How dare he?
President Donald J. Trump stood before journalists on Tuesday and said the unsayable: "I think there is blame on both sides."
Rather than denounce only the execrable white supremacists and swastika-wielding neo-Nazis who organized Saturday's hate-o-rama in Charlottesville, Virginia, Trump observed that there was violence coming from the KKK side and from extreme Leftists who opposed them with force --- not with tranquility, as did those at a peaceful vigil Wednesday night.
The reaction to Trump's comments was as swift as it was vitriolic:
"We can truly say his words have absolutely emboldened white supremacists," said CNN's veteran anchor Anderson Cooper.
The Chicago Sun-Times called Trump "America's bigot in chief."
"This is not my president," declared Senator Ben Schatz (D â€“ Hawaii).
But if these and other Trump haters were outraged at Trump's comments, where was their anger when the reliably liberal ACLU described the situation as it unfolded? "Not sure who provoked first. Both sides were hitting each other at Justice Park before police arrived," the ACLU of Virginia declared via Twitter on Saturday afternoon. The group identified both factions in a video of an open-air brawl on Charlottesville's streets. "The guy on the ground is a Unite the Right protester. Those in black and red are #Antifa protesters," referring to far-Left "anti-Fascist" thugs. The ACLU labeled another violent snippet, "Clash between protesters and counter protesters."
There was no angst when Reuters reported that "Many of the rally participants were seen carrying firearms, sticks and shields. Some also wore helmets. Counter-protesters likewise came equipped with sticks, helmets and shields." Reuters correspondents Amanda Becker and Jeff Mason added, "The two sides clashed in scattered street brawls before a car plowed into the rally opponents, killing one woman and injuring 19 others."
The fury was absent when NBC Nightly News' Gabe Gutierrez explained that "witnesses say both sides came prepared for a fight."
The Trumpophobes left their spleens unvented when the Associated Press published this headline atop one of its dispatches --- "View from the street: Police stood by as adversaries fought."
And there was no venom when Charlottesville Police Chief Al Thomas said: "We did have mutually combative individuals in the crowd."
ABC-TV affiliate WRIC reported that police nabbed eight people tied to this melee. While some clearly were white-power extremists, others were anything but. These include Troy Dunigan, 21, of Tennessee. "He was arrested Saturday for throwing objects at â€˜Nazi protesters,' according to court documents." Beth Foster, director of the Mercy Junction Justice and Peace Center, told NBC-TV's Chattanooga affiliate WRBC that she knows Dunigan. "He is an anarchist and is part of an Antifa action to confront white supremacy, and that's why he was in Charlottesville."
CBS-TV station WTVR reported that, "Officials said Robert K. Litzenberger of Charlottesville was charged with misdemeanor assault and battery after a state trooper witnessed Litzenberger spit on Jason Kessler," who organized the white-nationalist rally.
But these are facts, and facts barely matter when it comes to slamming President Trump as hard as possible into the nearest metaphorical wall. There is nothing Trump can say or do to please his fire-breathing foes, other than to head-first off the George Washington Bridge. (Washington owned slaves. So, tear it down!)
Seldom seen in this national meltdown is the name James Alex Fields, Jr. He is the suspected neo-Nazi who police arrested for turning his car into a weapon of hate, speeding it into a crowd of protesters, and thus, killing Heather Heyer, 32, and injuring 19 others.
Even though he faces second-degree murder charges, surprisingly little of the national media and punditocracy's fury is directed at Fields and his actions. Instead, the bitterness is pointed fully at Trump and his words -- as poorly chosen and ill-timed as some of them were -- as if the president of the United States, and not a 20-year-old bloodthirsty racist, were behind the wheel of that deadly Dodge Challenger.