Tag Archives: David Duke

Call out the president by name, GOP leaders

We’ve heard a lot of chatter about the responsibility of leaders to name their adversaries by name, to call out those who act irresponsibly or reprehensibly.

Republicans implored Democratic President Barack Obama to label international terrorists as “radical Muslims.” Obama declined during his time in the White House, saying we must not suggest the terrorists are associated with a great religion.

Just recently, we heard others say that a Republican president must call out the instigators in the Charlottesville riot by their names: white supremacists, neo-Nazis and Ku Klux Klansmen. Donald Trump at first declined to do so, then he did.

Today, though, he reverted back to his initial response to the violence in Virginia, blaming it on “both sides.” He sought to attach some sort of moral equivalency between the racists who were protesting the removal of a Confederate statue with the counter protesters.

The president put on a shameful display today at Trump Tower.

So it now falls on Republicans across the land to call out the president — a fellow Republican — by name. There’s been a lot of social media chatter from GOP leaders about how we must not tolerate hate groups, racists, bigotry, anti-Semitism. It’s no longer enough to denounce these hideous groups. It’s time to denounce the president who today demonstrated what he truly believes about these hate mongers.

They now need to take the next step. These Republican leaders — including members of Congress — need to say: Donald Trump, you are consorting with hate groups and we will not tolerate such disgraceful behavior from the president of the United States.

I mean, c’mon. Are they going to seriously tolerate a word of good cheer for the president’s performance today from David Duke … of all people?

Let’s try again, Mr. President

How about this: David Duke has given Donald Trump a chance to rectify a seriously fluffed response to something Duke said.

Duke is the former Ku Klux Klan grand dragon who’s been in Charlottesville, Va., to participate in a white nationalist protest against attempts to remove Confederate statues.

Duke called the protest in Charlottesville a sort of “victory,” saying that Trump’s election has given people such as the Klansman a voice in current policy discussions. “That’s why we voted for Donald Trump,” Duke said.

Let’s flash back for just a moment. Duke aligned himself during the 2016 presidential campaign with Donald Trump’s “law and order” rhetoric. The Republican candidate was asked to respond to comments from Duke. Trump said “I don’t know Duke” and said he didn’t even know anything about him, his history, let alone his affiliation with the KKK.

Astounding, yes? Sure it is.

Here’s chance for the president of the United States to offer a full-throated condemnation of all that this fire-breathing extremist stands for.

I just wonder, though, if the president has studied up on David Duke and knows any more about him now than what he said he knew during the campaign.

Or was he just lying?

Hoping, believing voters will heed their better instincts

Donald Trump gestures while speaking surrounded by people whose families were victims of illegal immigrants on July 10, 2015 while meeting with the press at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, where some shared their stories of the loss of a loved one. The US business magnate Trump, who is running for president in the 2016 presidential elections, angered members of the Latino community with recent comments but says he will win the Latino vote. AFP PHOTO / FREDERIC J. BROWN        (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)

I’ve been watching those polls. They alarm me.

The presidential campaign that was supposed to be a lock for Hillary Rodham Clinton has turned into something quite different. It’s becoming a nail-biter, as Donald J. Trump has closed the gap to within a whisker.

I worry for our country no matter who wins this election. Whether it’s the Democrat Clinton or the so-called Republican Trump, my concern lies in the unrest that has been fomented by the GOP nominee.

Look, the choice doesn’t thrill me. Trump’s rise in the public opinion surveys, though, suggests that Trump has tapped into something foreboding and grim. He keeps yapping about the “failure” of our national leadership. For the life of me, I cannot fathom what in the world he’s talking about.

Failure to do what? To stop the economic free-fall that was underway in 2009? To prevent a major terror attack on our soil while killing bad guys on the battlefield?

As I have read and absorbed all the hideous statements that have poured out of Trump’s mouth since the day he declared his presidential candidacy, I keep asking myself: Do Americans really and truly want someone of this caliber serving as their head of state?

How does one truly endorse a political figure who:

— Says a U.S. senator is a war hero only because he got captured by the enemy?

— Mocks a reporter’s physical disability?

— Says women should be punished for obtaining an abortion?

— Fails to disavow immediately the endorsement of a known hater, one-time Ku Klux Klan grand dragon/wizard David Duke?

