PowerLine -> Justice Department to investigate Charlottesville violence. But why?

Powerline John Hinderaker at HoaxAndChange

PowerLine -> Justice Department to investigate Charlottesville violence. But why?

Daily Digest

  • Justice Department to investigate Charlottesville violence. But why?
  • Media Alert
  • What Is Wrong With President Trump’s Statements On Charlottesville? [with comment by Paul]
  • Evil losers on parade
  • Far-Left Fashion at Vogue
Justice Department to investigate Charlottesville violence. But why?

Posted: 13 Aug 2017 04:26 PM PDT

(Paul Mirengoff)

The Justice Department has launched a civil rights investigation into the violence that occurred in Charlottesville yesterday. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said:

The violence and deaths in Charlottesville strike at the heart of American law and justice. When such actions arise from racial bigotry and hatred, they betray our core values and cannot be tolerated. I have talked with FBI Director Chris Wray, FBI agents on the scene, and law enforcement officials for the state of Virginia.

The FBI has been supporting state and local authorities throughout the day. U.S. Attorney Rick Mountcastle has commenced a federal investigation and will have the full support of the Department of Justice. Justice will prevail.

But is federal involvement necessary for justice to prevail? I very much doubt it.

The violence in Charlottesville had two components: the street fighting between right-wing and left-wing extremists and the mowing down of protesters by a Nazi (or Nazi sympathizer). The second component looks like an open and shut case. Local investigators and prosecutors should have no difficulty handling it. The local population will demand that they do their job, which surely will include seeking the maximum penalty against the murderer/terrorist. In Virginia, that’s the death penalty.

Determining guilt in connection with the street fighting will be less straightforward. However, there is no reason to think the feds can determine it more accurately than local authorities can. My guess is that, if anything, they can do it more objectively, since they are probably less likely than DOJ civil rights lawyers to sympathize with the hard left.

In short, a federal investigation of the Charlottesville violence strikes me as a waste of resources for the purpose, perhaps, of grandstanding.


Media Alert

Posted: 13 Aug 2017 04:22 PM PDT

(John Hinderaker)

I will guest host Laura Ingraham’s radio show tomorrow and Friday. The show runs live from 9:00 a.m. to 12 p.m. Eastern, and is heard at other times in some geographies. We will have a good lineup of guests tomorrow including Dr. Herb London, but there will also be time to talk about issues of the day, including Charlottesville. It will be a good show, and I hope you can tune in!

You can go here to find a radio station in your area or to listen online. If you miss the show live, you can get highlights via podcast on iTunes. Please listen in, and give us a call at 855-40-LAURA. As always, I would love to hear from some Power Line readers.


What Is Wrong With President Trump’s Statements On Charlottesville? [with comment by Paul]

Posted: 13 Aug 2017 02:13 PM PDT

(John Hinderaker)

As Scott has noted, President Trump has come under fire for not singling out white supremacists for condemnation following the violent clashes in Charlottesville. Trump has made several statements about those events, both orally and on Twitter. He condemned “in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence on many sides, on many sides.” He added: “It’s been going on for a long time in our country. Not Donald Trump. Not Barack Obama. It’s been going on for a long, long time.”

His tweets have mostly been calls for unity:

We ALL must be united & condemn all that hate stands for. There is no place for this kind of violence in America. Lets come together as one!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 12, 2017

Today the White House released an additional statement that specifically addressed white supremacist groups:

The president said very strongly in his statement yesterday that he condemns all forms of violence, bigotry and hatred and of course that includes white Supremacists, KKK, neo-Nazi and all extremist groups. He called for national unity and bringing all Americans together.

Trump’s various statements have failed to satisfy just about everybody, including many Republicans–Scott, for one. Trump’s position may or may not be politically wise, but I am sympathetic to it. What his critics want him to do is denounce white supremacist groups to the exclusion of anyone else. The problem with his statements, in the eyes of critics, is they are too even-handed. Trump’s denunciation includes both the white supremacists in Charlottesville and the fascist “antifas” who counter-protested, as well as other hate groups.

This seems entirely appropriate to me, as the Charlottesville violence resulted in large part from the fact that the “antifas” showed up, spoiling for a fight. The videos I have seen suggest that the “antifas” were at least as responsible for the violent clashes as the white supremacists. Both deserve to be repudiated, and fascists who riot and try to shut down other people’s speech are just as reprehensible as racists.

