Charlottesville Milepost

Burt Likko

Pseudonymous Portlander. Homebrewer. Atheist. Recovering Republican. Recovering Catholic. Recovering divorcé. Editor-in-Chief Emeritus of Ordinary Times. Relapsed Lawyer, admitted to practice law (under his real name) in California and Oregon. On Twitter, to his frequent regret, at @burtlikko. House Likko's Words: Scite Verum. Colite Iusticia. Vivere Con Gaudium.

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512 Responses

  1. Saul Degraw says:

    The President can’t make an actual call about Nazis because he is largely sympathetic to racism and is racist himself:

    Here’s the passage …

    Above all else, we must remember this truth: No matter our color, creed, religion or political party, we are all Americans first. We love our country. We love our God. We love our flag. We’re proud of our country. We’re proud of who we are. So we want to get the situation straightened out in Charlottesville, and we want to study it. And we want to see what we’re doing wrong as a country, where things like this can happen.

    My administration is restoring the sacred bonds of loyalty between this nation and its citizens, but our citizens must also restore the bonds of trust and loyalty between one another. We must love each other, respect each other, and cherish our history and our future together. So important. We have to respect each other. Ideally, we have to love each other.

    I spent the better part of a decade training as an historian. I’m definitely pro-history. But in context, this is an explicit call-out to the white supremacist and neo-Confederate forces at the march whose calling card is celebrating Southern ‘heritage’ and America’s history as a white country. Zero ambiguity or question about that. And they heard the message. White supremacist leaders cheered Trump’s refusal to denounce them and his valorization of their movement.

    Trump’s entire history in the public eye has been associated with bigotry in one way or another. He first came to attention when Nixon sued Trump and his father for refusing to rent apartments to blacks, he called for the lynching of the later to be exonerated Central Park 5, and he jumped on the Birther train early, hard, and long. Even though Ivanka Trump married a Jewish guy, his comments on Jews are scantly better when he talks about little guys in yarmulkes counting his money.

    But we are seemingly never allowed to call Trump or his supporters racist or white supremacists because that just makes them feel bad. This is the pernicious power of racism and white supremacy. It exists. It exists wildly and through out American history in very brutal ways but it is such a horrible sin to call people on it or bring it up as a kind of tone-policing.

    Yes Stephen Miller is Jewish but he also seems to be a strange bird who decided that far-right politics was the perfect way to rebel against his liberal family and schoolmates. He is the worst kind of worm.

    The reason Trump can’t denounce it is because he supports it.Report

    • notme in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      I call bull shit. If trump is a racist then why did he open his golf clubs to backs and Jews?Report

      • Maribou in reply to notme says:

        @notme People change. Not always for the better.Report

        • notme in reply to Maribou says:

          Any proof of a change?Report

          • Maribou in reply to notme says:

            Not bothering to call out white supremacy as more awful than one among equal malefactors, when its adherents are literally marching through a town with torches and breaking out of police shields meant to protect them, would be a pretty strong indicator, yes.Report

            • George Turner in reply to Maribou says:

              The national socialists had a permit to march. The international socialists did not. They showed up to fight the national socialists, and boy, there was some fighting!

              What kind of person, upon finding out that an obscure event is being sponsored by armed national socialists in league with the Klan, says “As a person of color, I want to be in the middle of that!”

              Both groups were looking for things to get violent.Report

              • Maribou in reply to George Turner says:

                “What kind of person, upon finding out that an obscure event is being sponsored by armed national socialists in league with the Klan, says “As a person of color, I want to be in the middle of that!””

                A brave one.

                And whether or not both groups were prepared for things to get violent, they are not morally equivalent and should not be treated as such.Report

              • Maribou in reply to Maribou says:

                It’s also not true that only the white supremacists had permits. The counterprotestors also had permits. So your claim of legal imbalance is also hollow.Report

              • George Turner in reply to Maribou says:

                The Nazi protesters had a court injunction, backed by the ACLU, supporting their right to rally at the park that had the statue of Lee. That rally was a follow up to a prior KKK rally that drew 50 Klansmen and 1000 counter-protesters. That Nazis say they’re rallying to fight against a totalitarian communist crackdown by the city, and to fight persecution. In response, communists united with black nationalists to counter the Nazi march.

                Charlottesville’s decision to erase Civil War history has turned it into Poland. Have all the locals evacuate and nuke it from orbit, wiping out both the Nazis and the communists. Then rebuild the city.Report

              • Michelle in reply to George Turner says:

                Sorry, but the losers of a civil war don’t usually get to put up monuments to their heroes or fly the flag of the lost cause (in this case preserving their right to enslave black people). History isn’t erased by taking down a statue. Pretty sure all statutes of Stalin have been removed from the former Soviet Union, but his acts haven’t been forgotten or removed from history.Report

              • George Turner in reply to Michelle says:

                General Lee wasn’t like Hitler. He wasn’t like Stalin. He wasn’t like Saddam. Lincoln even asked him to head the Union army.

                Washington and Lee University is named after him.

                He wasn’t as racist as Woodrow Wilson, who rebirthed the KKK, or FDR (who stuffed Washington with people who didn’t like Jews), or JFK (who said Hitler would be remembered as a great man), or Lyndon Johnson (who opposed every Civil Rights Act but the final one), or Robert Byrd, who was a Grand Kleagle, or Hillary Clinton (who referred to black superpredators when she spoke in support of the Violent Crime Control Act).

                Lee freed the slaves at Arlington in 1862, and the National Park Service maintains Arlington House as the Robert E Lee Memorial. They say “The Robert E. Lee Memorial honors Lee’s military and public leadership in pre- and post-Civil War America. Congress designated the memorial to recognize that ‘the desire and hope of Robert E. Lee for peace and unity within our Nation has come to pass.'”

                One of our WW-II tanks was named after him. One of our ballistic missile submarines was named after him. Countless counties, schools, and roads are named after him.Report

              • Mike Schilling in reply to George Turner says:

                Lincoln even asked [Lee] to head the Union army.

                Pretty sure this was before Lee became a traitor. You could look it up.Report

              • George Turner in reply to Mike Schilling says:

                Lee didn’t become a traitor, he stayed loyal to Virginia. Back then that’s how it worked.

                Traitors were those Virginian’s who turned their backs on their state and served in the Union, or who worked as spies for the union.

                One of the most prominent traitors was Union General George Thomas, who wasn’t much celebrated after the war even though he was probably the best general fielded by either side. The North regarded him as a Virginian, and the South regarded him as a traitor. He sacked an entire army at the battle of Nashville, the only time anyone pulled that off.

                The issue of loyalty is why the North didn’t prosecute Southerners for treason after the war, and why Lee was allowed to keep his sword, etc.

                And again, Lee was a great man, one whose military incompetence destroyed the Confederate armies, freed the slaves, and gave us the nation we have today.Report

              • Mike Schilling in reply to George Turner says:

                He took up arms against the United States. Unlike most of what’s called that these days, that is bonafide treason.Report

              • George Turner in reply to Mike Schilling says:

                No, it was secession. Unless you think about 750,000 Southerners should have been put to death.

                Once the Southern states seceded, they no longer considered themselves part of the United States. At that point it was just a war.

                A better case could be made for the 33 Confederate generals from northern states, but in America, you can call any state you want home.

                The Founding Fathers were very careful about defining treason because they all committed treason against Great Britain. They wouldn’t have applied it to a case on one state dissolving the political bonds that had tied it to another state, or the Founders would all have to consider themselves traitors.

                The Supreme Court later ruled that secession was unconstitutional, and thus the Southerns had still owed allegiance to the US, but then that’s what the war was about, a serious disagreement over that very point. Pretty hard to argue that a disagreement over a constitutional principle that wasn’t at all clear should be punishable by death.

                And of course no Southerner was convicted of treason.

                There was a case of a union officer who was conspiring to help the Confederacy while in federal uniform, though, and that could probably have brought a conviction.

                The simple principle is that if there are two sides in a war, the guys on the other side aren’t committing treason, they’re fighting. Treason is more properly thought of as when a guy on your side goes to help the other side.

                Plenty of Americans fought for Nazi Germany. Many of them wrote books about it. So far as I know, only a few were charged with treason because they’d switched sides. One defected in a P-38 and joined the SS. He surrendered in an SS uniform, but strangely got charged with desertion and ended up back in the Air Corps for a while, but then the FBI busted him for treason. He got out of prison in 1960.

                Another example is Rudolph Salvermoser from New Jersey. He served with distinction as a Panzer gunner on the Russian front, was wounded four times, and awarded the iron cross for destroying six tanks. He also guarded Hitler at the Wolf’s Den,

                After the war he came home and joined the US army. He was a bit worried about his wartime service for HIitler, but was told that we are a very forgiving country. So he got a top secret security clearance and eventually ended up as a big wig in the Defense Mapping Agency.Report

              • PD Shaw in reply to George Turner says:

                The bottom line is that Robert E. Lee sought and belatedly received a pardon for violating his oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution. Your meandering revisionism is not going to convince anyone other than to think less of Robert E. Lee than they did before. If that is your intent, good job sir.Report

              • For some reason I can’t think of a single time I’ve seen a statue, bust, plaque, perfect attendance certificate, or beer stein with Rudolph Salvermoser’s name on it. Perhaps within the agency he made his later career in there are such honors. As a nation we may have chosen to forgive Salvermoser for his treason, and calculated that his talents could still be usefully exploited and he be offered the humanity of a second chance. Which, in my opinion, speaks very well of us indeed. But that does not mean that we HONOR him. Indeed, it’s quite likely that we prefer someone like that to have a low cultural profile.

                Robert E. Lee has been honored with very large, very public, and very flattering public statues in places of high distinction and honor. Even taking your evaluation of the relative honor of his actions at the time into account, loyalty to one’s state rather than to the nation at a whole is by now a thoroughly outdated concept. A prominent public statue of him today celebrates him today. Even assuming that Lee would have been thought a worthy man in the 1870’s — and it’s not clear to me that this was a consensus opinion even then — the maintenance or removal of his statue today is indicative of contemporary choices and preferences and understandings.

                No one is going to forget Robert E. Lee or the deeds of his life. We may, however, change our opinion of him. We’ve held him in too high of esteem for too long, IMO, which creates a second object of study — why was a man who committed treason in defense of slavery so well honored for so long by people calling themselves “patriots”? As for Lee himself, I shall look forward to seeing his statue on exhibit next to the Cross of Coronado or its equivalent — in a museum, where they both belong.Report

              • George Turner in reply to Burt Likko says:

                Well then let’s rename Washington DC and Washington state because Washington was a slave owner who committed treason against the British crown. Let’s also condemn Jefferson. In fact, let’s burn the document he wrote, the Constitution, and reunite under Queen Elizabeth II’s wise leadership. But wait. The South owned slaves under King George III. We have to disown him, too, and all his descendants.

                Sorry, but it seems we can’t create the utopian past that suits you. We’ll just have to keep the past we’ve got, one in which Jefferson Davis faced post-war condemnation but one in which Lee didn’t.Report

              • We may also decide that Washington and Jefferson’s good deeds outweigh their bad deeds and thus continue to honor them. Contemporary museum pieces (even at places like Mount Vernon and Monticello) do a lot less airbrushing out of their misdeeds than used to be the case. Still, the notion that the celebrated Founders’ good deeds outweighs their personal misdeeds is the general cultural consensus, I submit.

                One might similarly argue that Lee engaged in a combination of good deeds and bad deeds throughout his life, and left at that level, I doubt anyone would disagree with that. I agree Lee served with distinction when he was an officer in the United States Army. But as I estimate his deeds over his lifetime, his bad deeds eclipse whatever good he might have done. Indeed, after Lincoln’s election, I don’t see any good deeds on his part of any particular note, including “siding with Virginia” because Virginia was itself in the wrong. Nor do I include his post-military career as a scholar, as he deployed his considerable intelligence and scholarship in a clever but deeply cynical effort to whitewash and romanticize the great evil underlying his side of the war.

                The degree of his success in this cynical endeavor of revisionism is evidenced by your arguments in this page.Report

              • George Turner in reply to Burt Likko says:

                Lee’s “bad deeds” are what let the Union win. He fought with courage, honor, and integrity, but that was the problem. If he wanted the South to win, he shouldn’t have fought at all. He should’ve lurked, like the French did with their “fleet in being”. By staying alive and intact, they maintained an ever present threat against the superior English fleet. They knew not to engage massively superior forces or they’d eventually lose their fleet through attrition.

                Lee didn’t seem to understand that. Every battle he won was a loss for the Confederacy because the Confederacy couldn’t afford to win battles. They couldn’t replace the lost men and equipment, but the North had both to spare. They should’ve fought more as irregulars, keeping their major formations as a threat to repel any major union adventures, and simply outlasted the North’s patience for an expensive war.

                In Lee’s place, Washington would’ve won it. Ho Chi Minh would’ve won it. Lee lost it because Lee wouldn’t eschew major engagements, and Lee wouldn’t fight dirty and unfairly enough. His fighting was about honor and victory on the battlefield instead of winning a war by exhausting the other side’s patience.

                Lee was an officer in an honor culture (not a dignity culture) where a general’s integrity, courage, and skill were beyond question, because to question them was an attack on his honor. Gentlemen simply didn’t do that to each other. So when they suffered setbacks, they’d blame everything except the goals, planning, conduct, and leadership of their own side. The South finished the war with basically the same lineup it started with. The North kept firing officers until it figured out which ones could win.

                So I would support Lee’s failures as evidence of the noble cause the South talks about. They were so set on proving their courage and honor that they ran their rebellion into a ditch. Lee is the general you want on the other side, one who is both honorable and blind. One who will fight your fight, not the fight he could make.

                He is the embodiment of Otter’s advice in Animal House. “No, I think we have to go all out. I think that this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody’s part!”

                Smashing into the Army of the Potomac time after time was that futile gesture. Then, his army destroyed, he used his commanding presence and influence to calm the South and get them to peacefully accept defeat and unification.

                The war was going to happen whether Lee was in charge of an army or not. He was so well regarded and dignified that the South never thought of finding a better officer. The North eventually found those better officers and they took full advantage of Lee’s flaws. But Lee was so well regarded that the South, even in defeat, didn’t question how he’d led them into a ditch.

                For that he deserves every statue we care to erect. Some people are magnificent in failure, and yet their conduct serves as an example to all who come after. He’s like King Richard III, the last Tudor King. The end of a lineage, the last gasp of a dying way of life. The man whose existence marks a turning point towards the future in his failure to save the past.Report

              • I have a real hard time believing that Lee fought intending to ultimately lose. And he wasn’t just about “exhausting the other side’s patience.” He was about capturing Washington D.C. and then negotiating a peace treaty while the Confederacy held the Union’s seat of government and the Union was thrown into disarray. He came close to doing that at least twice (the Maryland Campaign and the Gettysburg Campaign). He didn’t lay down at Antietam and he didn’t roll over at Gettysburg. He fought with everything he had, as best he knew how, and he didn’t do it for the purpose of getting a bunch of boys in grey killed so that the boys in blue could ultimately win. Nor do I particularly believe that he was incompetent in either campaign, so much as outmanned and outgunned.Report

              • George Turner in reply to Burt Likko says:

                That’s my point. In trying to win, he was losing. He fought with everything he had. He gave it his all. That’s why the South lost. They couldn’t afford Lee’s overwhelming victories. Lee didn’t intend to lose, but everything he did brought that outcome closer. It’s like using your star basketball players as hard as you can against a team with a very, very deep bench in a game that will go into triple overtime. It’s a losing strategy.

                If Lee captured Washington, the South still would have lost. Washington wasn’t a very important city, except perhaps as a captured symbol that would enrage the North. What Lee’s advances did was remind the North that the South remained a threat, that they couldn’t just conduct the war at idle, but instead had to ramp up production and crush the Southern armies.

                And in the longer term, the South couldn’t have survived as a viable entity. The states wouldn’t cooperate with each other, and made sure the South had no strong central government – during a war. Lee’s army was at Gettysburg looking for shoes. Southerners were starving. Even in the army, Southerners were starving. The Union took up donations of food to send to starving southerners, saying that money isn’t required because there wasn’t any food to buy down there.

                And the Confederate states were intent on forming foreign alliances with European powers. They would have ended up as bickering banana republics, isolated and alone. There would have been no more slave states because the Union would have just taken over any new state the South tried to form out West, and the Confederates, their armies disbanded, wouldn’t have had the cohesion to resist as a whole.

                And Lee was not a very good general. His trick was to get there first with the most, but against prepared positions he was as lost as anyone. He also fought with little knowledge of the terrain despite having the country’s best map maker at hand. Lee would task his map maker to map the prior battlefield instead of the upcoming one, I suppose to preserve things for posterity.

                In contrast, General Thomas had his map makers noting the loyalty and conditions of every house on every road he used, along with determining how many supply wagons the road could support in different kinds of weather. Thomas had the first mobile communications wagon built, came up with timed artillery barrages, and was among the first to switch to mounted infantry.

                He was so far ahead of the time that Grant and Sherman couldn’t figure out why he wanted so many horses for the battle of Nashville when cavalry was proving largely useless in battle. Thomas wanted horses because buses, taxis, jeeps, and armored personnel carriers hadn’t been invented yet.

                Where Lee understood the advantage of being first to the battlefield, throwing up head logs and hastily prepared positions, Thomas understood the even greater importance of being first to get to where your enemy is going to retreat to after you kick him down the road.

                Joseph E. Johnston, the commander replaced by Lee in 1862, illustrates the problem the South had. Johnston knew the South couldn’t win in a long series of major battles. Against Sherman’s approach to Atlanta, he adopted a strategy of refusing battle, looking for an opportunity to make a stand but not forcing one. He was maintaining an “army in being”. He knew that for the South to outlast the North, the South’s armies had to remain intact.

                But Southern pride wouldn’t let anyone agree with Johnston. They dismissed him as indecisive, and he was removed from command. In upholding their honor, making sure each rebel died a proud and glorious death on the battlefield, they were giving away the war. They didn’t have the men, the industrial capacity, or the ammunition to go toe-to-toe against vastly superior numbers. The war’s white population ratio was even more lopsided than the Soviet Union versus Nazi Germany, and the industrial disparity was vastly worse. Yet Southern pride demanded new attacks all the time. They weren’t so much defeated, as depleted, flat ran out of army in a war of attrition.Report

              • This — that Lee fought with the intent to win, with the goal of achieving a Southern victory, but failed due to strategic and tactical mistakes both intentional because of his anachronistic notion of “honor in wartime” and unintentional because of his lack of imagination — I can accept. I’m not sure that those failures on his part deserve quite so much mangification as this, but at this point I think I’m satisfied.

                Because here’s where we’re at: Lee was fighting for a bad cause doomed to fail one way or another no matter what he did, acting on the basis of a bad personal intent, formulated a bad plan, and now we see that he executed his bad plan badly. Why, exactly, would anyone want to celebrate this guy?Report

              • George Turner in reply to Burt Likko says:

                Well, for one, he made the war so entertaining. Lee brings the underdog quality to the whole endeavor, the little engine that could.

                And he brings the honor of a true Southern gentleman. He wouldn’t fight dirty. He was accepting of defeat. The country healed. If you compare that to a lot of civil wars, our casualty rate was high while it was fought, but it didn’t degenerate into 50 years of insurgency and constant kidnappings and assassinations, just Jim Crow and lynchings. We should be thankful the South took Lee as the role model, not John Wilkes Booth.

                But what’s interesting is that there’s a prominent Confederate general who has no old Southern statues, General James Longstreet. Critical of Lee’s leadership, Longstreet became a Republican and a race traitor who even led black soldiers against white Democrat insurrectionists, so no statues for him!

                His hometown first erected a small statue of him in 1998, as did Gettysburg that same year, but the Gettysburg statue is small and has been called “the troll on the pony”.

                The Washington Post suggested New Orleans should replace their statues of Lee and other with a statue of Longstreet, who was showing the true path forward even when Southerners would have none of it.Report

              • Patrick in reply to George Turner says:


                “Well, for one, he made the war so entertaining.”

                The Civil War killed more Americans than any conflict before or since.

                I think we can do without this sort of entertainment.

                You and I disagree on a lot of things, but for the most part I think you at least argue your case clearly.

                You need to take off the “secessionists had a legitimate gripe” glasses. Bob couldn’t get them off.

                There is nothing defensible about seceding to protect your authority to own people. Everything after that, every decision after that, is based upon a deeply, morally repugnant foundation.

                Robert E. Lee had many laudable characteristics. He still committed a grave and indefensible error. He deserves no place of honor, only a place where Americans can see how men with laudable characteristics can still commit gross errors that forever tarnish their legacy.

                He should be an object lesson in hubris and the danger of misplaced loyalties.Report

              • Morat20 in reply to Patrick says:

                Most Confederate apologists have gone whole-hog into the “The Civil War wasn’t about slavery” white-washing.

                It’s not often the losers of a war get to write history, but they managed in this case. At least to some.

                Given such apologists are generally from Confederate states, it’s often fun to send them the link to their State’s Declaration of Causes.Texas’, for instance, is basically two pages of whining about slavery, the existence of abolitionists in general, the fact that abolitionists dared run for and even achieve office in other states, and is basically “slavery” from start to finish, with a minor exception of “You also don’t pay us enough to guard against Mexico”.Report

              • scott the mediocre in reply to George Turner says:

                Richard III a Tudor? Oh, that’s especially rich after all your lectures on history.

                (BTW, while from what I can tell Lee was a very gifted tactician and generally a far above average army commander for his place and time – no Longstreet though – overall I am grateful for his general lack of strategic sense, particularly making no effort to relieve Vicksburg, which inaction probably saved a fair number of lives via shortening the war a bit).Report

              • George Turner in reply to scott the mediocre says:

                Sorry about that. After hours of watching Richard III’s reinterment on Youtube (The Brits covered it like it was the death of Shakespeare, Christ, and Queen Elizabeth II rolled into one), it all starts to run together.

                Over here, we don’t bury national leaders in parking lots. They should think about that.Report

              • Kimmi in reply to scott the mediocre says:

                Longstreet’s still taught at West Point. His ideas are golden for today’s military.Report

              • joke in reply to George Turner says:

                No, it was treason. No matter what they “thought”Report

              • Joe Sal in reply to Mike Schilling says:

                I think your ‘United States’ is doing too much work in that first sentence.Report

              • R.T. in reply to Michelle says:

                Stalinism, Marxism, Communism, and Socialism have been abject failures time and time again. If these “isms” were so great, why aren’t Americans leaving in droves to other countries to live in these “Eden” economies”. The reality? They know they don’t work!Report

              • NoPublic in reply to R.T. says:

                Because contra popular opinion, it’s not all that easy to uproot your life and just toddle off to another country. The two types of people that most easily manage this are very poor with little to lose and very well off with few barriers to movement of their capital.
                For everyone else it’s a long and complicated process with many hurdles.Report

              • Morat20 in reply to NoPublic says:

                Hell, just moving 200 miles is an awful lot to ask of people. My friends and family are here. Moving 200 miles means they’re three hours away by car.

                People I’ll miss seeing regularly, which is a major reason to stay just by itself.Report

              • LeeEsq in reply to George Turner says:

                God, your a piece of work. Any political protest should expect a counter protest from the other side.Report

              • George Turner in reply to LeeEsq says:

                Uh, no. The left protests constantly, about almost everything. Whales, trees, gay rights, racist cops, big oil, Palestine, Mumia, abortion, Iraq. Making signs and paper mache puppet heads, or lighting candles, is what they do.

                Occasionally the right would send a photographer to record the hjinks, but rarely is there a counter protest, and almost never is the counter protest larger than the size of the original protest, much less 20 or 100 times larger.

                If the right had always been vigorously counter protesting, each person on the left would remember the hundreds of protests they’d attended as being mass violence and chaos instead of a bunch of dopey people holding hands.

                The appearance of any significant right counter protest is recent, stemming from the videos of how violent the BLM and antifa protesters were getting. Police weren’t intervening, so it was seen as a signal to go hands on and defend people and property when no one else would. That gave the white nationalist nutcases, themselves likely a response to BLM, a forum, a platform, and an audience, so now they’re doing bizarre Nuremberg rally re-enactments.Report

              • joke in reply to George Turner says:

                stop defending literal nazisReport

              • Mike Dwyer in reply to LeeEsq says:


                I have to agree with George here. Protesting (and counter-protesting) is much more mainstream on the Left. Most conservatives I know (myself included) see it as mostly a waste of time. If the mainstream Right staged a protest and the left didn’t show up in opposition I would be shocked. Can you say the same thing if that scenario happend in reverse? The Charlottesville stuff is a good example. A few hundred (at best) whackjobs stage a rally and thousands of mainstream liberals counter. You simply would never see the converse of that.Report

              • While I see the same tendency, I wonder about the label “mainstream liberals”. My first thought is that the left is much better represented among people who (a) feel strongly and (b) have free time — eg, college students and the young underemployed.

                Pick a college town, as in this case, and even though school may not be in session, there are a substantial number of students (and recent graduates) who are still around. I have no statistics to back me up — and doubt that anyone does — but suspect that the counter-protesters were much more local. Certainly in the alleged assault-with-an-auto the driver was from Ohio and the deceased lived locally.

                As more anecdata, the groups at the Bundy Ranch and Malheur Refuge didn’t draw the same sorts of counter rally.Report

              • Kimmi in reply to Michael Cain says:

                The folks in Malheur Refuge drew trolls working for the government. Bona fide trolls.

                It was… amusing. Counterintelligence made the whole thing paranoid.Report

              • Kimmi in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                Mainstream liberals are not showing up to protests.
                Hillary Clinton’s castoffs are being manipulated (again) to show up to protests.

                Go ahead, ask me how I know.

                Experiments! Now not just on the net anymore!Report

            • notme in reply to Maribou says:

              So in other words, you don’t have any proof. Not saying the white suprimists are the worst of the two sides is hardly proof of anything.Report

              • Troublesome Frog in reply to notme says:

                True, Trump is well known for being thoughtful and reserved when it comes to calling out stuff he thinks is bad. His careful deliberation on whether white supremacists are worse than any other protesters are just a reflection of his general tendency toward neutrality and reconciliation.

                But seriously, whether or not Trump personally is a racist, it seems pretty clear that he knows that racists are a chunk of his reliable supporters and thinks it’s not in his best interests to call them out.Report

              • notme in reply to Troublesome Frog says:

                So in other words, Trump is a politician. Wow, there is a shocker.Report

              • Dave in reply to notme says:


                No shocker that he’s a spineless little candyass like a lot of his merry band of apologists.

                Like politicians…even the scumbags that play for your team.

                Just saying…Report

              • George Turner in reply to Dave says:

                The Charlottesville driver became a Hitler worshiper years ago, under Obama, who racialized every aspect of American politics.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to George Turner says:

                Whatever it is your doing here… trolling, performance art, or a legitimate expression of your beliefs… shows you to be a thoughtless coward uninterested in serious conversation.Report

              • Kolohe in reply to Kazzy says:

                It not even good sh**posting by the high standards many have already set for themselves.

                I mean at least a whataboutjamesthodgkinson would have been brought up by now by anyone on their A game.

                But nobody wants to work on weekends anymore.Report

              • @george-turner

                You can’t possibly really believe that politics wasn’t radicalized long before Obama…can you? I thought you were a student of American history?Report

              • George Turner in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                “Racialized”, not “radicalized”. Prior to Obama, American race relations were much as seen on the Cosby show, Martin, or the Fresh Prince of Bel Air. We didn’t have segregated universities, race riots, or white Hispanics. All lives mattered. Except Al-Qaeda. Al Qaeda lives didn’t matter. But everybody else did.

                Now we have white supremacists battling black nationalists in the streets, while Mexican racists (La Raza) take over black neighborhoods. We have MS-13 running around cutting people’s heads off, and BLM saying it’s okay to grope white women because they’re racists.

                If only we could undo those eight years, and get back to a time when Cosby groped white women because they were passed out, not because he thought they were racist.Report

              • greginak in reply to George Turner says:

                Yeah before Obama Fresh Prince and Cosby were virtual documentaries about current race relations. Epic…truly epic.Report

              • @george-turner

                My apology on the mis-read there. Still don’t agree with your premise, but I was commenting on the wrong word.Report

              • George Turner in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                Obama only gets a little part of the blame. I think the real driver was the continued identity politics combined with the new sin of “micro-aggression.” College students were being taught that virtually all problems, in any field, were the result of either xenophobia, racism, sexism, or a bunch of other isms. Then social media hooked them all up so they could have an orgy of virtue signalling and ritual defamation.

