Exploiting massacres to raise poll ratings
It was two days of contrast that tell us about America 2019.
In El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, following the mass murders of Saturday and Sunday morning, the local folks on camera -- police, prosecutors, mayors, FBI and city officials -- were nonpartisan, patient, polite and dignified in the unity and solemnity of their grief for their dead and wounded.
But for the Democratic presidential candidates, the El Paso atrocity was like a loose football in the Super Bowl.
A mad scramble broke out over who would be first and most savage in indicting President Donald Trump for moral complicity in mass murder.
Never let a crisis go to waste is an old political adage.
And this crowd of candidates was not going to let that happen. Yet the naked political exploitation of these horrific acts, before the bodies of many had been removed from the crime scene, was appalling to behold.
Learning in Las Vegas of the slaughter at the Walmart in El Paso, his hometown, Beto O'Rourke flew back that same day and sped to the scene.
Railed Beto, Trump "is a racist and he stokes racism in this country ... and it leads to violence. ... We have a president with white nationalist views in the United States today." He called Trump's language about Mexican immigrants "reminiscent of something you might hear in the Third Reich."
Asked on Sunday by CNN's Jake Tapper if he believes the president is a "white nationalist," Beto eagerly assented: "Yes, I do."
Bernie Sanders, asked by Tapper if he agreed with Beto, replied: