Patterico's Pontifications


Dems: Trump Is Responsible for the El Paso Shooting

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:59 am

Democrats have made it very clear that they believe Donald Trump (or should I say Ttump) to be responsible for the El Paso massacre:

I believe that if you don’t incite violence against a group, your criticism of the activities of that group (such as illegal immigrants), at least when that criticism is truthful, cannot be held morally responsible in any way for violence against that group. (Deliberate slander or libel might be a different story.) Even if that rhetoric is vigorous and hyperbolic, and uses terminology I would not use (e.g. “invasion”), I can’t say the rhetoric is morally responsible for a shooting. The shooter is. And to a far lesser degree, anyone who publicly suggested we should shoot illegals might be morally responsible as well.

If Trump were a normal president who opposed illegal immigration, I would simply note that AOC, Booker, and Francis O’Rourke are trying to suppress criticism of illegal immigration by suggesting that such criticism leads to violence. I worry about that.

Of course, Trump is not normal, and he has complicated the matter by laughing when people at a rally of his joke about shooting illegal immigrants.

It is another way that sound positions become discredited when they come into contact with this man.

The sooner we can get him out of our politics the better.

P.S. While the Toledo Dayton shooter did not leave a manifesto clearly documenting his motives the way the El Paso shooter did, he seems to have been a big lefty — ironically favoring gun control, tweeting to Rob Portman after the Parkland school shooting: “@robportman hey rob. How much did they pay you to look the other way? 17 kids are dead. If not now, when?”

When is the last time you saw AOC condemning Antifa? If you answered “never” you get the kewpie doll.

Although we don’t know whether the Dayton shooter’s lefty social media actions, some just before the shooting, are related to his motive, AOC and company might want to be careful attributing blame to people who share the political positions of one mass shooter, lest that logic come back to bite them in the rear.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

66 Responses to “Dems: Trump Is Responsible for the El Paso Shooting”

  1. Goldberg at NYT just called trump a “White Nationalist who supports Terrorism”

    Response from National Review and the Bulwark? Another attack on Trump.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  2. Trump denounces White nationalism and racism
    D’s Respond by attacking Trump for supporting white nationalism and racism

    Conclusion: Trump is lowering the civil discourse. Can’t we all get along!

    rcocean (1a839e)

  3. It’s a case of shared vocabulary. The white supremacists talk about other “races” invading the US. Anti-immigrationists talk about immigrants invading the US. They use the same word, but mean two different things about it. Still, the person who wanders in off the street might not recognize the difference.

    kishnevi (9ce8ca)

  4. If Trump had a conscience, he’d be disturbed that a racist would adopt his “invaders” and “invasion” rhetoric to justify murdering brown-skinned people near the southern border. Six times his manifesto used “invasion” or the like.

    Paul Montagu (35419a)

  5. “AOC and company might want to be careful attributing blame to people who share the political positions of one mass shooter, lest that logic come back to bite them in the rear.

    The entire history of socialism/communism is filled with politicos blaming someone for something to bring them down only to have it bite them in the rear later; if they haven’t learned that by now they never will.

    Plus 90% of the press is helping them pile on, doing everything they can to get him out of our politics as soon as possible. The Russian Collusion coup attempt failed, welcome to the next try.

    harkin (58d012)

  6. I guess neither Party or their followers care about hypocrisy now. It’s much easier to ignore principles and be pragmatic about life.

    DRJ (15874d)

  7. So is LBJ responsible for LK and RFK?

    Is Bill Clinton’s anti-immigration remarks, and those of Obama–are they also responsible for the build up of tensions? Or does that only work when republicans are president?

    Harcourt Fenton Mudd (6b1442)

  8. I know it’s hard to divorce the practical from the human. Unfair attacks on Trump irk my sense of justice too. (Except when they come from me, ha-ha.)

    BUT …

    What company would tolerate a CEO as dysfunctional as Trump whose only talent is to set half the shareholders against the other half?
    What military unit would have a commander as dysfunctional as Trump whose only talent is to find enemies for them to hate?
    What restaurant would tolerate a chef as dysfunctional as Trump who opens a can of dog food and calls it beef stew?

    nk (dbc370)

  9. Of course there is hypocrisy in the blame game — on both sides. But the president has the biggest microphone, and he’s supposed to speak for the nation as a whole. What the president says publicly does matter, more than what other politicians say.

    Trump fans were giddy about Trump’s “unfiltered” talk, and they’ve cheered him for “saying what we’re thinking.” But whenever his words are too troubling or hard to defend, the apologists say that his words are irrelevant, and that anyone who thinks otherwise is just a hater or a deranged person who needs to “grow up.”

    Radegunda (be5f68)

  10. Paul

    I would agree with you except at this point in his life, Trump is likely to remain a speaker with an off the cuff hyperbolic style.

    The word police regularly remind people that words matter, facts matter and then swoop in and interpret words and even facts through their own lens and then impute the worst possible definition. Pundits play this game all day every day and many are shameless and/or completely lack introspection.

    steveg (354706)

  11. Trump denounces White nationalism and racism
    D’s Respond by attacking Trump for supporting white nationalism and racism

    Conclusion: Trump is lowering the civil discourse. Can’t we all get along!

    rcocean (1a839e) — 8/6/2019 @ 8:15 am

    Let’s not offer such a profoundly weak argument.

    Trump isn’t responsible for the shooting. But your defense is deceptive, because you left out the first step, where Trump, for years, and also quite recently, used racist political arguments. It’s just a fact that he is doing it. Does he intend to inspire insane racists to murder minority ‘invaders’? Of course not. That doesn’t help Trump, so why would he want it? But is he being a bad leader? Absolutely.

    Is it fair to blame a political opponent when a nutjob does something horrible, thinking that it’s for their common purpose? No. But Trump still sucks at his job, and I’m getting tired of it. For all the zealous defense Trump gets of literally anything he does or fails to do, the results speak for themselves. Immigration was a powerful issue. It is becoming a third rail issue.

    Dustin (6d7686)

  12. But words do matter in a civil society that hopes laws (words) will lessen the need for force.

    DRJ (15874d)

  13. Last year or so someone asked what topics we were interested in going forward into the 2020 election. I tossed out Antifa as one of my bigger concerns and got some abuse for it.

    I still think the FBI should try to rein in the shock troops of the left and also get some of the leadership of alt right groups in line.
    If Antifa is allowed to attack Trump rally goers, and if the alt right are allowed to torment them, it could be a violent election year and the big loser would be the 90% of American voters who just want a better life and maybe just disagree on who can best deliver that.

    The other big winners would be Russia, China.

    Trump is always being told he needs to disavow the alt-right and racists, but you never hear the media hounding a democrat to denounce antifa

    steveg (354706)

  14. steveg, I agree. Democrats should be asked often about antifa.

    Dustin (6d7686)

  15. Trump denounces White nationalism and racism
    D’s Respond by attacking Trump for supporting white nationalism and racism

    Conclusion: Trump is lowering the civil discourse. Can’t we all get along!

    rcocean (1a839e) — 8/6/2019 @ 8:15 am

    You missed the steps where Trump encouraged white nationalist ideas, expressed sympathy for neo-nazi, and repeatedly described immigrants as a sub-human menace.

    Time123 (353edd)

  16. Patterico I think we agree that Leadership matters. A good leader can influence the people who follow and look up to them. They can’t control those people. The leader isn’t responsible for their every action. When they do something horrible it’s not the leader’s fault beyond the steps they took or should have taken as a leader. But part of what they can do is define what behaviors are acceptable and required among their followers.

    AOC is a leader to the far left of the party. They don’t work for her but they look up to her and they listen to her words. She can influence some of them. Those people can influence those around them. If they speak out and express disapproval the next time ANTIFA starts to assault a right wing journalist it can have an impact. Even the lack of encouragement can help slow down the more unbalanced among them by creating social stigma about their actions. I want the media to push AOC to speak out. I want her to spend some of her political capital with the ANTIFA crowd by encouraging them to obey the law.

    I don’t think AOC will do that. I think she’ll say enough to ‘check the box’ that she’s ‘disavowed violence’. But much like Trump I don’t think she has the courage risk diminishing her supports by alienating any of her supporters by pushing back in a strong way on their actions. Unlike Trump, I think her ability to do this even if she wanted to is limited. She lacks his stature and reach and it will be a lot harder for her to get that message out.

    Time123 (ae9d89)

  17. The word police regularly remind people that words matter, facts matter and then swoop in and interpret words and even facts through their own lens and then impute the worst possible definition.

    steveg (354706) — 8/6/2019 @ 9:20 am

    I’ll grant that “word police” are wont to find “dog whistles” etc. in perfectly benign words and phrases. On the other hand, Trump apologists have shown a pattern of claiming that the clear, literal meaning of Trump’s words is not what he really meant.
    “Take him seriously, but not literally” is a faux-serious way of trying to wash away the troubling aspects of Trump’s words. It’s a mantra resting on the proposition that what Trump says is not a reflection of what he thinks or believes or cares about.