                And feeding into it all is the replacement of an honor culture or a dignity culture with a victimhood culture.Report

              • Kimmi in reply to George Turner says:

                Citing propaganda does you no good.
                Fucking black propaganda doesn’t do you a jot of good, it’s clear.Report

              • Dave in reply to George Turner says:

                George Turner:
                The Charlottesville driver became a Hitler worshiper years ago, under Obama, who racialized every aspect of American politics.

                Coming from someone that’s filled up this otherwise respectable space with pro-Nazi and pro-Confederate bullshit, that’s really entertaining.

                You got a punch line for that one?Report

              • notme in reply to Dave says:


                You are the punch line to the joke.Report

              • Dave in reply to notme says:


                You are the punch line to the joke.

                Cute. You with him on this?Report

              • notme in reply to Dave says:

                What’s wrong? You don’t have a sense of humor?Report

              • Dave in reply to notme says:

                What’s wrong?You don’t have a sense of humor?

                I got a great sense of humor, especially when I envision you as one of the people carrying tiki torches only you needing both hands to carry it because you’re too much of a weak ass.


                I don’t have that problem. I exercise my Second Amendment rights when I flex. Try it sometime. Just don’t hurt yourself.Report

              • Troublesome Frog in reply to notme says:

                So how far do we allow a politician to go courting terrible views he doesn’t hold and still consider him an ethical guy worthy of support? At some point, are we not who we pretend to be, when the character we’re playing is the one taking all of the concrete actions?

                Let’s go down the list of things that might be too hot to handle for a politician’s base:

                * Gay marriage is not OK. We seem to let that one slide. Fine. Bleeding edge of progress and all.
                * Vague nationalist xenophobia is OK.
                * White nationalism is OK, up to marching with torches and swastikas on display.
                * Maybe the Nazis were right.
                * Let’s reopen the internment camps!
                * Since the internment camps are open, we might as well start digging some mass graves for the worst ones.
                * Eh. Let’s just wipe them all out.

                I mean, it seems like at some point down that line, failing to take a position against one of those statements becomes not OK, even if you personally disagree with it in private, and even if it gets you votes. I can understand the hesitation to be a thought leader on gay marriage before the tides had turned, but that’s about as far as I’ll go down that line.

                So from context, I’m going to put you down as being OK with “White nationalism and Nazi flags are OK” as long as it’s just for votes and as long as we can give him the benefit of the doubt that he doesn’t believe it deep down. Is that about right?Report

              • Dave in reply to Troublesome Frog says:


                Notice when the questions get tough, people like @notme scatter.

                Having scrolled through this train wreck of a comments section, I almost can’t believe some of what I’m reading, not in the “OMG offended” sort of way, but rather the why the hell aren’t certain people getting new assholes ripped into them sort of way.

                I guess that’s the curse of the commenting policy, not that we envisioned it as a safe space for assholes but oh well.Report

              • notme in reply to Dave says:

                I’m still here. Better folks than you have tried to run me off.Report

              • Patrick in reply to notme says:

                Nobody’s tried to run you off.

                You flatter yourself that half of us even read a tenth of what you post any more.Report

              • notme in reply to Patrick says:

                It’s nice to know that you really care.Report

              • Damon in reply to Dave says:

                I’m sure there are quite a number of people who aren’t commenting….having not commented much recently, especially in this post, I wouldn’t know….

                I’ve intentionally not commented because, well, what’s the point? To read through the same points and posturing about a sad incident? I get enough of it on NPR during my commute. No one is trying to change another’s mind..there is no dialogue, just posturing. I shake my head ruefully.Report

              • notme in reply to Troublesome Frog says:

                So how far do we allow a politician to go courting terrible views he doesn’t hold and still consider him an ethical guy worthy of support?

                I don’t know. I suppose that it is up to each person to decide for themselves. BTW, I don’t remember Obama denouncing the Nation of Islam and rejecting their support. But i understand if some folks have a double standard.Report

              • Troublesome Frog in reply to notme says:

                That’s as clear an answer as I expected.Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to notme says:

        To avoid legal complications, its easier to air on the side of letting everybody in. He also called for the Central Park Five to be hung even though they were innocent.Report

        • notme in reply to LeeEsq says:

          So if he lets folks in, he’s not much of a racist. As far as the Central Park Five, did he call for them to be hung b/c he thought they were guilty of b/c they were black? It makes a difference.Report

          • notme in reply to notme says:

            Donald Trump Fought to Include Jews and Blacks at Palm Beach Golf Course in 1990s


            • Mike Dwyer in reply to notme says:


              Are you trying to make the President sound like a leader on issues of discrimination because you actually believe in him, or is this just you playing defense for your team while the liberals go on offense for theirs? I seriously would like to know. You seem pretty reasonable at times, but then you do this Right vs. Left stuff and I can’t figure out if you have your own thoughts or just stick to the party line.Report

              • notme in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                If you are going to make an accusation like calling someone a racist, i think you should provide evidence. Is that an unreasonable request?Report

              • Mike Dwyer in reply to notme says:

                So maybe the answer isn’t to imply that he is some kind of advocate for racial harmony either…right? The truth is that Saul was wrong for calling him a racist without consistent proof, but defending him so zealously implies you believe the opposite, which I don’t think is accurate either.Report

              • Kolohe in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                I mean, well, it commits the same sin, but to me, a white guy born in Queens in the 1940s has to make an affirmative case that he is not racist.

                (Disclaimer – I have/had relatives born in Queens in the 1940s)Report

              • notme in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                I’m not defending Trump. I’m only asking that Saul provide proof to support his statement. Good arguments can be supported by facts and bad ones can’t. Its that simple and Saul as a lawyer should know that.Report

          • DavidTC in reply to notme says:

            So if he lets folks in, he’s not much of a racist. As far as the Central Park Five, did he call for them to be hung b/c he thought they were guilty of b/c they were black? It makes a difference.

            When he printed a newpaper ad calling them for them to be hung, he posssibly thought them guilty.

            Not that there was any real reason to think they were guilty to start with…a bunch of dumbass 14, 15, and 16 year olds were interrogated long enough, without a lawyer, to be tricked into writing a confession. (Actually, one of them _didn’t_ because his mother showed up first, and so the police just basically claimed he confessed verbally. No one is sure if this is true or not, just like no one has any idea how much the others understood what they were signing.) There was no physical evidence at all except they had been seen vaguely walking in a direction where they would have possibly run into the victim the other way.

            Their confessions all were extremely different accounts of the events of the night, from who attacked her first, who undressed her, which particular people raped her, what weapons were used. They were clearly entirely made out of lies, by teenagers who are writing down something they have been told is their only way out of a 14 hour nightmare of interrogation where they were denied food, water, and not informed of their right to a lawyer, or, hell, their parents! (And probably actually denied those rights. The police don’t record, so we have no idea what the boys were told.)

            And, this being a rape, there was of course DNA evidence…that matched none of them. And, weirdly, there was only one set of DNA evidence, which is odd when five people presumably raped her?

            The entire conviction was _extremely_ shoddy to start with. Like, it is the textbook bad confession conviction to end all bad textbook convictions. It is the example of bad confessions that should be taught in schools.

            But, hey, maybe Trump believed it at the time. Plenty of New Yorkers did. And he probably didn’t have all the fakes.

            And, before we wander down the rabbit hole of figuring out if this is still a reasonable thing to think, that maybe they were forced into a confession but really did have something to do with it…I will pointed out they were cleared when a convicted murderer and rapist voluntarily confessed to the crime and that confession was proved correct by the DNA evidence, so it’s not like it’s some obscure technicality…there is basically no way they were guilty.

            So, does Trump still believe they were guilty?


            He’s said’ The Central Park Five documentary was a one sided piece of garbage that didn’t explain the horrific crimes of these young men while in park.’ Which seems to imply he thinks they committed some other crimes…the problem is, there’s nothing really horrible else that happened around that time.

            OTOH, you have this:

            “They admitted they were guilty,” Trump said this week in a statement to CNN’s Miguel Marquez. “The police doing the original investigation say they were guilty. The fact that that case was settled with so much evidence against them is outrageous. And the woman, so badly injured, will never be the same.”


            …so much evidence against them? Again, the ‘evidence’ against them is ‘seen walking vaguely in the correct direction by some other kids’.

            But, see, here is where, while other people think this shows Trump is extremely racist…I don’t think so.

            I think the original ad is, perhaps, based out of racial fear, okay. But a lot of people were racist about this entire thing and said basically the same thing. And that was in the 80s. I’ve always seen him as more classist than racist, so maybe it’s more that.

            And I think why he’s still committing to is partially his narcissistic personality disorder causing inability to admit that anything he’s ever done is wrong, and/or his incredibly restricted cogitative abilities.

            He is basically too stupid to conclude ‘Wait, maybe if you put children in a room for hours and have adults yell at them, they will write down whatever stories they are told’. Hell, he probably has never even seriously looked at the case.

            But if the idea that they might be guilty does occasionally manage to percolate though his brain, his brain immediately shut down with a FATAL ERROR: TRUMP CANNOT BE WRONG ON SOMETHING MOST PEOPLE ARE CORRECT ABOUT, THIS WOULD MAKE TRUMP LESSER HUMAN! and reboots.

            I’m kinda done with ascribing negative motives to Trump. Trump is too stupid and crazy to properly be thought of as a fully sentient human being.Report

      • Dave in reply to notme says:


        The color green. It’s amazing what it can do.Report

        • notme in reply to Dave says:

          If so, then Trump isn’t much of a racist.Report

          • Kimmi in reply to notme says:

            Yeah, and let me show you the court cases that prove that the color green makes you a fucking racist.
            There’s one from Connecticut about housing discrimination, and another from North Carolina.
            Class action, you know?
            Can’t charge blacks a LIAR rate, not when you take a white with equivalent credit and give him a lower rate…

            It’s all in the green, man.
            (Veriditas need not apply)Report

  2. Maribou says:

    I think it is important to recognize that white women are also complicit in this. There were (fewer) white women among the marching white supremacists as well…. I realize “thousands of white men (and maybe a few dozen white women)” would’ve been a much weaker sentence, but white supremacy is so often presented as gendered and it’s really not (many of those men have supportive female partners cheering them on, whether or not those women were out in the streets).

    I’ve been trying to be careful, around this potential topic, to say “white people” or “white nationalists” rather than “white men”, because white women don’t get a free pass here. Most of the guys in white hoods back in the day had an equally hateful wife at home. Just because their (usually overlapping) beliefs on gender mean that most white supremacist women are less visible doesn’t mean they are less of a problem.Report

    • Maribou in reply to Maribou says:

      (particular not potential.)Report

    • InMD in reply to Maribou says:

      Has anyone done an official estimate of how many protesters were actually there? Burt says “thousands” but I keep seeing hundreds which is more consistent with what it looks like in the pictures. Just an example:

      On Friday night, hundreds of white nationalists carrying torches and chanting “white lives matter,” “you will not replace us,” and the Nazi-associated phrase “blood and soil” marched near a statue of Thomas Jefferson on the grounds of the University of Virginia, and were met by counterprotesters.

      I’m not trying to nitpick but I think the details matter.Report

      • Burt Likko in reply to InMD says:

        I read estimates of between 1,500 to 2,000 demonstrators ostensibly marching in support of preserving the Lee statue. The photograph of the tiki torch Nazis gathered around the statue the night before is obviously no more than 200 or so.Report

    • Burt Likko in reply to Maribou says:

      I concede the point. In my defense, nearly all of the visual and print media illustrates men, not women, doing the most outrageous things and the resulting impression is that there may be a handful of women in there but it’s mainly white men. In some of the videos embedded above, there are women dressed in quasi-military outfits carrying rifles to be “security” for the event.

      But again, I take the point, and I’ve no desire to strip these women of their agency and, in this case, culpability for provoking violence and advocating Nazism.Report

  3. George Turner says:

    Marching against the national socialists in Charlottesville where the international socialists. In a prior thread someone linked the crash pics posted by communists, who in their Twitter feeds were calling each other “comrade”, the same term used by the national socialists.

    Everyone who attended was looking to cause trouble, and the city’s normal residents should have been evacuated so the marches could be nuked from orbit, lowering the country’s crime rate.Report

    • Imagine for a moment that actual Nazis were going to march in your town. What would you do?

      I’d find a way to make my displeasure known.Report

      • George Turner in reply to Burt Likko says:

        I would engage them in conversation, as my cousin was executed at Nuremberg. One time I was at a bar and met Rudolf Hess’s nephew. We connected because we were both related to war criminals, and he told me a very interesting story about running into a couple of Nazi hunters in South America. The old couple had walked into a very crowded restaurant and he offered them some chairs at his table. He pulled a chair out for them and introduced himself and they froze. Then they peppered him with questions for a while and the wife said to the man, in Dutch, which they didn’t think he spoke, that he was fine.

        My approach with Nazis would be to ask them about Nazi economics. “Socialism? Really?” I’m pretty sure I’d be far more knowledgeable about the Nazi party than they are. These modern ones are a mix of ignorant racist thugs, but they might include some people who otherwise would just be considered a nationalist, much like parties in Eastern Europe who don’t want to get overrun.

        Most Nazis weren’t bad people, they were just committed to cleansing Europe and part of Asia of people they deemed inferior, along with anyone who questioned their right and wisdom, and of course people who slacked off or made Nazi jokes, or who didn’t give 100% to stopping the invading Allies, or who had physical or mental defects, or who colluded with enemies of the state, or who committed petty crimes, or who didn’t cooperate, or who were just in the wrong place, or who were profiteering or hoarding.Report

        • Kimmi in reply to George Turner says:

          You’ve never actually met a real live nazi, have you?
          Never actually worked with one, either?

          Yeah. Kindly get back to me when you have some evidence behind your fucking ideas.Report

          • George Turner in reply to Kimmi says:

            Real, active Nazis predate me. My cousin was one, and my uncle captured a whole SS platoon in an abortion of a mission to capture a town. My dad also met tons of them. Pretty much everyone who fought in Europe, or who lived in Europe, met lots of Nazis. They were part of a huge and very popular leftist movement.

            Tons of people in Charlotte got to meet modern American Nazis. They can’t be that bad or the police would’ve intervened over the two hours of back-and-forth violence in the streets, and we wouldn’t have so many videos of Nazis arguing with people. Most came armed and not a single person was shot. That means they’re still reachable.Report

            • No one was shot, that’s true.

              Someone got run over with a car. She’s now dead. It was a Nazi behind the wheel who (apparently) killed her, not an antifa. We’ve got video of that. I embedded a picture of that happening in the OP. There was video of it happening available too, but I judged that too graphic. Shouldn’t be a great trouble to find it if you really want to see it.

              We’ve also got video of lots of fistfights. Some of them show Nazis throwing the first punches. Others show antifas throwing the first punches. I included one of those in the OP (and it looks to me like in that video, it’s the antifas who escalated into violence first).

              It’s also true that the police were slow to intervene. That doesn’t mean, though, that they made the right call in doing so. Indeed, again within the OP, I’ve included explicit criticism of the police and the civil authorities for not doing more to keep order than they did.

              So I don’t think it’s fair to say “It couldn’t have really been that bad.” A woman is dead. For her family and the other people who love her, yes, it was that bad.Report

              • dragonfrog in reply to Burt Likko says:

                There were fistfights in which someone from one side threw the first punch, and fistfights in which someone from the other side threw the first punch.

                I suspect who threw the first punch is kind of irrelevant in those cases, because for the most part, if the person on one side had had just a tiny bit more restraint, then the shouting would simply have gone on 30 seconds more, and the person on the other side would have thrown the first punch instead. There was going to be a fist fight either way.

                Thing with fist fights is, mostly people come away from them with a few bruises and scraped knuckles. I’m relatively uhorrified by that.

                There was also a man surrounded, beaten with steel pipes and kicked while he was down. No prizes for guessing which side committed that particular act.Report

              • George Turner in reply to Burt Likko says:

                After a couple of hours of violent street fights, with over a dozen people ending up in the hospital, there are people on both sides who might pop. A man was already shot at an antifa rally in Washington. A Bernie bro shot up a congressional baseball practice, wounding many. The police should follow established procedures to keep opposing groups from directly and violently confronting each other.

                Down in Greensboro, where I worked for about a year, the KKK and Nazis came together in 1979 to fight a march by the Communists, who said the KKK people should be beaten. The Greensboro police didn’t intervene. Five people were killed and eleven wounded in the ensuing mayhem. Lawsuits flew. The police and the city were found liable.

                Greensboro Massacre

                The police should use great caution when their Democrat mayors are picking favorite sides in a street war, thinking they’re resisting Trump. No matter who gets killed, they’re letting it happen.Report

              • Oscar Gordon in reply to Burt Likko says:

                I finally saw that video this morning, I can see why they went with Murder 2 rather than manslaughter. That wasn’t someone just trying to play pool with some cars.Report

              • Murder Two seems like a good call by the prosecutor here, and it’ll be interesting to see if the defense tries to offer up some sort of diminished mental capacity (partial) defense. (Standard caveat about my not holding a Virginia license to know all the fine wrinkles of Virginia law.)Report

            • Kimmi in reply to George Turner says:

              They’re about two generations older than you. That’s still within working memory.

              Do I need to tell you about the Jew who worked with Nazis to smuggle stuff into and out of East Germany? Cause I know that guy. (And his contact the Nazi wasn’t exactly… political about it. Definitely not about the whole Jewish Question).Report

        • In other words, most Nazis weren’t bad people, except when they were doing Nazi things.

          I don’t think you’re going to get a guy who thinks it’s a good idea to wear a T-shirt with a Hitler quote on its back, chanting “Blood and Soil!” and “Jews won’t replace us!” to go sit down and talk about the macroeconomic effects of governmental intervention in critical resource-producing industries. For one thing, Starbucks is not likely to allow him to openly carry his long gun in the shop, as that sort of thing tends to freak out the baristas.

          Then you have to confront the daunting fact that an economics-based argument is very likely not the reason this fellow has chosen the Nazi path in the first place. I mean, I suppose it’s possible, but come on.

          There is, of course, a time and a place for thoughtful dialogue. If I didn’t believe that, I wouldn’t spend so much time and effort helping this blog keep its doors open. When there is a literal torchlit Nazi rally going on, one-on-one intellectual dialogue isn’t going to be an effective tool, and the target audience for your attempts at persuasion isn’t going to be the Nazis themselves, since at that point they’re unpersuadable.Report

  4. InMD says:

    I worry that by treating the types of buffoons that 20 years ago got paraded on the Jerry Springer show for laughs as a threat far outside their numbers, popularity, or electoral significance justify we’re creating a kind of al-Qaeda effect. Instead of rolling our eyes at the freak show and removing the statue as planned we’ve sent in CNN with breathless coverage and a megaphone. The worst outcome would be swelling their numbers by creating cause for fools and alienated people who want to lash out, and for whom the details of their professed ideology an afterthought.Report

    • Maribou in reply to InMD says:

      @inmd They weren’t showing up in person, unmasked, by the hundreds, with armed militia 20 years ago. Not swelling their numbers is a wouldacouldashoulda by now.Report

      • InMD in reply to Maribou says:

        You’re incorrect on the facts. There have been periodic white supremacist marches and other protests in this country for years, most of which are as small as they are dumb. You can google “1990’s kkk rallies” and find lots of news articles. There’s also of course Skokie back in 1977. You can see pictures here at this retrospective on the court case:

        The neo-nazis were a lot more clean cut back then but the numbers I don’t think were much different.Report

        • Maribou in reply to InMD says:

          1) That’s an interesting article.
          2) 1975 is not 20 years ago, it’s 40.
          3) The government didn’t treat the Skokie march as risible, the minute people got violent and deviated from their permits the leader was arrested for inciting mob action.
          4) The Skokieans don’t appear to have shown up armed.
          5) 300 people in a city the size of Chicago is *different* from 500 people in a town the size of Charlottesville (latest population is 46,597). One is a drop of poo in an ocean, the other is a clunker in a bathtub.

          I remember there being neo-nazi rallies by the handfuls in the 90s too, but they were both *smaller* and *less violent*.Report

          • InMD in reply to Maribou says:

            I mentioned the 90s as well, my point was that these things have been going on for a long time. Doesn’t make it good, does mean we need perspective. Like with Skokie, it sounds like there have been arrests in Charlottesville, including of the murder suspect. I’m also not sure I buy your numbers logic. We are still talking about very insignificant numbers of people.

            I’d have to look into the argument that these are more violent than past events. I’m open to the possibility that they are but haven’t seen any evidence making the case.Report

            • Maribou in reply to InMD says:

              I’m saying the 90s (or maybe the early 2000s) were the low point of a V shape. You responded by rementioning the 90s and citing an incident from 20 years previous to the 90s. I have perspective, I’m just seeing us on a different point of the fulcrum (ie well past it) than you are.Report

      • PD Shaw in reply to Maribou says:

        Twenty-five years ago I was living in Louisiana for the David Duke election. Perhaps my experiences are more extreme than others, but I’ve never seen anything remotely close to that possibility that a NAZI would be elected to a major office. Everything else seems like defining discrimination down.Report

        • George Turner in reply to PD Shaw says:

          During the run up to the Iraq War, David Duke was recruiting heavily among the anti-war protesters and the Indy Media crowds. One of the big anti-war sites had servers named DavidDuke1 and DavidDuke2. They were pushing the line that the war was being led by neocons (all Jews) in support of Zionism, and that common people had to fight against the Jewish war mongers and profiteers.Report

        • Maribou in reply to PD Shaw says:

          @pd-shaw 30 years before *that*, many elected Southern politicians, sheriffs, etc., were KKK members. 30 years before that FDR thought it was fine to throw 120,000 Japanese-Americans into camps for having the wrong ancestors. My feeling for a couple of years now is that we collectively thought David Duke was a last gasp and that whole awfulness was actually about as far along one side of the V as we are up the other side now. I’m not saying it can’t be stopped, just that it’s not “defining discrimination down” to start freaking out.Report

        • PD Shaw in reply to PD Shaw says:

          After reading some of the comments here, I would like amend my remarks. David Duke’s not a NAZI. I meant to say he is a neo-NAZI or NAZIphile.

          There are no actual NAZIs in the U.S., a broad-based political party with its own paramilitary wing that advocates anti-democratic, anti-semetic, and military revanchism that has broad, majority support of the people.Report

          • Burt Likko in reply to PD Shaw says:

            I don’t feel the need to make such a fine distinction as that. The Dukes and Spencers of our nation have yet to command broad, majority support of the people, but we saw that they do have a private militia. And they have the President, who will call this sort of thing “protesting very quietly the taking down of the statue.”


            • Morat20 in reply to Burt Likko says:

              The inability to denounce white supremacists is staggering.

              Bush Jr, Bush Senior, McCain, Romney, Reagan, Dole –wouldn’t have hesitated an instant. It never would have occurred to them to do so.

              The GOP has fallen far…

              It’s 2017, and this crap would have been appalling in 1965. And that’s not even getting into the neo-Nazis, which should get reflexive denouncement from any breathing politician since the 1930s.

              I literally cannot think of any reason for Trump to keep weaseling on either group that doesn’t either boil down to “Mental illness” or “Fellow traveler”.Report

              • George Turner in reply to Morat20 says:

                The reason is that Obama fueled the rise of the white supremacists by constantly denigrating white people. The whole Nazi worldview is based on nefarious forces and legal unfairness aimed at your group. You can’t long have identity politics for some people without it spreading to everyone else. By constantly attacking white people, white people are being turned into an identity group. Attacking them even more isn’t the solution, it’s the cause of the problem.

                The organizer of the Unite the Right rally was apparently an Obama supporter until November. He was also involved with Occupy Wall Street, who are probably the closest this country has had to actual Nazis, though they had no idea of it. The Charlottesville Mad Max driver came of age under the Obama Administration, and that’s also when he became a Nazi, years prior to the rise of Trump. His mother had to call 911 on him three times, once for attacking her with a knife.

                Trump needs to strongly denounce both sides. Both sides. We have Nazis fighting fascists, anarchists, and communists in the streets, just like Germany in the 1920’s. Some of the Nazis will probably get attacked and killed by red activists, and then they’ll have their Kütemeyer.

                Trump wants us to come together as Americans and reject the radicals on both sides. Both sides. And there were two sides, both armed. The press wants us to pick a side. To denounce the Nazis without denouncing the anarchists, communists, and antifa forces who are far more numerous and far more violent.

                Certainly Romney or McCain would have denounced the Nazis without hesitation, but that’s because they’re knee-jerk politicians who don’t look ahead.Report

              • North in reply to George Turner says:

                Out of morbid curiosity how did Obama denigrate white people? There must be some fiery speeches you can quote or policies you can point to? The only thing I can imagine you’d quote might be his God and Guns comment but that was directed at the socialcons which the active and dominant wing of the GOP at large in Charlotte clearly isn’t part of.Report

              • George Turner in reply to North says:

                You didn’t build that. Acted stupidly. Trayvon could have been my son. Act of workplace violence. Whites need to understand that racism didn’t go away after Jim Crow.

                2015 American values survey. 25% of Americans said there was a lot of discrimination against… whites. 45% of the Tea Party answered that way, along with 36% of Republicans and 16% of Democrats.

                From Slate:

                The Obama era didn’t herald a post-racial America as much as it did a racialized one, where millions of whites were hyperaware of and newly anxious about their racial status. For example, during a Marco Rubio rally before the New Hampshire primary in February, I spoke to a voter who, in her way, gave voice to this hyperawareness. “I think he’s divided this country in many ways,” said Lori, an older white woman, of Obama. “I know in a lot of places in America there’s a divide in color … like, when I walk up to someone in the stores”—she looked at me to emphasize what she means—“I feel that they’re wondering if I like them. … I didn’t feel that before. I was accepting of everyone, and I hate that he brought that.”

                And here’s a 2013 paper Slate linked, The Return of Old Fashioned Racism to White Americans’ Partisan Preferences in the Early Obama Era (pdf)

                It begins:

                Old fashioned racism (OFR) was unrelated to white Americans’ partisan preferences throughout the post-civil rights era. This study argues OFR could return to white partisanship following decades of dormancy because of Obama’s presidency.


              • Troublesome Frog in reply to George Turner says:

                It seems like there’s an important difference between the statements, “Some white people felt denigrated,” and, “Obama denigrated white people.”

                I’m having a very hard time drawing a straight line from “You didn’t build that,” to something like, “Suck it, whitey,” without deciding that the person drawing that line is the one with the issue. Simply put, it starts to sound like Obama was “denigrating white people” just by being Obama.Report

              • North in reply to George Turner says:

                So basically a bunch of statements that were merely offensive to non-racially related right wing sensibilities and then were spun into being anti white by Fox and Right Wing commentators? I sort of expected as much but was half wondering if you had anything more, well, concrete to give an example of. Do you personally interpret those comments that way? Do you honestly think Obama’s comments that you cited were anti-white?

                Of course the white racialists can say “It’s not what he said or intended that matters, it’s who he is, how we interpret it and how we feel about it that matters.” which puts them right in the same boat as the intersectional progressive far left that they scorn so fiercely. That is mildly amusing.Report

              • Oscar Gordon in reply to North says:

                Unfortunately, telling people who have convinced themselves that they are being mocked/insulted/denigrated/etc. that they are being silly/imagining it/mistaken/etc. is not going to actually cause them to wake up and realize the error of their ways. Chances are it’ll make them dig in their heels even further, and do stuff like hold rallies and elect Trump 2.0, and Trump – Harder, Faster, Deeper, More!Report

              • North in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

                Oh indeed, see anti-vaxxers as well. It doesn’t hurt, though, to check to see if their convictions have any pillars that can be considered objectively true.Report

              • George Turner in reply to North says:

                Jeremiah Wright could not be reached for comment.Report

              • North in reply to George Turner says:

                Oh! He got elected President instead of getting chucked under a bus? I must have missed it!

