It doesn’t matter what President Trump says or does – even if it’s something that liberals agree with deep down – it’s never good enough.
Right after he won the election, he was called on to denounce violence [allegedly] done in his name. He denounced it. He looked into the camera and told those committing violence to “stop it.” But that wasn’t good enough.
At his first presidential press conference, he was asked a question about a rise in anti-Semitic attacks across the country. He made clear how he is the “least anti-Semitic person you’ve seen in your entire life.” Yes, he probably could have worded that better, but it’s Trump. What he said was Trumpian for “I am not anti-Semitic at all.” He then appealed to his longstanding relationship with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. If anyone would be a good and reliable judge of character when it comes to anti-Semitism, it would be Netanyahu. But that wasn’t good enough.
Trump recently came out and clearly denounced anti-Semitism and attacks on Jewish institutions. “The anti-Semitic threats targeting our Jewish community and community centers are horrible and are painful and a very sad reminder of the work that still must be done to root out hate and prejudice and evil,” he said at the National Museum of African American History and Culture. As you probably expected, that too was not good enough.
Sunni Muslim Representative and potential DNC head Keith Ellison (D-MN) – who’s got his own associations with anti-Semitic groups – denounced Trump’s denunciation:
Why has it taken @realDonaldTrump so long to even say the word “anti-Semitism?” Perhaps it has something to do with placating his base?
— Rep. Keith Ellison (@keithellison) February 21, 2017
CNN hosted a debate Wednesday among eight candidates who are vying to be chairman of the Democratic National Committee. Ellison is considered to be one of the top contenders. The leader will be chosen on Saturday.
Moderator Chris Cuomo asked Keith Ellison very nicely and sweetly about the anti-Semitism charge and whether someone like Ellison is really the right ‘messenger,’ considering his own anti-Semitic baggage:
CHRIS CUOMO: Congressman Ellison — on Tuesday, you criticized President Trump on Twitter for not speaking out sooner about anti-Semitism. You have critics in your party that say that is the right message but you may not be the right messenger because you’re dogged by your own questions about potential anti-Semitism. What do you say to your critics?
ELLISON: Well, these are false allegations. And that’s why I have 300 rabbis and Jewish community leaders who have signed a letter supporting me. Five of my colleagues — they said, look, I don’t have anything to say about this race, but we know Keith and he is a good man and always has been. That’s why a week ago I was in New York City with HIAS (ph), which is an organization, a Jewish organization, which stands up for refugees. They’re saying, we were once refugees, and they stood out in New York and demanded that we have respect for refugees now.
And when I spoke at that, I invoked the memory of the St. Louis, where Jews fleeing Third Reich were turned away in Cuba with the knowledge of our government and sent back. Many of them ended up perishing in the Holocaust.
I have a long, strong history of interfaith dialogue, interfaith communication, and that’s why in my own community, I have strong support from the Jewish community. So these are smears and we’re fighting back every day, but we’re fighting back with people who know us. I just want to say, it is critical that we speak up against this anti-Semitism because right now, you have Jewish cemeteries being defaced and desecrated. Right now, you have Jewish institutions getting bomb threats. We have to stand with the Jewish community right here, right now, four square, and that’s what the Democratic Party is all about.