Category: Trump

IndieDems Honors Senator Perdue’s Unstinting Support for Trump

IndieDems is embarking on a new way to show respect for Georgia Republicans, especially those in Georgia’s Congressional delegation. After two years, it’s an established fact that Georgia Republicans and Donald Trump are joined at the hip. Especially after they supported his racist, xenophobic, fear-mongering and race-baiting 2018 campaign, it’s clear they will support Trump no matter what he does.

So we said: why keep reporting the facts of what Trump has said or done, and then offering our editorial comments? Why not eliminate the middleman step–and just substitute the Republican politician’s name for Trump’s as it appears in a headline?  That would give the unvarnished story about the Georgia Republican’s position–without IndieDems’ verbiage intruding!

We devote this post to Senator David Perdue. Below are some current headlines, with Perdue’s name substituted for Trump’s. Readers can continue to do the substitution as they read the body of the article.

(Don’t worry, Representatives Barry Loudermilk and Karen Handel. We’ll do the same for you shortly.)

Perdue says he is among those who ‘have very high levels of intelligence’ but are not ‘believers’ in climate change

A New Way of Honoring GA Republicans’ Staunch Support for Trump

IndieDems is embarking on a new way to show respect for Georgia Republicans, especially those in Georgia’s Congressional delegation. After two years, it’s an established fact that Georgia Republicans and Donald Trump are joined at the hip. Especially after they supported his racist, xenophobic, fear-mongering and race-baiting 2018 campaign, it’s clear they will support Trump no matter what he does.

So we said: why keep reporting the facts of what Trump has said or done, and then offering our editorial comments? Why not eliminate the middleman step–and just substitute the Republican politician’s name for Trump’s as it appears in a headline?  That would give the unvarnished story about the Georgia Republican’s position–without IndieDems’ intruding verbiage!

We have decided to honor Senator Johnny Isakson by making him the first in our new endeavor. Below are some of today’s headlines, with Isakson’s name substituted for Trump’s. Readers can continue to do the substitution as they read the body of the article.

(Don’t worry, Senator David Perdue and Representatives Barry Loudermilk and Karen Handel. We’ll do the same for you shortly.)

Isakson says he is among those who ‘have very high levels of intelligence’ but are not ‘believers’ in climate change

“How the Khashoggi Killing Ruinously Defined (Isakson)”

The Washington Post on November 23 published a column headlined “How the Khashoggi Killing Ruinously Defined Trump.” Since Georgia Senator Johnny Isakson staunchly supports Trump as President, and that support has not wavered despite worldwide condemnation of Trump’s  position on the brutal murder of Khashoggi, we thought we would simply substitute Isakson for Trump, as a depiction of Isakson’s position.

As you read the article, keep substituting “Isakson” for “Trump.” You’ll get the picture. Example:

“The Khashoggi affair similarly confirms several fundamental truths about Isakson. The first and most obvious is that his narrow, idiosyncratic and sometimes personal interests take precedence over the defense of traditional American values and even the expectation of honest treatment by an ally.”

Johnny Isakson’s Continued Kowtowing to Trump Disgraces His Office

The Senator’s putting love of Trump above love of country becomes more untenable every day

In the recent election, the American people delivered a loud and clear message: they are sick and tired and fed up with the disaster of the Trump Administration. They’ve had it with a President who is hypocritical, incompetent, corrupt, criminal, mentally unstable, racist, misogynistic, self-aggrandizing, and self-dealing. A President who disrespects allies and embraces dictators. And is a congenital liar.

I said when Trump announced his candidacy in 2015 that he represented the heart and soul of the Republican Party. When he was elected, I said a Trump Administration would combine the worse of McCarthyism, Watergate, and Irangate and inflict the resulting toxic brew on the American people. My only mistake was to underestimate just how bad it would be.

The 2018 campaign magnified Trump’s faults. He ran an overtly racist, xenophobic, fear-mongering, hate-mongering campaign, including outright incitement to violence. Trump is the living, breathing embodiment of the morally and intellectually corrupt Republican Party. The Republican Party that has turned its back on the principles embodied in God’s 10 Commandments and Jesus’ Golden Rule.

But Trump is not acting alone. His Republican supporters share equally in the blame. Rather than focus on multiple Republican lapdogs on multiple issues, IndieDems is going to focus on one or two lap dogs and issues at a time.