                Was Bill Ayers his veep?Report

            • PD Shaw in reply to Burt Likko says:

              The problem is that when you ask what people would do if “actual Nazis were going to march in your town,” you had better be precise with your definition. Do you mean some friendless reject living in his basement, enjoying the multiplier factor of internet exchange and notoriety? Or you actually talking about actual people with power? Do you mean the thirty percent or so that approve of Trump? Actual NAZIs should be killed. Attention trolls should be ignored. And OT should ban the troll who keeps calling one of its contributors/editors a NAZI-enabler.Report

          • Kimmi in reply to PD Shaw says:

            PD Shaw.
            There are former Nazis in America.Report

            • Damon in reply to Kimmi says:

              Yeah, the american gov’t brought them over to help design and build our ballistic rockets for our nukes and space program.Report

              • Kimmi in reply to Damon says:

                Well, that was some of them. not the ones the Bushes were around, mostly. (They had multiple programs).
                The former nazi my friend the jew worked with was useful in smuggling information (and probably other stuff) into and out of East Germany. (As is not surprising, he always “knew a guy”)Report

    • Saul Degraw in reply to InMD says:


      Yet millions of voted for Trump. Not as many as HRC but tens of millions did. The reasons for voting for anyone are complicated.

      Some voting is pure partisanship. But there should be a point where moral agency kicks in. Trump flirted and outright associates with racists, white nationalists, and their rhetoric. At what point are Trump voters responsible for yesterday? I don’t think the hundreds that showed up yesterday would be as emboldened if HRC was President. Trump emboldens the racists.

      We seem to treat Republicans as if they are free of agency.

      Also racism operates on a spectrum. You are right that the rally was small but there are millionans who could agree with the rhetoric but not to the point of extreme rhetoric.Report

      • Saul Degraw in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        Action ratherReport

      • InMD in reply to Saul Degraw says:


        The people who voted for him do have agency and I think there’s a lot of worthy ridicule to be dished out (I’ll be laying some on my dad later this evening). The same can be said for the right wing media outlets that turned him into a politician.

        What scares me is losing perspective in comforting myths about who we are really up against. The parallels arent exact but it reminds me of the conservatives who had their own comforting myths about Obama being in league with Saul Alinsky inspired terrorists or the New Black Panthers keeping people from voting. The country collectively went through it with Islamic terrorism after 9/11.

        In a group of 300 million you can find plenty of people with out there and downright crazy beliefs. Maybe the Trump presidency has emboldebed some nutty people (no one seems to have hard evidence of that). What we shouldn’t do is mistake them as the cause of our various policy failures and other social and political problems.Report

        • Maribou in reply to InMD says:

          @inmd That does make sense to me, but the comforting myth I’m afraid of is that these people are just a few nuts that don’t really make a difference. That would be *super*-comforting to me because it would mean just going back to ignoring them and going about my normal business of trying to be as locally kind and helpful and politically involved as I can manage, secure in the belief that they’re NOT actually going to start taking over cities and reigning down vigilante and/or state-sponsored violence like they did (most recently) during the Civil Rights movement.Report

          • InMD in reply to Maribou says:

            @maribou I do understand why people are upset by it and I don’t at all want to appear as though I don’t sympathize with those who are afraid. The images are very disturbing and its exacerbated by our mass media culture that profits on fear and panic. Its when things like this happen that I think its most important to try to stay grounded in reason.Report

        • Saul Degraw in reply to InMD says:

          I’m sure people said the same thing about the Beer Hall Pustch in 1923.Report

    • George Turner in reply to InMD says:

      Yep. The press and the counter-protesters are giving the Nazis and Klansmen a huge recruiting platform. The current high-profile and popularity is a reaction to the massive antifa, BLM, and Mexican nationalist riots that ran through the election campaign.

      The left’s normal leadership couldn’t reign in the riots and protests because they were grass roots and being organized on social media, where the youth were competing for status and leadership by seeing who could be the most extreme and violent. This brought up an odd law of protest movements, where the leadership is driven by the logic that it’s better to do something horrifying and become the leader of a failed shrinking group than to be a powerless nobody in a successful, growing group. Better to be the commander of a platoon than a corporal in a battalion.

      Anyway, the images of those protests, especially in California, angered all sorts of folks who decided to get organized to fight them, and the same platoon logic kicked in. At this point the alt-right are basically trolling, knowing the counter-protesters will take the bait. The night-time tiki-torch gathering, an obvious nod to Nuremberg rallies, couldn’t be more blatant.

      Now the left is looking for blood payback, so the next protest-counter protest is guaranteed to result in spectacular fireworks. Events are being driven by people on both sides who have an IQ of about 85, but on the bright side, we can reflect back on the 2008 election and give thanks for all the racial healing!Report

    • Mike Dwyer in reply to InMD says:


      I think this is a really good point i.e. the Al Qadea effect… I’ll try to sit on the fence here and point out that both sides are guilty of this. The Right sees terrorists everywhere and the Left says they are over-reacting. Meanwhile, liberals are grossly exaggerating the threat of white supremacists in America, and the Right dismisses their fears.

      I tend to come down on the side of us all being a little more brave and a little less afraid of everything.Report

      • InMD in reply to Mike Dwyer says:


        I agree. I don’t think the culture of fear that seems to saturate everything benefits us as citizens at all.Report

        • Kazzy in reply to InMD says:

          How many serious people are calling for an AQ-effect? We want the President to denounce Nazi/racist inspired violence and terrorism. That’s very different than the Islamiphobia that arose post-9/11.Report

          • Mike Dwyer in reply to Kazzy says:


            The simple act of calling it terrorism is telling. It’s not. It’s some seriously terrible people having a very insignificant rally that turned very ugly.

            I’m also curious about the motivations for asking the President to denounce it. Let’s say he did…forcefully. He said exactly what President Obama would have said. Would you feel better? Would the Left think a little better of him?

            I’m not defending Trump as much as I am calling out the concern trolling here. The President is awful. I’ll give you that. But when you all make demands, isn’t it really just creating another opportunity for him to fail? I mean, I’ve had terrible bosses in the past. At a certain point I demand nothing of them because it serves no purpose other than to watch them fail me again. The President has already proved he isn’t a leader. He’s already proved he will endorse the Alt-Right with his silence. What more are you trying to prove here?Report

            • Kazzy in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

              If driving cars into crowds of people is terrorism when Muslims do it, it’s terrorism when white Americans do it.Report

              • veronica d in reply to Kazzy says:

                Indeed. Like, fucking seriously — an angry, radicalized white man deliberately driving his car into a crowd to express his politicized anger is absolutely terrorism.

                Utterly and completely a central example of the term, minus one factor, the absence of brown skin.Report

            • Kazzy in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

              Trump failing to denounce Nazis empowers Nazis. That’s a little different than your shitty boss.

              Someone is dead. You know that, right?Report

              • Mike Dwyer in reply to Kazzy says:

                Are they empowered because he didn’t denounce them, or because you all are pointing it out?

                Yes. Someone is dead. A tragedy. One person losing control of their temper and doing something horrible. How does that change things from 5 minutes beforehand?Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                That’s right… blame US. Wow, dude. Wow.Report

              • Maribou in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                “One person losing control of their temper and doing something horrible. ”

                One person *in the middle of a riot deliberately sparked off by people espousing white supremacy* *driving their car into a crowd*, Mike. We’re not talking about a random dude going off in the corner store here. Why on earth do you think he just “lost control of his temper”???? Those folks went there ready to be violent, to commit terroristic acts, and then *he was violent* as he had been egged on and prepared and *led* to be by folks like Richard Spencer. The “he just snapped” narrative is really out of alignment with the facts.Report

              • George Turner in reply to Maribou says:

                I think it fits pretty well. There’s no evidence he planned even fifteen minutes in advance, or however long it took him to walk to his car. He may have even thought it up when he was already driving through town. We’ll know more as the investigation proceeds.

                But the police were stood down and just allowed the armed protesters and counter protesters to go at it for hours, verbally and physically, without trying to separate them. The mobs were beating each other with sticks, spraying each other with pepper spray, and the antifa people were hurling rocks, cans filled with concrete, and bottles filled with urine. Antifa and the communists came to fight, and came in huge numbers.

                If you’ve got hundreds and hundreds of people engaged in such a fight, and just one of them gets mad enough to really pop, you’re going to have a disaster. Fortunately nobody was shot, unlike when Republican congressmen have baseball practice, but one paralegal was killed and many others are in critical condition.

                Nor did the right plan terrorism, or else they wouldn’t have used a goober in a Challenger. The Klan has protests in Charlottesville all the time. They were there several times before, including last year. This time antifa came to stop them, and the antifa’s online statements of intended violence are what caused the mayor to try an rescind the permit for the Lee protest. A judge struck that down, so both groups went ahead with their plans.Report

              • Mike Dwyer in reply to Maribou says:


                There is little to no evidence this was pre-meditated. It seems pretty clear that the ingredients were A) One crazy person and B) An emotionally charged, hours long skirmish and C) Opportunity.Report

              • Nevermoor in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                On behalf of liberals everywhere, I apologize to the poor man who we so utterly provoked by existing that he felt compelled to speed into a crowd of people.

                (is that the acceptable response in your view?)Report

              • Will Truman in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                It takes some very, very charitable assumptions to chalk that up to “losing control of their temper.”

                Trump doesn’t have to denounce the Nazis specifically if he doesn’t want to, or doesn’t feel like it’s the right thing to do.

                And we can judge quite a bit, I believe, that he didn’t see any reason to do so.Report

              • George Turner in reply to Will Truman says:

                Well, first off you have a twenty-year old who self-Nazified in high school. That right there says he’s got a few screws loose. He was probably reading quite a bit about Hitler, watching Youtube videos (Hitler was a GREAT speaker), and getting pretty set in the belief that will is everything. Will and strength, blood and iron, self-sacrifice, etc. Basically, taking bold action. The kid was also a fan of the Waffen-SS, which in the early days was all about reckless attack.

                Spend about two hours threatening that kid, taunting him, and throwing things at him and his new friends, and you’ve got one torqued up kid burning to strike a blow, make a mark, teach a lesson, wipe out his enemies, the evil communists, Jews, and mud races.

                And he’s got a Dodge Challenger, the honey badger of cars.

                Obviously not a whole lot of planning went into the attack or he’d have borrowed or stolen some other loser’s car with blacked out windows, crashed into a bunch of people, peeled out of there, and dumped the busted up stolen vehicle. Given the lack of a police presence, he could have gotten away with it.Report

              • Your first paragraph buries him far more effectively than rest pleads extenuating circumstances.Report

              • Catchling in reply to Will Truman says:

                Yep. “You can’t blame the killer driver for being a Nazi murderer when, in a larger sense, there is no free will and all is atoms and void. Also, he didn’t premeditate the crime in the precise way I would have.”

                Jesus. This fucking guy.Report

            • Dave Regio in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

              Mike Dwyer: I’m also curious about the motivations for asking the President to denounce it. Let’s say he did…forcefully. He said exactly what President Obama would have said. Would you feel better? Would the Left think a little better of him?

              Why does that even matter? This is a serious national matter, and usually when things get elevated to this level, it’s historically gotten the attention of the President of the United States and he’s said what needed said.

              Even if it does matter, have you stopped to think that maybe people are asking because they have absolutely no faith he’ll do the right thing?

              People asking him to do anything isn’t going to create an opportunity to fail. Trump does that brilliantly on his own.

              It’s almost comical that we’re having this conversation.Report

              • Mike Schilling in reply to Dave Regio says:

                The real tragedy here is Marco Rubio and Orrin Hatch turning into excitable leftists. Thank God cooler heads like Seb Gorka and Steve Bannon prevailed.

                (By the way, did everyone see Mike Pence’s Tweet that, yes, Nazis are bad, but the real problem is people being mean to Trump? Trump is the biggest snowflake in the history of the world. He makes whiny two-year-olds look like Marine drill sergeants.)Report

              • Mike Dwyer in reply to Dave Regio says:


                “Even if it does matter, have you stopped to think that maybe people are asking because they have absolutely no faith he’ll do the right thing?”

                Those are exactly my thoughts. If you have no expectation that someone will do the right thing A) Why would you ask and B) What do you hope to get out of the exercise?Report

              • Nevermoor in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                Umm… when its the g-d president of the united states, the answers are: (1) because this stuff matters; and (2) because maybe he’ll get better, but also because it increases the odds that he’s temporary.Report

              • Kimmi in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                DUDE! We might get him to call Putin a “Son of A Whore”!
                We might get world war III!
                (Or, more seriously — assuming Donald Trump is not a DC Comic Book Villain — we might get some good propaganda to solidify the leftist base with “how awful is this guy? he’s a joke”)Report

            • Troublesome Frog in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

              I’m also curious about the motivations for asking the President to denounce it.

              I’m not usually a fan of the “he failed to shout condemnations hard enough” game, but Donald Trump forcefully condemns a half dozen things before breakfast every day, totally unprompted. Allies, TV shows, fellow politicians. He’s not shy about it. But given every opportunity, and even asked point blank, he has done everything he can to weasel out of saying that the crowd of white supremacists who voted for him are bad.

              I don’t think that means he’s a white supremacist. I don’t think he feels that strongly about the issue because it doesn’t matter to him. I think it reflects badly on him because he’s clearly willing to sell out even a minor gesture at decent American behavior to hold on to the support of some of his die hard fans.Report

              • George Turner in reply to Troublesome Frog says:

                Trump just tweeted that his DoJ is opening a civil rights investigation into the Charlottesville attack.Report

              • That seems to be something Sessions initiated yesterday on his own.Report

              • Kimmi in reply to Will Truman says:

                Figure if he didn’t, half the department would be shouting in protest.Report

              • @troublesome-frog

                I agree on both your points – given his fondness for condemning things his lack of condemnation is telling in a way it wouldn’t be if we were talking about a President like Calvin Coolidge who avoiding making public pronouncements of nay kind.

                And I think his attitude is more likely a kind of transnational nihilism than any actual sympathy for white supremacists, not that that’s a defence.Report

              • Troublesome Frog in reply to James K says:

                And here’s the desired effect. Here’s the Stormfront live blog response to Trump’s statements:

                Trump comments were good. He didn’t attack us. He just said the nation should come together. Nothing specific against us.

                He said that we need to study why people are so angry, and implied that there was hate… on both sides!

                So he implied the antifa are haters.

                There was virtually no counter-signaling of us at all.

                He said he loves us all.

                Also refused to answer a question about White Nationalists supporting him.

                No condemnation at all.

                When asked to condemn, he just walked out of the room.

                Really, really good.

                God bless him.

                So the statements had the desired effect: Giving some amount of cover to his “respectable” supporters to defend him on this while making sure he kept the loyalty of the white supremacist voting bloc.

                Would Trump have dodged the question, “How much does Rosie O’Donnell suck?”Report

              • Morat20 in reply to Troublesome Frog says:

                Even when he had an already weaselly statement (condemning the violence, but not actual Nazism or white supremacy) he literally couldn’t do it. He ad-libbed in the “many sides” thing to weaken it further.

                That was pure Trump, shining through.Report

              • notme in reply to Morat20 says:

                Last time I checked, there was violence from both sides. I know you and others here would like to portray the right as those mean folks and the left is pure as snow but it just isn’t so. Both sides acted inexcusably.Report

              • Troublesome Frog in reply to notme says:

                That’s true. Both sides did commit violence.

                Both sides probably do a lot of things we could talk about. But only one side was pushing white supremacy and waving Nazi flags.

                This is why I’m bothered by all the talk about violence over everything else. Skirmishes break out at political rallies and demonstrations all the time and while it’s inexcusable, people acting in bad faith use that as a distraction from what the protests were really about.

                Here’s what the protests were really about: One side was pushing in favor of naked racism and hate and the other side was pushing back. Any attempt at finding something that “both sides” are guilty of is just a clumsy attempt to distract from that fact.Report

              • notme in reply to Troublesome Frog says:

                No, the protests were about the removal of the statute from the park. Saying that one side is espousing ideas you don’t like doesn’t change the fact that both sides were violent or excuse the side you support.Report

              • Troublesome Frog in reply to notme says:

                So at its core, it really was all just a mundane disagreement about whether we should move some molecules from one place to another, and symbolism like Nazi flags and chants are all just people reading too much into it?

                I mean, it’s just the usual Nazi flag thing that shows up all the time at every public event, right? Statues in parks, water rates, school bonds, etc. Just the usual stuff with Nazi symbolism and nothing racially charged at all.Report

              • InMD in reply to Troublesome Frog says:

                I think you’re mostly right, but it’s worth looking at why this might not seem totally clear cut, even to people analyzing it in good faith. I agree that you don’t get to go goosestepping around with the flag of Nazi Germany then say your message isn’t related to the things Nazi Germany stood for. They have to own that and any equivocation is pathetic and helps prove what cowards they are.

                What confuses this is that it happened in a college town where the protest culture is now heavily intermingled with the intersectionaly cult. We don’t really know what the counter protesters stood for. To the extent its opposing racism and the ideology of the Third Reich they should be applauded. To the extent its related to intersectionality one side really isn’t much better than the other in this context. They both share the same assumptions about race, their preferred heirarchies are just different. In that regard I can’t think of two groups more deserving of each other.Report

              • Catchling in reply to InMD says:

                During the Third Reich, there were Nazis, who believed Jews were genetically inferior, and anti-Nazis, who believed the Jews were being persecuted by Nazis. In short, both groups believed that Jews and non-Jews were unequal, that some sort of racial hierarchy was at play in the nation of Germany. How can either side possibly have more merit than the other?

                I hope my snark there was clear enough. To say “they both share the same assumptions about race, their preferred heirarchies are just different” is practically an argument from wordplay. You are free to disagree with intersectionalists, but don’t pretend they are in remotely the same ballpark as racists.Report

              • notme in reply to Troublesome Frog says:


                Try googling Unite the Right. Here I’ll make it easy for you.


                The original purpose was to protest the removal of the statute. That purpose may have gotten lost following the violence but it is still at the core of the protest.Report

              • Troublesome Frog in reply to notme says:

                So why do you suppose the purpose “got lost” in a rally over this particular issue and not some other one? Not, say, a pro-life rally or an anti-war rally or something else? Cosmic coincidence? Antifa false flags?Report

              • Nevermoor in reply to notme says:

                The speed with which you accept those people into “the right” is… confirming a lot of my biases.Report

              • notme in reply to Nevermoor says:

                I was a poly sci major in college so my education says they are part of the “right” whether I agree with them or not. I’m not trying to make a no true Scotsman argument. I will say I don’t agree with them just to set the record straight. Does that make you feel better?Report

              • @troublesome-frog

                I think this assessment is probably right but I also hate political gotcha, and I see it played by the Left a LOT. This feels pretty much the same. When you think someone is that terrible, if you truly expect them to not be terrible it either means a high degree of naivety or you’re hiding your intentions. I guess I’m a cynic when I think it’s mostly the latter for the liberals that are acting so hurt by this.Report

              • Troublesome Frog in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                My sense is that’s true, but it could be true for a couple of reasons. One might be that the callout culture is more deeply embedded in the culture of the left, and one might be that politicians on the right spend a lot more time trying not to offend their extremist wings, so it’s a more useful tool for liberals. My guess is that it’s a combination of the two, and there is some value in pinning down exactly what a politician’s message is.

                To take an example from the opposite wing, I think it was useful and illuminating to watch Jill Stein thrash around to avoid saying, “vaccines don’t cause autism” because she knew perfectly well that a chunk of her voting bloc is kooks who wouldn’t like the correct answer. Instead of being a clear-headed leader, she chose to pander to them as long as she could, and getting her to state clearly what she believed on a black-and-white issue showed her true colors.

                It seems like, “Are Nazi protesters worthy of at least as much condemnation as Rosie O’Donnel or the New York Times?” is one of those softball questions that should be a nothingburger, and if you’re having trouble answering it clearly under direct pressure, I think we should all think carefully about why. In this case, it was a useful exercise because it exposed something fairly unseemly in Trump’s nature that many of his supporters are having a hard time spinning. In so far as what it exposed is true, it’s good for everybody.

                The type of condemnation gotcha that I don’t approve of is complaints that POTUS didn’t prioritize your condemnation the way you wanted (“Waah, he’s talking about some other issue and he didn’t make a statement about the thing I think is important soon enough!”), not the inability to respond to a point blank, “Do you think Nazis are bad?”Report

            • Burt Likko in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

              I would feel better if he made a forceful denunciation, yes.

              The Nazis are the bad guys, every time. Seeing that the President isn’t quite ready to embrace this simple and obvious truth makes me feel very uneasy indeed.Report

              • Morat20 in reply to Burt Likko says:

                Denouncing Nazis and out-right white supremacists is like…easy mode for a politician.

                It’s the most no-brainer move in politics.

                Unless, of course, you have sympathies for that ideology or want their vote. In which case you’re either one yourself, or you’re happy to promote their views in return for their votes — in which case, you might as well be one.Report

              • Joe Sal in reply to Morat20 says:

                “One man’s opportunism is another man’s statesmanship.” M.F.Report

              • Morat20 in reply to Joe Sal says:

                Do elucidate on the applicability of that quote to the situation at hand.Report

              • Joe Sal in reply to Morat20 says:

                Unless, of course, you have sympathies for that ideology or want their vote. In which case you either be one yourself, or you’re happy to promote their views in return for their votes.Report

              • Morat20 in reply to Joe Sal says:

                So, to sum up: Not denouncing Nazi’s is “statesmanship” to Nazis.

                Well yes, that’s sort of the problem here.Report

              • Mike Dwyer in reply to Burt Likko says:


                I think the main issue for me is that I gave up on the idea of a President Trump that wasn’t terrible about 6.5 months ago. So I expect absolutely zero from him other than to try not to start World War 3. Him commenting on this in any way, good or bad, doesn’t move the needle for me at all.

                On the other hand, I’m sure the previous 4 presidents would have said the right thing. I think they were usually good in these moments. And I would have been okay with hearing from any of them.Report

              • Troublesome Frog in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                I think it’s important that this stuff keeps coming out because, while it doesn’t move the needle for you or me, there are a lot of people who still don’t seem to have clear picture of who Donald Trump is. Some people need a pile of irrefutable evidence before they’ll even start to consider that they might have missed something.Report

              • Nevermoor in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                Glad to know you’re officially too cool to give a crap about politics.

                Unfortunately, they still matter to a lot of people’s lives. Whether or not you “gave up.” I hope Trump stops pushing for WWIII. I also hope that people who need healthcare can still afford insurance. I hope that people who need the government’s help to eat do not go hungry. I hope that people who don’t need tax breaks are not given any (particularly on the backs of the previous two groups). Etc. Etc. So even though I–like you–don’t expect a good presidency out of Trump, it doesn’t mean I’m going to check out.Report

            • Nevermoor in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

              The simple act of calling it terrorism is telling. It’s not. It’s some seriously terrible people having a very insignificant rally that turned very ugly.

              @kazzy has this exactly right. It is violence designed to scare others, which is what terrorism actually is. It also uses the same exact method routinely called terrorism when seriously terrible people who happen to have brown skin do it.

              As to the balance of your point, the problem is that Trump encourages this kind of stuff. He routinely called for violence during the campaign, encouraged police brutality as recently as this month, and has a troubling tendency to do things that sure look like support for the blood-and-soil crowd. Had he used this as an opportunity to counter that last point, it would–in fact–have caused me to think a little better of him. Instead, it confirms my judgment of him.

              Finally, you seem to gloss over the key difference between reaction to this and reaction to islamic terrorists. The left does not say we must love/accept/tolerate islamic terrorists, but instead suggests that not all members of the islamic faith are terrorists, and that it is valuable to distinguish between the groups. The right tends to disagree. Here, the left is not calling for all white christians to be treated as nazis, but is simply saying we should reject and censor the actual nazis. The right, writ large, seems to be saying much the same thing (though we’ll see what happens next). The president and his apologists, however, not so much.Report

          • George Turner in reply to Kazzy says:

            He’s been doing that for well over a year. Campaigning against racist violence is what got him elected.

            2015 story from the Daily Wire: Violent Racial Protests Will Help Elect Trump

            In Cleveland Trump said:

            “The attacks on our police, and the terrorism in our cities, threaten our very way of life. Any politician who does not grasp this danger is not fit to lead our country…I have a message for all of you: the crime and violence that today afflicts our nation will soon come to an end: Beginning on January 20, 2017, safety will be restored.”


      • Kimmi in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

        The right would like us to believe that nuns breaking onto Oak Ridge is evidence of terrorism.
        We do have a terrorist problem in America. It’s homegrown, and you can’t tell me where it is, because you’ve never heard of it. But there are places in America where if folks don’t like you, they burn your house down (wood’s cheap).Report

  5. Jaybird says:

    The most recent similar thing that I can think of is Dylann Roof murdering nine people in a church.

    I’m not sure how important the rallies and marches that followed that (horrible) event were.

    I’m not sure how important the rallies and marches that will follow this (horrible) event will be.

    Which is not to say that I know what *WILL* work. I don’t. I have no idea how this gets turned around.Report

    • PD Shaw in reply to Jaybird says:

      Back in 1998, Benjamin Smith went on a multi-state killing spree, trying to drive-by kill a dozen different representatives of mud races, killing two, wounding ten, and missing nine. This was all to stoke racial tensions. And then the leader of his “World Church of the Creator” had a federal judge’s husband and mother killed (or I think he tried to have the “probable Jew” murdered, but only her family was home at the time)

      So far these types of killing don’t appear to provoke the cycle of violent recriminations that create the sought-after race war. Maybe this time things will be different if the focus is on Trump.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to PD Shaw says:

        There’s a “Free Speech” rally coming up in Boston… looks like on the 19th.

        This strikes me as a lot more likely to end up being a “oh, gosh… things are getting so much worse” rather than a “hey, maybe things aren’t as bad as I thought” kinda thing.

        But, hey. Maybe it won’t.Report

    • Nevermoor in reply to Jaybird says:

      Which is not to say that I know what *WILL* work. I don’t. I have no idea how this gets turned around.

      I don’t think anyone does, with certainty. I do, however, think lots of us know things that *WON’T* work (pretending this is normal, pretending both sides are equally responsible, pretending the value of nazi views is debatable, etc.)Report

  6. Mike Dwyer says:

    Burt, I have to disagree with this:

    “…for the first time in our history, the White House is run by men who wink and dog whistle their barely-concealed approval of this sort of thing.”

    Read up on Woodrow Wilson. This has happened before.Report

    • Kolohe in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

      You could argue that Wilson didn’t wink and dogwhistle, he just straight up did stuff like re segregate the federal civil service.Report

      • Maribou in reply to Kolohe says:

        And FDR interned Japanese-Americans by the hundreds of thousands. Good catch, @mike-dwyer, it’s hardly the first time scary racism was the White House order of the day.Report

    • Burt Likko in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

      Wilson was no friend to the black man, that’s a true statement.

      I don’t think he encouraged people to join the Klan. Trump’s getting awfully close to that line.Report

    • Nevermoor in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

      This I agree with you on.

      I’d add Andrew Jackson and Ronald Reagan to team wink/dog-whistle.

      A thing Trump does that no president has done before, is place personal financial interests ahead of government interests. Another thing Trump did that no president has done before is accept the aid of a semi-hostile foreign government to get elected. But dog-whistle politics is not new, even for presidents.Report

  7. Michelle says:

    I call bull shit. If trump is a racist then why did he open his golf clubs to backs and Jews?

    Because it’s pretty much unacceptable in this day and age not to do so. Big Tweet loves money and profit above all else.

    While I’m not sure whether he’s a racist or just plays one for his base, it doesn’t really matter. He clearly courted white nationalists during his campaign and benefitted from their votes. I said during the run-up to the election that he was setting loose dark forces that would not easily be repressed after November. The last few months have shown that statement to be true.Report

    • George Turner in reply to Michelle says:

      Trump’s the one that made such discrimination unacceptable. Palm Beach had no problems locking blacks and Jews out of the upper tiers. Trump went to court time and time again to change that.

      Obama’s administration was blatantly anti-Jewish, pro-Palestinian. He also weaponized black anger. The dark forces had already been unleashed long before Trump threw his hat in the ring. Trump campaigned on bringing everybody together. He had tons of blacks and Hispanics and gays on stage with him. He decried the way the Democrats had divided Americans by race, class, and gender. Hillary, on the other hand, called Republicans irredeemable bigots, a basket of deplorables, continuing that they were “The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic — you name it.”

      Some of what drove Trump’s support was a reaction to that, and a reaction to BLM burning down whole neighborhoods while police were stood down, and Mexicans destroying police cars and attacking people while, again, the police were stood down.Report

      • DavidTC in reply to George Turner says:

        …BLM burning down whole neighborhoods while police were stood down, and Mexicans destroying police cars and attacking people while, again, the police were stood down.