    Radegunda (be5f68)

  18. When people have been insisting that Trump’s spontaneous comments and tweets shouldn’t be taken too seriously as an indication of what’s really in his heart and mind, they have no ground to be offended if anyone doubts the sincerity of the carefully scripted comments that he reads on occasions like this.

    Radegunda (c8091b)

  19. I included some links from Jeff Goldstein and Aaron Worthing who seem to looking at things with some detachment, but the two minute hate is more satisfying until an Alexandria type incident happens

    Narciso (72d34b)

  20. Teleprompter Trump is an imposter.

    We all know where to find the “realDonaldTrump”…

    Dave (1bb933)

  21. narciso, please provide the links again as I didn’t see them.

    Both of those guys are great writers.

    Dustin (6d7686)

  22. Trump denounces racism 500 times since 2016. Democrats call Trump a racist 5,000 times since 2016.

    Support for Democrat attacks? Zero facts. Just self-interest and a desire for power.

    Other R Presidents and POTUS Candidates called Racist by Democrat Media and Pols since 1972: Nixon, Reagan, Ford, Bush I, Dole, McCain, Romney and Bush II.

    I sense a pattern.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  23. Everytime the liberal media smears Trump as a Racist, the Bulwark, Rod Dreher, David French, and National Review repeat the smear. But with a “Conservative Sensibility”.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  24. Rod Dreher? Please cite an instance. He’s the original crunchy-con (environmentalist sensibilities as justification for restrictionism on immigration). Of course he gets a lot of mileage from having bought a house in East Dallas back in his Dallas Morning News days.

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  25. The word police regularly remind people that words matter, facts matter and then swoop in and interpret words and even facts through their own lens and then impute the worst possible definition. Pundits play this game all day every day and many are shameless and/or completely lack introspection.

    I agree that partisans will twist facts and the meanings of words, but that shouldn’t be argument in support of the notion that words and facts don’t matter. When it comes to Trump (or any other president), he’s judged on what he does and what he says. Given his position as Leader of the Free World, what he says is important, more important than what any other human on the planet utters. Trump’s words and his facts (or “facts”) do matter. Using bogus hyperbole like “invaders” and “invasion” matters.

    Paul Montagu (35419a)

  26. You’re right RC, until Trump signs a affidavit live on national TV and swears live on camera that he is a racist there’s no way to know if he’s racist or not.

    Time123 (89dfb2)

  27. Dreher thinks you can retreat from the left minions, that wasn’t true in the soviet union, communist china, north Vietnam, cuba, well you get the notion,

    the shooter’s beliefs precede trump’s, his is a coffee clatch of environmental extremism, anti capitalism as well as ethnic chauvinism, now lets not forget the goal is too ‘not let a crisis go to waste’ re firearms restrictions,

    narciso (d1f714)

  28. Does “ethnic chauvinism” mean “racism”?

    Time123 (89dfb2)

  29. I agree, Paul Montagu. Unfortunately, both Trump and his loyalists don’t seem to be able to decide on whether he means what he says (including on Twitter) or if it’s some very inside ball that aren’t privy to when it looks really bad for him They can’t have it both ways. Either everything the President of the United States says matters, or it doesn’t. No cherry picking. Perhaps if presidents kept that at the forefront of their minds, there would be more thought and consideration given before opening their mouths. Of course for someone like Trump, that’s incredibly hard to do.

    Dana (d0c8a1)

  30. … the Bulwark, Rod Dreher, David French, and National Review repeat the smear.

    This is one of the oddest memes of the Trump era: the notion that people like Dreher and French can’t possibly have arrived at a judgment unflattering to Trump through their own analysis of Trump’s words and actions. They’re simply parroting “smears” by the Fake News media.

    In Trumpworld, the only way to be regarded as objective and unbiased (and not “deranged”) is to say nice things about Trump, always.

    Radegunda (c8091b)

  31. the bulwark’s pretzel logic is something to behold, Dreher often misunderstands when a target is under attack, thinking one can be virtuous enough to avoid scrutiny, that’s not how it works,

    narciso (d1f714)

  32. Barbara boxer, reminds us that standup comedy is dead, in the bay area, and its turtles all the way down, re talent in that region,

    narciso (d1f714)

  33. I hate big government. Government is now our Daddy, and when government is Daddy, then hatred is bound to break out amongst the children vying for treats and favors(see Cain and Abel). A story old as time.

    I hope we are not going there, but I think we are going there. When America gets sick to death of these shootings or a Great Depression occurs, they will choose a strong man to set us straight. Sad.

