Signing a joint resolution from Congress condemning the white supremacists who marched in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August is the easiest political no-brainer imaginable.
So, of course, the Trump administration looks to screw it up.
According to Think Progress, the resolution passed the Senate unanimously Monday and the House by voice vote Tuesday. It calls on Donald Trump to:
(i) speak out against hate groups that espouse racism, extremism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, and White supremacy; and
(ii) use all resources available to the President and the President’s Cabinet to address the growing prevalence of those hate groups in the United States;
The resolution also urges Attorney General Jeff Sessions to investigate “all acts of violence, intimidation, and domestic terrorism” by a laundry list of neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other right-wing hate groups whose members not only marched in Charlottesville in August but have reportedly been responsible for an uptick in hate crimes across the country since Trump's election.
Doing so would actually be a reversal in policy for the Trump/Sessions Justice Department, but one would think last month's events might cause the administration to rethink its approach.
Naturally, the White House response to signing this seemingly uncontroversial resolution — which falls short of the censuring the president for his response to Charlottesville that many Democrats had called for and is mostly for messaging purposes — is a resounding “eh, we'll see”:
Asked whether president will sign, WH spox says “No announcements at this time.” https://t.co/Scf2yh14AW
— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) September 12, 2017
A competent White House would know this was coming and, having no doubt about the president's position, would have a statement ready to go confidently saying that, of course, Trump intends to stand with Congress and even high-level members of his administration on this issue.
This really is astonishing. Or it would be if we had not already had a full month of Trump saying that some of the white supremacist marchers in Charlottesville were “very fine people,” putting both white supremacist protesters and anti-racism counter-protesters on the same moral plane by condemning “many sides” during the unrest in August, and on and on.
And that is just the last month. Let's not even get into the last two years.
How long until Trump is standing on the Truman balcony with a boombox blasting “You've Got a Friend in Me” in the general direction of the nearest klavern gathering? Time will tell!
Please note: This is a commentary piece. The views and opinions expressed within it are those of the author only and do not necessarily reflect the editorial opinion of IJR.