President Donald Trump, on the night of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, defended the almost entirely white, all-male students from the Kentucky conservative Christian private school who are accused of harassing and disrespecting a Native American Vietnam veteran.
“Looking like Nick Sandman & Covington Catholic students were treated unfairly with early judgements proving out to be false – smeared by media,” the President tweeted, spelling Sandmann’s name wrong. “Not good, but making big comeback!” he added, unclearly.
Trump then appeared to quote Fox News’ Tucker Carlson: “New footage shows that media was wrong about teen’s encounter with Native American.”
Looking like Nick Sandman & Covington Catholic students were treated unfairly with early judgements proving out to be false – smeared by media. Not good, but making big comeback! “New footage shows that media was wrong about teen’s encounter with Native American” @TuckerCarlson
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 22, 2019
In fact, those who are defending the male teens are mostly conservatives.
Meanwhile, many other journalists are making clear they believe the public’s initial perception – which was also that of Covington Catholic and the mayor of the town that is home to Covington Catholic – is the more accurate take.
Deadspin’s Laura Wagner, writing at The Concourse, Monday night penned an excellent take: “Don’t Doubt What You Saw With Your Own Eyes.”
Slate’s Ruth Graham: “The MAGA Teens Aren’t Innocent Victims.”
And as Kentucky’s Courier-Journal notes, Sandmann’s family retained the services of a local PR firm, RunSwitch, to produce their son Nick’s statement. The founder of Little Green Footballs and others have made this connection:
Right. This is why whoever hooked this up picked RunSwitch to handle the spin – it’s a very high profile PR firm that specializes in this kind of crisis management. And that’s why it’s important for their role to be exposed. https://t.co/5yNQ4bdrFp
— Charles Johnson (@Green_Footballs) January 22, 2019
Exactly what happened on the National Mall when several members of the extremist group known as the Black Israelites interacted with the Covington Catholic teens, and a Vietnam veteran who was on the National Mall exercising his First Amendment rights of religious freedom and free speech felt he needed to intercede may never be known.
But the narrative the teens are innocent bystanders certainly appears to be false – despite what President Trump and Fox News say.
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Trump Dodges and Gives an Accidentally Revealing Answer When Confronted on His Anti-LGBT Policies
When President Donald Trump was asked Tuesday about whether he supports his administration’s anti-LGBT policies — including a new rule that would make it easier for employers to discriminate — he gave what seemed to be an unintentionally revealing answer.
REPORTER: Mr POTUS, your administration has been taking steps to make it easier to discriminate against LGBT people in the workforce. Are you okay with that?
TRUMP: Well, the Log Cabin Republicans endorsed me… I’ve done very well w/ that community. Peter Thiel & so many others pic.twitter.com/W0OMKMzEkT
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) August 20, 2019
The issue was raised by reporter Chris Johnson from the Washington Blade:
Washington Blade: Mr. President, your administration has been taking steps to make it easier to discriminate against LGBT people in the workforce. Are you OK with those actions?
Trump: Well, you know, I just got an award and an endorsement yesterday from the exact group. You saw that? They gave me the endorsement yesterday. I was very honored. It was Log Cabin. The Log Cabin, and I was very honored to receive it.
I’ve done very well with that community and some of my biggest supporters are of that community, and I talk to them a lot about it. I think I’ve done really very well with that community, as you know, Peter Thiel and so many others, they’re — they’re with me all the way, and they like the job I’m doing, and I just got a big endorsement from the Log Cabin group.
Washington Blade: But what about those actions?
Having ignored the actual substance of the question, Trump didn’t answer the follow-up.
And contrary to what he said, the vast majority of the LGBT community does not and has not supported him. In 2016, Pew Research found:
Gay, lesbian and bisexual voters may make up a relatively small share of the American electorate – just 5% of voters in the 2012 general election identified as LGB, according to national exit polls – but they have long been a deeply Democratic constituency and today are overwhelmingly negative in their assessments of Donald Trump.
