Blame Game is Only Played One Way

Having revealed himself to be the biggest jerk in the world, and getting himself thrown out of the White House, Anthony Scaramucci is casting himself for a new role: moral conscience of the nation. We had thought that the murder in Charlottesville was the work of a lone idiot, who had been encouraged by some Nazi loonies. Ah non, says Scaramucci. Let’s blame Steve Bannon.

Look, I’m guessing here, but from his comments, I don’t think the Mooch and Bannon got along. So I guess I understand it. But when there’s a tragedy, as there was in Charlottesville, we need to step back from weaponizing it through indiscriminate blame.

When that happens, there’s only one criminal. But thinking back to the shooting in Alexandria in June, it’s fair game to ask whether the shooter took seriously Senator Tim Kaine’s call for progressives to fight in the streets. Or Kathy Griffin, who held up a bloody head of a decapitated Trump. Or Stephen Colbert, whose “Late Show” on CBS put Stephen Miller’s head on a spike. Or Sarah Silverman, who suggested the military stage a coup against Trump. Or Madonna, who said “I’ve thought a lot about blowing up the White House.” Or CNN, which speculated about who would take over if Trump were assassinated on Inauguration Day. Or former Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau, who tweeted, “I don’t care how many different songs you set (white nationalist) Richard Spencer being punched to, I’ll laugh at every one.” Or the Washington Post editorial board, which compared Trump to Hitler, and carries puff pieces about antifa rioters. Or Hillary Clinton, who announced she had joined the “resistance.” None of these were meant literally, of course, but perhaps the subtleties were lost on the gunman.

Somehow they all get a pass, and Steve Bannon doesn’t. I don’t recall Bannon offering anything like the encouragement to violence that I just mentioned, but that doesn’t seem to matter, does it?

The president, too. Trump clearly and unambiguously condemned the bigotry, violence and hatred which took place on the streets of Charlottesville, and didn’t dignify the names of these groups of people. He didn’t have to. We know who they are.

You know who came up with the slogan, “no enemies to the left”? Alexander Kerensky. We know where that got him, but the Left still hasn’t figured it out. But the Right knows it has enemies on the Right. You don’t have to tell us. We know.


About F. H. Buckley

F.H. Buckley teaches at Scalia Law School. His latest book, "The Republic of Virtue: How We Tried to Ban Corruption, Failed, and What We Can Do About It," will be published in December 2017 by Encounter Books.

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3 responses to “Blame Game is Only Played One Way

  • “But thinking back to the shooting in Alexandria in June, it’s fair game to ask whether the shooter took seriously Senator Tim Kaine’s call for progressives to fight in the streets. ”

    I’m pretty sure that’s exactly what happened.

    To use but one example:

    “So, James Hodgkinson is causally responsible for firing bullets into those Republicans who he preyed upon on the morning of June 14. He also shoulders the largest share of the moral responsibility for this action, for it was Hodgkinson and no one else who chose to do what he did.

    That being said, there are degrees of moral responsibility. To suggest that those Democrats and leftists with loud and influential voices, those who served as Hodgkinson’s moral exemplars, those who imparted and reinforced the ideas that fueled him to go on a Republican hunting spree, shoulder zero culpability for the fruits of their tireless endeavor to demonize Republicans stretches credibility to the snapping point.”

    American Greatness, June 16.

    But, you know, cool: AmGreatness could’ve chosen to say Nazis running down protesters in their cars is bad OR it could’ve chosen “Dems commit murder too.” The made choice was predictable, to say the least, and executed in such a way as to ignore recent history. Well-done.

  • Since when has James Alex Fields Jr been convicted? I thought the entire premise of the American justice system was innocent until PROVEN guilty. The media is convicting a man who doesn’t even have an attorney. True conservatives like Buckley should know better.

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