It looks like the wires are getting crossed at the White House. The day after chief strategist and chancre-sore-in-a-suit Steve Bannon called his fellow white supremacists a bunch of “clowns” in what might have been an effort to offset Donald Trump’s whipping that same group into an ecstatic frenzy by defending them on a national stage, the president has once again come out in support of racists.
After doing a little reputation burnishing of his own in a tweet about all the very important big-boy meetings he’s lined up and how “jobs numbers are looking great!,” Trump didn’t use his platform to do damage control or otherwise address the interview his far-right hand claims he unwittingly gave. Instead, following an almost reflexive “FAKE NEWS” tweet, Trump addressed the ongoing debate that’s pit Confederate monuments and the goose-stepping people that love them against the marginalized groups who hey, maybe don’t want to see the expensive statues commemorating those who waged a literal war in order to deny them their humanity.
Rather expectedly, the president came out in support of those who have disingenuously suggested that the only way to avoid repeating history is to spend money on the upkeep of monuments dedicated to those on the wrong side of it.
Look, we’re not surprised that Trump’s unaware of museums or Ken Burns’ Civil War documentary or books in general, or that he doesn’t realize that this country’s culture is made up of more than just statues of white men. But that “You can’t change history” reads much more like mourning the Confederacy’s loss than a simple suggestion to “buck up, buttercup” when it’s followed by the line that the “beauty” of a statue dedicated to someone like Stonewall Jackson can never “be comparably replaced,” as if it would be a bad thing if we never carved another figure in the shape of someone who thought slavery was a divinely ordered institution. The tweets are still up, because Trump’s already had the gall to say these things in public. But after all, the new interim White House communications director is still getting up to speed.