Nearly nine-in-ten LGB voters (89%) give the Republican presidential nominee a rating of cold on a “feeling thermometer” that ranges from 0 (the coldest, most negative rating) to 100 (the warmest, most positive score). About eight-in-ten (82%) rate Trump very cold, including more than half (54%) who give him a score of 0. Just 9% of LGB voters rate Trump warm.
But this doesn’t matter much to Trump, because he only cares about his supporters. So when asked about the LGBT community, he begins talking about the Log Cabin Republicans, a fringe group that does not represent anywhere close to the majority of the community. (As it happens, Jennifer Horn, a member of the group’s board, resigned in protest over the endorsement. And contrary to Trump’s claim, it did not give him an “award.”) And by mentioning Peter Thiel, a wealthy gay investor, Trump is pulling the laughable “I have a gay friend” excuse for being a bigot. He’s refusing to respond to or even consider the actual LGBT community as a whole because he just doesn’t care.
The president has long made clear that he’s only interested in representing his supporters, not the American people as a whole. That’s why he criticizes California when it experiences natural disasters but promises Alabama “A+ treatment” after tornadoes strike. That’s why Sen. Lindsey Graham could point out that Trump wouldn’t be launching racist attacks at a Somali refugee congresswoman if she were “wearing a MAGA hat.” For him, people only deserve basic dignity and respect if they already support him. Unfortunately, the likes of Thiel and the Log Cabin Republicans have to debase themselves to get this recognition.
Trump Is the Nightmare From Which We Can’t Wake Up
Every morning we wake up and the nightmare that is Donald Trump seems to go on. Most nightmares, even recurring ones, eventually come to an end. We must hope this one will eventually end as well.
As a columnist, it’s difficult to keep writing about what seems to be the same thing over and over — Trump being a racist, homophobic, sexist pig. Then he, his family or someone in the administration does something else that boggles the mind. Last week, he retweeted a conspiracy theory that the Clintons were responsible for Jeffrey Epstein’s death. Every time you think he can’t sink lower he does.
In my view the only way we can rid ourselves of the nightmare is to vote ‘it’ out of office. I use the word ‘it’ to refer to Trump because there doesn’t appear to be one shred of humanity in his body. But then he himself referred to his wife as ‘it’ when trying to compare her to a former first lady. Who does that?
It ostensibly goes to the site of the latest mass shootings in Dayton and El Paso to give comfort to the wounded and share the grief of the families of those killed. Yet it manages to make it all about itself. It releases a picture of itself and Melania holding a baby who had been orphaned by the white nationalist shooter in El Paso and stands there with a huge grin on its face and gives a thumbs up. What on earth is there to grin about in this tragedy? Any person with a shred of humanity would be crying.
Those who are trying to end the nightmare of Trump really only have one option, which is to vote him out of office in 2020. That opportunity is 15 months away and it will require a total commitment if it is to succeed. Some are calling for boycotts of the businesses of Trump supporters. While that may be satisfying it will not bring out the voters needed to defeat him at the polls. Doing that will require a laser like focus if it is to succeed. I would rather get out the voters and then tax the hell out of all those businessmen and women who are now supporting Trump.
Democrats are in the midst of what could become a brutal primary fight to determine who will be the eventual nominee to take him on. I want each of the candidates to do what Elizabeth Warren did in the last debate when she repeated what she has previously said in Iowa, “This really is our moment and the need for us to get this right couldn’t be more urgent. I’m going to support our Democratic nominee all the way.” We need to demand every candidate running in the primary say that, yes even you Bernie.
Continue reading the full op-ed at The Washington Blade.
Peter Rosenstein is a community and Democratic activist based in Washington, DC, where he appears in the media as a commentator on issues including LGBT rights, politics and education. His columns may be found here.
