This doesn’t happen every day.
A noteworthy former (allegedly) member of the Ku Klux Klan applauded the president of the United States for his statement equating hate groups with those who protested their presence in Charlottesville, Va.
The reaction from the Joint Chiefs of Staff, I must add, was compelling and quite stunning in its own right.
David Duke gave a proverbial high-five to Donald John Trump because the president reverted to his original response to the Charlottesville riot. He at first blamed the violence on “many sides”; then he read a prepared statement in which he singled out the Klan, the white supremacists and the neo-Nazis for the bloody violence. The second statement drew a rebuke from Duke, who expressed disappointment in the president.
Trump wasn’t finished. He walked into the Trump Tower lobby on Tuesday and then proceeded to level a barrage of fire against the “alt-left,” and said “both sides” were responsible for the riot.
Duke was happy — yet again. He issued a statement praising the president for fulfilling the promise of his election.
Enter the Joint Chiefs of Staff. To a man they issued individual statements condemning racism, bigotry, intolerance and hatred. They said such conduct and attitudes were intolerable in their respective service branches. Their statements looked for all the world to be a direct repudiation of the idiocy that flew out of the commander in chief’s mouth at Trump Tower.
Then Joint Chiefs chairman, Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, weighed in and said bigotry won’t be tolerated in any of the military services.
Is it a coincidence, then, that White House chief of staff John Kelly — also a retired Marine general — looked as though he was watching a train wreck as it was happening the other day while the president was delivering his remarks?