— Proposes an unconstitutional ban on Muslims seeking to enter this country?

— Proposes to build a wall across our southern border and then demands that another sovereign nation pay for it?

— Says a distinguished American judge cannot preside over a case involving Trump University simply because his parents are Mexican immigrants.

— Denigrates the U.S. military as a “disgrace”?

— Says he “knows more about ISIS than the generals, OK?”

— Changes his policy views hourly.

Stop me before my fingers fall off typing these examples.

Yes, I know about the trust issues that plague Clinton’s campaign. I know about the concerns that many voters have that she’s not entirely transparent and truthful.

I wish Clinton would speak to us more candidly and answer the difficult questions that media representatives pose to her.

But given the choice that confronts us, my sincere hope is that Americans are going to realize the profound consequences this country faces by electing someone with zero understanding of the complexities of the office he is seeking.

‘Party of Lincoln’ … indeed

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I cannot fathom what transpired today in that church in Detroit.

Donald J. Trump, of all people, is now seeking to don the mantle as the nominee of “the party of Abraham Lincoln.”

Yes, indeed. The Republicans’ presidential nominee — the guy who’s been endorsed by white supremacist David Duke — now seeks to make nice with African-Americans.

It was an amazing thing to see, Trump speaking to the black congregants seated before him.

“Our nation is too divided. We talk past each other, not to each other, and those who seek office do not do enough to step into the community and learn what is going on,” Trump said.

“I’m here today to learn so that we can together remedy injustice in any form, and so we can also remedy economics so African-American communities can benefit economically through jobs and income.”

Amazing, yes? This is the very same fellow who declared that African-Americans are enrolled in inferior schools, who live in neighborhoods that are less safe than combat zones in Afghanistan. He has infuriated minorities of all demographic groups with his incendiary rhetoric and by his abject failure to condemn in the strongest possible language any comments of support from infamous former Ku Klux Klansman David Duke.

http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/294401-trump-claims-party-of-lincoln-mantle-in-speech-at-black

Now he wants voters to believe he is going to unite Americans, that he intends to do right by all of our citizens.

Trump steps into a church, makes a speech and then disappears. And that is supposed to be a demonstration of a politician who vows to step “into the community and learn what is going on”?

Unbelievable.

Ex-Klansman polls better than Trump among blacks? Wow!

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David Duke is polling better among African-Americans than Donald J. Trump.

That’s the lead of a Washington Post story about the U.S. Senate candidacy of a former Ku Klux Klansman.

Uh, that would be Duke.

Part of me should be shocked — shocked, I tell ya! — to know that a certifiable hater would do better than the Republican presidential nominee among black Americans.

Here’s the Washington Post story.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/08/05/david-dukes-getting-more-support-from-black-voters-in-his-race-than-donald-trump-is-in-his/

Duke is running as a Republican for the Senate seat in Louisiana, where he’s been a fixture for years on the fringes of the political mainstream. He has served in the Louisiana Legislature. I’ve never met the guy, although I did venture once across the state line to cover his unsuccessful bid to become governor. That was in 1991.

That’s where another part of me finds this report not quite so surprising. Dismaying, yes. Surprising? I’ll tell you a quick story.

I was working in Beaumont, Texas, at the Enterprise in the early 1990s. Duke was running for governor against the colorful incumbent “Cajun Edwin” Edwards. I thought I’d drive a few miles across the Sabine River into Louisiana to take an up-close look at the political climate there.

I went to Vinton, La., got out of my car and started visiting with plain ol’ folks about the campaign.

I met an African-American woman who told me — and I am not making this up — that she was going to vote for Duke. I was stunned to hear it. I recall today that she recognized the disbelief in my face and explained herself.

Duke, she said, sought to rid the welfare rolls of slackers. She was tired of those who were living off the government dole while doing nothing to improve themselves or their condition in life.

It did not matter to her that Duke once was a grand wizard of the KKK, an organization with a long, sordid and bloody history of violence against African-Americans, Jews and Third World immigrants.

This woman was living in the here and now and, by golly, David Duke was her man!

Does David Duke deserve a place in the U.S. Senate, where he would be voting on laws intended to govern all Americans? In my view, absolutely not! It’s not my call to make.