Log Cabin Republicans Endorse Trump for Re-Election Days After President Attacks LGBTQ People on Multiple Fronts
With more than a year before the 2020 presidential election a nationwide gay group, the Log Cabin Republicans, have announced they are endorsing President Donald Trump for re-election. The 42-year old group wisely refused to endorse Trump during the 2016 election, but in a flip on Thursday decreed the anti-LGBTQ President has “met his commitments to LGBTQ Americans.”
That’s just plain false.
Log Cabin Republican chairman Robert Kabel and vice chairwoman Jill Homan penned a 751 word Washington Post op-ed, which the paper surprisingly appears to not have thoroughly fact-checked, attempting to justify the turnabout endorsement.
The op-ed comes during the same week that Trump has fired strong and potentially devastating attacking against the LGBTQ community in a clear attempt to further weaken our civil rights.
On Tuesday, as NCRM reported, Trump’s Dept. of Justice was caught attempting to strong-arm the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to reverse years of findings and rulings, and declare before the U.S. Supreme Court that discrimination against LGBT workers is legal.
One day later Trump’s Dept. of Labor announced a new rule to make it easier for what it now calls “religion-exercising organizations” that are also federal contractors to discriminate against LGBTQ workers. Not only would the Dept. of Labor make it easier, it would offer them a roadmap on how to avoid being charged with discrimination.
In their Washington Post op-ed, after pointing to a 1992 speech by former GOP presidential candidate Pat Buchnan, a homophobic white supremacist, the Log Cabin leaders say Trump has made the Republican Party better “by moving past the culture wars that dominated the 1990s and early 2000s, in particular by removing gay rights as a wedge issue from the old Republican playbook.”
And in an astonishing act of gaslighting, Kabel and Homan say Trump “has committed to end the spread of HIV/AIDS in 10 years, through the use of proven science, medicine and technology to which we now have access.”
They conveniently leave out of their op-ed President Trump’s actual record on HIV/AIDS.
In June Trump axed federal funding for HIV treatment testing research over the usage of fetal tissue.
In February The New York Times reported: “Trump Pledged to End H.I.V. But His Policies Veer the Other Way,” The paper offered a litany of examples detailing how the Trump administration has actually worked to reverse progress being made in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
“In May 2017,” as HIV Plus Magazine reminded earlier this year, “the White House announced intended and deliberate funding cuts to HIV programs including PEPFAR (President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief), the Ryan White Program, and the Global Fund.
In June of 2017 six members of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) resigned, citing President Trump’s lack of interest or strategy to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Trump “simply does not care,” they wrote. Later that year, in December, without warning, Trump fired the remaining 16 members, “via a letter from FedEx.”
Meanwhile, in yet another astonishing act of gaslighting, the Log Cabin leaders wrote this apparent falsehood:
Trump has used the United States’ outsize global influence to persuade other nations to adopt modern human rights standards, including launching an initiative to end the criminalization of homosexuality, which is considered illegal in more than 70 countries. To lead this effort, the president has chosen the highest-ranking LGBTQ individual in the administration, Richard Grenell, the U.S. ambassador to Germany, who brings his experience as the United States’ spokesman at the United Nations to bear on this critical campaign.
Trump has done no such thing. In fact, he has time and time again looked the other way and ignored the human rights abuses that occur around the world, despite calls for him to act.
On decriminalizing homosexuality, there is no record that any substantial effort has been made by the Trump administration, and as NCRM reported at the time, when asked about the supposed initiative during an Oval Office press gaggle, President Trump said he knew nothing about it.
REPORTER: Mr President, on your push to decriminalize homosexuality, are you doing that? And why?
TRUMP: Say it?
REPORTER: Your push to decriminalize homosexuality across the world.
TRUMP: I don’t know which report you’re talking about. We have many reports. Anybody else? pic.twitter.com/3eGVvMVXFt
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) February 20, 2019
This is but a small sampling of President Donald Trump’s attacks on LGBTQ people.
If the Log Cabin Republicans wish to pretend to support the LGBTQ community, they would do better than hitching their wagons to the most anti-LGBTQ president in modern American history.
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