The Republican party is in a dance with death with its leader Donald Trump, as he keeps going further and further in his ties with the worst elements of American politics, consisting of racists, misogynists, white supremacists, and neo-Nazis. His dinner with Nick Fuentes and Kanye West/Ye has forced even the more servile members of the party criticize him.
House and Senate Republicans are speaking out against former President Donald Trump’s dinner last week with Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West, and white nationalist and Holocaust denier Nick Fuentes.
“There is no room in the Republican Party for antisemitism or white supremacy,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday. “And anyone meeting with people advocating that point of view, in my judgment, are highly unlikely to ever be elected president of the United States.”
The leaders’ reactions to the dinner came a day after former Vice President Mike Pence said that Trump should apologize for even sitting down with Fuentes.
“Trump was wrong to give a white nationalist, an antisemite and Holocaust denier a seat at the table,” Pence said in an interview with News Nation Now. “And I think he should apologize for it, and he should denounce those individuals and their hateful rhetoric without qualification.”
Other Republicans and conservative Jewish leaders have also criticized the dinner with Fuentes and Ye.
Several Republican lawmakers and prominent Jewish conservatives have condemned Donald Trump for meeting with white supremacist and antisemite Nick Fuentes, in a rare distancing from the ex-president.
Trump’s former vice-president Mike Pence, the former New Jersey governor Chris Christie, and several Republican senators were critical, to varying degrees, of Trump, who has come under fire after dining with Fuentes last week.
Jewish conservative figures also spoke out against Trump, including Jay Lefkowitz, a former adviser to George W Bush.
“We have a long history in this country of separating the moral character of the man in the White House from his conduct in office, but with Trump, it’s gone beyond any of the reasonably acceptable and justifiable norms,” Lefkowitz told the newspaper.
Ben Shapiro, a Jewish rightwing personality who has been supportive of Trump in the past, rejected Trump’s explanation in a post on Twitter.
“A good way not to accidentally dine with a vile racist and anti-Semite you don’t know is not to dine with a vile racist and anti-Semite you do know,” Shapiro wrote on Sunday.
But Republican leader of the House Kevin McCarthy, mindful of the fact that he can afford to lose only four members of his caucus for the Speakership vote, once again tries to ingratiate himself with Trump by providing him with excuses.
Earlier in the day, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy denounced Fuentes, who is labeled as a white supremacist pundit and organizer by the Anti-Defamation League, in language similar to McConnell’s, though he stopped short of condemning the former president.
“I don’t think anybody should be spending any time with Nick Fuentes. He has no place in this Republican Party,” McCarthy said. “I think President Trump came out four times and condemned him and didn’t know who he was.”
When a reporter pointed out to McCarthy that the former president only denied knowing Fuentes — not condemning his ideologies — McCarthy responded, “Well, I condemn his ideology, it has no place in society; at all.”
It seems like Fuentes and his allies might have deliberately staged the high-profile meeting, knowing it would be controversial, to pressure Trump into being even more openly supportive of the crazies like him in his base, rather than doing it with winks and nods and dog whistles.
“I wanted to show Trump the kind of talent that he’s missing out on by allowing his terrible handlers to dictate who he can and can’t hang out with,” [Milos] Yiannopoulos told NBC News.
“I also wanted to send a message to Trump that he has systematically repeatedly neglected, ignored, abused the people who love him the most, the people who put him in office, and that kind of behavior comes back to bite you in the end,” he added.
And, Yiannopoulos said, he arranged the dinner “just to make Trump’s life miserable” because news of the dinner would leak and Trump would mishandle it.
Fuentes echoed the sentiment: “I hate to say it, but the chickens are coming home to roost. You know, this is the frustration with his base and with his true loyalists.”
As they say, with friends like these, who needs enemies?
But as with all the other times when Trump has crossed what seems like a red line into unacceptable behavior, with time will this too fade away and these people crawl back to him? My guess is yes because the Trump-Republican relationship has all the hallmarks of an abusive one where the abused person repeatedly says that the latest outrage is the last straw and they are leaving for good, only to return later.