This past weekend, our nation endured an unspeakable tragedy when a man entered a synagogue and murdered 11 innocent people in cold blood. It was the worst attack against the Jewish population in American history and a terrifying indicator of how deeply infected this country has become with hatred.
President Trump, who still refuses to accept any degree of responsibility despite his generally bigoted rhetoric and specifically his anti-Semitic dog whistle attacks on billionaire George Soros, traveled to Pittsburgh, ostensibly to offer his condolences.
He insisted on going despite local officials and thousands of citizens asking him not to, proving that he was far more interested in a PR event than in actually respecting and helping the people affected by the attack.
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Now, Trump has taken to Twitter and brought his exploitation of the tragedy to a new low by using it to stump for a member of his party up for reelection next week.
The president said that he was “really impressed” with Congressman Keith Rothfus, “far more so than any other local political figure.” Trump commended Rothfus on his “compassion, grief and sorrow for the events that took place” and said it was “inspiring.”
The implication is, of course, that Rothfus’s opponent and Democratic incumbent Conor Lamb has failed to display the appropriate emotions, a sinister and calloused line of attack in the wake of such a horrific shooting.
Trump ended his tweet by urging people to “Vote for Keith!” revealing the tawdry charade for exactly what it was: a hamfisted attempt to use a time of mourning to drum up votes for the GOP. It hardly needs to be pointed out that a national tragedy like this is no time to be pushing petty partisan politics, but our president is incapable of empathy or anything even vaguely resembling leadership.
Yesterday in Pittsburgh I was really impressed with Congressman Keith Rothfus (far more so than any other local political figure). His sincere level of compassion, grief and sorrow for the events that took place was, in its own way, very inspiring. Vote for Keith!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 31, 2018