    Patricia (3363ec)

  34. Try blaming the helmsman, Captain, sir!

    If nobody buys it, use Plan B…

    “Take the tow line; defective equipment, no more, no less.” – Captain Queeg [Humphrey Bogart] ‘The Caine Mutiny’ 1954

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  35. @22. Racist Reagan was one, as was The Big Dick; as the Nixon tapes revealed.

    ‘Archie Bunker’ was a bigoted racist as well; he was from Queens, too.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  36. 36: Don’t forget LBJ.

    Radegunda (c8091b)

  37. …Ee killed aah JFK (as mg might hear from time to time)

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  38. #35

    Reagan was contemptuous of the 1970 version of African countries and their politicians, rather than a straight up Ku Kluxer. He expressed it in a racist way, though, so I understand the twitter jubilation.

    If you played Jimmy Carter tapes from 1970, you’d get that same racist vibe.

    Appalled (d07ae6)

  39. well they supported a country that gorged on it’s citizens, like pez, in the case of the peoples republic of china, over an imperfect authoritarian regime in Taiwan,

    narciso (d1f714)

  40. @25. Might reconsider use of the phrase ‘leader of the Free World’– it’s a bit of a Cold War antique. If Uncle Sam turns around, he’ll see very few are ‘following’ anymore as more and more are simply shrugging– and marching past into the future.

    Expect the dollar to be dropped as the preferred reserve currency by 2050, too. Just as it happened to the pound in 1945, which essentially marked the end of Britain’s word leadership status. Gee, they once had an ’empire’ and a really expense navy, too. 😉

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  41. Rod Dreher? Please cite an instance.

    Good Lord. Rod is CONSTANTLY, playing the “a plaque on both your houses” game. He accepts all the smears against Trump, but then claims he doesn’t like the Liberal Democrats either. He flips and flops, he wiffs and waffles. The one thing he NEVER does is support Trump and clearly attack the Democrats. I must say after Trayvon Martin, the Covington Boys, Jeremy bleach and lynch rope in Chicago, etc. he’s finally stopped mindlessly joining EVERY liberal lynch mob. But he still NEVER is skeptical.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  42. But I’ll give Rod credit. He’s very honest about who he is and where’s he’s been politically and Religiously. He’s written a lot about his family, his background, and his changing beliefs. At one point, maybe a year ago, he said he’d be a Democrat Party member today if the D’s would just believe in religious freedom and stop attacking Christians. IOW, he’s an odd duck – for the internet. A social conservative who’s liberal on everything else.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  43. Reagan and Nixon show why trying to appease liberals NEVER Works. Nixon didnt’ just support civil rights, he started Affirmative action. Result: He’s been labeled a racist who started the “Southern Strategy”.

    Reagan was a New Deal Democrat. Ike was the first R he ever voted for. If he was against the ’64 civil rights bill it was only because he thought it was “Federal Government” overreach. the man didn’t have a racist bone in his body. Or anti-gay or anti-anyone. That hasn’t stopped the D’s from labeling him a secret KKK member.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  44. LOL – should be a Plague on both your houses. Although most houses should have plaques.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  45. I think it is human nature to interpret words charitably when we feel we know the “other”, or we get the “other” because perhaps they construct thoughts and sentences similarly to ourselves.

    I think Trump is unafraid to speak racially, he doesn’t allow people he disagrees with to hide behind media creations like the “four women of color”. I think Trump is a nationalist in the sense that he put our nation first, but he’s not a white nationalist.

    Bush let the media brand him as the President that doesn’t care about black people over Katrina.
    McCain was so afraid of being called racist that he ran a campaign where he refused to get after Obama, never went on the offensive, same went for Romney. Romney never fought back much either.
    That type of behavior is not in Trumps nature, and I’m sure watching how the media and their surrogates the Democrats attacked and encountered only feeble resistance only further solidified Trumps conviction that his way was the only way to handle them.
    A less charitable view might be more along the lines of “when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail” although it seems clear to me that Trump has all types of blunt instruments, axes and broadswords in his arsenal… though clearly no scalpels

    steveg (354706)

  46. Jay Nordlinger had a good piece on Reagan and racism. Did the Gipper make a racist comment? Yep he did and it is lamentable. Was he a racist? Looking at the whole record, the whole life of the man, one has to say no (and I say this as someone who is not a particular fan of his policies).