So why are the critics so eager to force the president to single out the white supremacists? Because they want to tie him to the “alt-right.” They want an implicit admission from President Trump that the nuts who marched in Charlottesville and the man who drove his car into a crowd of counter-protesters had something to do with him. The Associated Press says:

Trump’s critics pointed to the president’s racially tinged rhetoric as exploiting the nation’s festering racial tension.

What “racially tinged rhetoric” is that? The AP doesn’t say. It quotes one such critic, the Mayor of Charlottesville, who explicitly ties the president to the white supremacists:

I’m not going to make any bones about it. I place the blame for a lot of what you’re seeing in America today right at the doorstep of the White House and the people around the president.

This is, I think, an outrageous slander, and I am sure the president agrees.

The Democrats are eager to take advantage of the fact that James Fields, who drove his car into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing at least one, was one of the white supremacist demonstrators. His act was reprehensible and those of us who still favor capital punishment would likely find him eligible for it. But where were the Democrats when James Hodgkinson tried to assassinate Republican Congressmen, grievously wounding Majority Whip Steve Scalise?

Hodgkinson wasn’t a member of some obscure left-wing fringe group. Rather, he was a union activist, rabid Democrat, and Bernie Sanders campaign worker. Did the Democrats tell us that his act was symbolic of life in Bernie Sanders’ America? No.

The reality is that there is far too much political violence. It is all unacceptable–fascist “antifas” rioting at the inauguration of President Trump, left-wing students and hangers-on rioting and committing assault at places like Berkeley, Middlebury, and Claremont, mainstream Democrats like James Hodgkinson trying to assassinate political opponents, murderers inspired by Black Lives Matter killing policemen, and fringe fanatics like James Fields similarly committing murder. I am evidently in the minority, but I think President Trump is right to condemn all political violence rather than singling out the one incident that Democrats want to talk about while whitewashing the rest.

PAUL ADDS: I’m with John on this one for the reasons I gave yesterday. In addition, as John says, the assertion that President Trump needs to condemn alt-right hate groups because some members have expressed support for him is basically a call, witting or not, for Trump to give credence to the slanderous narrative that these groups have something to do with him.


Evil losers on parade

Posted: 13 Aug 2017 07:16 AM PDT

(Scott Johnson)

What a sickening display of racism, anti-Semitism and all the rest the “white nationalists” served up in their demonstration over the decision to remove the statue of Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville. According to the New York Times, the planned rally was promoted as “Unite the Right,” attracting groups like the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazis and movement leaders like David Duke and Richard Spencer. NBC News has a good summary of events in Charlottesville yesterday here, as does the New York Times here.

“Evil losers” may be too strong a phrase to capture this crew, but it comes to mind in connection with the vehicular assault on “counter-protesters” that resulted in one death (at present) and 19 injured, five in critical condition. One James Alex Fields, all of 20 years old, has been charged with one count of second-degree murder and additional counts for those injured. The FBI and the Department of Justice have opened a civil rights investigation into the incident. As if this weren’t bad enough, two Virginia State Police officers were killed in a helicopter crash related to the events late yesterday afternoon.

New York Times reporter Sheryl Gay Stolberg was on the scene yesterday. She noted on Twitter: “The hard left seemed as hate-filled as alt-right. I saw club-wielding ‘antifa’ beating white nationalists being led out of the park.” The “evil losers” formulation comes to mind here as well.

Byron York reviews the events and finds President Trump’s statement condemning events in Charlottesville yesterday wanting. Byron writes: “Nobody has an obligation to denounce every kook and racist in the country. But when a prominent racist declares, at a rally featuring people wearing your campaign slogan, that he is carrying out your agenda, and you are the president of the United States, there is an obligation to speak out.” This seems fair to me.

Trump has an important contribution to make going beyond the condemnation of hatred and bigotry on “many sides” that he issued yesterday (video below). More needs to be said, if not just about the “white nationalists” and their ilk.

Incidentally, the left liberal Garry Wills said goodbye to his former friends on the right in his 1970 book Nixon Agonistes. Wills had been driven to the left by the convulsions of the 1960’s in general and the civil rights movement in particular. See, e.g., Michael McDonald’s brilliant New Criterion essay “Wills watching.”

Wills presented Robert E. Lee as a sort of moral exemplar in his chapter on the perils of Wilsonian universalism. Speaking of Lee’s decision to resign his command in the Union army and accept the Virginia governor’s request that he lead the troops of Virginia, Wills writes (pages 482-483): “It is impossible to think this an immoral decision, especially when we read the anguished letters he wrote to friends justifying it[.]” Like any good man of the left, Wills must have kept his opinions in tune with the times. I’d be curious what he has to say about Lee today.