Senator Johnny Isakson is one of Trump’s lackeys who degrades his office with his support for the President who embodies all the above. But let’s focus today on the Trump’s abandonment of any claim to U.S. moral leadership by his abject sell-out of justice in the case of the murder of U.S. newspaper correspondent, Jamal Khashoggi.

To his credit, Senator Isakson in October did sign a bipartisan letter that triggers a “Magnitsky” investigation into Khashoggi’s disappearance. The Magnitsky Act requires the president, upon receipt of such a letter, to investigate and determine, within 120 days, if a foreign person is responsible for the death of a newsman like Khashoggi. It also authorizes the president to impose sanctions for any foreign person found to be involved.

That was Isakson’s only public act involving Khashoggi. His web page makes no mention of the affair, even his signing of the letter.

Meanwhile, other Congressional officers and commentators have been unstinting in their condemnation of Trump’s trampling on the rule of law and common human decency. The media’s saturation coverage makes the case beyond our poor power to add or detract:

A Message That Could Become a Blueprint for Autocrats

President Trump declared his loyalty to Saudi Arabia, defying U.S. intelligence agencies.

Trump Stands Up for Saudi Arabian Values

Trump Slanders Khashoggi and Betrays American Values

Trump ally says Saudi sanctions must be in budget, as lawmakers rip Trump’s defense of crown prince

  • Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), the Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman: “I never thought I’d see the day a White House would moonlight as a public relations firm for the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia.”
  • Senator Lindsay Graham (R-SC): “When it comes to the (Saudi) crown prince, it is not wise to look away.” He is a “wrecking ball” on the global stage. Graham is a co-author of pending legislation to impose a blanket ban on arms sales to Saudi Arabia
  • Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.): “I’m pretty sure this statement (by Trump) is Saudi Arabia First, not America First.”
  • Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.): “Great allies don’t plot the murder of journalists, Mr. President…Great allies don’t torture their own citizens into a trap, then kill them.”
  • Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.): “Our foreign policy must be about promoting our national interests. Rubio argued that human rights violations drive the sort of unrest that fuels instability and terrorism. “It is in our national interest to defend human rights.”
  • Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.):“This is an utterly absurd, irresponsible, and repugnant statement from (Trump). No amount of money justifies the betrayal of our principles and values as Americans.”

(Click HERE for a compendium of media articles on the Khashoggi affair)

Senator Isakson’s lackadaisical approach is a further dereliction of duty regarding Trump that makes him a disgrace to his office and insults the people of Georgia–and America.

The litmus test of any American today is whether or not he/she supports Trump to be President of the United States. Rapping his knuckles for some specific act does not suffice.

You cannot love your country and support Trump. You cannot be a Christian and support Trump.

The Media’s Whitewashing of Trump’s Racism & Personal Insults. CNN & MSNBC Included

On November 15, I made the following comment on the Internet:

The most chilling fact about Trump’s latest overt display of racism and vulgarity? It has already all but disappeared from the media’s attention. As, of course, is the case after all of Trump’s other racist, misogynist, and just plain cruel and slanderous tweets and words. The media’s continuing get-out-of jail pass is contributing to the coarsening and degradation of American society. For most of the media, every day is ground hog day for Trump.

This gross flaw in media coverage is graphically in displayed minute by minute on CNN and MSNBC. Not just Fox, but CNN and MSNBC. Tune in any program today where a network celebrity newsperson presides over a panel of talking heads. See how often Trump’s assault on the black female reporters gets mentioned. And his previous words calling women bimbos or a dog, demeaning John McCain, praising the Nazi marchers in Charlottesville, talking about Hispanic migrants the way Hitler talked about the Jews, etc., etc? Fuhgedaboutit.

But it’s not just the silence. Just about every program will have a Trump talking-head apologist who will deliver a full-throated apologia of Trump—without the slightest reference to any of those words that show him to be an overt racist, xenophobic, misogynist, vulgar bully who wages war on common human decency. Why are the media allowed to get away with this willful blindness toward Trump’s transgressions, hour after hour, day after day?

Why don’t CNN and MSNBC do this: have a collection of Trump’s utterances scrolling on the screen while one of his apologists is talking? Of course, the apologist would be free to discuss any of Trump’s words as they are scrolling by. I nominate Rick Santorum as the test case for this procedure. He has to be the pluperfect example of someone who confuses his sanctimonious hypocrisy with being a good Christian.