Still, the idea that this guy — of all guys running for Congress — would poll better among African-Americans than a major-party presidential nominee simply makes my head spin.

David Duke enters Senate contest

Former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard and former neo-Nazi David Duke, who is running for governor in Louisiana, is shown, Oct. 25, 1991. (AP Photo/Bill Haber)

David Duke occupies a unique place in contemporary political culture.

He’s a fringe candidate for public office who somehow seems to garner publicity he doesn’t deserve.

So … here goes.

The former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard is going to run for a U.S. Senate seat from Louisiana. He’s been on people’s political radar for a long time, dating back to when he served in the Louisiana state legislature. I remember covering his unsuccessful campaign for governor back in the early 1990s.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2016/07/22/former-kkk-leader-david-duke-citing-trump-announces-senate-bid/

But here’s the kicker: He has emerged as a strong backer of Republican presidential nominee Donald J. Trump, who he says is speaking to the very issues that Duke has raised for years.

Duke is a champion of what he calls “European rights,” which is code for white people’s rights … as if white folks have been denied any rights since the founding of the republic.

As for his Klan affiliation, well, I have no compelling need to revisit the Klan’s bloody and disgraceful history. You know what it means.

Let’s remember too that Trump was remarkably slow to disavow Duke’s “endorsement” of his candidacy earlier this year. Trump said something about not knowing anything about white supremacist groups and didn’t even know who David Duke is — which likely makes him the only human being in America who is ignorant of Duke’s history.

To this very day, Trump has yet to issue anything close to a condemnation of the Ku Klux Klan, or its membership — be they current or former.

Will the ex-Klansman make it to the U.S. Senate? Well, he’s one of several candidates running for the seat that’s being vacated by Republican David Vitter.

My guess is that Duke won’t make the cut.

But he’ll continue to have people talking about him.

Time to condemn racists, too

trump mormons

Donald J. Trump isn’t bashful about condemning groups or people with which he has issues.

*  Illegal immigrants? They’re “rapists, murderers, drug dealers. And there’s a few good ones, I’m sure,” he has said.

* Radical Islamic terrorists? He wants to ban all Muslims from entering the country just to be sure that none of those terrorists sneak in.

* “Politically correct” rhetoric? Why, he just cannot stand those who hide behind his version of “political correctness.”

What about racists? White supremacists?

When he was asked about statements from longtime Klansman David Duke that seemed to support the Republican candidate’s views, Trump said he “didn’t know” Duke; he said he didn’t know about white supremacists.

And then, just recently, when the crap hit the fan over an ad that featured a picture of Democratic candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton, a pile of $100 bills and a symbol that looked to many of us like a Star of David, Trump took the ad down. Critics jumped on the ad as an anti-Semitic statement. Then we learned that the ad first appeared on a white supremacist website.

Trump has yet to condemn Duke — other than to say he “condemns Duke.” And he has yet to issue anything resembling a declaration of condemnation of those groups.

Is the GOP nominee-to-be a flaming racist? I won’t say “yes.”

It is fair and reasonable, though, to wonder just why he doesn’t condemn those individuals and hate groups with the same zeal he condemns others.

Come on, man! I know you can do it.

If you want to.

Trump confounds foes on all sides

trump and carson

Just how wacky is this presidential campaign?

I cannot identify any single source, but it seems as though we can find some element of that wackiness in this scenario.

Donald J. Trump is getting pounded by foes on both ends of the spectrum as he continues to lead the way among the Republican Party presidential candidates.

Consider this, for instance.

Intellectual conservatives say Trump isn’t one of them. They point to his statements in favor of a woman’s right to choose an abortion; they take note of his stance in favor of universal health care; they question why he has said President Bush “lied” the nation into fighting the Iraq War.

He’s not a true Republican, let alone a conservative Republican, which is where the party establishment has been leaning for the past decade or two.

The party establishment cannot stomach the idea of Trump being the party nominee. They fear what that would mean for the party’s control of the U.S. Senate and in the many statewide races across the country. Trump cannot possibly lead the Republican slate of candidates, they say.

Then we have those on the other end. I’m one of those folks.

Trump’s public presence is a ghastly reminder of how ignorant he is about government. He doesn’t understand the limits of the presidency. Trump’s stated intention is to do all manner of things by himself, or so one could be led to assume.