    Worth a read if you have 3 minutes:

    JRH (52aed3)

  47. When DSM 6 comes out, I look forward to finding out that owning a gun has become a mental disorder

    steveg (354706)

  48. Trump is a nationalist who supports all things American, which he’s admitted.

    Focusing on the best interests of America used to be thought the primary responsibility of a president and Congress.

    Colonel Haiku (c49ed8)

  49. A Mexican protester who confronted migrants in his community said something to the effect of “Donald Trump is right, this is an invasion.” This kind of rhetoric is relatively common everywhere.

    Why didn’t young Americans go on a random killing spree in the 50s when racism ruled the day? Vietnam disillusioned the youth in the 70s but there weren’t this level of mass killing by single individual back then.

    The declining of violent crime speaks to the better quality of life, but there’s an unseen moral decay and family breakdown in the nation. People feel alone, depressed and sit hours in traffic. Some people turn to opioids, bury themselves in social media (toxic tribalism galore) or watch hours of streaming shows. I’ll never understand the appeal of binge watching.

    lee (b56b65)

  50. lee

    check this out:

    Dayton shooters first date with a girl included him showing a video of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting. She chalked it up to bipolar disorder

    That type of behavior coupled with known mental issues should be reported.

    I realize that hindsight is 20/20 but a little foresight might save lives

    steveg (354706)

  51. but he’s not a white nationalist.

    He took for granted that people of not-white-enough hue must belong to a different country, to which they should “go back” and fix things — even though three of them were born here, and the fourth was brought here as a child and has been a U.S. citizen longer than Trump’s latest trophy wife has.

    Trump apologists have not been able to offer a convincing, intellectually honest, non-racial explanation for why he assumed that their real country was not the United States.

    Radegunda (c8091b)

  52. except those four were exalted by Pelosi (illconsidered) rollingstone, snl, for their radical politics and their ethnicity,

    narciso (d1f714)

  53. Doesn’t matter what Pelosi exalted them for. The pertinent fact is that Donald Trump viewed them as essentially foreigners.
    In America, being of non-European ethnicity and having radical politics doesn’t make someone a foreigner.

    Radegunda (c8091b)

  54. It also doesn’t matter how dim a view I might take of those women – their words, their politics. They are still Americans, and Donald Trump has pushed many people who strongly disagree with them into defending their moral right not to be viewed as foreigners who belong to some other country.

    Radegunda (c8091b)

  55. Jay Nordlinger had a good piece on Reagan and racism

    Oh Lord. I don’t need a never-trumper “explaining” why Reagan isn’t REALLY a racist – although he was a little.

    I’ll just stick with “Patti Davis”.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  56. 57 — So,anyone who doesn’t love Donald Trump can’t possibly be credible on any subject whatsoever. Right?
    But what does Patti Davis think about Donald Trump?
    Why does it offend some people so very deeply to know that other people don’t much like or respect Donald Trump? It’s really a very weird mindset.

    Radegunda (c8091b)

  57. It’s really a very weird mindset.

    I think it’s because, deep down, supporting and defending him religiously (and becoming more and more like him in the process) makes them feel dirty. How could it not?

    And so they lash out at everyone who draws their attention to the ugly truth about themselves.

    Dave (1bb933)

  58. Survey says!

    Colonel Haiku (c49ed8)

  59. ^—- Exhibit “A”

    Dave (1bb933)

  60. ^^ Rated at 2.2 effectiveness ^^

    Colonel Haiku (c49ed8)

  61. The sad, haunting truth…

    Colonel Haiku (c49ed8)

  62. CH @49

    Trump is a nationalist who supports all things American, which he’s admitted.

    Based on what he’s said and done i don’t think he believes non-white non-Christians fully count as American. I’m sure we disagree about that. But I just wanted to point it out.

    Time123 (235fc4)

  63. @53, yes, and if you want to call them Socialists with terrible policies I’m with you. If you want to point out that all they do is talk I’m with you. If you want to encourage more centrist democrats to run against them in the primary I’m with you. If you want to criticize their lack of leadership on leftist violence I’m with you.

    I’m not with you when you tell 4 american citizens to ‘go back where they came from’.

    Time123 (235fc4)

  64. Dave,

    think it’s because, deep down, supporting and defending him religiously (and becoming more and more like him in the process) makes them feel dirty.

    I think it’s because Tump/Maga is part of their identity and any criticism of Tump/Maga is an attack on their identity and they react accordingly. They don’t love Trump because of his policies, they’ve proven that by supporting his flip flops with the equal passion. They support him for his identity politics.

    It’s analogous to a hard core sports fan who gets legitimately angry, really truly angry, when their team is criticized or get’s a bad call.

    Time123 (235fc4)

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