Is it any surprise that the Party of Denial a/k/a the Republican Party, is having such a hard time acknowledging the reality of the recent Charleston, South Carolina massacre? Not one Republican presidential candidate stepped up to forcefully decry the church shooting as a racial attack on a black congregation. To do that, after all, might somehow offend their base of bigots.
Fox News, the unofficial propaganda machine of the Republican Party, did, to their credit, condemn the attack as a hate crime. But this was not a hate crime directed against blacks, but one directed against Christians! This fit in perfectly with their “war against Christians” narrative. The fact that witnesses at the shooting heard Dylann Roof, the white supremist coward, clearly state that his act was against blacks didn’t matter… it was never reported.
Beyond the reluctance to label the shooting as racially motivated, the Republican field of candidates refused to criticize the state for flying the Confederate flag at the state capital. As the no-chance candidate Sen. Lindsey Graham observed, the flag is “part of who we are.”
The only prominent Republican who spoke unambiguously about the Confederate flag was a man not running in 2016. Mitt Romney said in a Twitter message this past Saturday, “Remove it now to honor #Charleston victims.”
But did you expect anything less from the party that denies global warming is real; that trickle-down economics doesn’t work; that racism exists; that abortions are legal; that the ACA is a success; that America has a gun problem?
As I write this, the political winds are already starting to shift. South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley is scheduled to call for the removal of the Confederate flag from the state capital. Whether the state’s legislature goes along with the proposal is an entirely different story. As is usually the case with radical, conservative Republicans, it won’t be common sense or even common decency that will get that flag down. It will be when their business overlords demand it.