        Can you please produce the slightest cite for this?

        Not even proof, just literally two sources that claims those two events happens.

        (And I’ve fairly confused as to how you are going to find a group of ‘Mexicans’ doing anything in America, but whatever.)Report

        • George Turner in reply to DavidTC says:

          Remember Ferguson? Remember five police officers shot in Dallas?

          As for the rallies, that would be the entirety of the Internet. Pick a city.

          Video of San Jose Trump rally

          CBS story on the San Jose rally

          That’s how you got Trump.Report

          • DavidTC in reply to George Turner says:

            You think Ferguson had the police officers stood down? Are you a complete lunatic?

            The very first day of the unrest, in fact *before* the unrest, Ferguson assembled 150 police in riot gear. That day, thirty people were arrested.

            As I have mentioned before, Ferguson police were actually ordered by the courts to stop tear gassing people faster than they could follow orders to disperse. That’s literally a matter of public record.

            There is no possible understanding of the universe in which Ferguson officers were ‘stood down’ while they arrested and illegally (and legally) tear gassed people!

            Do you want to try again with the claim: ‘BLM burning down whole neighborhoods while police were stood down‘ Because Ferguson does not work.

            Meanwhile, at the San Jose rally, there was several minutes where protesters attacked cars where no police happened to be. So there were no police. But they were not, in any sense, ‘stood down’, they just weren’t expecting trouble there so weren’t at that location for a bit.

            After that point, the police continued to try to regain control of the situation until they did. It admittedly took a while, but that was not because of anyone ‘standing down’.

            Please note that temporarily retreating and falling back to a better position because they are under attack is not the same as being ‘stood down’.

            It’s especially odd to claim the police were stood down while the protesters attacked police cars. The police stood down but left their cars? In reality, the protesters, of course, attacked _occupied_ police cars.

            Being stood down is when the police are given orders to not do anything. Either from the highers up at the police, or from some other part of the government. That is what ‘stood down’ means. That is the phrase you used, repeatedly.

            It is what actually happened at Charlottesville, as far as anyone can tell. The police just stood passively by.

            So let’s just simplify this: Please present a single protest or rally or riot by the left, any of them at all, where people were out control, committing violence and property damage…and the police didn’t immediately start attempting to regain control, but instead were ordered to stand aside and let it play out.

            A. Single. One.

            Well, before Charlottesville. (Assuming you want to assume anti-Nazis are ‘the left’.)Report

            • George Turner in reply to DavidTC says:

              Ferguson burned, while the massive police presence watched, not wanting to provoke things. We watched it burn on TV. As you mention, they were ordered by the courts to stop using tear gas. Ferguson burned.

              And as for your challenge, that would be almost all of the protests against Trump.Report

              • DavidTC in reply to George Turner says:

                During any point that ‘Fergasuon burned’, the police were out, en mass, arresting people, and attempting to disperse people. And often crossed legal lines while doing so. This is not some sort of debatable thing. We have records of how many police officers there were, and we have records of arrests.

                They were on high alert the entire time, in fact, as I’ve pointed out, they brought in over a hundred officers from another precinct and had everyone in riot gear yelling at people and closing down streets before any general ‘unrest’ happened. (I.e., their behavior helped start the problems.)

                Are you asserting the police were ‘ordered to stand down’ because they didn’t do anything about the fires?

                The police are not, in fact, supposed to do anything about a building on fire except possibly keep people away.Report

    • notme in reply to Michelle says:

      While I’m not sure whether he’s a racist or just plays one for his base, it doesn’t really matter.

      Yes, actually it does matter to intelligent folks.Report

      • Troublesome Frog in reply to notme says:

        If you say and do bad things but deep down, you know they’re wrong, what does that say about you other than that you know better?

        If an otherwise nonviolent kid robs a liquor store for the approval of his peers, do you give him a pass because he’s just pretending to be a thug?Report

        • KenB in reply to Troublesome Frog says:

          This isn’t the best analogy — Trump hasn’t really done anything obviously racist*. It’s more like some friends of his robbed a liquor store and he found out about it but still hung out with them. That doesn’t make him a criminal but it does suggest that he’s not too bothered by it.

          *leaving aside things like the immigration policies he advocates, which some folks insist are driven by racism but which aren’t necessarily so.Report

          • Kazzy in reply to KenB says:

            He isn’t just hanging out with them. He is opting not to turn them despite holding a position of high regard, esteem, and power.Report

            • KenB in reply to Kazzy says:

              OK, go ahead and make him student body president. That makes it an even poorer decision on his part to hang with them, but it still doesn’t make him a criminal himself.Report

              • George Turner in reply to KenB says:

                Trump went ahead and condemned them. Gov McAuliffe was asked if he’d condemn antifa, but he ignored the question.

                Meanwhile the Virginia ACLU is asking for an investigation into the state and local police response. They also confirm that the police were stood down, allowing the violence to continue.

                Huffpo: Police stood by as mayhem mounted in Charlottesville

                Charlottesville police called off when violence beganReport

              • KenB in reply to George Turner says:

                Trump went ahead and condemned them.

                Well, sorta. At the point that it was clear that the driver was a white supremacist, the moment called for him to be a little more specific. See e.g. MBD on what he could have said.Report

              • George Turner in reply to KenB says:

                Certainly he could have singled them out, but that’s what Obama was doing for eight years, inserting himself prematurely into any event at all if he could turn it into a blame-game or guilt trip. Acted stupidly, beer summit, Trayvon could’ve been my son, etc.

                Anyway, from the National Review piece:

                Some of these scummy racists in Charlottesville wore chainmail, others went around shouting their devotion to Adolf Hitler. A president with Trump’s intuitive sense of depravity should be able to call them what they are: evil losers. More pathetic: evil cosplayers.

                Maille isn’t that useful unless edged weapons are being used, and if it’s butted maille its almost totally useless. I weld mine. Maille has no known connection to racism.

                And an aside:

                I’m also the only person who’s made banded maille since probably the 1300’s. Everybody else is convinced it’s a myth because a few people in the late 1800’s couldn’t figure out how to hold links together with leather cords. The cords are non-structural. They just keep it under compression so it doesn’t lock up, which it will do under radial tension. Bungee cords would probably work better than leather.

                pic 1 of banded maille

                If you pulled those pieces from left and right, putting them under tension, the little links seize tightly on the big links and all flexibility is lost. It becomes almost as stiff a piece of plate, and thus is useless for a joint. But if cords were threaded through the small links, and knotted somewhere, you could make a travel-limit so the binding wouldn’t occur

                pic 2 of banded maille

                pic 3 of banded maille

                In those two photos, the maille wants to slide downward due to its own weight. If that happens, it forces itself outwards (swells out) and binds, making the knee joint completely immobile. Leather bands would prevent that.

                The leather binds the rings together, which is exactly how it was described. But “bind” doesn’t mean structurally, as in keeping the links from falling apart, it means holding the rings “together” so they don’t bind up.

                The pattern is always alternating (to the left, then to the right) overlapping rows with something small (almost rope like) drawn or carved in between the big rings. Once you’ve seen it, you’ll notice it in all kinds of period carvings and artworks.

                It’s cheaper to produce than regular maille, in labor hours, which is what I was doing when I stumbled across it. Bigger rings means fewer needed, but they have to really overlap to stop penetration, and they have to be pretty thick for strength. To make sure they overlap, the little rings have to be really small, otherwise it’s just an ordinary 4 in 1 linking. It’s actually the same pattern as regular maille, but with two radically different sized rings. And then as soon as you make the first segment, you realize it binds in tension, and so you’d add a leather cords to prevent the problem.

                Maybe someday someone will update Wikipedia to say it’s not a myth.Report

              • Kimmi in reply to George Turner says:

                Please, please please don’t say “I’m probably the only one…”
                Really? You probably aren’t.
                Billions of people, man.Report

              • George Turner in reply to Kimmi says:

                Nope. Check the wiki. They still think the pattern is a myth, based on books on medieval armour by Ffoulkes, who was curator of the Royal Armouries.

                In 1912, in An Armourer and His Craft (PDF) he wrote:

                (pages 46, 47, 48 of the book, pages 100, 101, and 102 of the PDF)

                A variety of mail which, from the sculptured effigies and from miniatures of the thirteenth century, appears to have been in high favour, has come to be known as “Banded Mail.”

                In both painted and sculptured records the methods of representation differ considerably from those employed to suggest the ordinary mail of interlaced rings.

                In the middle of the last century, when the subject of armour began to be seriously studied, this banded mail was the subject of many theories and suggestions. Meyrick considered that it was composed of rings sewn on to a fabric, overlapping each other sideways ; but a practical experiment will prove that such an arrangement would be impossible, as the weight would be excessive and the curve of the body would cause the rings to “gape.” Other writers have considered that the same arrangement of rings, covered with leather which would prevent the “gaping,” is the correct solution ; but here again the heat would be a grave drawback.

                An important point on all representations of banded mail is that, when part of the garment is shown turned back, the back is the same as the front. The most practical suggestion was put forward by the late J. G. Waller,^ who considered that it was simply chain mail with leather thongs threaded through every row or every alternate row of links. This would give a solidity to an otherwise too-pliant fabric, and would keep the mail in its place, especially on the arms and legs. It would also show the same arrangement of rings back and front.

                The drawing from the Romance of Alexander goes far to prove that Waller’s theory is the right one, for here the thongs are not shown on hands and head, where greater pliability of the mail was required, and yet these defences appear to be part of the same garment which shows the ” banded ” lines.

                It is almost superfluous to add that no specimen of this kind of defence survives to-day, but Oriental mail is sometimes found stiffened in this manner with leather thongs.

                Since they didn’t hit the right pattern, they kept assuming the leather thongs stiffened it. They don’t. The thongs keep it flexible. They didn’t figure out that what looked kind of like a small rope in between the big rings was just really small rings linked in the standard 4 in 1 pattern.

                Not the almost exact similarity between the effigies in the book and what was on my legs.

                If you go to any website on maille and armour, the maille experts will tell you that banded maille is a myth that started with Dungeons and Dragons.Report

              • Let me interject, @george-turner — whatever disagreements you and I have elsewhere in this thread about other subject matters, I think this meander into medieval armor is fascinating and I thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience with us.Report

              • Damon in reply to George Turner says:

       lets discuss fashion as it relates to plate!Report

              • Kimmi in reply to George Turner says:

                Oh, hey, giant in the playground’s got a decent cite on Armenian armor:

                Any grognard knows to check out Rolemaster, not D&D. Rolemaster ran the numbers.

                To Fix wikipedia, you need to get by CAT. This is why there were a few weeks when it was Simon and Garfield, by the way.Report

          • Saul Degraw in reply to KenB says:


            I dissent. He has a whole history of doing horrible things that I discussed above. His whole political career has been built on racism and bigotry and making crude appeals to the emotions of bigots and white supremacists. I think there are countless examples from his private life to show rampant bigotry.

            But his enablers will deny it until they are blue in the face and make false equivalences about someone was President over a hundred years ago.Report

          • Troublesome Frog in reply to KenB says:

            What if he just refused to snitch, not out of fear but because he might personally get something by befriending the robbers?Report

      • Nevermoor in reply to notme says:

        If you provide aid and comfort to the cause of white nationalism, I don’t care whether you also have black friends.Report

  8. Kazzy says:

    Sorry folks, but I think this is it for me here. That we need to debate this topic and with people who are on the masthead tells me I’m done here.Report

  9. Will H. says:

    I have a really tough time caring about this.

    My feelings on the matter are a bit more complex.
    I don’t really care that the neo-nazis are neo-nazis. It would be wrong of me to expect them to be anything other than off-kilter.
    The same goes for roughly half of those carrying around the stars & bars.

    What really makes me sick is the way that the history of Lee is told, including the part about treason. If amnesty is meaningful at all, then surely 100 years is long enough.
    Ergo, our form of amnesty is not meaningful, empty.

    Alongside it, the half-blindness of the purge is telling in its vision.
    What it lacks marks it as much as what it would attain, and to what end.
    That’s the part that really disappoints me.
    I was hoping against hope, despite all evidence to the contrary, that the moral authority of the people was somehow moral in content.
    And seeing it isn’t makes me feel really sick.

    I would rather feed a raccoon that save any one of those lives.
    I can rest assured the raccoon’s motives are pure.Report

    • Saul Degraw in reply to Will H. says:

      These are things Robert E. Lee would do to his slaves as an allegedly kind slave owner:

      When two of his slaves escaped and were recaptured, Lee either beat them himself or ordered the overseer to “lay it on well.” Wesley Norris, one of the slaves who was whipped, recalled that “not satisfied with simply lacerating our naked flesh, Gen. Lee then ordered the overseer to thoroughly wash our backs with brine, which was done.”


      • George Turner in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        Were there many slave owners that wouldn’t do that?

        Blacks owe their freedom to Robert E. Lee. If the South had a really competent general they’d have stayed Confederate property, but the South had Lee, a man who went into West Virginia without bringing winter clothes, and when forced to retreat by the weather blamed God for the attack’s failure.Report

        • Kimmi in reply to George Turner says:

          Well, If I give you credit for nothing else , it’ll be for understanding that Lee was a pretty horrible general. Flashy, but he knew he was gonna lose.Report

        • mark boggs in reply to George Turner says:

          My God, George, you’ve redefined the word “apologist”. But, goodness, you’re a hell of a team player.

          And to somehow excuse Lee’s behavior by using it in comparison to other folks practicing monstrous behavior? And then have the blacks thank the “incompetent” Confederate General for their freedom?

          You’re doing parody now, right? Please?Report

      • Will H. in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        Lee never owned slaves. He received some as part of his father-in-laws estate, which specified all the slaves be manumitted within five years. The slaves belonged to the estate, and not Lee.
        His personal writings make clear his views on slavery.
        They also make clear that he never fought to further slavery, or save it, or anything of the kind.Report

        • gregiank in reply to Will H. says:

          Yeah Lee’s feelings on slavery were clear. It was an evil, a far worse evil FOR white people who had the duty of enacting a “painful discipline” on slaves to raise them up until God said they could be free. He wanted nothing to do with abolitionists and was fine with slavery as it was anointed by God until God was done with it. His greatest sympathies were for the white slavers. Blacks were better off as slaves then in Africa. So yeah his feelings were crystal clear.

          Robert E. Lee letter dated December 27, 1856:

          I was much pleased the with President’s message. His views of the systematic and progressive efforts of certain people at the North to interfere with and change the domestic institutions of the South are truthfully and faithfully expressed. The consequences of their plans and purposes are also clearly set forth. These people must be aware that their object is both unlawful and foreign to them and to their duty, and that this institution, for which they are irresponsible and non-accountable, can only be changed by them through the agency of a civil and servile war. There are few, I believe, in this enlightened age, who will not acknowledge that slavery as an institution is a moral and political evil. It is idle to expatiate on its disadvantages. I think it is a greater evil to the white than to the colored race. While my feelings are strongly enlisted in behalf of the latter, my sympathies are more deeply engaged for the former. The blacks are immeasurably better off here than in Africa, morally, physically, and socially. The painful discipline they are undergoing is necessary for their further instruction as a race, and will prepare them, I hope, for better things. How long their servitude may be necessary is known and ordered by a merciful Providence. Their emancipation will sooner result from the mild and melting influences of Christianity than from the storm and tempest of fiery controversy. This influence, though slow, is sure. The doctrines and miracles of our Saviour have required nearly two thousand years to convert but a small portion of the human race, and even among Christian nations what gross errors still exist! While we see the course of the final abolition of human slavery is still onward, and give it the aid of our prayers, let us leave the progress as well as the results in the hands of Him who, chooses to work by slow influences, and with whom a thousand years are but as a single day. Although the abolitionist must know this, must know that he has neither the right not the power of operating, except by moral means; that to benefit the slave he must not excite angry feelings in the master; that, although he may not approve the mode by which Providence accomplishes its purpose, the results will be the same; and that the reason he gives for interference in matters he has no concern with, holds good for every kind of interference with our neighbor, -still, I fear he will persevere in his evil course. . . . Is it not strange that the descendants of those Pilgrim Fathers who crossed the Atlantic to preserve their own freedom have always proved the most intolerant of the spiritual liberty of others?Report

          • Will H. in reply to gregiank says:

            Lincoln represented a slave owner in Rutherford v. Matson right before he left for Congress.
            The slaves in question, Anthony Bryant & family, left for Liberia afterward.
            They did not fare well there. They ended up begging on the streets.
            Their youngest child, who had returned with Matson to Kentucky, fared much better, I believe.
            Objective fact.Report

            • gregiank in reply to Will H. says:

              A fact perhaps but irrelevant to Lee’s quoted feelings. I’m guessing a pretty high percentage of slaves would rather not have been slaves or been taken into slavery. I’m sure going back a generation or two later was hard but that doesn’t’ change any of the other stuff.Report

              • Will H. in reply to gregiank says:

                Lincoln thought much the same– that slavery was unnatural, and it would die out, if left alone. His issue was with the aggressive expansionist tendencies of the slave-holding states.
                He was opposed to Texas entering the Union due to the imbalance of slave states / free states that it created.

                It is very unlikely that Lincoln would have went to war to end slavery.Report

              • KenB in reply to Will H. says:

                It is very unlikely that Lincoln would have went to war to end slavery.

                Indeed, he says as much to Horace Greeley:

                My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union.


              • greginak in reply to Will H. says:

                Yeah Lincoln would not have started a war over slavery. It was the South who did that. Lincoln’s views changed over time eventually to Emancipation. None of this is really new. And it doesn’t change Lee’s words on slavery.Report

              • Will H. in reply to greginak says:

                I believe that is factually inaccurate on both points.

                First, over 90% of Lincoln’s speeches from 1854 – 1860 had a significant component of opposition to slavery.

                Secondly, the South did not start a war. They seceded; i.e., they had consistently politically outmaneuvered the abolitionists, on a number of points.
                And the return of Annapolis to Virginia, in effect seceding from the District of Columbia, seemed to establish a precedent. The legality of it was unclear (still is, some would say).
                However, as KenB intimates above, Lincoln was sworn to uphold the Constitution of the U.S.

                Lee’s views were fairly ordinary for religious people of his class. He made it clear that he was fighting for Virginia, and not in favor of slaving.
                Lincoln’s views were similar. Though he was of Quaker stock, he was not himself religious. Nonetheless, he held the view predominant among them, that it was a bad thing that would pass in time– that tolerance and long-suffering would be sufficient.

                I believe both of their views are justified in light of the events.Report

              • Nevermoor in reply to Will H. says:


                The South started the Civil War at Fort Sumter in exactly the same way the Japanese started WWII at Pearl Harbor. You don’t attack a military base and not expect a war.Report

              • George Turner in reply to Nevermoor says:

                Yep. Poland, France, the Battle of Britain, the invasion of the Soviet Union, those were just considered police actions until those dastardly Japanese went and started the war. ^_^Report

              • greginak in reply to Will H. says:

                By the time of the Civil War attitudes towards slavery were far different then with the founding fathers. The FF’s though slavery would fade away. However by the mid 1800’s southerners were intent on expansion. Expanding slavery seen as necessary or the institution would die out. That was the crux of the compromise and political conflicts from in the decades before the war. That was the big deal with the compromise of 1850. Even at that time some in the south called for war.

                They wanted slavery to keep going indefinitely and needed room to expand. Heck some even wanted to invade other countries to get more room for slavery. Lee was not against slavery and fought to preserve it.Report

        • Saul Degraw in reply to Will H. says:

          Congrats! You can be a lawyer with that kind of logic.

          Regardless of whether he owned slaves or not he dominion over them and ordered the administration of brutal physical torture for slaves. He could have gone light on the punishment but did not.

          Do you really want defending this to be the hill you die on?Report

        • PD Shaw in reply to Will H. says:

          Lee owned slaves. (Emory M. Thomas, “Robert E. Lee”)

          Edit: “He himself continued to own black people at least as late as 1846.” (p. 72)Report

    • Doctor Jay in reply to Will H. says:

      I like Lee. I’ve read his biographies. I feel a kinship to the man. He was an engineer and a devoted family man, like myself.

      Which is doubly scary, since it means I could maybe make as bad a choice as he did.

      The thing is, the Lost Cause has held him up as their front man for a century and a half. For good reason, since he is by far the most attractive person of the lot. He’s a symbol, not a person, and the Lost Cause made him so.

      Now the opponents of the Lost Cause are going after the symbol, as a symbol. It doesn’t, in my opinion, have much to do with the man. I will continue to love Lee. In a proper turn of seasons, perhaps we can find some other way to preserve his memory. And I do think we should, because it’s all too easy to think that supporting racism is something that only Bad People do. But now is not the time, I think.Report

      • Catchling in reply to Doctor Jay says:

        I wonder if the slaves of his (the ones he had whipped for escaping his plantation within the 5-year period his father-in-law’s will designated be used for legally transitioning them to freedom, a time period which Lee proceeded to treat as a time limit for extracting every possible ounce of labor from those slaves’ bodies) loved Robert E Lee.

        Lee wasn’t a noble tragic hero.Report

      • Will H. in reply to Doctor Jay says:

        That’s the part I dislike– the symbolism behind it.
        I do believe we can overcome our past. Anyone can, for that matter.
        But it requires being honest about things.
        Expedience will never substitute for honesty. It only lays the groundwork for future pitfalls.Report

        • Saul Degraw in reply to Will H. says:

          Your answer for how we overcome our past seems to be that everyone who dissents about it just shut up because it makes you feel bad about someone you like and don’t want to consider was possibly a very flawed human being and not a saint at all.Report

          • Will H. in reply to Saul Degraw says:

            No, not at all.
            I don’t think anyone should “shut up.”
            It’s not that I “like” Lee. I find him a complex figure.
            I don’t “feel bad” about Lee.

            Missed the mark entirely.

            Again, I do believe that our nation– and any person– can overcome our past, but it requires honesty.
            Stating half the facts is less than honest.

            There was a little girl who asked a little boy, “Do you have three pennies?”
            The little boy looked in his pocket, and saw that he had five pennies.
            So, he said, “No, I don’t have three pennies.”

            That’s where we’re at now.

            Truthfulness is a pre-condition, but no substitute, for honesty.Report

            • Kimmi in reply to Will H. says:

              Where we’re at now is a bought and paid for Lost Cause that thinks beating up on Gen’l Lee’s Old War Horse is a good thing. For propaganda purposes, you see. The South cannot lose, it can only be betrayed from within.
              (West point likes him a lot more as a general than good ol’ Lee).Report

              • Will H. in reply to Kimmi says:

                I have relatives from Australia, and they tend to believe that Australia is a wonderful place.
                You can’t find the right ingredients in the states to make good pavlova, so you have to substitute quite a bit, I’m told.
                I don’t hold that against them.
                Actually, I feel a bit badly for them, because of the place in the U.S. where they’re at is likely to give a bad impression of the place.
                But these Aussies chose to forgo U.S. citizenship, though they were entitled to it.
                “Why on Earth would I want such a thing?” I was told. “It’s not worth anything,” to which I must agree.
                It’s just that I wish it was worth something, and I haven’t quite given up hope that it will be worth something someday.

                So, if I know someone from Tennessee (and I know quite a few guys from the TVA), and maybe a few of them are awful proud of where they’re from, and have a sense of heritage in the place.
                Granted, these are U.S. citizens that we’re talking about here, but is the situation materially different on that account?Report

        • Will H. in reply to Will H. says:

          I was talking with my brother recently, and he was saying something about the divide between liberalism/conservatism being largely an urban/rural divide these days.
          I remarked that urbanites tend to look down on the rural peoples.
          He said, “Will, people in the city look down on the people across town.”
          That was one of those light bulb moments.

          Much of the so-called progressivism, and assorted leftists, are wholly dependent on having someone to look down on.
          You have to look down on the right people, and for the right reasons, or you’re not “with it.”

          Quick– tell me:
          Who was the 23rd President of the U.S.?
          It was Benjamin Harrison.

          Does saying that make me somehow superior to people who said “James Buchanan”?
          Do I get to look down on all the people who said “James Buchanan”?
          What does that actually do for me?

          So, we have some white supremacists.
          I’m sure at least a handful wouldn’t like me right off the bat, just for who I am.
          I’m not sure how promoting one race dictates behaviors toward another, but I’m sure there’s some sort of continuum from antipathy to tolerance to outright hatred.
          If I disagree with them, what does that make me?
          If I say, “No, not Buchanan, but it was someone else,” then what does that make me?

          I really don’t care if people are racist or not.
          The part I find interesting is: Why?
          Children are not racist. Children are naturally curious.
          So, something must have happened between childhood and racism to make a racist racist.
          That’s the part I find interesting.

          I wasn’t kidding about feeding the raccoon.
          I hit a raccoon with my truck last night, and killed it.
          I cried a few tears after I got home.
          I went back to get the thing out of the road– at least give it that much respect.

          And I felt horrible because I failed to be a good steward over that which was placed under my care.

          Some protester in Charlottesville run over by (supposedly) some white supremacist?
          My heart is dead.
          I feel nothing, except trepidation that both sides now have a martyr, and their positions will be even more entrenched, much less inclined to rationality or reason.Report

          • gregiank in reply to Will H. says:

            People have been looking down at each other based on rural/urban splits probably since some developer put up a new sub division outside of Ur. Trying to blame just that one side for the looking down on others thing is blind. It’s people, of every sort, that look down on others. There are a million reasons for it, rural/urban, is one of the more common and pertinent to now.Report

      • Oscar Gordon in reply to Doctor Jay says:

        Reminder: let’s be careful condemning historical figures (who are not here to defend themselves) against modern ideals. Even a lot of strong supporters of abolition had some pretty nasty opinions on race. Very few were approaching anything we would consider enlightened.

        Judge them by their contemporaries, not yours.Report

        • The opinions of a historical figure’s contemporaries is certainly relevant and important evidence.

          I’m not sure that we ought to absolve a historical figure of all moral culpability as seen through a modern lens. What to make of, say, the ancient Greek practice of man-boy sex? Do we dismiss this as simple cultural preference, and if we do, then isn’t our own contemporary revulsion of the act a mere subjective cultural taboo? Are we to disregard what modern developmental psychology, which seems to find at least some things that transcend a variety of cultures (and yes this is among them) says about such things?

          Similarly, slavery is a hard thing to set aside. It may be possible to admire a figure like Julius Caesar for both his military prowess and political expertise, and the substantial changes he made to imposed upon the constitution of the Roman Republic. But he enslaved millions of Gauls along the way for his own personal enrichment — a practice that to the Romans was an entirely acceptable one, but which was perhaps not so readily accepted as simply the prevailing cultural norms by the Gauls in question. (The ones who survived to be enslaved, that is.)Report

          • Oscar Gordon in reply to Burt Likko says:

            I’m not suggesting they should be absolved, only held up to the lens of their times. If the practice of X was a cultural norm, one we have decided is no longer appropriate, then we can look back at the practice of X and say, “yeah, that was a bad idea, let’s not do that again”, but we should take care in condemning a specific person living in that time & culture for participating in X, unless we can show that his/her contemporaries had already largely walked away from X as moral/ethical wrong.

            Given the context of the civil war, we can recognize that Lee was clearly a product of his times. Could he have freed his slaves, or treated them better? Sure, absolutely, and doing so would certainly be very impressive, especially given the context of the period. And that is my point. Today, freeing slaves isn’t impressive, it’s a friggin’ moral obligation. Back then, it was extremely progressive and viewed equally with admiration and disdain, depending on the beholder.

            Beating slaves was just what was done. Doing so doesn’t mean we have to admire him as a good man, or a righteous man. It just makes him a man of those times*, and likely a complicated and conflicted one (like damn near everyone else).

            I mean, there were abolitionists who wanted to end the practice of slavery in the US not because they wanted the slaves freed and granted full citizenship, but because they wanted them all shipped back to Africa so they’d stop polluting the country. So yea!, end slavery, but umm, about that last part…

            *I struggle with this with my own father, who is not a fan of gay rights. I love my dad, but it’s tough to square that circle except to recognize that he is a product of his times and too old and sick to change just because I argue with him about it.Report

          • Kimmi in reply to Burt Likko says:

            I’m not about to join NAMBLA, but I do find the cross-cultural comparisons to be enlightening.
            Because there are things that are taboo, pretty much across cultures, and other things that aren’t.