Many of us are horrified at the insults he has hurled: at a TV news anchor, at disabled people, at a U.S. senator’s distinguished military service, at voters of Iowa, at all of his political foes, at Hispanics.

He recently actually threatened the speaker of the House of Representatives, fellow Republican Paul Ryan, by saying he could pay a price if he and Trump don’t get along.

And, oh yes, there’s that feigned ignorance of who ex-Klansman David Duke is and what the organization to which he once belonged stands for.

Those on the right and those on the left cannot stand this guy.

But he’s leading the race for the Republican Party presidential nomination. Who’s voting for him?

Evangelical voters are giving him a pass for his acknowledged extramarital affairs. Hard-core Republicans are backing him because he “tells it like it is.”

They’re fed up with “politics as usual.”

Well, what they’re likely to get with Donald Trump is a brand new kind of politics never before seen.

You want wackiness? This guy is delivering it.

 

Trump now challenges the speaker of the House

donald-trump-1a64c2eda04ee51d

House Speaker Paul Ryan today laid out an interesting challenge to the Republican Party’s leading presidential candidate.

He said Donald J. Trump needs to condemn the politics and policies of the Ku Klux Klan, which Trump has failed to do with anything resembling clarity. The Republican Party, said the GOP speaker, does not stand for bigotry, hatred and racism.

Trump’s response?

He said he doesn’t know the speaker but expects to get along with him once the two men get acquainted. If they don’t, said Trump, then Ryan could have some trouble.

Whoa!

Let’s hold on.

As MSNBC commentator Lawrence O’Donnell noted this evening, the speaker of the House of Representatives has far more power than the president of the United States. Thus, the GOP frontrunner needs to take care if he’s going to “threaten” the Man of the House.

Why? The House generates all tax legislation. Plus, as O’Donnell noted, speakers of the House have the ability to make life quite uncomfortable for presidents. Think of what the House did to President Nixon during the Watergate scandal; think also of what the House did to President Clinton during the Lewinsky scandal. Nixon nearly got impeached; Clinton actually was impeached.

Donald Trump needs to learn to make nice. Then again, if he had any understanding of how government actually works, he would know better than to threaten the man who runs one half of a co-equal branch of government.

 

 

Here’s a little info about David Duke, Mr. Trump

duke-firstdraftSUB-tmagArticle

David Duke once was a former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.

You’ve heard of the KKK, right? They hate African-Americans, Asians, Latinos, non-Christians. They have burned crosses. They have killed people.

It’s an organization from which one cannot ever really escape, unless one does something demonstrable: such as disavow their previous association with the group; condemn its actions categorically.

David Duke — one-time Louisiana state legislator and gubernatorial candidate — hasn’t done that.

Duke, though, has endorsed Donald J. Trump’s platform on which he is standing as he runs for the Republican presidential nomination. He hasn’t endorsed Trump, per se. He just likes the things Trump is saying on the stump.

I’ll take a leap here to presume he means primarily the things Trump says about building a wall across our southern border and banning all Muslims from entering this country.

Trump, though, hasn’t distanced himself from the former grand wizard — Or is it grand dragon? I can’t keep those titles straight.

Instead, Trump says he doesn’t know anything about Duke.

Doesn’t know anything? Holy cow, man! He’s been in all the papers. Here’s how the New York Times reported it: “Well, just so you understand, I don’t know anything about David Duke,” Mr. Trump said in an interview with CNN. “I don’t know anything about what you’re even talking about with white supremacy or white supremacists.”

Trump needs to get out more, maybe.

The NYT went on: “I think he deserves a close look by those who believe the era of political correctness needs to come to an end,” Mr. Duke said, calling for a leader who would secure the border and dismantle the “Jewish controlled” financial industry.

As the conservative radio talk-show host Mark Levin said in a tweet: “Is it really that hard to disavow” a known Klansman?

One more item from the Times: “I don’t know David Duke,” (Trump) said. “I don’t believe I have ever met him. I’m pretty sure I didn’t meet him. And I just don’t know anything about him.”

Well, I’ve never met David Duke, either. Nor have millions of other Americans who detest the organization with which he is most closely associated.