I’m often skeptical when those on the left accuse conservative politicians of using “dog whistle” rhetoric to appeal to racist, extreme-right supporters. It can be, and often is, a non-falsifiable smear.
But President Trump’s disgraceful, amoral, mealy-mouthed “condemnation” of yesterday’s violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, leaves no room for doubt when you read the neo-Nazi Daily Stormer’s grateful response:
I despise the “Antifa” movement, which promotes – often violently – its own brand of authoritarianism. But the radical right actually has connections to the most powerful person on Earth. Right now, that should be everyone’s top priority.
The founder of The Daily Stormer, interestingly, is bravely running away from a lawsuit launched by woman he encouraged his followers to harass:
Now Gersh is taking on the man who started it all. In a federal lawsuit filed in April, Gersh accuses Andrew Anglin, who publishes the neo-Nazi Daily Stormer website, of invading her privacy, intentionally inflicting emotional distress and violating Montana’s Anti-Intimidation Act by organizing more than 700 instances of harassment since December 2016. The Southern Poverty Law Center, a civil rights group, is representing Gersh.
How the case will turn out remains to be seen, in part because SPLC lawyers can’t find Anglin. Dinielli, Gersh’s lawyer, said his team hasn’t been able to serve Anglin and he hasn’t stepped forward to receive the complaint. A November 2016 article in HuffPost said Anglin “appeared” to be in Berlin, while other reports have placed him in Russia and Ohio. This week, CNN reported that Anglin said he now lives in Lagos, Nigeria.
Instead of staying, fighting and litigating the potentially important freedom-of-expression issues raised by this lawsuit, the brave neo-Nazi hero scampers away and hides like a cockroach. It’s so, so perfect.