thinks Mark’s posts resemble the truth in any way. If you have to distort the truth in order to make your position seem reasonable, then you should really reconsider your beliefs.

  14. Another One
    Posted October 26, 2018 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    The device found at CNN’s New York offices this morning was addressed to James Clapper. https://cbsn.ws/2CJdXxw

  15. John Brown
    Posted October 26, 2018 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    Eos gets the Uber-Orwellian award for that one!

    See what we’re dealing with here people? Agent Orange zombie wranglers will be busy.

  16. maryd
    Posted October 26, 2018 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    “We would look at brain scan results and we could be incredibly accurate knowing whether they’re liberal or conservative, just on the basis of that,” he says.
    Genes aren’t the only driver behind our political views, though. Hibbing says environment and upbringing play a large role as well. But he has found that, on average, about 30 or 40 percent of our political attitudes come from genetics.
    https://www.npr.org/2018/10/03/654127241/nature-nurture-and-your-politics

  17. maryd
    Posted October 26, 2018 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    From Hidden Brain, some interest points of view about why we take the political stands that we do.

  18. Frosted Flakes
    Posted October 26, 2018 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    Rat, I was wondering if Trump clarified that whole statement you just quoted. It is interesting to just look at the quote though. So what are the implications of “some [mexican immigrants] are good people” against the inference that “[Trump] infers all Mexicans are murderers”.

    Why would I cling to anything? It’s called processing a message (Aka reading words).

    By the way, I do think it was a horrible thing to say but I see no reason to make it even worse than what was said. I also see no reason to ignore later clarifications Trump may have had on the subject.

  19. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted October 26, 2018 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    I seriously buck that trend. I figured out a long time ago powerful destructive forces control both the left and right. Now it’s so obvious it’s ridiculous to keep trying to divide regular people over it. The corruption is being rooted out by the anti-politician. Haven’t you noticed all your champs in D.C. that pushed your NARRATIVE are in hot water now?

  20. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted October 26, 2018 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    “I feel bad for anyone who thinks Mark’s posts resemble the truth in any way. If you have to distort the truth in order to make your position seem reasonable, then you should really reconsider your beliefs.”

    He’s got like three or four pedals worth of distortion on all the time and his shit is wired out of phase. I can’t figure out if he knows he is putting out propaganda or if he really believes every single thing the CIA wants him to just because he is like that. It’s the same with all these people. When they wake up from the dream they are having I’ll be happy to celebrate everyone’s good fortune together.

  21. Anonymous
    Posted October 26, 2018 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    Woof, woof.

  22. Donald Trump weighs in
    Posted October 26, 2018 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    “Republicans are doing so well in early voting, and at the polls, and now this “Bomb” stuff happens and the momentum greatly slows – news not talking politics. Very unfortunate, what is going on. Republicans, go out and vote!” – Your President

  23. Kit
    Posted October 26, 2018 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    Authorities have made an arrest. Here’s the van of the accused.

    https://twitter.com/RedTRaccoon/status/1055840554418876417

  24. M
    Posted October 26, 2018 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    A man in Florida with a sticker-covered conversion van.

  25. Kit
    Posted October 26, 2018 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    The FBI is covering the van with a tarp. I guess they don’t want all of the pro Trump stickers shown.

    https://twitter.com/CBSNews/status/1055842840868089856

  26. Jcp2
    Posted October 26, 2018 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    Those stickers are part of a bad larping false flag operation by Hillary. /s

  27. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted October 26, 2018 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    So transparent. That van is like “LOOK AT ME!!! I’M PRO TRUMP!!! SEE???!!! ‘N’ I’M THE ONE WHO SENT THE SUSPICIOUS PACKAGES!!! WHOA!!!”

    Why would someone who is pro-Trump try to wreck everything Trump is doing? How much do you want to bet it’s got Q Anon all over it?

  28. wobblie
    Posted October 26, 2018 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    HW is clearly off his meds, I’m willing to help him get the drugs he needs. Vote for folks in favor of universal health care.

  29. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted October 26, 2018 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    Just because you aren’t lucid enough to understand what I am saying it doesn’t mean I’m not making sense. Do I have to spell it out for you in a way you can understand?

  30. wobblie
    Posted October 26, 2018 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    still waiting for all those sealed indictments you used to wave around. I just don’t think proposal 1 passing is going to really help you. Though I did hear that the FDA is rushing through approval for psilocybin to help with depression. After Nov. 6 I suspect you will need something more than your normal dose of prozac.

  31. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted October 26, 2018 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    Oh he has Native Americans for Trump and companies with Native American in the name. Don’t be racist now and try to trample on POC’s rights.

  32. wobblie
    Posted October 26, 2018 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    https://heavy.com/news/2018/10/cesar-sayoc/

    Filipino-American registered Republican with a history of violence. Trump made him feel right at home. Probably figures Trump will pardon him. Maybe the steroids made him do it. HW I recommend you get off of them and stick to pot and mushrooms.