            I think the issue of consent in Greek culture is a better way to describe “wait, that might be a bad conceptualization”, rather than restricting it to man-boy love — the presumed lack of consent with women was just as problematic as with boys. (Please note: any Greek Male who wanted to be sodomized was seen as unmanly).Report

        • PD Shaw in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

          “Judge them by their contemporaries, not yours.” I strongly agree with that. My criticisms of Lee are based upon what he said himself, what other criticized him for during his lifetime, and what others in his position did.

          When people argue that Lee had no choice but to quit the US Army and join the Army of Virginia, they are judging Lee by Lee’s standards since others in his position did not make that choice.Report

    • Nevermoor in reply to Will H. says:

      Amnesty means he didn’t go to jail or get executed.

      It does not mean he did not commit treason. In fact, precisely to the contrary. Accepting a pardon is a confession of guilt. And, of course, the facts supporting the charge are uncontroversial: he left the army he served to go to war against the same army on the behalf of a rebellion.

      Why does it “make you sick” that Lee’s story is told accurately?Report

      • George Turner in reply to Nevermoor says:

        He was allowed to do that. Lincoln didn’t turn around and have Lee arrested and charged with treason. No Southern POWs were charged with treason, even as they sat in Union custody. In fact, doing so would now be a war crime under the Geneva Conventions.

        I suppose you think the British should have arrested, tried, and executed John Adams and James Monroe for treason when they went over to serve as the US ambassador in London.Report

  10. Jaybird says:

    Virginia has not banned the death penalty.

    As a matter of fact, they appear to be one of the states that uses it the most often.

    I don’t know whether this is a shoo-in for the death penalty or if it’s an edge case.

    Seems like something of a slam-dunk for the prosecutor to go for, though.Report

    • Kolohe in reply to Jaybird says:

      The guy who will be the Commonwealth’s Attorney next year (he just won the Dem primary and has no opposition in the November general) promised during his primary campaign he wouldn’t invoke the death penalty (a decision supported by the current, soon to be retired Commonwealth’s Attorney)Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Kolohe says:

        As campaign promises go, this seems like one that would be very easily broken without imposing much of a cost at all.

        It’s not like they would throw “he gave a Nazi the death penalty!” in a campaign ad. Er, the opposition, I mean. (I could see how his own PR team might put it in one.)Report

    • Alan Scott in reply to Jaybird says:

      They charged him with 2nd degree murder, so he’s not getting the death sentence unless they change the charge.

      In Virginia, even 1st degree murder doesn’t carry the death sentence. Capital murder requires special circumstances. Terrorism, however is one of the circumstances, so the state could go for the death penalty if they can also prove it was a pre-meditated act.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Alan Scott says:

        “Pre-meditation” is exactly why I’m not sure whether this would be a shoo-in or an edge case. I can see arguments either way for that.

        But if they keep it at 2nd degree, it looks like the DA won’t have to deal with the temptation to break his campaign promise.Report

        • DavidTC in reply to Jaybird says:

          I was wondering if pre-meditated murder requires a specific victim in mind or not….but they executed the DC Sniper, so clearly not.

          So the only bar that I think they might be worrying about meeting is ‘Did he see something that made him decide to drive into a group of people?’

          If no, if he had been planning this and driving around looking for groups to hit, it’s pre-meditated. If he was just driving normally, no intent to do anything, and saw something that made him angry and then decide to attack that particular group of people, it’s not.

          I kinda think that someone doesn’t just spontaneously decide to drive into people. Hopefully they’re just waiting to find some evidence he prepped for it before upgrading the charges.

          Perhaps they can get him to explain where he was going, or even trace the path of his car to see if he was circling around.Report

          • George Turner in reply to DavidTC says:

            It’s now been reported that his own mother called 911 three times on him. He threatened her with a knife, among other things, and she’s in a wheelchair. This speaks to a complete lack of impulse control.

            So even if security videos show him scoping out scads of protesters in his Dodge, it’s going to be hard to establish premeditation because he can’t control himself or his impulses.

            But don’t worry. He’s going to be less popular in prison than Dylan Roof. He aimed at blacks and communists but killed a white girl who defended the accused. He’s going to have to be segregated.Report

  11. Koz says:

    It’s not a hard moral call to at least condemn actual Nazis. Somehow, the President can’t make himself do it. You should be livid about that.


    Not that I enjoy being dramatic, but these particular demonstrations are important. It is imperative that we show the world what we are really made of, that a mealy-mouthed, half-hearted “violence is bad” is not representative of the American people as a whole.

    Really? For me the takeaway is much different. Nobody on the Left should ever ever under any circumstances ever interfere with the legitimate Constitutional rights of their political adversaries. That’s what cause the whole thing in the first place.

    As far as the driver who rammed the people in the crowd with his Dodge, it seems like the legal system is perfectly capable of handling that, and in fact is doing so as we speak.Report

    • Burt Likko in reply to Koz says:

      Define “interfere.” If counter-protesting is “interference,” I’ma disagree with you.

      No one, not on this thread nor anyone offering any sort of a sober take, has suggested that the tiki torch Nazis be prohibited from having their rally at all.

      They have a right to speak. They don’t have the right to not be shouted down.Report

      • Koz in reply to Burt Likko says:

        Really, that seems to me the pretty obvious raison d’etre of the counter protestors.

        The “Unite the Rights”, whoever they were, were there to support the presence of a statue of Robert E Lee in some prominent place in Charlottesville, and in protest against the propensity of it being removed.

        The other side, whoever they were, were there to oppose the presence of the former and their ability to peaceably assemble and make their case, more or less independently of whatever they were gathering for.Report

        • Mike Schilling in reply to Koz says:

          Amazing. Not Nazis have rights too, which I have to grudgingly admit, but Nazi rights trump non-Nazi rights. I know you want to punish liberals, but I didn’t realize until thie moment that liberal meant everyone to the left of Hitler.

          Actually, that explains a lot.Report

          • George Turner in reply to Mike Schilling says:

            The line crossed is in trying to keep the Nazis from exercising their constitutional rights to peaceably assemble and speak.

            For a year I’ve been posting 18 USC 241 – Conspiracy Against Rights, which was passed in 1948, because the BLM and antifa attempts to shut down Republican campaign rallies was a violation of such rights. Both sides get to have rallies. Neither side is allowed to prevent the other from having rallies.

            If two or more persons conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or because of his having so exercised the same; or

            If two or more persons go in disguise on the highway, or on the premises of another, with intent to prevent or hinder his free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege so secured—

            They shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and if death results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, they shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death.

            Much of the alt-right stuff, the people showing up with shields and helmets, is a reaction to the antifa and anarchist tactics, which continues because the police won’t enforce the law. Enforce the law even a little bit and the rioting and violence problems will likely go away.Report

          • Koz in reply to Mike Schilling says:

            There might be a typo or two in your comment. It doesn’t quite parse for me.

            At any rate, my point seemed to pass over you. The “Unite the Rights” were there, fundamentally to exercise their First Amendment Rights. The counterprotestors were there, fundamentally, to prevent them from doing so.Report

            • Kimmi in reply to Koz says:

              I’m sorry. Two protests do not mean that either side is prevented from expressing their rights.

              • Doctor Jay in reply to Kimmi says:

                I’m with you on this one. I do not get how a counter protest equals an abridgement of free speech.Report

              • George Turner in reply to Doctor Jay says:

                A counter protest is speech. A counter protest to assault the original protesters so they can’t protest is assault, and if that’s the planned goal then it’s a conspiracy against their right to protest.

                More simply, suppose Democrats, liberals, and progressives are having a march for the cause of the day, perhaps something about oil pipelines, and oil companies sent in a bunch of Pinkerton men to use tear gas, dogs, batons, and rifles to break up the march. Suppose oil companies did this repeatedly, to keep people from expressing their opposition to the pipeline. Would you support that?

                Suppose black people were marching for civil rights. Suppose every time they did a bunch of guys in white robes showed up as a counter protest and beat them senseless. Would you support that?

                That’s why the “conspiracy against rights” law is on the books, and that’s why men in white robes weren’t seen stopping civil rights marches, and weren’t filmed beating marchers with clubs. They would have gone to jail. That’s why Bull Connors cops had to do it, in the name of maintaining order.

                As far as the law is concerned, the people starting these street fights are thugs. Nobody is allowed to attack innocent people on the streets, for any cause. Mayors keep telling the cops to stand down, claiming it’s for safety. That’s a failure of law enforcement, just like having Southern cops be elsewhere whenever the Klan went to harass and intimidate civil rights activists.Report

            • bookdragon in reply to Koz says:

              “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” – Edmund Burke

              Based on your statement here, you seem to be advocating for letting evil triumph.Report

            • Mike Schilling in reply to Koz says:

              It parses fine. I know you’re a Trump fan, but giving up your ability to read is taking that too far.Report

        • Burt Likko in reply to Koz says:

          It’s commonly stated, and I happen to think it’s true, that the correct response to objectionable speech is more speech. If you accept that statement as true, then you cannot adhere very long or very strongly to the concept of a “heckler’s veto.” At least, not while maintaining intellectual consistency with advocating “more speech” as the remedy for obnoxious but protected speech.

          I see you imputing a motive to the counter-protestors that I see no evidence for. The point of having a counter-protest is to tell the underlying protestors, “You’re wrong.” “You’re wrong” is speech. It’s also to tell third-party observers, “We disagree with these people.” “We disagree” is speech. And that speech is not going to be effective unless it’s contemporaneous to the speech it reacts to. If counter-protestors happen to outnumber, have a more effective message, or are simply louder than the underlying protestors, well, them’s the breaks. The rest of us can look at the exchange and figure out for ourselves what it all means.

          If it was a Black Lives Matter rally to urge taking down the Lee statue, and the Nazis counter-protested BLM, what motive would you ascribe to the Nazis? Would you accuse the Nazis of trying to censor, or hecklers-veto, the BLM rally? Because I have a pretty good idea of what the Nazis, who admire a government founded on very different principles than the United States was, think about BLM’s free speech rights.Report

          • Koz in reply to Burt Likko says:

            I see you imputing a motive to the counter-protestors that I see no evidence for.

            Really? Given the nature of this incident and similar incidents across the country it seems kind of obvious for me. A heckler’s veto, just like you said.

            The counterprotestors are there to oppose the alt-right, the statue is ancillary. Let’s face it, an opinion that a statue of Robert E Lee should remain in Charlottesville is just not that incendiary.

            As far as BLM goes, my understanding is that BLM looks for looks for gatherings to antagonize, like Trump rallies or Bernie speeches. Where they have their own events, people are content to leave them alone, except where they start their own violence like when they shot the cops in Dallas.

            And let’s also stop with the Nazi business. The people in Charlottesville aren’t Nazis any more than people who wear LeBron James jerseys aren’t power forwards. It’s just a cheap way to escalate the antagonism.Report

            • bookdragon in reply to Koz says:

              The opinion that a statue of Lee should be removed isn’t that incendiary either since the democratically elected govt of Charlottesville decided in favor of it. However a bunch of white supremacists, most of them coming in from outside the area, marched around carrying torches and yelling things like ‘Blood and Soil’.

              As to the ‘Nazi business’, no one is saying the people of Charlottesville are Nazis. (In fact, quite a number, including quite a lot of congregants from various churches in the city, turned out to for the counter protest). But the ‘Unite the Right’ guys? If you march in a group displaying swastikas and fasces nd chanting Nazi slogans, I think people can reasonably assume you’re a Nazi.Report

              • Burt Likko in reply to bookdragon says:

                Further to this:

                1. If you’re wearing a T-shirt celebrating an Adolf Hitler quote, you’re probably a Nazi.
                2. If you’re carrying a Nazi flag to a public rally, you’re probably a Nazi.
                3. If you chant a Nazi slogan with a bunch of Nazis, you’re probably a Nazi too.
                4. If you chant anti-Jewish slogans with a bunch of Nazis, you’re probably a Nazi, and even if you’re not, you’re a little too damn Nazi-friendly for me to bother with making that finely-nuanced a distinction.

                At the peril of repeating myself, some things are just not particularly complex. Among them, this very simple rule of political morality that I articulated here last night:

                The Nazis are the bad guys. Every time.Report

              • Koz in reply to Burt Likko says:

                Yeah, just what I said before: a cheap way to escalate the antagonism.Report

              • Nevermoor in reply to Koz says:

                I don’t know, I haven’t seen any receipts for the Nazi gear they purchased to escalate the antagonism (or out of a genuine desire to publicize their views).

                I certainly didn’t force them to purchase, carry, or wear those items. I can, however, see that they did.Report

              • FortyTwo in reply to Burt Likko says:

                I hate Illinois Nazis.Report

              • Koz in reply to bookdragon says:

                It’s not an incendiary opinion, they certainly could and did express it. But it’s not what caused the problems here, which is to say their determination that the alt-right or whoever wouldn’t be able to express any contrary opinion, or any opinion at all for that matter.

                The point about the Nazis is nonresponsive. The Unite The Right demonstrators aren’t Nazis either, for the same reason.Report

              • Mike Schilling in reply to bookdragon says:

                And if you terrorize a synagogue, you’re …

                Well these days I guess you’re a mainstream Republican.Report

            • Kolohe in reply to Koz says:

              Koz: And let’s also stop with the Nazi business. The people in Charlottesville aren’t Nazis any more than people who wear LeBron James jerseys aren’t power forwards.

              There’s a pic of James Fields holding a shield (upside down) with fasces on them.

              If you’re *playing the game* with LeBron’s jersey on, I’m going to think you’re LeBron, and I’m going to think that you want me to think that you are LeBron – and doubly so if you try to drive the lane through a crowd.Report

              • Koz in reply to Kolohe says:

                Really. A player who is playing basketball with LeBron’s jersey on wants you think he is LeBron? Like you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference.Report

            • DavidTC in reply to Koz says:

              The people in Charlottesville aren’t Nazis any more than people who wear LeBron James jerseys aren’t power forwards. It’s just a cheap way to escalate the antagonism.

              Hey, here’s a question for you, Koz:

              Since you seem to be very determined to assert that Democrats are not behaving as Americans, by refusing to participate politically, and thus risk being dismissed from political consideration by the rest of American society…

              …do you think people waving Nazi flags still count as Americans?

              Not that they are actual Nazis (Although it is worth pointing out that there are, in fact, many groups that exist that literally call themselves Nazis and those people are members of them), but are they still Americans, waving the flag of our defeated enemy like that?

              I also ask this about people who are members of the KKK, which, let us remind ourselves, was explicitly a terrorist organization for most of its history, existing solely to commit terrorism.

              Again, I am not asking if they are literally terrorists…but they have specifically identified themselves as members of a group almost entirely dedicated to terrorism. I am asking if they are Americans, or are they, like you assert the Democrats are becoming, getting to the point of being excluded from the political process.Report

              • Koz in reply to DavidTC says:

                Ok, first of all, I dispute a few of your premises, maybe more relevant to some of my other comments, but mentioned here nonetheless.

                Not that they are actual Nazis (Although it is worth pointing out that there are, in fact, many groups that exist that literally call themselves Nazis and those people are members of them), but are they still Americans, waving the flag of our defeated enemy like that?

                Not only are they not real Nazis, I don’t even think they’re fake Nazis either. I haven’t followed the whole thing much before today, but they don’t even look like fake Nazis to me. I think what you have is one guy wearing a shirt here, another guy with a flag there. If you were to take the membership of the American “Nazi” organizations you mentioned and cross-checked them with the people in Charlottesville, there’s probably a dozen or fewer overlap. It just happened to be convenient for lib political ends to call them Nazis, so Nazis they were.

                I also ask this about people who are members of the KKK, which, let us remind ourselves, was explicitly a terrorist organization for most of its history, existing solely to commit terrorism.

                The same with them, though I’m less confident about this one. You can take the members of the various Klan organizations, I bet there were less than a dozen there. Maybe two dozen.

                If I had to put a word for them, I’d call them neo-Confederates.

                As far as the substance of your question goes, I don’t know for sure but I’m guessing no. Those people were certainly fringe-y enough so that a large swath of Americans would want to vote against them. But I suspect that in 2018 at least that won’t be a significant motivating factor because nobody is really afraid of them.Report

              • DavidTC in reply to Koz says:

                Not only are they not real Nazis, I don’t even think they’re fake Nazis either. I haven’t followed the whole thing much before today, but they don’t even look like fake Nazis to me. I think what you have is one guy wearing a shirt here, another guy with a flag there. If you were to take the membership of the American “Nazi” organizations you mentioned and cross-checked them with the people in Charlottesville, there’s probably a dozen or fewer overlap.

                Uh, no. Groups that have explicitly said they were there, or said they were going to be there:

                The Traditional Worker’s Party
                Nationalist Front
                Identity Evropa
                Vanguard America
                Schwarze Sonne
                The _National Socialist Movement_ (Which for those playing at home, is basically the American Nazi Party, except that they though the Nazi Party wasn’t Hitlery enough, so forked. Yes, seriously. Thery thought the American Nazi party was trying to disssocate Nazi-ism from Hitler and his specific actions, focusing more on the philosophy…so they left.)

                It is not possible to argue that there were hardly any people who were really members of those groups, or that people were waving the Nazi flag just to cause outrage.

                In fact, people were usually standing behind their group flags, not Nazi flags…of course, the NSM flag is a Nazi flag, and that’s where you’re seeing carrying those. There are plenty of otherwise innocent-looking group flags that you have look up online and realize ‘Oh, that nice looking white flag with the blue triangle in it is Identity Evropa.’

                The same with them, though I’m less confident about this one. You can take the members of the various Klan organizations, I bet there were less than a dozen there. Maybe two dozen.

                Likewise, the actual event started _when the KKK got the permit for a march_. They got the permit, and then some people got the bright idea of having some ‘Unite the Right’ speakers after the march.

                Trying to say ‘I don’t know if those were really the KKK’ is nonsense. They are the local group currently calling themselves the KKK. There weren’t that many of them, but that’s because the KKK has basically no membership at this point.

                As far as the substance of your question goes, I don’t know for sure but I’m guessing no. Those people were certainly fringe-y enough so that a large swath of Americans would want to vote against them. But I suspect that in 2018 at least that won’t be a significant motivating factor because nobody is really afraid of them.

                My question was not whether not anything would be a significant factor. My question was whether or not they, through their behavior, have removed themselves from the political equation in the eyes of Americans.Report

              • dragonfrog in reply to DavidTC says:

                No no no, they weren’t really Scottish.Report

              • Koz in reply to DavidTC says:

                It is not possible to argue that there were hardly any people who were really members of those groups, or that people were waving the Nazi flag just to cause outrage.

                Really? I don’t know who Identity Evropa is, they probably have 10 members, of which 3 of them were there. But even if there were more, it wouldn’t change anything.

                The people there, who want to mind their own business and hold a rally for a statue of Robert E Lee, let ’em do it. It doesn’t hurt you or me.

                The idea of calling them Nazis is cheap escalation with the intent that we short-circuit our typical responses as Americans in favor of some unwarranted hysteria. It’s pretty clear just by the words. If you said Identity Evropas are meeting in Lee Park in support of the statue, most people including me would say “Who?”

                Socially distasteful people do socially distasteful things all the time. People Of Wal-Mart have gotten a billion clicks from it. Let ’em.

                As far as whether the Identity Evropas and the rest of them have removed themselves from meaningful participation in American politics, it could be but I don’t think so. I don’t think enough people are afraid of them for that.Report

            • Mike Schilling in reply to Koz says:

              Koz, whom did you just say shot the policemen in Dallas?Report

          • Koz in reply to Burt Likko says:


            And while we’re at it, the above is a fairly representative example, not just for Charlottesville but lib activism in general. One guy is trying to exercise his Constitutional rights, another guy (or mob, really), is trying to prevent that from happening.

            Given what’s on the tape, it’s pretty disingenuous to reply that the appropriate response to objectionable speech is more speech and suppose that it applies here.Report

            • Burt Likko in reply to Koz says:

              I watched the video you linked to, Koz.

              I’m on record from an earlier thread objecting to “punching Nazis,” in that case specifically Richard Spencer. I was good with the counter-protestors shouting Kessler down at the start of this improptu press conference. I’m not good with the two guys who threw punches at him. The police were right to step in and protect Kessler.

              Had I been in some sort of leadership position of the counter-protestors I’d have tried to get them to chant loudly over Kessler while he was trying to speak. “Go home Nazis” or something like that. I suspect that such leaders of the counter-protest as were there would like to have prevented the punchers from doing what they did.

              But if we’re going to dismiss the guy who drove the car into a crowd of counter-protestors and injured dozens and killed one — because he was some kind of lone wolf or yahoo unrepresentative of the camp with which he was associated — then fairness demands we do the same to the two guys who threw punches at Kessler, and for similar reasons. Particularly given the absence of evidence about any sort of coordination, planning, or direction by leadership figures, it’s not fair to attribute the actions of individuals within a group to the group as a whole. And if despite that we do attribute the actions of individuals within a group to the group as a whole, then we do that both for the group we do like and for the group we don’t like.

              With that said, I’m going to echo sentiments from elsewhere in the thread that I’m a good deal more outraged with someone driving a car into a crowd at speed than someone throwing a punch. Both are bad, but one is more bad than the other. We can tell that because of the consequences one would reasonably expect to result from punching a guy on the one hand compared to driving a car into a crowd on the other.Report

              • Koz in reply to Burt Likko says:

                I was good with the counter-protestors shouting Kessler down at the start of this improptu press conference.

                Why, why is that supposed to be ok?

                My sense is that you want to answer, or maybe even want to think of things, on narrow legal grounds. It is my contention, my hope, and my point of view that we should avoid that to the extent we can. I think you can appreciate better than most that once we start digging into a thicket of legal weeds, it’s anyone’s guess where we end up.

                So, in the big picture, it seems like the dude in the suit jacket is doing something that he should have every expectation of being able to do. The disruptors are not making any attempt to articulate any coherent argument or point, except to stop the first guy.Report

              • Koz in reply to Burt Likko says:

                But if we’re going to dismiss the guy who drove the car into a crowd of counter-protestors and injured dozens and killed one — because he was some kind of lone wolf or yahoo unrepresentative of the camp with which he was associated — then fairness demands we do the same to the two guys who threw punches at Kessler, and for similar reasons.

                No, no no no no nonononono.

                That’s the whole raison d’etre for the counterprotestors, that’s the only reason why they were ever there. That, and similar incidents of antagonism, was the focal point of their presence for anything related to those events. I don’t think you can legitimately think about this at all for any length of time and come to a different conclusion.

                In that sense, it is very easily distinguishable from the car incident. It was plainly not the case that the Unite The Right gathered in Charlottesville for the purpose of running over random antifa.Report

              • Kimmi in reply to Koz says:

                Sorry. The counterprotestors are there as part of a science experiment. Hate to blow your bubble.Report

              • Burt Likko in reply to Koz says:

                But, I can think that, and I feel really legitimate in thinking it.

                The counter-protestors didn’t gather to prevent the Nazis from having a rally. They gathered in an attempt to render the rally ineffective. They gathered to say about the Nazis, “These people are wrong.”

                Reverse it in a hypothetical. Let’s say #BLM gathers to urge removal of the Robert E. Lee statue. The Nazis gather in response to counter-protest. #BLM has the right to have its rally. The Nazis have a right to counter-protest. Yes, it becomes a shouting match. If the Nazis shout louder, they’re the ones who get heard and that’s how it goes.

                When it descends into a credible threat of physical violence, that’s the bright line where we need to intervene and stop people from doing stuff.

                You have a right to speak. You don’t have the right to be the only one speaking at a time, nor the right to an audience.Report

              • Koz in reply to Burt Likko says:

                The counter-protestors didn’t gather to prevent the Nazis from having a rally. They gathered in an attempt to render the rally ineffective. They gathered to say about the Nazis, “These people are wrong.”

                Burt, this is sophistry. Regardless of how this stacks up as a legal argument, it’s obviously wrong as a matter of intent.

                Even besides the rights enshrined in the Constitution, we can at least envision the possibility that all parties have capability to state their case about this or that. Nobody has the right to arbitrarily stop somebody else.

                All the other stuff about who’s in the audience, who yells the loudest, how many people are speaking at once, those are second-order effects that nobody in principle has a right to control.

                In this case, it’s obbbbbbviiiiiouusss as a matter of intent of the antifa/whoever was to prevent neo-Confederates/whoever from talking. On the video I linked to before, you wouldn’t even know what those people thought about the Lee statue except by context.

                And that intent just as obviously goes beyond the events of that weekend in Charlottesville, but that is clear enough example of it.Report

              • Burt Likko in reply to Koz says:

                Are you arguing from a positive or a negative construction of the right of free speech? If you think that the right of free speech is a positive right, then you’re arguing that you have an affirmative right to speak, to which other rights must give way. That seems a lot closer to what you’re arguing was deprived from these Nazis.

                But the First Amendment does not provide citizens with a positive right of free speech. It provides a negative right, a limit on the government’s power to censor or constrain the speech. That right does not apply as against other private actors. I do not owe you any restraint on my action because you choose to exercise your Constitutional rights.

                One might argue about whether or not there is a norm in our culture that citizens tolerate it when others exercise their rights peaceably. But you complained about Mr. Kessler not being able to exercise his “Constitutional” rights, not about generally-accepted norms of behavior. The Constitution was not implicated by anything I saw on that video. Ordinary criminal law was implicated in that some of the antifas who tried to exercise their own rights of free speech crossed the line into assault. They should be punished for their use of violence. They should not be punished for expressing their political opinions.

                And if we’re talking about norms of behavior, then we’re going to come back to the basic point that these are Nazis so in a normative rather than a legal argument they’re the bad guys.Report

              • Koz in reply to Burt Likko says:

                I do not owe you any restraint on my action because you choose to exercise your Constitutional rights.

                Of course you do. Not in general of course in but in some specific circumstances, such as the ones here. You can call these norms if you’d like but the point is the same.

                They should not be punished for expressing their political opinions.

                Sure they should. Not in general, of course, but circumstantially depending on the nature of their opinions and how they are expressed, such as the case here.

                And if we’re talking about norms of behavior, then we’re going to come back to the basic point that these are Nazis so in a normative rather than a legal argument they’re the bad guys.

                This is just wrong eight ways to Sunday. First of all, they not Nazis, that was why I brought the whole point up in the first place. There’s credible reasons to have norms of relations pertaining to Nazis. It’s cheap base-stealing to try to apply those norms to people who are Nazis for the sake of political convenience.

                I just looked up Jason Kessler on the internet, you should too if you get a chance (though you gotta dig a little bit because it seems like the usual suspects are doing the usual online vandalism). There’s just no credible way to call him a Nazi, or even a fake Nazi.

                My guess is (and only you will know for sure), is that at least in your gut you know well enough that you and the other libs fucked up when you didn’t vote for Romney like you were supposed to. Trump and Charlottesville and the rest of that are the consequences. You want to blame Identity Evropa lunkhead when the real culprit is much closer to home.Report

              • Burt Likko in reply to Koz says:

                Romney? I thought Romney made the right call during the primary, which is why I approvingly reprinted his speech about Trump during the primary. I’m not sure why I should have preferred Romney to Obama in 2012 based on the available evidence.

                As for who’s a Nazi, I’ve offered earlier in this thread my thoughts about how to tell if someone is a Nazi or not. I appreciate the prolonged engagement we’ve had, but you’ve not changed my mind about it. Though the fine parsing of these different kinds of phrases and labels serves only to obscure the evil that they collectively evangelize. I’m fine with this particular mental shorthand and if there comes a time we have a particular need to distinguish between a “Nazi” and some other kind of “White Nationalist,” we can certainly do so at that time. I don’t think it’s particularly necessary here. Actual Nazis were there, as demonstrated in the photographs of the OP. When the actual Nazis show up and have a public political rally in support of your cause, you need to very seriously reconsider continuing to support that cause. It’s as clear an indicator as could possibly exist that you are in the moral wrong.Report

              • DavidTC in reply to Burt Likko says:

                When the actual Nazis show up and have a public political rally in support of your cause, you need to very seriously reconsider continuing to support that cause. It’s as clear an indicator as could possibly exist that you are in the moral wrong.

                Now I’m waiting for there to be an asteroid headed towards the earth and everyone has a massive rally to show support for the scientists stopping it…and Burt notices some Nazi flags waving in the audience and, disgusted, he becomes pro asteroid.Report

              • Burt Likko in reply to DavidTC says:

                If you follow my Twitter account, you’ll know I’m constantly rooting for #SMOD.Report

              • Koz in reply to Burt Likko says:

                As for who’s a Nazi, I’ve offered earlier in this thread my thoughts about how to tell if someone is a Nazi or not. I appreciate the prolonged engagement we’ve had, but you’ve not changed my mind about it. Though the fine parsing of these different kinds of phrases and labels serves only to obscure the evil that they collectively evangelize.

