‘These contemptible little men … ‘

The condemnations are rolling in from the Republican Party’s side of the great American political divide.

U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas, weighed in with a message he delivered from the Balkans, where he is touring during the August congressional break.

Regarding the white supremacists who instigated the Charlottesville, Va., riot that resulted in the horrific death of a counter protester, Cotton referred to the neo-Nazis as “contemptible little men” who deserve the full brunt of whatever punishment the law would deliver to them.

And yet …

The nation’s Republican in chief, the president of the United States, seems to be standing by that shamefully tepid statement in which he lays the blame for the violence “on many sides.”

He refuses to call the white nationalists/racists/neo-Nazis out by name. Donald Trump refuses to do what he and others insisted Barack Obama do when talking about international terrorism; they insisted that the former president state specifically “radical Islamic terrorists.”

It’s clear to me now that whatever measures the president might take to atone for his egregious error of omission must refer to his mistake. He must acknowledge out loud — and in full voice — that he erred when he spoke of “many sides.” He had a chance to condemn the hate groups that foment the violence we witnessed but he blew it.

Anything short of a presidential mea culpa will lend utter hollowness to whatever he says now.

Do you expect him to do such a thing? Neither do I.

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