The Story Continues

On November 16, Daniel Dale published the following in the Washington Post. Dale is the Washington correspondent for the Toronto Star who fact-checks just about every word Trump writes or speaks:

I felt the headline grossly misstated what the article was all about. Here is what I considered the essence of Dales’ analysis:

  • “…with some notable exceptions…I don’t think U.S. media outlets have been persistent enough in fighting a daily battle for truth itself.”
  • “…Trump’s serial dishonesty was a central feature of his campaign. But his avalanche of deception was being treated as a sideshow to the real news rather than as the news itself — relegated to reporters’ Twitter feeds rather than featured in the headlines where it belonged.”

With that provocation, I commented:

I had two gut reactions to this article: 1. Exhilaration that a prominent journalist has agreed with my previously stated position on an important issue 2. My disgust at the appalling way the Washington Post treated the article.

Dealing with #2 first: The headline is one of the most misleading headlines ever written. The article is not about Trump telling the same lies all the time. It’s about “his avalanche of deception…being treated as a sideshow to the real news rather than as the news itself — relegated to reporters’ Twitter feeds rather than featured in the headlines where it belonged.” And how this “troubling failure” is “so urgent because Trump is getting worse and worse.”

The media have become enablers of the Trumpist campaign to make lying a way of life.

As to #1: Two days ago I commented on Sherrilyn Ifill’s write-up on Trump’s attacking black women: (What followed was a shortened version of the opening paragraphs of this article). I added:

When was the last time Anderson Cooper or Chuck Todd or Wolfe Blitzer mentioned Trump’s praise of neo-Nazi demonstrators, calling Megyn Kelly a bimbo or Omarosa a dog, insulting a U.S. female Representative’s intelligence, calling a Senator Pocahontas, demeaning McCain’s military service, or using an ethnic slur to insult a federal judge?

CNN and MSNBC’s daily whitewashing of Trump’s record is a disgrace.

Slaveowners, Segregationists, Communists, Republicans: Eradication the only Answer

Political eradication, of course.

Trump’s supporters are beyond redemption. They embrace and revel in Trump’s words and deeds that any normal person finds repulsive. They have abandoned God’s 10 Commandments and Jesus’ Golden Rule. Many, like Paul Ryan, embrace the explicitly atheistic, anti-Christian doctrines of Ayn Rand.

The rest of us normal Americans must see to it that the Trumpists go the way of slaveowners, segregationists, the KKK, and American Communists, to mention the most prominent of misguided Americans who had to be put on the dung hill of history.

Georgia Republicans like Senators Isakson and Perdue, Representatives Loudermilk and Handel, Governor-elect Brian Kemp, and their staffs should be among the first to go.

Republicans see the Oval Office as a place to bring Kanye West to use words like “motherfuckers” and “shit.” That defines the morals of Mitch McConnell, Orrin Hatch, Johnny Isakson, David Perdue, Barry Loudermilk, and Nikki Haley.

Cowardice and Lies: The Republican Way of Life

In a recent back-and-forth debate on the web, one participant said Trump was a coward for refusing to listen to the Turkish tape that reportedly records the brutal murder of Saudi dissident Khashoggi. Someone responded that even Trump’s Republican base would not tolerate cowardice. My comment on the exchange:

My friend, for three years Republicans have shown they absolutely revel in cowardice. As they do with telling lies. They’ve stood for it for three years. What would they change now? Remember: they won the 2018 elections. Der Fuehrer—er, der Donald—done told them so. Who you gonna believe—Trump, or mere truth?

There is something wrong with Republicans, seriously wrong with their moral compass, if they even have one.

But why is this surprising, coming from people whose Party’s chief legacy to America is McCarthyism, Watergate, and Irangate? Trump, Pence, McConnell, Ryan, Haley, Hatch combined the worst of all three and fed the result steroids. Voila, Trumpism.

Remember the connecting link: Roy Cohn, McCarthy’s chief thug and enforcer, a true psychopath—and Donald Trump’s chief mentor. Remember: the Republicans of the 1950s never had an epiphany and turned their backs on McCarthyism. They had to be forced to do so by the weight of public opinion, with President Eisenhower heading a behind-the-scenes action to further the process.

Republicans revel in cowardice and lying. It’s the Republican way of life. In this year’s campaign, they added racism, tribalism, xenophobia, and white nationalism. The more Trump supports that platform, the more Republicans roar their approval. Just like Germans roared their approval of Hitler the more he denounced the Jews and threatened war.

Need I remind you? Georgia Senators Isakson and Perdue, Representatives Loudermilk and Handel, and their staffs  are part of the roaring mob.