                Ok, I missed that part then, maybe you could point it out. In any event, it’d be useful to know if, according to that standard, Jason Kessler is a Nazi. Without knowing for sure, I’d guess there’s a decent chance that he’s not. In which case, it seems that Mr Kessler ought to have a reasonable expectation of being able to exercise his Constitutional rights, even by your lights.

                Btw, the emphasis on Constitutional rights isn’t so much that a court respects them, or that the cops respect them, though of course there are situations where it comes to that. In this case, the operative principle is that we respect them, or more particularly you.

                People do things all the time that they don’t necessarily have Constitutional rights for, certainly not explicitly. One guy plays the tuba in a orchestra, this family lives in Harwood Gardens, this other guy collects HAM radio equipment. The whole design of the Bill of Rights is that there’s some minimum prerogatives we all get as Americans independent of our social or financial class.

                Therefore, we should at least presume that our sympathies ought to be in favor of our fellow Americans being able to express those rights. But we all know, that through the bad faith of libs, that that is often not the case. Specifically, that they intend to withhold, not just Constitutional rights, but really any useful thing at all to the extent they can, against people who are politically or socially out of favor for them.

                And let’s face it, who is or isn’t a Nazi is pretty specious. Whatever the moral content of Nazis or people we equate to Nazis, in almost all circumstances in contemporary America, a red herring. In particular, a red herring that’s convenient to avoid confronting your own bad faith in the larger context, which frankly seems to me to be a fair enough summary of what’s going on here.Report

              • George Turner in reply to Koz says:

                Nobody seems quite sure what Kessler is. He was apparently an Obama supporter involved in the Occupy Wall Street movement as recently as November, and a few years earlier seem to have been a CNN assignment editor. It may be that he just likes attention. He once wrote that the thing he admires most is a professional provocateur.

                Good chance he’s trolling everybody.Report

              • Koz in reply to Burt Likko says:


                As for who’s a Nazi, I’ve offered earlier in this thread my thoughts about how to tell if someone is a Nazi or not.


                Ok, I missed that part then, maybe you could point it out. In any event, it’d be useful to know if, according to that standard, Jason Kessler is a Nazi. Without knowing for sure, I’d guess there’s a decent chance that he’s not. In which case, it seems that Mr Kessler ought to have a reasonable expectation of being able to exercise his Constitutional rights, even by your lights.

                Burt, you got anything for this?Report

              • Burt Likko in reply to Koz says:

                Sure. Here’s some ways you can tell, though I don’t purport that this list is exhaustive.

                1. If you’re carrying a Nazi flag in public, you’re a Nazi.

                2. If you’re wearing a Hitler T-shirt or otherwise favorably disseminate quotes from Mein Kampf, you’re a Nazi. (Anything innocuous and true that Hitler might have had to say was certainly said better by someone else.)

                3. If you’re wearing a swastika armband, you’re a Nazi.

                4. If you’re chanting “Blood and Soil!” or other rallying cries used at Nuremburg by Nazis, you’re a Nazi.

                5. If you’re chanting “Jews Will Not Replace Us!” or other anti-semitic slogans at a rally, you’re likely to be a Nazi.

                Possible near misses:

                6. If you’re not doing one of those things but you are making immediate common political cause with someone in close physical proximity to you who you know or ought to know is doing those things, the difference between you and a Nazi is so closely-nuanced that you shouldn’t expect others to distinguish between you and an “actual” Nazi.

                7. If you intentionally get a swastika tattoo, you’re a Nazi. If you have a swastika tattoo, you might not be a Nazi anymore or may have been somehow forced to get one (say, in prison), but the burden of proving that you’re not a Nazi is on you.

                8. If you have some sort of argument that there was ever or currently is such a thing as a “good Nazi,” that’s getting a little too close to actually being a Nazi that again, you shouldn’t expect people to draw any such distinction.

                I’ll allow as there might be some exceptions to these (for instance, if you’re an actor doing things like this on a movie or TV set) that aren’t particularly worth enumerating or discussing with respect to events similar to the one that happened this weekend in Charlottesville.Report

              • Koz in reply to Burt Likko says:

                Great, then by these standards Jason Kessler is not a Nazi? (maybe there’s a case for #6, but that one is sort of iffy anyway by your own accounts). Right?Report

              • notme in reply to Burt Likko says:

                Do 1-5 apply to the Commies? Or is the person wearing a Che Guevara shirt not a commie?Report

              • Koz in reply to Burt Likko says:


                1. If you’re carrying a Nazi flag……


                5. If you’re chanting….

                Possible near misses:



                Great, then by these standards Jason Kessler is not a Nazi? (maybe there’s a case for #6, but that one is sort of iffy anyway by your own accounts).

                You got anything here, Burt?Report

              • Burt Likko in reply to Koz says:

                #6 is not “iffy.” The difference between Kessler and a Nazi is so closely-nuanced that I decline to distinguish between him and an “actual” Nazi.Report

              • Koz in reply to Burt Likko says:

                Closely-nuanced how?

                By what possible criterion is Jason Kessler a Nazi except that he was at some point in close physical proximity to other “Nazis”?

                So what was a near miss yesterday is a hit today?Report

              • Koz in reply to Burt Likko says:

                If it helps, here is a google image search for Jason Kessler:


                Put that link into your browser and for the people whose pictures are returned, why don’t you tell us which ones you suppose to be Nazis?Report

              • Burt Likko in reply to Koz says:

                I don’t think I can help you any further, @koz . I think I’ve explicated my position down to a level of minutiae that someone much less intelligent than you could easily understand. I’m reminded of a criminal defense lawyer who had spent the entirety of his career defending Mafia capos who played the first card of “What is the Mafia, anyway? How do you define that term?” and then smirked at me like he’d led with his trump card. (He hadn’t even come close.)

                So instead I’ll refer you to this explainer about him from the good folks at the Southern Poverty Law Center and thereafter permit you the last word in this exchange. Or, you may opt to conclude, as I now have, that you and I will not reach agreement on this subject despite a prolonged dialogue, and then decide to move on.Report

              • notme in reply to Koz says:

                Burt knows a Nazi when he sees one but can’t say the same about communists.Report

              • DavidTC in reply to Koz says:

                @koz, events that happened this weekend that do not vaguely support your claim that the ‘Unite the Right’ people were only there to make their voices heard, and only turned to violence when they met violence:


                UtR people surrounded a _church_ that was letting out, forcing churchgoers to lock themselves inside until the police showed up and they were escorted to their car by police. The UtR people, obviously, had no permit to be anywhere near there.

                You know the group of that the car plowed into? Those people were coming back from a black *residental neighbhood* that they had just repealed UtR people from. Again, no permits, or anything. The UtR decided to illegally march with goddamn torches down residental streets. The counter-protestors didn’t have anything to do with _that_ decision either.

                In the real world, there were two permits. The KKK had a march permit, and that march actually went off okay. That march, I believe, ended in Emancipation Park, or nearby.

                Unite the Right had a permit to be in Emancipation Park for that day, and were holding a rally after the march. Period. They owned that park for the day, and if violence had been constrained to that park, Koz, what you seem to think is true could be true. If they had watched the parade, made their way to the park, and then had counter-protesters show up and attacked them there, that would be one thing.

                And yet we seemingly find UtR all over the place! Not, like, individually, but in groups of a dozen or more, holding long deliberate marches. As the entire group was only a few hundred people, who could easily fit in the park, why were they wandering around the entire damn city and college with torches and banners?

                And let’s talk about those torches. A group of people carrying torches has literally been a threat for hundreds of years. That’s not a can of pepper spray, which can theoretically be used in self-defense…a group of people carrying flames is a threat. Counter-protestors did not give them torches. Counter-protestors also did not _have_ torches.

                And there’s a lot more of this stuff.

                The claims that Koz is making, that the UtR people only wanted to show up and do a peaceful protest, is completely unsupported by reality. If they wanted that, they could have watched the KKK parade, followed it to Emancipation Park, had a protest there, and gone home. In Koz’s world, I’m sure, they would have been attacked by counter-protesters still, but the point is, that is _not_ even vaguely what they choose to do.

                The UtR behaved violently even when _not_ interacting with counter-protesters, and often ended up in places they absolutely were not allowed be, doing things that were threatening.Report

              • George Turner in reply to DavidTC says:

                What’s being reported is that the KKK and UtR people were forced out of the park by the police when an unlawful assembly was declared, and then the police herded them towards the antifa marchers. The Virginia ACLU and others are seeking answers as to why the police did what they did, as if the intent was to cause violent confrontations between the two sides.Report

              • DavidTC in reply to George Turner says:

                Yes, but that all happened _after_ the church surrounding.

                And doesn’t explain what a mass of them thought they were doing wandering down residental streets later.

                You want to assert that the protestors had some sort of right to continue protesting, that them being shut down was invalid, well, that’s an idea I couldn’t dispute if they had show up without, you know, torches, and had done basically what they were told and where they were supposed to be, and had just been responding to violence.

                If UtR had moved outside the park but continued to protest, or if they had refused to disperse, and then gone somewhere else and kept going, this entire thing might look different.

                But they were a damn roving mob of violence. The entire time. Before and after.

                As I think I’ve mentioned before here to you, and I know I’ve mentioned before, I have near 100% belief the police shouldn’t interfere for any otherwise legal behavior of protesters, or at most should urge them back into compliance (I.e, the police shouldn’t be arresting people who accidentally step over imaginary lines on the ground.)…but my tolerance runs out exactly at the point protesters show up masked in black, at which point they’re clearly there to cause trouble and the police should preemptively figure out some way to deal with them.

                Well, I’ve never mentioned it before, honestly, I never thought I’d need to mention it before, but my tolerance runs out when they’re carrying _open flames_, also!

                I’m honestly surprised it’s even *legal* to walk around in public with a large open flame. That really seems to be ‘endangering public safety’. And, hell, you can’t operate a fire in a public park outside of specific areas, if at all!

                Regardless if it’s generally legal, I don’t understand why the police did not order them put out.Report

              • George Turner in reply to DavidTC says:

                So how were they supposed to leave, by helicopter? Being on foot, they have to go to where ever their cars are parked. The police must’ve known this. Since antifa and communists in street combat gear were all over the place, and since the protesters were pretty easily identifiable, they couldn’t just break up because they’d be destroyed in detail by the far more numerous armed and armored opposition.

                I read that militia folks (carrying rifles) broke up some of the conflicts, separating the combatants, because the police wouldn’t intervene.

                And the Founding Fathers would have an interesting reaction to your idea that walking around with an open flame should be illegal. Pretty sure all of them did that, almost every night of their lives.Report

              • DavidTC in reply to George Turner says:

                Being on foot, they have to go to where ever their cars are parked.

                …which would probably not be in a random black residential neighborhood some distance away, where they walked around with torches until counter-protesters showed up and chased them off. Sorta missed their chance to get in their cars and leave.

                Since antifa and communists in street combat gear were all over the place, and since the protesters were pretty easily identifiable, they couldn’t just break up because they’d be destroyed in detail by the far more numerous armed and armored opposition.

                I don’t have a problem with them going back to cars in groups. Hell, the groups probably rode together and arrived together, so would obviously be walking together.

                But, of course, they didn’t do that. If they had, they would have gotten in their cars and left in short order.

                (Weird you think the only people who would protesting Nazis is communists and antifa.)

                And the Founding Fathers would have an interesting reaction to your idea that walking around with an open flame should be illegal. Pretty sure all of them did that, almost every night of their lives.

                Wrong. The Founding Fathers carried around closed flames, because lanterns had, in fact, already been invented.

                Sometimes, very rarely, or by the poor, candles were used, but there is a large different between a candle and a torch.

                Ever since lanterns were invented, the only reasons to carry around a burning torch are either a) in an emergency when you didn’t have a lantern (And considering these guys clearly bought most of theirs, they could have just, duh, bought flashlights, which are much more useful.) , or b) to set something on fire, or c) to threaten to set something or someone on fire.Report

              • George Turner in reply to DavidTC says:

                Witnesses have said the cops herded the Nazis in the direction they went. As Trump said, we still don’t know the details. Unfortunately, if the police were at fault then there not going to be very forthcoming. They’re not going to be going around collecting the security footage from all the stores and shops to build a picture of what happened.

                And you realize Chicago was burned down with a lantern? They are even more effective than a candle because they’re filled with sweet, sweet whale oil. Generally, hurling a lantern is the best way to start a fire.

                Look, it’s George Washington crossing the Delaware with a torch! Look, it’s lady liberty’s torch!

                Raise high the lamp of freedom? That doesn’t even work.

                Our ancestors probably can’t believe that one day adult men would be triggered by a burning stick.

                They were Tiki torches. I have about four of them around my pond.Report

              • Morat20 in reply to DavidTC says:

                “Torches and Pitchforks” is a literal touchstone for “people are about to be killed”.

                A group of people carrying torches is a group of people looking for something to burn.

                That is simply on it’s own, with no ideology attached to the torch bearing folks. At the very best a group of people carrying torches marching around are looking to terrify whomever they’re angry with.

                Having actual white supremacists doing it, well — Jesus. You’d have to be a moron not to realize what white supremacists carrying torches are going for.

                Bluntly put: Folks tooling around with torches and rifles are looking for somewhere to put the boot. You could know nothing else except the images (no context, no idea of ideology) and you’d have no problem figuring out who was there to get physical.

                Again, at the very best, they were there to terrify the people they’re against.Report

              • George Turner in reply to Morat20 says:

                Actually the reason they carry torches is so they don’t run into each other’s pitchforks in the dark, and so people can get an accurate head count in poor lighting conditions. During the daytime they don’t carry torches because that would be stupid.

                Look at photos. At night the Klan has torches. During the day they have flags or other symbols.Report

              • Koz in reply to DavidTC says:

                I wasn’t aware of that. Taking you at your account, they (the neo-Confederates, torchbearers, whoever) shouldn’t be doing that. I don’t have any problems with that.

                If that’s true, and if somehow one of the torchbearers had gotten run over by one of the parishoners, I’m sure the Virginia Highway Patrol or the Charlottesville municipal polices would have arrested the driver, and they would be looking at a long time in jail just like Mr Whatever. I wouldn’t necessarily be feeling very sorry for the victim though.Report

              • George Turner in reply to Koz says:

                If a Nazi gets killed, should they be flown over to Germany for burial in a Nazi cemetery?Report

              • Koz in reply to George Turner says:

                I’ve got no idea what this is supposed to be about, so I’ll just say probably not.Report

              • Koz in reply to Burt Likko says:

                With that said, I’m going to echo sentiments from elsewhere in the thread that I’m a good deal more outraged with someone driving a car into a crowd at speed than someone throwing a punch. Both are bad, but one is more bad than the other. We can tell that because of the consequences one would reasonably expect to result from punching a guy on the one hand compared to driving a car into a crowd on the other.

                This is a great point, and for me it’s the source of a lot of the confusion and apprenhension surrounding incidents such as this. Because you have two incidents, involving morally bad actions, doesn’t at all imply that they are equally morally bad.

                As a consequence, libs are not going to want to admit, to others and sometimes even to themselves, that their own intentions with regard to the situation are bad, because even if logically they can understand why that is the case, it just feels so disproportionate to the scale of the loss, especially in this case a loss caused by the acts of an ideological adversary.Report

  12. j r says:

    It’s not a hard moral call to at least condemn actual Nazis. Somehow, the President can’t make himself do it. You should be livid about that.

    I will just say flat out that I’m not livid. If Donald Trump made the most appropriate, the most eloquent, the most empathetic statement that denounced white supremacists, applauded those who stood against them, and reminded us all that we are a nation of many people all working towards the common goal of human flourishing, I would still think that he were a turd. For me, that could only be the very first step of a very long walk towards salvation. And I’m not going to hold my breath waiting for Donald Trump to begin that walk.

    Heather Hayer, the women who it appears was murdered by one of these white supremacists reportedly had the phrase, “If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention” as her FB header. I get it. It’s the sort of thing that young people say when they first start to realize that whatever idyllic picture of the world they formerly held begins to slip away. However, there is another reason why you might not be outraged: you’ve been paying attention for a long long time.

    Just about everything about our current political climate pushes people towards getting emotional and reacting. At the same time, just about everything that comes out of our current political climate is terrible. I choose to believe that this is not a coincidence.Report

    • Jesse in reply to j r says:

      Yes, only cool-headed, cynical, above it all people such as yourselves should be listened too.

      I mean, if your first response to reading the statement like that from somebody who was just killed in act of political terrorism is basically “naive little baby,” I’d rather much be outraged than just accept everything will be terrible forever.Report

      • j r in reply to Jesse says:

        Two things: One, I’m not asking anyone to listen to me. Best of luck with your outrage. I sincerely wish you nothing but the best.

        And two, why bother to use quotation marks if you’re just going to make stuff up?Report

      • Kimmi in reply to Jesse says:

        If you aren’t reading jr as saying he’s boneweary, and sick and tired of all the bullshit and nothing getting done, then you should reread what he wrote.Report

    • Kimmi in reply to j r says:

      Welcome to the Outrage Economy!
      (no, seriously, I think you could write a damn paper on this.)Report

  13. CJColucci says:

    Remember when it used to be a thing to condemn Obama for not using the Magic Phrase “Radical Islamist Terrorism”? And how pumped up Trump was whenever he used it?Report

  14. DensityDuck says:

    In case someone actually thinks otherwise: My position is that the white nationalist neo-Nazis marching are frightening, they clearly intend to be frightening, they are definitely intending to provoke attacks like running over protestors with your car (at the very least), and none of what they’re doing advances any kind of cause that any sane or moral person should advocate.Report

  15. Troublesome Frog says:

    Here we go. After two days of pressure, Trump finally does the bare minimum to rejoin polite society:

    “Racism is evil – and those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including KKK, Neo-Nazis, White Supremacists, and other hate groups are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans. We are a nation founded on the truth that all of us are created equal. We are equal in the eyes of our Creator. We are equal under the law. And we are equal under the Constitution. Those who spread violence in the name of bigotry strike at the very core of America.”

    Token gesture or not, done under duress or not, this is important.Report

    • Agreed. This shows that political pressure works. Even a President who draws support from racial nationalists can, in the end, be pushed into condemning their evil for what it is.

      It would be nice if he were a leader possessed of a reasonably-functioning moral compass who did not need to be prodded into making a statement like that. But at least he will follow where a sufficiently powerful enough body of others insist that he go.

      For this reason, don’t relent. Still go to demonstrations. Keep your eyes open and your voices raised. This politician, especially out of of all the politicians I can recall in my living memory (which begins with Richard Nixon), requires we citizens to vigilantly police his behavior.Report

    • I’ve updated the OP to include video of Trump’s statement, and my grudging appreciation of it.Report

    • Saul Degraw in reply to Troublesome Frog says:

      @troublesome-frog @burt-likko

      Maybe because there is still a lot of ill will going around but I still have a hard time giving Trump any props for this because it strikes me as too little and too late. But I guess even Trump feels the need to respond to political pressure so that is a small victory.

      But the greater action was still his tweetstorm against the Merck CEO for quitting the advisory board.

      And we still have people soft-peddling and doing full on apologia for Nazis here and I can’t tell whether it is because they agree with the protestors, hate liberals so much that Cleek’s law is reflexive along with trolling, or both.

      An OTer said something interesting on FB. Oscar Wilde observed that war is still done because it is viewed as wicked rather than vulgar. Our sometimes OTer observed that Nazism might have the same fascination for many. It is viewed as wicked rather than vulgar and wicked is cool. There is a large aspect to the 4chan brigade of “Epartier Le Bourgeois”

      Patrick also posted a tweet about the dark power and pull of contrarianism over doing the right and decent and kind thing.

      So I can’t tell whether notme and George and Koz and Mike are doing a full range of soft-peddle to defense along with some stuff of “People wouldn’t be racist if they weren’t called out for their racist actions and statements.”

      And like NoPublic below, I am not surprised and react more in sadness than in anger but the pull of contrarianism and Epartier Le Bourgeois is just too strong I guess. And I don’t see why this should be treated as less bad than racism itself. If anything, it is worse.Report

      • notme in reply to Saul Degraw says:


        I’m still waiting for you to give any evidence that Trump is a racist. Maybe someone else can step in and help you out.Report

        • Dave in reply to notme says:


          I’m sure he will engage you as eagerly as you’re willing to engage me on the Second Amendment, which is to say he’ll do a better job ignoring you than you do me when you tuck tail and run away.Report

      • Troublesome Frog in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        To be clear, I’m not giving Trump credit for a tepid statement after two days of pressure any more than I give a kid credit for apologizing for something while his mom pulls on his ear.

        But it’s better for everybody that he publicly knuckles under and at least symbolically abandons his white supremacist supporters, because the alternative is him doggedly standing his ground while they cheer him on for standing up to mainstream America on their behalf.

        A big part of this ugliness is that normally marginal players feel like they have support in the halls of power and it’s only a matter of time before they’re a dominant political force. Having the leader they’re putting their faith in bow to mainstream opinion and openly condemn them undermines that, either by indicating that he doesn’t support them, or that if he does, he’s still not strong enough to buck social norms.Report

    • Morat20 in reply to Troublesome Frog says:

      I suspect, silver linings like “Even someone like Trump can be forced to do the right thing” aside, that it’s too little too late.

      To the non-Nazis and white supremacists, it was obviously a forced and grudging admission he doesn’t believe and is only doing for the crassest and most shallow political reasons.

      To the Nazis and white supremacists, well — they’ll either believe the same thing, or be angry the Deep State has forced Trump to chicken out or whatever idiocy they come up with. (Alex Jones spent party of today explaining that it wasn’t White Supremacists or Nazi’s there, it was all Jewish actors being paid to pretend to be White Supremacists and Nazis, to make the alt-right look bad.).

      The moment of truth had come and gone, and as John Oliver noted — failure to answer was an answer on this. Trump already gave the American public his answer — this is just damage control.

      And we all — Nazi and non-Nazi alike — know it’s true. If there’s anyone out there who thinks Trump really believes that statement, well — there’s this bridge in Brooklyn I need to unload at a steep discount.Report

  16. joke says:

    effin stop defending nazis.

    just stop.Report

  17. bookdragon says:


    The point about the Nazis is nonresponsive.The Unite The Right demonstrators aren’t Nazis either, for the same reason.

    Talk about nonresponsive… Under what reasoning exactly are a bunch of people marching around sporting Nazi swag and chanting Nazi slogans not Nazis?

    Are you claiming it was all just cosplay? A movie scene with all those folks looking and sounding like Nazis just acting parts?Report

    • Koz in reply to bookdragon says:

      Are you claiming it was all just cosplay?

      Well yeah, what do you think it was? It wasn’t Nazi cosplayers or Nazi sympathizers who invaded Poland or gassed the Jews.Report

      • mark boggs in reply to Koz says:

        So Nazis became Nazis after what? The first Jew was killed? The Beer Hall Putsch? The invasion of Poland? The Ribbentrop Pact?

        What then would it take for a guy to be part of the KKK? The dress-up? A membership card? Or does actual lynching or cross burning become a requirement?

        This smells like No True Scotsman to me.Report

        • Koz in reply to mark boggs says:

          So Nazis became Nazis after what? The first Jew was killed? The Beer Hall Putsch? The invasion of Poland? The Ribbentrop Pact?

          My historical knowledge of this is fairly limited, but my understanding is what you’re asking is fairly concrete question that specialists of the era know the answer to. Maybe you should ask Rufus.

          To the larger point, it’s not so much when the Nazis entered existence as when they left, which has a very obvious answer. It’s more plausible that some of them were members of the KKK, but even that is pretty doubtful given what we’ve seen so far.Report

      • bookdragon in reply to Koz says:

        So you think the members of the Nazi party in the 1920s and early 1930s weren’t really Nazis either…

        But apparently you do think we should sit back and ignore or excuse angry racists marching around with swatsikas chanting ‘Blood and Soil’ like those not-yet-*real*-Nazis did in Nuremberg in the ’20s?

        Yeah… that strategy worked out so well for Germany…Report

    • Morat20 in reply to bookdragon says:

      Alex Jones is claiming it was all Jewish actors pretending to be Nazis and white supremacists to make the alt-right look bad.

      remember, real life is always worse than you can imagine!Report

  18. NoPublic says:

    I should be surprised that there are actually people defending Nazis (not their rights, but their actual motivation and credos) in this day and age. I should be, but I really am not. I’ve been in “old man bars” a lot of late, and I’ve heard more ugly talk than even just after Obama was elected.Report

    • Nevermoor in reply to NoPublic says:

      Well, liberals don’t like nazis, and Cleek’s law is real, so color me unsurprised.Report

    • Kimmi in reply to NoPublic says:

      No Public,
      I’m not worried about those fucks.
      I’m worried about the on the books planned genocide in First World Nations.

      Yeah, it’s a bit more serious than Nazis. Germany’ll remember for a good while longer than Israel will. According to Israel, after all, it wasn’t their genocide. And, in his grave Hitler laughs at the cosmic irony.Report

  19. notme says:

    TIKI brand denounces use of its torches during white supremacist rally

    I hope there weren’t any Tiki employees at the rally. I guess it is the new norm that a company has to make a press release when someone unpopular uses their products.Report

    • Nevermoor in reply to notme says:

      Private company issues PR statement. Which angers you why, exactly?Report

      • notme in reply to Nevermoor says:

        I’m not angry at all. I do think it’s a silly and sad sign of our times that a company feels it necessary to issue such as a statement in the first place. As if anyone really thought that Tiki really supported the protestors in the first place. God forbid some liberal start an internet campaign to boycott them b/c the corp didn’t issues a statement specifically decrying he use of their product. I guess it is too much to expect folks to act like adults these these days.Report

  20. Kolohe says:

    As a libertarian I am pleased that we no longer need permits, licensing, OSHA regs, or union work rules to undertake public property improvement projects.Report

    • Nevermoor in reply to Kolohe says:

      I suspect some of those folks will suffer legal consequences for breaking the law, as they should.

      That doesn’t mean I don’t think their civil disobedience was an appropriate response.Report

  21. Dan d says:

    Rednecks* using the confederate flag as a symbol of rebellion, 4Chaners using Nazi iconography of “the lolz”, hipsters using Soviet imagery “ironically”. Can someone please explain we the last on is acceptable?

    *At the time of the civil war most redneck were opposed to secession.Report

    • Kimmi in reply to Dan d says:

      Because the KGB is cool, clearly intended to be funny, and uses a freaking heinz ketchup bottle in their logo?

    • Troublesome Frog in reply to Dan d says:

      If you can convince me that the Nazi flags were being waved ironically and the people who were flying them weren’t really white supremacists, I will soften my criticism from them being horrible to them having really bad taste.

      If the argument is that they’re white supremacists who believe the same things the Nazis believed and support Nazis and fly their flag but aren’t specifically Nazis themselves and it’s hilarious that leftists can’t tell the difference, I’m not so much interested.Report

  22. George Turner says:

    And now we have episodes breaking out all over of protesters ripping down statues of Confederate soldiers. Daily Mail story

    I think the mob should burn some libraries and blow up some museums while they’re at it. History must be cleansed of all traces of racism and white supremacy.Report

    • mark boggs in reply to George Turner says:


      So you opposed the destruction of the Lenin statue when the Soviet Union collapsed? Because now nobody remembers who he was or what he did?Report

      • George Turner in reply to mark boggs says:

        The Lenin statue got moved to Seattle, where he’s still regarded as a great and visionary leader.Report

        • Kimmi in reply to George Turner says:

          So always to the Capitalists, when they wear Communist clothes.

          Unlike you, I’ve read a little about what Lenin actually stood for.Report

          • Joe Sal in reply to Kimmi says:

            “The state capitalism, which is one of the principal aspects of the New Economic Policy, is, under Soviet power, a form of capitalism that is deliberately permitted and restricted by the working class. Our state capitalism differs essentially from the state capitalism in countries that have bourgeois governments in that the state with us is represented not by the bourgeoisie, but by the proletariat, who has succeeded in winning the full confidence of the peasantry.”

