Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin released a statement on Twitter, in response to a petition addressed to him by 350 of his former Yale classmates, demanding that he resign as a result of his boss’s refusal to condemn Nazi violence in Charlottesville.
The statement by Mnuchin, who is Jewish, more than anything provides a window into the sycophantic mind-set of Trump’s appointees.
First, Mnuchin assures his critics that he has no intention of resigning, and even though it has nothing to do with the issue that prompted the statement, declares that he will continue to devote his utmost efforts to stopping the financing of terrorism. Of course he will.
Second, he condemns, (without naming anyone) “the actions of those filled with hate and the intent to harm others.” If I’m a white supremacist or Nazi, I’m nodding in agreement right now. Go after those antifa guys, Steve! Both sides do it!
Then we get to the meat of his statement:
While I find it hard to believe I should have to defend myself on this, or the President, I feel compelled to let you know that the President in no way, shape or form, believes that neo-Nazi and other hate groups who endorse violence are equivalent to groups that demonstrate in peaceful and lawful ways.
“Hard to believe?” Really? The guy you work for waited a week to condemn groups whose entire purpose throughout history has been to violently intimidate innocent people, and you find it “hard to believe” you have to defend him? Or defend yourself in continuing to support him? Why is that “hard to believe?” Things that are “hard to believe” are things that are either preposterous on their face or lacking any empirical evidence. Here the evidence was right before your eyes, reported on the evening news every day.
Buried in the middle of Mnuchin’s statement is this little zinger:
“Finally, as a Yale graduate and a member of what used to be known as Calhoun College (prior to its name change), I am familiar with the culture wars being fought in our country and the impact it is having on many people, with different views of how history should be remembered. Some of these issues are far more complicated than we are led to believe by the mass media, and if it were so simple, such actions would have been taken by other presidents, governors, and mayors, long before President Trump was elected by the American people.
What in the hell is that supposed to mean? Revulsion at neo-Nazis and white supremacists who want to lynch blacks and burn Jews is now simply just another part of the “culture wars?” That we should excuse or worse, enable this type of hate and behavior because the removal of a statue is a “cultural” flashpoint? That this is just another chapter part of some long, lumbering story about “how history is to be remembered?” What “memory” of history needs to be revisited here? The history of Nazi Germany? Of the KKK?
What exactly is “complicated” about a group of white men carrying torches and shouting “blood and soil” and “Jews will not replace us?” What about this is not “so simple?” What should we be cautious about interpreting here?
So, how did the “mass media” fail us in Charlottesville? Was there some other side of the story we weren’t told? Did the Nazi who drove his car into a crowd of peaceful protesters have a “more complicated” rationale than we were led to believe?
Most importantly, how do people like Mnuchin sleep at night?
Finally, we get this:
“Our President deserves the opportunity to propose his agenda and to do so without the attempts by those who opposed him in the primaries, in the general election and beyond to distract the administration and the American people…[.]
To “distract the administration and the American people?”
Well, there you have it.
The reaction of the American public to the atrocious behavior of this President during the past week was nothing more than a “distraction.”
This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.