Trump deliberately chose a provocative word that Democrats had used about impeachment.
“Lynching” is a provocative word, given America’s history of an estimated 4,400 black people murdered in lynchings over a roughly 70-year span. Being provocative is what animates Donald Trump, so it’s no surprise that he chose the word to describe what Democrats are doing with impeachment. “So some day, if a Democrat becomes President and the Republicans win the House, even by a tiny margin, they can impeach the President, without due process or fairness or any legal rights,” Trump said. “All Republicans must remember what they are witnessing here — a lynching. But we will WIN!”
There are times when Trump takes to social media with reactionary, vindictive, and petty things. This is not one of those times.
We’re going to go out on a limb and speculate that, before Trump began typing his tweet, his communications team knew that Leftmedia outlets would be forced to file follow-up reports, conceding that a slew of Democrats — led by Joe Biden — used the word “lynching” to describe Bill Clinton’s impeachment in 1998. We don’t recall a flood of Leftmedia stories back then slamming Democrats for that deliberate word choice or giving historical lectures about the awful history of lynching. But here we are, swamped with such stories now. Of course, these sanctimonious lectures leave out the inconvenient truth that actual lynchings were perpetrated mostly by Democrats.
Biden provided the most humorous “gotcha” for Trump. “Impeachment is not ‘lynching,’ it is part of our Constitution,” Biden huffed. “Our country has a dark, shameful history with lynching, and to even think about making this comparison is abhorrent. It’s despicable.” But then CNN grudgingly went to the 1998 tape of Biden telling Wolf Blitzer, “Even if the president should be impeached, history will question whether or not this was a partisan lynching.”
Confronted with his own words, Biden was forced to apologize, saying, “This wasn’t the right word to use and I’m sorry about that.” But, he insisted, Trump is the real sinner because he “chose his words deliberately” (as if Biden hadn’t) and “continues to stoke racial divides in this country daily.”
Poppycock. Trump isn’t “stoking racial divides”; Democrats are.
The Wall Street Journal editorial board argues, “No President should use the word in the off-hand and self-indulgent way that Mr. Trump did in his tweet.” The Journal adds, “The more he forces Republicans to defend words or actions that don’t deserve defending, the more their resentment will build and the more political trouble he will be in.”
That may be true, but it’s also Beltway-New York media echo-chamber pablum. Trump was elected precisely because he wouldn’t behave like other presidents and because voters were fed up with other Republicans refusing to stand up to Democrats. In any case, his “trolling” consistently provides one important service to the country: revealing the shameless hypocrisy of Democrats and the Leftmedia.
From today’s Short Cuts:
A trip down memory lane…
“Even if [Bill Clinton] should be impeached, history is going to question whether or not this was just a partisan lynching or whether or not it was something that in fact met the standard.” —Joe Biden, 1998
“We’re taking a step down the road to becoming a political lynch mob. … We are going to find a rope, find a tree, and ask a bunch of questions later.” —Rep. Jim McDermott, 1998
“In pushing the process, in pushing the arguments of fairness and due process, the Republicans so far have been running a lynch mob.” —Rep. Jerry Nadler, 1998
“The lynch mob … now has a new leader.” —Sen. Harry Reid, 1998
“It is a verbal political lynching on the floor of the Senate.” —Sen. John Kerry, 1998