Trump’s continuing attempts to get “condemnation” right actually illustrate a profound shift in the political rhetoric in the US. (And, unfortunately, elsewhere.)
There were Nazis on one side in Charlottesville. From which it follows, apparently, that anything less than full throated support for the thugs of antifa means, well it means that you support Nazis. So, for example, if you make any attempt to sort the right wing sheep from the Nazi goats…You’re a Nazi supporter. If you note that the police and National Guard expressly stood down and failed to protect a permitted meeting…You’re a Nazi supporter.
Once political conversation descends to this level it is no longer conversation and it has moved from political to tribal.
A fact that seems to have entirely eluded Trump and who ever it is who is advising him. [I note that Trump’s flatfootedness may very well be a consequence of the globalist cadres in the White House marginalizing Steve Bannon because Bannon understands this.] Once the left and the media have a way of proving to their own satisfaction that Trump, because he criticized both sides, is a Nazi supporter the White House is left with two courses of action. One, which will weaken and eventually destroy the Trump Presidency, is to try and find the right words to propitiate people who want nothing more than to “prove” Trump is a Nazi and will use whatever means necessary to drive home the attack. The other, which will rally the base and begin to move the general American public, is to go hard on the antifa rioters and nail the cowardice of the Charlottetown police, national guard and their political masters.
For the second strategy to work Trump will have to bring Bannon back into the loop even if it annoys the Generals. This is a political fight and Generals, no matter how well organized and disciplined, don’t do politics well.
If Trump, as is rumoured, instead fires Bannon the Trump Presidency is, at best lamed, at worst, pretty much over. In a sense, if he fires Bannon, Trump will have been housebroken and that is not what his base elected him for.
I have spent a good deal of time defending Trump because the Trump powered by Bannon is the corrective that America has needed for a couple of decades. But if Bannon is shown the door, for whatever reason, I’ll jump off the Trump train in a New York second. The populist insurgency will have been stillborn, the swamp will remain full and the antifa fascists and their Democratic party enablers will continue their terror and their misrule.
Update: Chris Buskirk at American Greatness gets the point about Steve Bannon.