His second reaction was that we need to bring back the death penalty. Funny thing about that. Ha ha. We already have it. The perpetrator has been charged with several capital offenses. He doesn't seem to have been very concerned about that.
Everybody is linking to Adam Serwer so I might as well do it too. For the past few weeks Orange Julius has been ranting about a "caravan" of Central American migrants, which he claims in tones increasingly redolent of the Revelation of John are a horde of criminals and terrorists bent on invading the country and destroying our way of life. The racist ecosystem at Faux News and associated radio and Internet ranters has gone on to claim that George Soros is paying for the whole thing, which is code for the International Jewish Conspiracy. This is all complete nonsense intended to sow fear, but Robert Bowers believed it, and said quite explicitly that was why he wanted to murder Jews. Serwer:
The apparent spark for the worst anti-Semitic massacre in American history was a racist hoax inflamed by a U.S. president seeking to help his party win a midterm election. There is no political gesture, no public statement, and no alteration in rhetoric or behavior that will change this fact. The shooter might have found a different reason to act on a different day. But he chose to act on Saturday, and he apparently chose to act in response to a political fiction that the president himself chose to spread and that his followers chose to amplify.But Trump and the Republicans have been doing this since before the election. As Josh Marshall reminds us. The revolting psychopath does this without regard for his own Jewish grandchildren. From Josh:
As for those who aided the president in his propaganda campaign, who enabled him to prey on racist fears to fabricate a national emergency, who said to themselves, “This is the play”? Every single one of them bears some responsibility for what followed. Their condemnations of anti-Semitism are meaningless. Their thoughts and prayers are worthless. Their condolences are irrelevant. They can never undo what they have done, and what they have done will never be forgotten.
Trump has electrified anti-Semites and racist groups across the country. His own campaign has repeatedly found itself speaking to anti-Semites, tweeting their anti-Semitic memes, retweeting anti-Semites. His campaign manager, Steven Bannon, is an anti-Semite. The Breitbart News site he ran and will continue running after the campaign has become increasingly open in the last year with anti-Semitic attacks and politics.
Beyond that, this shouldn’t surprise us for a broader reason. Authoritarian, xenophobic political movements, which the Trump campaign unquestionably is, are driven by tribalism and ‘us vs them’ exclusion of outsiders. This may begin with other groups – Mexican immigrants, African-Americans, Muslims. It almost always comes around to Jews.
It’s true there is son-in-law Jared Kushner, a Jew and Ivanka, who converted to Judaism. But this isn’t terribly surprising. Kushner appears to be conscienceless. And as I noted here, there is a storied history of anti-Semites being happy to distinguish between good Jews and bad Jews.But the Zionist Organization of America and Bibi Netanyahu love him. There's a reason for that.