The Laughable Idea of Nikki Haley as Trump Alternative

I would hope U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley’s stamp of approval to Trump’s transparent tolerance of the brutal murder of Khashoggi to serve his own twisted ends has put an end to any idea that Haley is some sort of alternative to Trump. She recently reaffirmed her support for his agenda with a gushing declaration that she wanted him to remain President for six more years. A fitting statement from someone who has been his most faithful lap dog for two years.

Republicans Mimic the Segregationists and Unleash the Wolves of Hate

“When the wolves of hate are loosed on one people, then no one is safe.”
–Atlanta Constitution editor Ralph McGill, recognizing the broader truth behind the bombing of the Jewish Temple in Atlanta in 1958.

President Donald Trump’s speeches during the final weeks of the 2018 midterm elections established an irrefutable fact: Trump and his Republican followers are overtly committed to a racist, xenophobic, misogynist, nativist, ethno-nationalist agenda, and will use lies, fearmongering, race-baiting, and demagoguery to advance that agenda.

Trump unleashed a torrent of falsehoods to demonize his political opponents and portray them as desiring crime, squalor and poverty. He used outright vicious racist rhetoric to depict the migrant caravan moving through Central America, describing it as an army of diseased, criminal thugs who would invade the United States and unleash gangs and crimes on the public. He doubled down on the distortion by propagated the baseless conspiracy theory that Democrats—especially mega-donor George Soros—were funding the caravan.

Trump and his Republicans now talk about Hispanic migrants the way Hitler talked about the Jews and the way rabid Southern segregationists talked about blacks. Trump’s incendiary rhetoric of fear-mongering and race-baiting was clearly designed to divide Americans, not unite them.

Republicans ardently embraced this toxic brew, hoping this escalation of Trump’s demagoguery would carry them to victory in the elections—as his previous version had done in 2016.  And true to form, Georgia’s Republicans like Senators Johnny Isakson and David Perdue, Representatives Barry Loudermilk and Karen Handel, and gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp were in the forefront of Trump’s ardent embracers.

These Trumpist lapdogs showed they were quite comfortable with whipping up racist animosity and stoking white grievances. They swoon over every aspect of his racist, misogynist, nativist, xenophobic agenda and have made it their own.

(Alas, in a stunning upset, Ms. Handel lost her bid for re-election in the traditionally Red district to Democrat Lucy McBath. We believe Handel paid a price for being a Trump lackey, and view her defeat as a harbinger of better days in Georgia.)

But in the meantime, we have at least four more years of Trump’s misrule, and the real possibility he will be re-elected. We live in an era of (presumed) political polarization and its attendant heated rhetoric. A goodly number of Americans seem unable to distinguish between allegations devoid of evidence and fact-based statements based on empirical evidence.

IndieDems has filled this blog with posts based on the empirical standard. Donald Trump has made our task easier by providing us with tons of his own verbatim words that provide the facts about what a racist, xenophobic, misogynistic, nativist, uninformed, bully he is, in twitter after twitter and speech after speech. In a separate blog, we provide a compendium of recent analyses that reveal in detail the Trumpists’ warped racist, xenophobic, fearmongering agenda.

Republicans Unleash the Wolves of Hate

We devote the rest of this post to a look at the similarities between what Republicans are doing now and the racist agendas and violence of the South’s—and Georgia’s—segregationist past. The bombings, murders, and beatings that were a staple of Jim Crow Georgia did not take place in a vacuum. They were not the random acts of a few extremists. The violence was the natural outgrowth of a culture that considered it normal to preach the gospel of “segregation today, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.”  Declaring a group of people to be inferior and unfit to interact as equals with other citizens paves the way for them to become the target of violent acts.

(IndieDems noted this similarity in its September Post, Today’s Republicans & 1960s Segregationists: Peas in a Pod)

But voices much more eloquent than ours have made the case much better than we can. What better voice to start with than that of Ralph McGill, the anti-segregationist editor of the Atlanta Constitution during the darkest days of segregation. And what better person to remind us of McGill’s words than Melissa Fay Greene, the author of the book “The Temple Bombing,” about the 1958 bombing of the Hebrew Benevolent Congregation in Atlanta. She wrote an article for the Washington Post after the bombing of the Temple in Pittsburg:

The wolves of hate are loose. No one is safe.
By Melissa Fay Greene

Sixty years and three weeks ago, the Temple in Atlanta was bombed by anti-Semitic white supremacists who perceived the Jews as “masterminding” the civil rights movement — not unlike accused killer Robert Bowers accepting the widely broadcast theory that Jews conceived and bankrolled the migrant caravan.