UPDATE: Via Politico Playbook: “A WHITE HOUSE SPOKESPERSON put out the following statement in response to questions about President Trump’s remarks yesterday, per pooler Gabby Morrongiello of the Washington Examiner. ‘The President said very strongly in his statement yesterday that he condemns all forms of violence, bigotry, and hatred. Of course, that includes white supremacists, KKK Neo-Nazi, and all extremist groups. He called for national unity and bringing all Americans together.’”


Far-Left Fashion at Vogue

Posted: 13 Aug 2017 06:12 AM PDT

(John Hinderaker)

Like me, you probably don’t read Vogue. So you probably are under the misunderstanding that it is a glossy magazine dedicated to frivolous fashion. Wrong: it is a left-wing propaganda outlet sprinkled with photos of dresses and purses.

The magazine’s relentless leftism can be hilarious. Like this article: “Step Aside, Idris Elba and Chris Hemsworth: Robert Mueller Is America’s New Crush.”

[A]s Chelsea Handler bluntly put it on Twitter: “I’m starting to have a real crush on Mueller.”

She wasn’t the only one who’d felt a tingle while reading The Wall Street Journal breaking news alert. Handler’s tweet about the 72-year-old grandfather was met with responses like, “Intelligence is sexy”; “It’s Mueller Time” (there are now even T-shirts and trucker hats to this effect); #SilverFox; and from one man [sic], “I wanna have his baby.” Kindly step aside, Messrs. Idris Elba and Chris Hemsworth, because America has a deeply passionate, totally red-hot new crush, and it’s on Robert Mueller.

This is not a parody, it is how Democrats write for a rather weird slice of their base. Since it poses as a fashion magazine, Vogue includes a picture of Mueller looking (I guess) “sexy”:

Of course, Mueller isn’t America’s only “new crush”:

This hot pursuit of the truth has made Mueller hot, but he’s not the only one. On the day of his much-watched testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, James Comey drew swoons on Twitter, including suggestions he be the next Bachelor. (It seems we all have a type: former FBI directors.) And hard-charging CNN host Jake Tapper, too, has become a journalistic crush among the resistance.

Congratulations, Jake.

Vogue features a lot of dresses and accessories, but does it normally do swimsuits? I’m not sure, but it hired famed photographer Annie Liebowitz to photograph one bathing beauty: the traitor Bradley Chelsea Manning:

The picture illustrates the magazine’s lengthy paean to Manning:

A Lambda host guides Manning down a flight of steps. The party is just starting. At one end of the space, a platform, slightly raised above the dance floor, is marked off with velvet rope. A plate of crudités awaits; Manning orders a gimlet. She’s extroverted, she says: “I love being around people.” While living as a man, she often went to clubs and parties, even in stodgy Washington, D.C. …

Music pounds through the room, which is dim and bathed in blue and fuchsia light. As the space fills, a few brave souls approach Manning, then a few more. Soon the platform is packed with people hoping to take a flash-bleached selfie.

“I just wanted to say hello. You’re, like, a perfect hero.”
It’s a June afternoon, and we are sitting in a park along the Hudson River, a short walk from the sleek Tribeca building where Manning has been living since arriving in New York. Today she is dressed with a mixture of straightforward elegance and function: a casual black sleeveless Marc Jacobs dress with playful paisley lining, a small purse from The Row, Borderline boots by Vetements x Dr. Martens, and—the cinching touch—a black utility belt from 5.11 Tactical, a gear company that supplies law enforcement and the military. “I’ve been a huge fan of Marc Jacobs for many, many years, even going back to when I was wearing men’s clothing,” she explains. “He captures a kind of simplicity and a kind of beauty that I like—projecting strength through femininity.”

There is much more, including enough biographical information to raise the question: how did Manning, whose life was a complete mess, manage to get top secret clearance?

Vogue’s tribute to Manning concludes with credits not usually found at the end of a news story.

In this story:

Fashion Editor: Phyllis Posnick.
Hair: Jimmy Paul for Bumble and Bumble; Makeup: Alice Lane.
Tailor: Maria Del Greco for Christy Rilling Studio.
Set Design: Mary Howard

If you don’t think there is a culture war going on, think again. And virtually every institution, including ostensibly nonpolitical niche players like Vogue, is on the other side.


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