            I don’t think they were Capitalists in Communists clothes as much as stark raving idiots.Report

            • Kimmi in reply to Joe Sal says:

              Look at the game theory, rather than the propaganda. They switched to capitalism because socialism wasn’t working well. (Then they switched back when they could afford more fluff than common sense).

              Lenin was one thing, Stalin another. I can see someone saying “Lenin did good things” (though, to be fair, there’s arguments that so too did Hitler). Stalin was enough of a fucking menace to his entire population that you might could argue he was a “net negative”Report

              • Joe Sal in reply to Kimmi says:

                I don’t cut Lenin any slack for reaching for the worst tool in the toolbox. I do agree Lenin and Stalin had separate ideas of the applications of authority, neither being remotely acceptable in the long game.Report

        • mark boggs in reply to George Turner says:

          Not the one from the Soviet Union. That one is apparently from Czechoslovakia. But if it helps you from having to address the original question…Report

          • Kimmi in reply to mark boggs says:

            *blink* wait, George told a truth?
            I had given up on talking with George and expecting him to say truths a while back.
            (DavidTC, bless his dear heart, is still playing the “facts” game).Report

          • Morat20 in reply to mark boggs says:

            The history of that statue is pretty interesting. (I googled it, because I didn’t even know that it as a thing).

            Apparently a guy from Washington (the State) — an actual friend of the artist who did the sculpture — saw it in a scrapyard in Czechosolvakia, recognized it, and tried to convince the city (the Czech city) that it was still a work of art by the artist, and managed to buy it for 13k.

            He shipped it to Washington, where he wanted to place it in front of a Slovak restaurant. He then died in a car accident while the city was debating whether to allow it to be displayed in front of the restaurant

            His family, inheriting the thing, planned to have it melted down and made into a new piece. The owner of the foundry they had asked to do it instead suggested they look for a buyer, and convinced the city of Fremont to hold it in trust (and display it) until a buyer was found. It was then installed near another Cold War piece.

            Since then, it’s often been appropriated into other art (apparently Fremont is a bit of an artistic city). Apparently that includes dressing the statue in drag every year for Pride. Wikipedia also notes the hands have been painted red, Lenin’s been painted as a clown, and garbed in a red dress for a Red Dress Run.

            So…it’s not the Lenin statue from Red Square, but from another country entirely. It’s not in Seattle but Fremont, and by “treated as a visionary leader” you mean “Juxtaposed with other art dealing with the Cold War” and “Dressed in drag yearly, when it’s not painted like a clown or with it’s hands dripping blood”…Report

            • Oscar Gordon in reply to Morat20 says:

              you mean “Juxtaposed with other art dealing with the Cold War” and “Dressed in drag yearly, when it’s not painted like a clown or with it’s hands dripping blood”…

              AKA Any given Tuesday in Fremont.

              It’s a fun little neighborhood to visit.Report

              • Morat20 in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

                I might put it on my list. 🙂

                It was rather cool the path that statue took, twice rescued from being scrapped, and currently just on loan to the city until a buyer is found. I mean what are the odds a friend of the sculptor would stumble across it in a scrapyard? And be able to and willing to buy it and get it shipped across an ocean?

                And as noted, apparently now used as a canvas for other artists.Report

        • George Turner in reply to George Turner says:

          Why doesn’t Seattle also have a Hitler statue? Both he and Lenin were transformational figures in the history of totalitarian socialism.

          Meanwhile a predominantly black group in Dallas has organized to oppose removing a statue of Robert E. Lee, and the sheriff in Durham County (Greensboro NC) is using video to identify the people who toppled the statue of the Confederate soldier (linked above). He says they’ll face criminal charges. It’s not okay to run around destroying public property.

          People go to great trouble and expense to erect statues and monuments. Those have deep meanings and were very important. Erasing history isn't going to contribute anything to "racial healing".

          If a bunch of Asians start screaming that the Vietnam Veterans memorial, the wall, is a symbol of anti-Asian bigotry, should we allow them to rip it down? If Spengler and his Nazis decry the WW-II memorials as anti-German bigotry, should they be allowed to tear them down? If BLM screams that George Washington owned slaves, do we have to blast his face off Mount Rushmore? That's what's going on. Already there are cries to blast the faces off Stone Mountain Georgia.

          We're promoting emotion-fueled ignorance and destruction. The BLM antifa mobs would gleefully have burned the library at Alexandria. They would run through the Smithsonian with sledge hammers in the name of racial equality.Report

          • Mark Boggs in reply to George Turner says:

            So you’re just gonna ignore the question I asked about the statue? I mean I get it you don’t have a good answer.Report

            • George Turner in reply to Mark Boggs says:

              First off, there wasn’t just the one Lenin statue in the Soviet Union. There were thousands, if not tens of thousands.

              Ukraine alone had 5,500 Lenin statues, which are being removed in anti-Russian areas and left standing in pro-Russian areas. Yeah, that’s a thing throughout the former Soviet Union. Pro-western areas removed most of their Lenins, while pro-Russian areas left them standing. The Baltics removed almost all their Lenins, and did so quite early.

              Lenin statues were a mark of Russian domination. But even in areas where they’re being moved or removed, WW-II monuments to Soviet soldiers are being left intact.Report

          • Joe Sal in reply to George Turner says:

            Other than the bunch of bat-s crazy revisionists, do you see any real reason to pearl clutch the statues created by social construct?

            (mind this is applying equal to all statues and not the ‘selective’ stuff that a particular faction has been doing)Report

            • George Turner in reply to Joe Sal says:

              I don’t know. Is there any particular reason we shouldn’t destroy all the art and monuments created by prior generations? We could call it social progress, a new thinking, a clean slate, year zero.

              All that came before was wrong thinking, filled with racism and bigotry, and we must wipe it away like the cleansing hand of ISIS.Report

              • Joe Sal in reply to George Turner says:

                I like to think you and I can agree who the tightest pearl clutchers will be in the end.Report

              • Mark Boggs in reply to George Turner says:

                You work awfully hard to miss the point about a statue’s significance. Plus, you can’t seem to separate a statue from the history it represents. As though removing one makes history vanish.Report

              • gregiank in reply to Mark Boggs says:

                Well going all ISIS/erasing all of history is one of the better tactics to dress up a crappy case. Doesn’t mean it’s a good tactic, but when you have a terrible case there just aren’t good arguments laying around to use.Report

              • Morat20 in reply to gregiank says:

                Unfortunately for the “You’re going all ISIS” argument — a lot of the “Statue removal” is either storing them or moving them to cemeteries and Civil War memorials.

                Rather than in front of courthouses and in the main square.Report

              • gregiank in reply to Morat20 says:

                Well yeah, but that just shows how silly the argument George is trying push is. So what’s your point?Report

              • George Turner in reply to George Turner says:

                Then let’s discuss why the statues were erected. Were they put up by the winners as monuments to conquering heroes, or by the losers are memorials to the vanquished? Or by both sides to commemorate the fallen?

                Note my earlier observation that Lenin statues were removed in pro-Western areas of the former Soviet Union, and removed in the former East Bloc, but left standing in pro-Russian regions like Belarus and the pro-Russian parts of the Ukraine. That’s because most of those Lenin statues weren’t erected to memorialize Lenin, they were erected as part of a personality cult by Russian conquerors and occupiers. They were put up to support totalitarian communism, and were a symbol of people’s subjugation under that imposed Soviet communism.

                Now if that was the case for the Civil War statues, the South would be full of monuments to Grant, Sherman, Chamberlain, McClellan, and Thomas. The South would have monuments to Union soldiers, celebrating the victory over Southern secession, but no monuments to the losers or the losing Confederate generals.

                Yet if the monuments were just to celebrate Southern might and rebellion, you wouldn’t see monuments to Union troops in the South. But there are thousands of those, too.

                If you look at a map of where the monuments are located, they’re located largely where the battles were fought, with many others commemorating where troops came from. The are found throughout the South and the North. Few of them were erected in the 1800’s, and construction really didn’t accelerate until the 1930’s, and really got rolling after the 1970’s.

                They aren’t part of a personality cult, and they aren’t pushing some totalitarian agenda. They are memorials to those who fell in the most terrible war Americans have ever fought.

                As Donald Trump just stated, “They were there to protest the taking down of the statue of Robert E. Lee. This week it’s Robert E. Lee. I noticed that Stonewall Jackson is coming down. I wonder is it George Washington next week and is it Thomas Jefferson the week after? You know, you really do have to ask yourself, where does it stop?”

                He said that in a city named after a slave owner. Should we rename the capital “Panem”? It means bread. People like bread. Bread and circuses.Report

              • gregiank in reply to George Turner says:

                That statue in Durham that was pulled down. It was put up in the 1920’s in front of the court house. Clear message at the height of Jim Crow. So clear i doubt any people at the time would have tried this furious spinning you are trying. It was a message from those in control about who was in control, who owned the law and the power.Report

              • George Turner in reply to gregiank says:

                Durham still has Jim Crow? They still think Confederate soldiers run things?

                Back then everything Democrats did was wrong. Still is.

                That doesn’t mean we should tear down the statues of every Democrat, or every statue Democrats erected.

                Note that nobody has suggested removing any statues of Republicans, anywhere.

                If this continues, there won’t be any Democrat statues left. Our history will be a Republican one.Report

              • gregiank in reply to George Turner says:

                LOL….keep spinning, keep spinning.Report

              • George Turner in reply to gregiank says:

                And the girl who put the rope around the statue in Durham has been arrested.

                She was a member of the Worker’s World Party, a revolutionary Marxist/Leninist group and one of the few organizations that supports Kim Jung Un. Maybe he’ll work with them to smuggle nukes into LA, New York, and Washington DC.

                What’s ironic is that the Unite the Right organizers were saying that communists were trying to rip down statues that were part of our American heritage. It sounded crazy, but it turned out to be true. One point to the Nazis.Report

              • greginak in reply to George Turner says:

                Who could have known Georgie would be trying to find positive spin for Nazi’s.Report

              • George Turner in reply to George Turner says:

                Sometimes the Nazis are right. Not often, but sometimes, especially when it comes to the horrors of the communists, who are way worse than the Nazis.

                The Nazis had high regard for Western civilization and the advancement of socialism, whereas communists and SJWs are out trying to destroy monuments to American soldiers and throw tantrums in museums like the American Museum of Natural History. Better see those cultural artifacts while you still can, because the great cleansing is coming.

                They’re calling for the removal of all Confederate monuments, including the world’s largest bas-relief at Stone Mountain Georgia, and the removal anything to do with Teddy Roosevelt, which will mean blasting Mt. Rushmore. But they won’t stop there, because half of the Founding Fathers had owned slaves. Washington, Jefferson, and many others will have to be purged. That’s how the far left rolls.

                During the Chinese Cultural Revolution the communists destroyed Chinese architecture, paintings, literature, and ancient temples. The four Olds (customs, habits, culture, and ideas) had to go so the four News could grow. The destruction was incredible, and thorough. In Cambodia the communists destroyed not only art, but the artists as well.

                In contrasts the Nazis loved and respected real art. They loved it so much they stole most of it. The art looted by the Nazis is still around for display. The art destroyed by the communists is not. Now of course the Nazis considered modern art degenerate. Were they wrong?

                Yet they organized a massive display of modern art, the Entartete Kunst, which was probably the most culturally significant art show in history. It was hugely popular. The Nazis of course didn’t expect this, because Nazis were generally not too bright. After all, they believed in socialism.

                Of course the capitalist approach to art is simply “Does it sell?” We don’t need art policy. We don’t need a statue policy. If people were motivated enough to erect a monument, let it stand. It’s art.

                And the Nazis seem to have been right on eugenics. Leftists are bragging that Iceland has been cured of Down’s Syndrome. Iceland didn’t cure it, they’re simply aborting any babies that have it. Progress through eugenics! Only perfect babies should be born. Heck, Planned Parenthood’s whole purpose was to abort black babies and make the country white without having to kill any black people. The left loves Planned Parenthood. Nazis undoubtedly love it too.

                And the Nazis were prescient about the need for a larger Germany. The current one is filling up with Muslim refugees. Needs to be bigger. So much bigger.Report

              • My thoughts on maintaining or moving statues and other public honors for figures of the past are on record on these pages. I discussed a figure who I found a good deal more ambiguous than I do Lee. Very briefly, my conclusion was:

                A place of memorial, contemplation, analysis, debate, and understanding is more appropriate for the memory of Roger Taney than a public park. His statue belongs in an alcove in the Supreme Court, perhaps near his official marble bust (illustrated to the left). In that place and setting, we may examine the ambiguous and uncomfortable role in history Taney played as the principal custodian of our law — even while the upper floors of that building house the incumbent Justices, men and women from whom we hope, expect, and demand better than our nation got from Chief Justice Roger B. Taney.


              • George Turner in reply to Burt Likko says:

                Look, it’s a statue of Genghis Khan.

                Now that’s how you memorialize, well, Genghis Khan. It makes our Lee statues look like the toys in a Crackerjack box.Report

              • George Turner in reply to Burt Likko says:

                Leftist Activists Demand New York Museum Take Down Statue of ‘Racist’ Theodore Roosevelt

                Well, the situation I warned about earlier is developing quickly.

                On Monday, more than 200 SJW zealots held a protest inside the American Museum of Natural History in New York City to take down the supposedly “racist” statue of former President Theodore Roosevelt. The protest’s organizers, NYC Stands with Standing Rock and Decolonize This Place, also called for Columbus Day to be renamed Indigenous People’s Day.

                “A stark embodiment of the white supremacy that Roosevelt himself espoused and promoted,” pontificated the group of protesters in a statement. “The statue is seen as an affront to all who pass it on entering the museum, but especially to African and Native Americans.”

                25 policemen had to guard the statue of Roosevelt.

                UK Guardian coverage

                As I said, burn the museums and libraries. Destroy all the books. It’s the only way to achieve social justice.Report

  23. Nevermoor says:


    Looks like another update is in order to remove that begrudging praise.

    From Trump: “You had some very bad people in that group. You also had some very fine people on both sides,” he said. “Not all of those people were neo-Nazis, believe me. Not all of those people were white supremacists by any stretch.”Report

  24. Burt Likko says:

    All: Please note a second update above in light of today’s press conference. I’m now going to have to walk back my grudging praise of Trump rising to meet the bare minimum moral imperative of the situation. Today, President Trump made evident that he simply lacks the moral compass necessary to navigate the country through this situation, and that his earlier, barely-meet-the-minimum remarks were insincere.Report

    • George Turner in reply to Burt Likko says:

      I think he was right. The Communists came there to fight the Nazis.Report

      • I don’t even understand this remark to know if I can agree with it or disagree with it. If you were to unpack it, I could react more intelligently.Report

        • George Turner in reply to Burt Likko says:

          Trump was reiterating that both sides had bad elements who were fomenting violence, and that the marchers had a permit. Antifa and other elements showed up for a fight. They had weapons and armor. They came to physically beat up Nazis. Violence ensued.

          He also made plain that we didn’t have all the facts, and still don’t. We haven’t seen overhead maps of who went where, when. We haven’t seen detailed timelines. We haven’t seen head counts. We don’t know much about the makeup of either side.
          What were the percentages of Nazis, KKK, militia, “preserve our history”, Civil War nuts, non-affiliated, BLM, antifa, anarchists, communists, and just ordinary people who don’t like the KKK or Nazis. We don’t know what violent confrontations the driver may have had prior to getting in his car.

          And of course we don’t know why the press seemed to think the story had anything more to do with Trump than it had to do with Pelosi, McConnell, or Obama. Trump had absolutely nothing to do with the decision to remove the statue of Lee, or the opposition to the statue’s removal, or the opposition to the opposition to it’s removal.

          The press is so fixated that they can’t imagine a story without Trump at the center of it.Report

          • Jesse in reply to George Turner says:

            Trump is at the center of the story because that crowd of white supremacists wouldn’t have been there if the winning ticket last November was Marco Rubio and Nikki Haley.Report

            • George Turner in reply to Jesse says:

              Well that logic would make Trump the center of every story about anything at all.

              There were white supremacists holding marches long before November. The protests of the Charlotte Lee statue’s removal were going on under Obama. Larger gatherings had gone on to protest Nikki Halley’s decision to take down the Confederate flag. Those were met by large counter protests. It had nothing to do with Trump.Report

    • notme in reply to Burt Likko says:

      Why, you can’t handle Trump talking about the faults of both sides? It seems you’d rather he only blame the right for everything?Report

      • Dave in reply to notme says:

        Why, you can’t handle Trump talking about the faults of both sides?It seems you’d rather he only blame the right for everything?

        You frame your questions the way an ambulance chaser frames question. It makes you sound smarter. Cute.

        It also pulls everything out of context, that you already know so I assume you’re just trolling us for shits and giggles.Report

        • notme in reply to Dave says:

          Are you disputing the fact that both sides were violent? If they both sides were violent then they should both be denounced. Burt and others can’t seem to except that both were violent and both should be denounced. I understand it doesn’t fit some folks world view and that the press is doing their best to make Trump look bad.Report

          • Troublesome Frog in reply to notme says:

            Both sides absolutely were violent, which is pretty much true every time two groups of protesters get together and violence breaks out.

            Weirdly there also seems to be another elephant in the room even beyond violence. I can’t quite put my finger on it, and apparently President Trump can’t either. But there’s something about this event that some people found uniquely disturbing and demanding of a response.

            Nah. They’re probably just emotional because they’re in denial about the fact that their side sometimes gets violent. Keep beating that drum and they’ll see the light.Report

            • notme in reply to Troublesome Frog says:

              The only elephant I see is that the left and the press want to focus on the violence by right and forget about the violence by the left. They are using the bogyman of the white supremacists to ignore the violence by those on the left.Report

              • Troublesome Frog in reply to notme says:

                So, to be 100% clear, if we erased all violence from this incident and this whole event was totally peaceful, nothing stands out to you as particularly interesting about it?

                Because for me, the violence on either side of it is one of the less interesting aspects of it. Making the discussion about the violence instead of about certain other things seems to me to be a convenient way of making a pretty remarkable situation seem unremarkable. Am I wrong in thinking that there was something that stands out about the content of this event? I feel like I’m in the majority on this, so I’m just trying to figure out if you genuinely see nothing at all interesting about it.

                Because it reads to me a bit like this: A large number of people get together and say, “We should have sex with, and then murder and cannibalize children,” and then certain politicians say, “Look, everybody was shouting and carrying signs. This sort of thing happens all the time and it’s unseemly and I wish they wouldn’t do all that sign carrying and shouting.”Report

              • Morat20 in reply to Troublesome Frog says:

                I know when I see a group of people with guns and torches I think “Those guys are looking for a peaceful assembly, and an honest exchange of views. The torches are symbolic of their rational desire to converse and the guns are symbolic of their pacifist desires”.

                *eyeroll*. You don’t even have to be a Southerner to know a mob with torches is aiming to start putting the boot in.

                Torches and pitchforks, who knew that violence would ensue? Certainly not the peaceful pitchfork and torch bearers…Report

              • Oscar Gordon in reply to Morat20 says:

                Dude! Those were tiki torches. If they were serious about putting the boot in, they would have been carrying proper torches. Good, stout branches wrapped with rags and soaked in the rendered fat of their vanquished enemies (or cooking lard, whatever you can get your hands on…).Report

              • Morat20 in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

                Yes, I know they’re tiki torches. No one says White Supremacists can’t be lazy.

                But it’s not like it’s deep symbolism or some big reach — mobs with torches were bad news. That’s not even getting into the century or so of Klan activity, in which torches featured pretty freaking heavily.

                White Supremacists wielding burning torches, whatever the type, are not doing so to go caroling.

                At best, they’re out to instill fear, tapping into both the deep instincts of humanity (“a mob with torches are bad news for someone”) and the specific, relevant, pretty darn recent American history of torch-wielding white supremacists. The Klan was not a freakin’ garden party.Report

              • Oscar Gordon in reply to Morat20 says:

                Did I forget the “facetious” tag again?Report

              • Morat20 in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

                God help me, these days I simply can’t tell.Report

              • notme in reply to Troublesome Frog says:

                Tell what you think stands out if you erase all the violence from this protest? Does the presence of neo-Nazis make the whole thing more salacious or interesting? I don’t understand why if violence is bad and both sides did it, then why aren’t both sides equally at fault? I don’t see ones side’s violence as more justifiable than the other’s based on that side’s political viewpoint.Report

              • Troublesome Frog in reply to notme says:

                <blockquote.Tell what you think stands out if you erase all the violence from this protest? Does the presence of neo-Nazis make the whole thing more salacious or interesting?

                Yes. Do you think it doesn’t? I mean, if this were just a pro choice vs pro life clash, I’d shrug my shoulders and move on. It’s just two normal sets of political positions and people getting overheated.

                A substantial white supremacist presence seems like a pretty interesting thing and an indicator that something is wrong. These are the types of views that you normally don’t see in public in any strength, and you certainly don’t normally see them attached to a mainstream political movement without much in the way of repudiation.

                I don’t understand why if violence is bad and both sides did it, then why aren’t both sides equally at fault?

                Stop right there. We’re not talking about “fault” or “badness” of violence. That’s a change of subject and it’s why I explicitly asked if this would be a normal and OK thing absent the violence. You seem to think the answer is yes. Perhaps that’s what President Trump thinks, and there’s just a substantial population who thinks that white supremacists are just a normal political coalition to be welcomed as long as they’re working for one’s favorite policies. OK, so now we know that for certain instead of just worrying that it’s true.

                I never find questions about who is “at fault” for violence or who commits the “worst” violence at a protest to be very interesting because it’s a toss of the dice which side will be the first or the worst. It has nothing to do with the fundamental correctness of a position or the goodness of the overall group of protesters. It’s just a thing that will happen that tells us nothing except that a bunch of worked up people got together and pushed each other’s buttons.

                The issue here is that white supremacists are uniquely bad even if they’re not uniquely violent. Their ideology is bad and, I thought, broadly and openly rejected by the mainstream. The fact that people on one side want to change the subject from the thing that’s uniquely bad about this situation to focus on a variable that’s essentially meaningless is what concerns me. It’s an obvious attempt to shift attention away from the elephant in the room because certain people benefit from riding the elephant around while it smashes things and craps everywhere.

                To the extent that liberals are complaining that the violence is the issue, I think they’re wrong. Somebody was going to get beaten up or killed in this thing and it was luck of the draw who died first. Riding the fact that the other guys’ violence was worse just this one time is hanging their hat on pure luck rather than their obvious rightness and the other guys’ obvious wrongness. And it allows certain bad actors to call out their hypocrisy rather than focusing on what’s important.Report

              • switters in reply to Troublesome Frog says:

                I’ll just have to assume that notme also believes that the US and Nazi germany were equally responsible for the violence in WW2. What each stood for would have nothing to do with anyone coming to a different conclusion.Report

              • switters in reply to switters says:

                And that while a black, unarmed 12 year old being shot is justified due a police officer’s reasonable fear, responding to a large group of angry men with torches and shields screaming how much they hate you is simply beyond the pale.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Troublesome Frog says:

                White supremacists aren’t uniquely bad compared to other organized violent bigots.Report

              • notme in reply to Pinky says:

                I disagree. The left seems to find something uniquely bad about neo Nazi/White supremacists that they don’t seem to find as objectionable about other groups like radical islamists or the nation of islam, both of which are just as anti semitic and racist as the first group. Somehow when the left sees a neo Nazi it’s like seeing a unicorn. Besides, the neo Nazi/White supremacists that went to C-ville existed before the protest, they just weren’t as visible so it isn’t as if they just pop into existence b/c something suddenly become wrong with America like Trump being elected.Report

              • gregiank in reply to notme says:

                Well neo-nazi’s exist unlike unicorns. And the lefties have been aware of neo-nazi’s/KKK types for decades. I’ve been hearing about them since the 80’s. Nazi rallies in the US have been news and protested since Skokie in the early 80’s.Report

              • notme in reply to gregiank says:

                If the neo nazis are such old news then why is the left wetting their pants about them today? The same things that were objectionable about them then are still objectionable about them today. Only today they are used by the left as some sort of sign or doom and are being used to beat on Trump while they turn a blind eye to the violent lefty protestors.Report

              • Troublesome Frog in reply to notme says:

                I agree with you that the left in general has a blind spot when it comes to extremist forms of Islam. There are radical Islamist groups that are every bit as morally bad as any of our home grown white supremacist groups.

                But I don’t think the left in the US is wrong to be particularly concerned about white supremacist groups for a few reasons:

                1) They’re actually here, among us making the US worse instead of making another country worse. I suppose the Nation of Islam is sort of still a thing, but let’s be real about whether they’re serious players. The KKK and other American white supremacist groups are our own, and it’s our job to police them.

                2) They actually seem to be a viable political faction, even if they’re not really dominant. Major politicians turn a blind eye to them and quietly accept their support, squirming and changing the subject when it comes time to confront it.

                If there was a group of Democrats in the Senate who were trying to soften our stance on whether it’s OK to rape your slave women and changing the subject to how bad sectarian violence is on all sides when asked whether they’ll condemn ISIS, you and I would be standing side by side banging the alarm bells.Report

              • Morat20 in reply to Pinky says:

                Does your definition of “white supremacists” somehow ignore the KKK? The decades of Jim Crow and lynchings?

                Is there some time scale you’re using? Because at least in America, the white supremacists have quite a bloody history. Even if you ignore the whole “Civil War” thing…Report

              • Pinky in reply to Morat20 says:

                No, why would it? Why would you think it does?Report

              • Morat20 in reply to Pinky says:

                Because I’m having problems squaring your statement with reality. I’m left with trying to deduce the time frame or geographical area you’re using to claim “White supremacists aren’t uniquely bad compared to other organized violent bigots”.

                America? You have the Civil War, with more American dead than every other war of ours combined, caused by and fought over white supremacy. Not to mention all those killed due to slavery itself on American soil.

                Are we talking America post-Civil War? No, can’t be — the body count from Jim Crow alone is rather staggering, and frankly no other group has been so brutally violent. I mean just lynching alone…

                World-wide throughout history? The Nazi’s were, bluntly, white supremacists and I’m not sure how many can match their body count — maybe if you don’t count the WW2 dead?

                So yeah, you made a claim I’m having a hard time squaring with reality or history, so I’m trying to figure out if you just meant “post-CRA America” or some other very specific time and geographic area.Report

              • Troublesome Frog in reply to Pinky says:

                I would have to know which groups of organized violent bigots you’re talking about to really be sure if I agree with you, but in the abstract, I agree that any equally organized, equally violent, equally bigoted group would be equally bad.

                I just wasn’t aware that there was such a group at this particular protest to balance the scales. Or any protest in the US, actually. The closest thing I can think of would be Islamist mobs in other countries, and I will acknowledge that they are equally bad in principle and either not as bad or significantly worse in practice, depending on whether you weight badness based on proximity or actual damage done.

                I will say that if President Trump had to have his arm twisted to condemn ISIS and it turned out that ISIS was somehow contributing to his poll numbers, I’d be equally concerned. In fact, I seem to remember non-President Trump being deeply concerned about exactly that sort of thing when there was a Secret Muslim in the White House.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Pinky says:

                I’m talking about today, the racist and anti-free-speech mobs that attack people across the US. They’re organized and hateful. I can’t distinguish them from the KKK other than by people they fight against. As Andrew Klavan said on his podcast the other day, the devil doesn’t care who’s doing the hating.Report

              • Morat20 in reply to Pinky says:

                Those would be? Please name those groups — the armed ones that show up? The ones driving cars into people? The ones forcing synagogues to hire security?

                Your claim was “White supremacists aren’t uniquely bad compared to other organized violent bigots”. So please, which roving mobs of “anti-free speech bigots” are you referring to?

                I’m so embarrassed, as I’ve clearly missed some news.Report

            • Both sides absolutely were violent, which is pretty much true every time two groups of protesters get together and violence breaks out.

              Hmm. I appreciate the effort, @troublesome-frog , but it’s really not quite right. Too simple by far. Let’s see….

              Members of [b]oth sides absolutely were violent, which is pretty much true every time two groups of protesters get together and violence breaks out.

              That looks a little better.

              Nope. Still seems incomplete.

              Members of [b]oth sides absolutely were violent, which is pretty much true every time two groups of protesters get together and violence breaks out and some of the ones who got violent on one side came with baseball bats and some of the ones who got violent on the other side came with AR-15’s and combat armor and drove a car into a crowd of the opposing side.