The day after the Temple bombing, Ralph McGill, editor of the Atlanta Constitution, published an editorial attacking Southern elected officials who conjured up scapegoats and stirred up the mobs for their own political gains.

“It is not possible to preach lawlessness and restrict it,” he wrote. “You do not preach and encourage hatred for the Negro and hope to restrict it to that field. It is an old, old story. It is one repeated over and over again in history.”

“When the wolves of hate are loosed on one people, then no one is safe.”

When hate speech, firing up the airwaves and popping at the rallies, suddenly tears apart — with homemade bombs or assault rifles — the everyday lives of ordinary people, the results are not cinematic or larger-than-life. The results are exactly life-size.

But McGill’s words were not heeded. In fact, the hate and violence-filled days of the Civil Rights struggle led by Martin Luther King lay ahead. Five years after the Temple bombing, a bomb went off in the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, a hub of civil rights activism, killing three 14 year-old black female children and one 11 year-old.

McGill’s colleague, Eugene Patterson, then the Executive Editor of the Atlanta Journal and Constitution, wrote a column eloquently repeating McGill’s theme. His classic commentary exposed without mercy the complicity of all pro-segregation white Southerners in this horrific crime.

‘A Flower for the Graves’

By Eugene Patterson – September 16, 1963

A Negro mother wept in the street Sunday morning in front of a Baptist Church in Birmingham. In her hand she held a shoe, one shoe, from the foot of her dead child. We hold that shoe with her.

Every one of us in the white South holds that small shoe in his hand.

It is too late to blame the sick criminals who handled the dynamite. The FBI and the police can deal with that kind. The charge against them is simple. They killed four children.

Only we can trace the truth, Southerner – you and I. We broke those children’s bodies.

We watched the stage set without staying it. We listened to the prologue unbestirred. We saw the curtain opening with disinterest. We have heard the play.

We – who go on electing politicians who heat the kettles of hate.

We – who raise no hand to silence the mean and little men who have their nigger jokes.

We – who stand aside in imagined rectitude and let the mad dogs that run in every society slide their leashes from our hand, and spring.

We – the heirs of a proud South, who protest its worth and demand it recognition – we are the ones who have ducked the difficult, skirted the uncomfortable, caviled at the challenge, resented the necessary, rationalized the unacceptable, and created the day surely when these children would die.

This is no time to load our anguish onto the murderous scapegoat who set the cap in dynamite of our own manufacture.

He didn’t know any better.

Somewhere in the dim and fevered recess of an evil mind he feels right now that he has been a hero. He is only guilty of murder. He thinks he has pleased us.

We of the white South who know better are the ones who must take a harsher judgment.

We, who know better, created a climate for child-killing by those who don’t.

We hold that shoe in our hand, Southerner. Let us see it straight, and look at the blood on it. Let us compare it with the unworthy speeches of Southern public men who have traduced the Negro; match it with the spectacle of shrilling children whose parents and teachers turned them free to spit epithets at small huddles of Negro school children for a week before this Sunday in Birmingham; hold up the shoe and look beyond it to the state house in Montgomery where the official attitudes of Alabama have been spoken in heat and anger.

Let us not lay the blame on some brutal fool who didn’t know any better.We know better. We created the day. We bear the judgment. May God have mercy on the poor South that has so been led. May what has happened hasten the day when the good South, which does live and has great being, will rise to this challenge of racial understanding and common humanity, and in the full power of its unasserted courage, assert itself.

The Sunday school play at Birmingham is ended. With a weeping Negro mother, we stand in the bitter smoke and hold a shoe. If our South is ever to be what we wish it to be, we will plant a flower of nobler resolve for the South now upon these four small graves that we dug.

The relevance of McGill and Patterson’s words to current events is too self-evident to require elaboration. But to comprehend the depth of their meaning, re-read Paterson’s column and in place of the words “nigger” or “Negro,” substitute “migrant” or “immigrant.”

And for “politicians,” substitute “Republicans.” Better yet, substitute “Georgia Republicans.”

Then read just about any of Trump’s 2018 campaign speeches.

(Read More: See our previous post elaborating on the similarity between Southern segregationists and modern-day Republicans, “Today’s Republicans & 1960s Segregationists: Peas in a Pod)