It's really very nice of Rep. Mark Sanford to acknowledge that Trump's words, tweets and deeds have much to do with the current hostile and deeply divided atmosphere in this country, but I think he's far too focused on the wrong sources for that hostility and division.
Sanford told the Morning Joe crew that "the president has unleashed, partially, again not in anyway totally, but partially to blame for the demons that have been unleashed."
The unleashing, according to Sanford, relates to Trump's comments made during the campaign, where he routinely called for violence against those with whom he disagreed.
That was terrible. Truly, it was. But Rep. Sanford is letting himself off the hook here by suggesting what Trump said matters nearly as much as what he and his Congressional cohorts are doing. There is no Congressional act which justifies yesterday's violence. But since we are in the realm of looking at ways to move forward with a kinder, gentler tone, there are pathways to that.
If, as Rep. Sanford says, there is "soul-searching" occurring right now, I'd say that needs to be in the area of deeds, not words. If they'd like to fix the ACA instead of continuing to threaten people's access to healthcare with the horrible AHCA, then that would be a good deed.
It isn't going to help for Republicans to gently and politely tell us to die and die quickly. The lying, the cynicism and the outright destruction they've engaged in since January is represented by deeds like passing the AHCA, which WILL cause people to die, lose their access to healthcare, lose their homes, and more.
If they'd like to continue to protect consumers by NOT repealing Dodd-Frank or killing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, that would be a good deed.
Both of those good deeds would go far toward some healing of the seeds of obstruction, anger, and hate sown during President Obama's 8-year tenure as president.
But erasing the progress we've made, threatening our children's future, selling our public lands, tossing millions off health insurance?
Those are things which will deepen anger, frustration and desperation. It will cause sharper rhetorical responses. If Rep. Sanford would like more polite discourse, he should put his actions where his mouth is.