              Members of [b]oth sides absolutely were violent, which is pretty much true every time two groups of protesters get together and violence breaks out and some of the ones who got violent on the side arguing for an inclusive, free society consistent with the historical aspirations of the United States came with baseball bats and some of the ones who got violent on the side arguing for racial nationalism and carrying the flags of historic enemies of the United States and the freedoms it stands for came with AR-15’s and combat armor and drove a car into a crowd of the opposing side, all the while transparently spoiling for something they could use to claim “victim” status despite being the provocateurs who started the whole thing in the first place.

              I think I’m getting close now. Maybe need to add something about how someone from the one side actually killed a person and nothing anyone from the other side did came particularly close to that even if some of them did cross the line into assault. Feel free to jump in, anyone.Report

              • notme in reply to Burt Likko says:

                Sure, I’ll jump in. I saw pictures on TV of folks with pink helmets and shields. I doubt they were on the right. As for the ARs and torchers, no one was shot or burned so who cares? You keep trying to make an argument that ones sides violence is someone more morally acceptable than the others but I’m not sure who is buying it. What will you do when a lefty kills someone on the right? You’ll probably blame the dead person on the right.Report

              • Burt Likko in reply to notme says:

                What will I do when a lefty kills someone on the right? I’ll condemn it, just as I’ve already condemned Nazi-punching in this thread and just as I condemned that jagoff who shot up Steve Scalise and others at the Republican Congressional baseball practice.

                Repeating myself, I find Steve Scalise’s politics disagreeable at best, and he absolutely should not have been shot for them, I wish him a complete and speedy recovery.Report

              • notme in reply to Burt Likko says:

                Congratulations, you condemned Steve Scalise’s shooter. Trump condemned the violence that both sides perpetrated in c-ville. Yet somehow you seem to think that Trump has done something wrong.Report

              • Oscar Gordon in reply to notme says:

                AFAIK, not only was no one shot, not a single shot was fired.

                Which, given the mood at the time, is kinda interesting. Whoever was armed with a gun at that rally was keeping their head much better than a lot of police officers do.Report

              • Joe Sal in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

                Given that one person perished due to rally activity and two people died due to police activity, still the police are the most dangerous thing of the event. (despite torches, despite guns, despite other hidden stuff)Report

              • notme in reply to Joe Sal says:

                The way the news kept showing the pictures of all three people at the same time and talking about the neo nazi violence I was beginning to think that the cops were killed by the neo nazis.Report

              • Troublesome Frog in reply to Burt Likko says:

                I think that one side appears to have been more violent than the other in this case. I’m sure that one side resorted to violence before the other in this one case. And it’s clear that one side came in in a more violent posture in this one case.

                I just think that if we decide wrongness or moral rectitude based on which side does those things at any given protest, we’re going to end up “wrong” a lot of the time just because our 1 percenters decided to throw the first Molotov cocktail. It has happened before and it will happen again.

                If the left wants to hang its hat on the “We’re less violent at protests” observation, I don’t even know if they’re likely to be right more often than not. The left protests more and has bigger protests, so there are probably going to be a ton of cases where somebody on the right can point to a leftist mob coming armed and its minority faction getting violent before the counter-protesters do, and doing more damage in the process.

                Who starts the fight that’s very likely to start isn’t a great metric, and who “wins” the fight by hurting the other guy more is even worse. Who takes a more initially violent posture in might be a little more interesting, but I don’t really expect that one to correlate particularly well with rightness either.

                Violence at protests is bad no matter who starts it, but carefully measuring out blame mostly serves to distract from the underlying issues because it’s just measuring whose tails are worse that one day. I think this thread is a prime example. Sure, a Nazi guy killed somebody, but Antifa and the Nation of Islam did some other stuff some other time, so nobody is ever wrong about anything and there’s no need to look at whose tails are actually closer to the political mainstream! Feeding into that dynamic seems like a losing strategy.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Troublesome Frog says:

                I haven’t followed this thread in detail, or in real time, so I might be mistaken here, but doesn’t this comment conflict with your earlier statement that “white supremacists are uniquely bad even if they’re not uniquely violent”?Report

              • Troublesome Frog in reply to Pinky says:

                To clarify, white supremacists are not uniquely bad by definition or in principle. If we open the doors to ISIS and other international or historical badness, they’re not unique. In the US, I would say that they’re uniquely bad in that there’s nobody else in the US that’s currently as bad.

                Somebody could unseat them, but I’m not aware of anybody else in the US political system who compares. And I’ll be all over it when it’s ISIS in Charlotsville with AK-47s instead of Nazis with AR-15s.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Troublesome Frog says:

                I guess that for me, the identity identity of rioters doesn’t matter at all. People in the streets setting fire to cars are a problem because of what they’re doing. Tribal people in the streets setting fire to cars are a problem because of what they’re doing, and what they’re doing is motivated by hatred. That’s sufficient analysis for me. Whether they’re shouting Nazi slogans or “hands up, don’t shoot”, that’s trivia.Report

              • Morat20 in reply to Pinky says:

                I guess that for me, the identity identity of rioters doesn’t matter at all.

                After all, what could possibly be the difference between a few anarchists setting a trash can on fire, and a massive march of armed, torch-wielding Klansmen screaming about white superiority and the problems with Jews?

                Burning trash can, armed white supremacists denigrating anywhere from 20 to 50% of the US as second-class citizens they wish to “take back” the country from.

                Same thing!

                You know, funny story. I betcha those white supremacists don’t see the difference, either! I betcha there’s lots of black folks, Jewish folks, gay folks who see a really big difference.

                Must be nice to know you’re not in anybody’s crosshairs. Really lets you understand that, in the end, white supremacists driving cars into people is the same as an anarchist throwing a rock!Report

              • Pinky in reply to Morat20 says:

                It’s not a few anarchists (neither few nor anarchists), and they’re not just setting trash cans on fire. You know that. As for which race or tribe they’re calling for a strong government to oppress, I couldn’t care less.Report

              • Morat20 in reply to Pinky says:

                So you can’t actually show any such groups equally as bad. Gotcha.Report

              • notme in reply to Troublesome Frog says:

                You must not be paying attention. Islamo terrorists are in the US and have killed quite a few folks recently, from 9/11 to San Bernardino to Orlando. The Neo nazis clearly need to step up their game to stay on top.Report

              • gregiank in reply to notme says:

                Are those terrorists having pro-terror marches in public like the nazis/KKK? Cause i’d be down with protesting pro-terror/murder marches. Are there pro-AQ/ISIS marches going on? If so please demonstrate against them.Report

              • notme in reply to gregiank says:

                You seem to be more worried about folks marching rather than the folks that are killing dozens at a time. Why is that?Report

              • gregiank in reply to notme says:

                It’s not an either or situation. I don’t like ISIS. I don’t like nazi’s/KKK. Only some of those people are Americans marching in the US to change our political system. The foreign aggressors should be dealt with by the military, intell services and cops. My fellow countrymen should be met with opposing political action.Report

              • notme in reply to gregiank says:

                The foreign aggressors should be dealt with by the military, intell services and cops.

                This just shows how out of touch you are. Both the Orlando and San Bernardino shooters were Americans. The left focuses on imagined dangers from the right but ignores the islamo terrorists that are present and the real danger.Report

              • Troublesome Frog in reply to notme says:

                Those things were not lost on me.

                If the people doing those attacks were an actual viable political faction tacitly supported by POTUS instead of criminals who hide from the public until they attack somebody, I’d be very concerned about it.

                And if our president treated Nazis and Klansmen with the same contempt he treats Islamists, I wouldn’t be in this thread. But he doesn’t. He’s rightly against Islamists and wrongly courting the votes of white supremacists. That’s why he’s doing the wrong thing. That.Report

              • Morat20 in reply to Burt Likko says:

                Don’t forget the shields and torches. I mean maybe they just decided to do medieval cosplay through the suburbs and parks and various places — even outside of and after their permit times and zone.Report

              • Oscar Gordon in reply to Morat20 says:

                The shields I’d give a pass to. Antifa are known to throw dangerous objects (rocks, bottles filled with concrete or noxious substances, etc.). If you know your counter-protesters have a penchant for throwing things, a shield is just plain practical.

                It’s the torches that I see as overtly intimidating. A bunch of PVC pipe with LEDs or Chemlights tied to the end would still provide light and not have the same impact.Report

              • Morat20 in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

                The shields were just amusing — they weren’t for protection, they’re effectively Nazi regalia, and had jack all to do with antifa.

                Nazi Germany was the Third Reich. The First was the Holy Roman Empire. (The second was something like 1880-ish to WWI Germany).

                They carry the shields to display their little fun symbols — from pure facist ones, to Nazi ones, to the usual white supremacist garbage. It’s supposed to evoke “Roman”, that they’re guardians on the walls against the savages.Report

              • Oscar Gordon in reply to Morat20 says:

                So they were what, made of posterboard or something?Report

              • notme in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

                They were made of paper mache and aluminum foil.Report

              • Morat20 in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

                I’m not sure I follow your logic. They were often quite nicely made, out of quality wood and painted with symbols associated with various white supremacy groups or fascist groups.

                I mean sure, you could use them for protection — they are shields that seemed made of wood — but they weren’t carrying them because they were afraid of antifa, anymore than they were carrying torches because it was dark outside.

                They were regalia — like a Klan robes. Klan robes did function as clothing, but that’s not why they wore them, and you couldn’t say the white robes were there because “well, people have to wear something!”

                Heraldry, if you prefer. In it’s truest, most pageant sense.Report

              • gregiank in reply to Morat20 says:

                At least some guys got their crafts merit badges out of all that guff. Of course making bead necklesses and bracelets would have been a lot less trouble.Report

              • Oscar Gordon in reply to Morat20 says:

                I can see them as heraldry. I’m just of the opinion that if you are going to carry a shield, it should be a shield first, and heraldry second. Otherwise just use a banner.

                Still, I don’t see a shield by itself as an overt threat the way a torch or other weapon would be (unless it was a spiked or edged buckler). Putting your heraldry on a shield just makes it a handy place to put your banner. It doesn’t change the nature of the shield as a defensive object.

                And yeah, this is very pedantic. I just have a hard time seeing shields as more threatening than the message(s) painted on them. I wouldn’t call it out like, “OMG! They had shields too!”.Report

              • Morat20 in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

                Just to make my point specific: They carried those shields for the same reason a Klansmen wears a white robe. There was no alt-right powwow that said “Let’s make some big shields to deal with antifa throwing rocks, go ahead and paint your favorite symbols on them”.

                They didn’t start carrying them as some sort of reaction to antifa or anything else.

                It was already a thing they did, part of their “uniform”. Useful if someone threw something? Sure. But not why they had it.

                Anthropologically, it looks like a rather interesting setup. I’d bet money you could trace several group’s specific white supremacist ideology by the shield shape alone! (Roman versus Norse styling for instance — you’ve got white supremacists that pull heavily from Nazism, which pulled from Roman roots. And you’ve got the ones pulling from Norse traditions and weaving that into their white power nonsense).Report

  25. George Turner says:

    Well, next up for a white supremacist march is Lexington Kentucky. A brief while after Charlottesville happened, our idiot mayor announced that he was going to remove the statues of John C Breckinridge and John Hunt Morgan from downtown. They were going to be removed anyway as part of some building expansion, plus the fact that nobody gives two s**ts about them, but our mayor had to hop on Twitter and tie the removal to Charlottesville. So of course the usual suspects said they’d march to oppose the removal, and the other usual suspects will oppose that march. We get to be the next Poland.

    Miami Herald coverage, as Lexington’s paper has gone downhill.

    John C Breckinridge was Vice President of the United States under James Buchanan, and he ran for President in 1860, coming in second in the Electoral College. He became a Southern general, and upon being made Confederate secretary of war in 1865 told Jefferson David that the gig was up and he should surrender. He is from Lexington. Should probably have a statue here. But no. Will we also rename Breckenridge Colorado, the famous ski resort? That’s named after him too.

    John Hunt Morgan is notable because he made it further north than any other Confederate general. They even named things after him in Ohio and Indiana. He caused mayhem. He was our Genghis Khan. His nephew was Thomas Hunt Morgan. Thomas Hunt Morgan won the Nobel Prize in medicine for establishing the modern science of genetics. His lab at CalTech produced seven more Nobel Prize winners. Drosophila melanogaster? That was Morgan. He figured out what chromosomes do.

    But screw that. We’re ripping down his uncle’s statue because history must be erased.Report

    • Thomas Hunt Morgan sounds like a hero of science, someone worthy of celebration.

      Do you think Breckinridge and John Hunt Morgan are heroes, too?Report

      • George Turner in reply to Burt Likko says:

        Yep. Both were extremely able commanders, Breckinridge especially so. How often do you have a former Vice President and Presidential candidate with almost no military background who turns out to be the next Stonewall Jackson?

        Pretty much everyone from this area was Confederate, so it’s no surprise they were too.

        Breckinridge wiki

        The next morning, he discovered that soldiers under his command had begun killing about 100 wounded black Union soldiers of the 5th United States Colored Cavalry. Hearing the gunfire, he rushed to stop the massacre.


        By late February, Breckinridge concluded that the Confederate cause was hopeless. Delegating the day-to-day operations of his office to his assistant, John Archibald Campbell, he began laying the groundwork for surrender. Davis desired to continue the fight, but Breckinridge urged, “This has been a magnificent epic. In God’s name let it not terminate in farce.

        On April 2, Lee sent a telegram to Breckinridge informing him that he would have to withdraw from his position that night, and that this would necessitate the evacuation of Richmond. Ordering Campbell to organize the flight of the Confederate cabinet to Danville, Virginia, Breckinridge remained in the city to oversee the destruction of facilities and supplies to prevent their use by the invading federal forces. In the process, he ensured that the Confederate archives, both government and military, were captured intact by the Union forces, ensuring that a full account of the Confederate war effort would be preserved for history..

        History owes Breckinridge an incalculable debt. We’re repaying him by trying to erase him from that history, even though, to date, nobody has been hurt by his statue.

        On April 18, Breckinridge heard from Sherman and Johnston of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln four days earlier; the President had died in the Petersen House, where Breckinridge briefly resided in late 1852 as a congressman. The Kentuckian was visibly devastated. Eyewitness accounts recall him to have said, “Gentlemen, the South has lost its best friend.

        How many men, at the end of a long and bloody war, would have reacted the same?

        As for Morgan, who was a Lincoln supporter:

        Hoping to divert Union troops and resources in conjunction with the twin Confederate operations of Vicksburg and Gettysburg in the summer of 1863, Morgan set off on the campaign that would become known as “Morgan’s Raid”. Morgan crossed the Ohio River, and raided across southern Indiana and Ohio. At Corydon, Indiana, the raiders met 450 local Home Guard in a battle that resulted in eleven Confederates killed and five Home Guard killed.

        In July, at Versailles, IN, while soldiers raided nearby militia and looted county and city treasuries, the jewels of the local masonic lodge were stolen. When Morgan, a Freemason, learned of the theft he recovered the jewels and returned them to the lodge the following day.

        After several more skirmishes, during which he captured and paroled thousands of Union soldiers.

        He was extremely bold, undertaking the raid on his own volition, but Genghis Khan wouldn’t have paroled thousands of enemy soldiers on their home soil. But the war likely started to eat at Morgan, and his depredations grew. He was being investigated for banditry when he was shot in the back after a raid in Tennessee. He’s an extremely notable figure, and definitely a brave one, and his nephew founded the science of modern genetics.Report

        • gregiank in reply to George Turner says:

          Erased from history??? My gosh now i’m scared. I never understood that taking down statues led to the instantaneous obliteration of books, movies, old documents and every memory that exists. Wow that is scary. Who knew statues were the only thing that keep history and knowledge in existence. Shouldn’t’ we have told about this before. How do we manage to know about people who don’t’ have statues?Report

          • George Turner in reply to gregiank says:

            We don’t. Did you know anything about John Breckinridge or John Hunt Morgan before now? I knew because, decades ago, I asked about the statues. Those bring up interesting histories. Few people, even in his home town, know we had a Vice President from here. None of our local schools are named after him. He’s got a small apartment complex. That’s it.

            And of course the protesters are already targeting museums, demanding the removal of anything they deem offensive. Who else used to do that? The Nazi party. That’s who.Report

            • gregiank in reply to George Turner says:

              Yeah i knew about Breckenridge. I actually about all sorts of things that dont’ have statues. I know about Nat Turner but i’ve never seen a statue of him. I know about the holocaust but have never been to any of the monuments or museums. It’s almost like history and memory exists regardless of statues. I know i’m on controversial ground there.Report

              • Morat20 in reply to gregiank says:

                I’m still curious why Baltimore has Confederate statues. I mean in Civil War museums or memorials or historical sites I get, but parks and statehouses?

                Pretty sure Maryland fought for the Union. Why are their monuments to traitors and, bluntly, failures?Report

              • gregiank in reply to Morat20 says:

                For one thing whether a place fought for the US or the South gets lost to history by the 1900’s. Even “Real Southerner’s” forget all the southern areas that were pro-US. By the 1900’s Jim Crow and later on the Civil Rights Era were the driving forces behind putting up monuments. Not that people in the Deep South would likely agree but i think the South starts in Maryland. Some people might say Virginia though.Report

              • Morat20 in reply to gregiank says:

                “They’re destroying our history”. Dude, that’s not our history.

                Of course my city was host to a bunch of flaming morons coming to “protect” a Sam Houston statue, because they thought it was being pulled down. Sam Houston, pivotal figure in Texas history whose only connection with the Confederacy was staunch opposition to it. *eyeroll*.

                Strange as it may be, my opinion of Nazi’s, white supremacists, and Confederate fetishizers in general has actually lowered the last few years. Reading their alternate history has been fun, though. Storyline is very contrived, I admit.Report

              • Michael Cain in reply to Morat20 says:

                Pretty sure Maryland fought for the Union. Why are their monuments to traitors and, bluntly, failures?

                Since 1894, the United Daughters of the Confederacy have been very, very good at the task they’ve taken on — raising money, commissioning memorials, and getting them placed. As part of their charter, said memorials to celebrate Confederate soldiers as American patriots.

                For placement, politicians have a problem with little old ladies that I’m sure the Daughters exploit. Hell… during my time as a budget staffer for the Colorado General Assembly, services for the elderly was part of my remit. Once a month, the Gang of Four, all little old ladies aged 75+, made an appointment to come talk to me. They were polite and very well informed about the budget. While they never came right out and said it, there was very much a “Does your mother know that you recommended cutting funding for services for old people?” vibe to it. Some sort of Jedi mind trick. I trained myself to say pretty much nothing but “I understand your point” and “Thank you for the documentation” until they were gone.Report

              • Kolohe in reply to Morat20 says:

                If it had been left up to Maryland, Maryland would have seceded (and there would have been a civil war within the Civil war there, much like the Shenandoah valley and the next one over where Romney is).

                But Lincoln nipped that in the bud, for obvious strategic reasons.Report

              • George Turner in reply to Morat20 says:

                There are monuments to them because they fought and died. At the same time the South was putting up monuments, so was the North. The war was long over. The country had largely healed. And the monuments started going up, in Alabama, Virginia, Ohio, Michigan, Maine, Texas, and New York. Rebel and Union soldiers would come together for reunions.

                Now a bunch of communists have decided to throw that compact away. They want to tear down the losing side’s monuments.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Morat20 says:

                No state was 100% Union or Confederate, and Maryland was more ambiguous than most. They were a Southern slave state. Check out their state anthem to get a better understanding of them:


              • Zac Black in reply to Morat20 says:

                Maryland fought for the Union, but to some extent under duress; it was a slaveholding state and deeply divided in loyalties. Roger B. Taney, who delivered the majority opinion in Dred Scott, was a Marylander (his was one of the statues taken down), and John Wilkes Booth was as well.Report

              • Damon in reply to Zac Black says:

                “to some extant under duress”? Really, you call martial law in the city, the imprisoning of many Baltimore city officials, the imprisoning of 1/3 of the elected legislature, the suspension of habeus corpus, the shutting down of the newspapers and imprisonment of their owners without charge, “some extant”?


              • Zac Black in reply to Damon says:

                Anyone who supported slavery ought to have been executed outright, so yeah, I think the Union went pretty easy on them. But then, if there were any justice, the Union would have killed every white south of the Mason-Dixon line and turned their property over the newly freed slaves. Too many half-measures, though, and now we’ve ended up with all this nonsense.Report

              • George Turner in reply to Zac Black says:

                Because racial genocide is better than just freeing them?

                Slavery was evil, but it wasn’t that evil.Report

              • George Turner in reply to Burt Likko says:

                I’ve also staunchly defended slavery (and its abolition) on the simple grounds of historical necessity to get the people we have today.

                No slavery? No Oprah, no Michael Jordan, no Denzel, Will Smith, Edie Murphy, Chris Rock, or any other African Americans, because Africans didn’t build ocean going ships, didn’t have any money to book passage, and nobody would’ve sailed them across the Atlantic out of the goodness of their hearts.

                Without slavery, America would be as white as a Bernie Sanders rally.

                Without the injustice of slavery, then Jim Crow, then the Civil Rights struggle, the entire West would probably still have a view of Africans little different from what was commonly held in the 1800’s.

                England wouldn’t have had black Caribbean slaves, and thus descendants of those slaves wouldn’t be living in London. Pretty much the only blacks in the Anglosphere would be Australian Aborigines.

                Europe would have virtually none, because without black Americans dominating the Olympics, flying fighter planes against Germany or driving US tanks, and marching for equality, European attitudes wouldn’t have changed very much. They’d probably still be running African colonies.

                Demonizing slavery can be taken to an extreme whose obvious consequence would have been the utopian dream of both the Nazis and the Klan, a purely white West, with blacks confined to the pages of National Geographic.

                From a historical standpoint, you could say it was evil, but a necessary evil, a required precondition for who we are today. The alternative isn’t a long history of racial harmony and equality, it’s a return to the racial status-quo of the 1500’s.Report

              • gregiank in reply to George Turner says:

                Oh goodie. A defense of slavery. That is the kind of wide ranging conversation we come here for. That has always been the dream of the OT to create a broad intellectual forum where pro-slavery types can express themselves without having to use racial slurs.Report

              • notme in reply to gregiank says:

                Defense, no, it’s just an acknowledgment that w/o slavery history would be different. As far as OT goes, i think what some really want is a liberal echo chamberReport

              • Dave Regio in reply to notme says:

                Defense, no, it’s just an acknowledgment that w/o slavery history would be different. As far as OT goes, i think what some really want is a liberal echo chamber

                Oh please. Even with your pathetically low standards, this is dunking in your head in a bucket of shit.

                It’s one thing to say that history would be different, but even you’re not stupid enough to believe that’s what George did. He’s making affirmative claims of how this country would be under some window dressing of an intellectual argument.

                It’s bullshit and if you buy that bullshit, then you’re as pathetic as he is.Report

              • George. Please stop here.

                I say this from a place of love, not a place of criticism. Because I really hope to keep learning more about making medieval armor from you.

                Cut your losses here. Just stop this line of argument.Report

              • George Turner in reply to Burt Likko says:

                Star Trek season 1, episode 28, “City on the Edge of Forever:”

                The pacifist Edith Keeler has to die.

                Listen to Spock. Follow the logic, devoid of human emotions.

                Some horrible tragedies have to happen to prevent a far worse outcome.Report

              • George Turner in reply to gregiank says:

                Then lets remove Auschwitz, Dachau, Buchenwald, and Treblinka. Just bulldoze them and build new shopping centers. We can read all about what happened there in books.

                Sites like those only serve to further antagonize Muslims. They are divisive and promote racism and bigotry.Report

              • gregiank in reply to George Turner says:

                You know who else would love to remove all those monuments to murdered Jews, Gays, Romani, etc? You know.Report

              • George Turner in reply to gregiank says:

                Muslims of course. They have plenty of Holocaust deniers, and the fabled Holocaust is what gave legitimacy to the evil Jews and their Zionist campaigns. They claim the memorials are all lies.Report

            • notme in reply to George Turner says:

              Destroying the culture and art worked well for Pol Pot and his Year Zero campaign. It didn’t change history but it sure left a lot less for folks to remember it by.Report

        • George Turner in reply to George Turner says:

          As an aside, here is the Breckinridge Memorial and the John Hunt Morgan statue

          They’re hardly more than lawn ornaments.

          But that’s too much for delicate snowflakes.Report

  26. Kolohe says:

    Another lesson learned: if your community is under siege, the police will not help you – but some good guys with guns will.Report

    • gregiank in reply to Kolohe says:

      A fair point, but it did say they were paid armed guards. Well also a Navy vet who decided to stand watch so good for him. That people need to be armed to protect themselves from heavily armed openly carrying thugs in camo Heiling is not an argument that will win over anti gun people though. And also F the cops. I’m sure they were busy but still.Report

    • gregiank in reply to Burt Likko says:

      Frum gets a lot of heat for his past but he gets it right about the deliberately chilling effect of openly carried weapons. Much BS in the various gun debates has been spilled on that. But make no mistake the purpose of bringing all those weapons/military gear was to induce fear.Report

      • George Turner in reply to gregiank says:

        Or to promote safety. Antifa has violently attacked all sorts of conservative gatherings, such as at Berkeley. AR-15’s deter that, especially AR-15’s carried by people that antifa thinks would open fire in the blink of an eye.Report

        • Troublesome Frog in reply to George Turner says:

          Fortunately, only the trustworthy people in the white supremacist march will ever have guns, so we’ll be kept safe from dangerous Antifa agitators. There will be no escalation to both sides having guns. This is a stable equilibrium that works for everybody.Report

  27. George Turner says:

    NPR PBS Maris polling on the monument issue

    Apparently the press is wildly misrepresenting how people feel. Only 27% of the public thinks the Confederate statues should be removed.

    From page 12, 4% of Americans mostly agree with the beliefs of the white supremacy movement, and only 4% of Trump supporters agree with it. More people in the Northeast than in the South agree with those beliefs. By far the strongest agreement with white supremacy was found among Latinos (7% on page 12, 11% on page 13). A higher percentage of blacks than whites agree with white supremacy. More than twice the percentage of people out West support it than in the South. On page 17 it says the strongest support from the KKK, by far, is Latino.Report

  28. Dave Regio says:

    Damon…down here…sorry

    I’m sure there are quite a number of people who aren’t commenting….having not commented much recently, especially in this post, I wouldn’t know….

    I’ve intentionally not commented because, well, what’s the point?To read through the same points and posturing about a sad incident?I get enough of it on NPR during my commute.No one is trying to change another’s mind..there is no dialogue, just posturing.I shake my head ruefully.

    I don’t comment much here anymore because political discourse doesn’t interest me and I have four or five posts written for a health and fitness series I want to publish here as I soon as I get everything as far along as I want. I’d much rather write about those subjects and I’m much smarter about them.

    There’s a lot about this comments section I don’t like and disagree with, and not one person is at fault. For example, the people referring to the people that fought for the CSA as treasonous are wrong, and George was right to correct them.

    I’d even go further and say that I couldn’t care less what the Supreme Court’s opinion on secession was, especially after the Civil War concluded. The secession question as a constitutional matter was debated for decades prior to that, and truth be told, the “nationalist” school of Webster, Story, Lincoln, Jackson, etc., the side that opposed secession, did not have the better argument. The 19th Century states rights position, which in my opinion originated from Jefferson and Madison’s Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions (as well as Madison’s Report of 1800), is closer to correct than not (it has its own flaws).

    Hell, I could have a lot of fun claiming that southern secession was not unconstitutional, digging in my heels, seeing what people come back with, and counter-argue accordingly, but I’m not here enough for conversation.

    So no, I don’t have a nationalist streak that reflexively knee-jerks against pro-Confederate arguments on the subject nor am I a left-leaning liberal that has any interest in partisan politics. The Team Red vs. Team Blue crap is for suckers. I’d rather be lifting.

    What I don’t like, and what irks me is dishonest framing, and there’s way too much of that above. Two years ago, I went after a commenter and contributor that pulled that stunt on the Golden Rice issue. It’s one thing to position an argument in the most favorable light possible but cross the line too far and it destroys any semblance of credibility and leaves me with the impression that the person in question would rather be dishonest and full of shit than attempt to engage in good faith conversation.

    That’s what’s going on above. It’s pissing me off. It denigrates the quality of this site and the people, many of whom I consider friends.

    I’m quiet most of the time but I kind of like this place, even though I’m too much of a meathead to understand what all the smart people are saying.Report