Aug 16 2017

Pondering the Pundits

“Pondering the Pundits” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from> around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Pondering the Pundits”.

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Katrina vanden Heuvel: Can Jeff Sessions provide justice for Heather Heyer?

White supremacy has never been far from the surface in this country’s tortured history. It got new life during last year’s presidential election, fueled by then-candidate Donald Trump’s dog-whistle racism, campaign rallies encouraging violence, and policies of mass deportation and “law and order.” And it exploded into plain sight when Saturday’s white supremacist rally in Charlottesville turned deadly.

President Trump’s initial response to the horrific events — a vague condemnation of violence and hatred “on many sides” — was a disgrace. It was also unsurprising. After all, the marchers were espousing a racist ideology, defined in part by the poisonous belief that white people are the real victims in today’s “politically correct” society, whose goals are being actively advanced by some in Trump’s administration. On Saturday night, the Justice Department announced that it would open a narrow civil rights investigation into the murder of Heather Heyer, who lost her life protesting the abominable views on display in Charlottesville. But it is fair to question whether the department is up to the task given that Attorney General Jeff Sessions, in just six months in office, has transformed it into a political weapon that is being used to roll back hard-won progress and resist efforts to ensure full civil rights and equality for all.

Catherine Rampell: Trump’s lasting legacy is to embolden an entirely new generation of racists

f there was one silver lining to President Trump’s election, it was supposed to be this: Those who voted for Trump because of, rather than despite, his demonization of Muslims and Hispanics; who fear a “majority minority” America; and who wax nostalgic for the Jim Crow era were mostly old white people.

Which meant they and their abhorrent prejudices would soon pass on — and be replaced by generations of younger, more racially enlightened Americans.

The white nationalist rally this past weekend in Charlottesville clearly proves this to be a myth. Racist grandpas may be dying out, but their bigotry is regenerating in today’s youths.

Eugene Robinson: Trump’s response to Charlottesville should surprise no one

No one should have been surprised to see President Trump playing footsie with racists. He’s been doing it for years.

On Saturday, when Trump could not bring himself to condemn white supremacists for the Charlottesville tragedy, he was just being consistent: He often has shown empathy for white racial grievance.

After all, who was the most prominent voice of birtherism, the unfounded and blatantly racist challenge to President Barack Obama’s legitimacy? Who exclaimed on Twitter in 2014 that “you won’t see another black president for generations” because of Obama’s performance? Who has disseminated false, racially charged “statistics” about black crime?


Steven W. Thrasher: Charlottesville started with a statue. Will Americans confront their history now?

On Friday evening, a group of white supremacists marched across the University of Virginia in Charlottesville and surrounded a statue of Thomas Jefferson to scream: “White lives matter! White lives matter!” It was the start of what would be a bloody and tragic weekend of white supremacy and violence.

At a counter demonstration on Saturday afternoon, Heather Heyer, a white woman, was killed by a car allegedly driven by a white man, James Alex Fields. Around the same time, a police helicopter flying to monitor the white race riot crashed, killing two white police officers. President Trump initially chose not to blame white supremacists but “many sides” for this white-on-white crime spree.

It is fitting that all of this racial violence originated at the statue of our third president. White Lives Matter is a good summation of Jeffersonian thought – and the dominant political climate of the contemporary US.

Jill Abramson: Will 2017 be Rupert Murdoch’s summer of despair?

If 2016 was Rupert Murdoch’s summer of discontent, this could be the summer of his despair. It was a little more than a year ago that the Roger Ailes sexual harassment scandal erupted. Then came a cascade of related sexual misconduct lawsuits against various Fox on-air personalities and executives. Ailes died earlier this year.

The future of Murdoch’s media empire and his company, 21st Century Fox, could depend on the pending approval of his $12bn takeover of Sky News. But the deal must clear Ofcom, the British regulatory authority over broadcasting. The endemic allegations of sexual misconduct inside of Fox may, justifiably, have caused Ofcom to think twice about approving the deal and giving the Murdochs greater global reach over the news.