  33. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted October 26, 2018 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    I’ve already made it clear I never take drugs unlike probably a bunch of you. The sealed indictments have continued to pile up. Latest count is well over 55,000. Admit it – you feel a twinge of fear when you allow yourself to think of that being real. Why would they keep piling up like that? Some reason they would have to be opened all at once do you think?

  34. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted October 26, 2018 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    Yeah, that’s why he decided to help out the President right before the election. It’s ’cause he’s such a good supporter.

  35. iRobert
    Posted October 26, 2018 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    The suspect’s name is Cesar Sayoc.

  36. wobblie
    Posted October 26, 2018 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    I love how on his Linkedin page brags about his grand-father,” Grandfather Col. Baltazar Zook Sayoc that perfect the conversion oriental eye to Americanize.” Probably one of Marcos’s buddies.

    We would do well to study the Peoples Movement of the Philippines. They successful and non-violently got rid of the Fascist Marcos–we can get rid of Trump.

  37. Anonymous
    Posted October 26, 2018 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    Is deep state the new in word for gub’mint? Woof, woof.

  38. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted October 26, 2018 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    That was like three years ago. Now it’s the derp state. Everyone knows only derps like you support it.

  39. Lynne
    Posted October 26, 2018 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    LOL. I usually find Mark’s posts to be a pretty accurate representation of his opinions. I also find his opinions to be mostly reasonable and well thought out. Somehow though, havibf people like HW and EOS question my take on reality because of that actually reaffirms that I am deeply rooted in reality.

  40. Jean Henry
    Posted October 26, 2018 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    HW is extra stupid when proven wrong.

  41. Jean Henry
    Posted October 26, 2018 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    “If you have to distort the truth in order to make your position seem reasonable, then you should really reconsider your beliefs.”
    — EOS, who believes that the bible is the truth, the earth was formed 6000 years ago and dinosaurs and humans co-existed and regularly defends her positions with biological determinism. Oh and climate change is a hoax. Also embryos are people.

  42. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted October 26, 2018 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    Too bad I prove you wrong all the time Jean. You lie every time I do it and you evaporate and pretend nothing happened. You do it a lot.

  43. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted October 26, 2018 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    What are you trying to claim I have been proven wrong on anyway? You are just stabbing in the dark aren’t you?

  44. wobblie
    Posted October 26, 2018 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    HW, “Yeah, that’s why he decided to help out the President right before the election. It’s ’cause he’s such a good supporter.”
    You were right again
    https://twitter.com/Vbiii241/status/1055861365162864641/photo/1

  45. wobblie
    Posted October 26, 2018 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    https://twitter.com/EdKrassen/status/1055861762266939393/photo/1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1055861762266939393&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.democraticunderground.com%2F100211325125

  46. Kanye
    Posted October 26, 2018 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    HW, when you evaporate Jean Henry we just reconstitute her with vitamin water and she springs right back, just like Sponge Bob Square Pants at a MAGA rally.

  47. wobblie
    Posted October 26, 2018 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    they have fingerprint and DNA evidence
    https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/5022026/Attachment-1-1.pdf?fbclid=IwAR1fl4pvT1dUKtvB82GjFEiflcb81Cc1Oh9pxo2YGqOxl68HqjUhki4-LwY

  48. Jeffery St. Clair by proxi
    Posted October 26, 2018 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    Well, the Muslim Ban didn’t deter this terrorist. But I’m sure The Wall would have stopped him…

  49. Geraldo recants
    Posted October 26, 2018 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    At least Geraldo recanted.

    “Never mind; outsmarted myself in conjuring false flag operation designed to hurt @realDonaldTrump & #GOP. Actual alleged perp 56-year old #CesarSayoc is apparently stereotype most media assumed: a middle-aged, rabid, extreme right winger w a troubled past & long criminal record.”

    https://twitter.com/geraldorivera/status/1055871163790958592?s=21

  50. Anonymous
    Posted October 26, 2018 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    https://boingboing.net/2018/10/26/this-mossy-plant-may-be-more.html/amp

    Swap Mary Jane for liverwort and maybe it’ll be better.

  51. Jean Henry
    Posted October 26, 2018 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    My cover is blown. I’m actually a sea monkey.

  52. andrew gillum by proxy
    Posted October 26, 2018 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    “Mr. Trump, I’m not saying you approved these bomb attacks, I’m saying the Bomber *thinks* you approved these bomb attacks.”

  53. iRobert
    Posted October 26, 2018 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

    It looks like Cesar Sayoc may have lived in Allen Park, Michigan at one point. But I’m not sure.

    I didn’t dismiss the possibility that the attempted bomber could be part of a ploy to pin Trump to violent crazies. But the details are much more consistent with this actually being one of the many crazies who find Trump somehow likeminded.

  54. Jean Henry
    Posted October 27, 2018 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/10/26/course-somebody-took-close-pictures-suspected-bombers-van-here-they-are

  55. Posted November 4, 2018 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

    This is now a few days old, but… Asked by a reporter about an ABC News/Washington Post poll finding 49% believe he encourages politically motivated violence, President Trump responds, “You’re creating violence by your question…A lot of the reporters are creating violence by not writing the truth.”

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