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Rene Romo holds a sign bearing a message for President Donald Trump on Wednesday in El Paso, Texas. Rarely in recent memory has a relationship between a president and a city been so fraught, so as Trump arrived on Wednesday to try to meet the victims, protesters gathered at a memorial outside, many angry at the president's visit. (Ivan Pierre Aguirre/The New York Times)

You might say Nebraska state Sen. John McCollister was channeling what the president would soon counsel via a White House teleprompter after back-to-back mass shootings in 24 hours.

President Donald Trump on Monday told America: "In one voice, our nation must condemn racism, bigotry and white supremacy. These sinister ideologies must be defeated. Hate has no place in America. Hatred warps the mind, ravages the heart and devours the soul."

A few hours earlier, McCollister had typed a series of tweets with a similar message. But McCollister was aiming specifically at his fellow Republicans, most of whom have remained ridiculously quiet — even after Trump's teleprompter reading:

"The Republican Party is enabling white supremacy in our country. As a lifelong Republican, it pains me to say this, but it's the truth. I of course am not suggesting that all Republicans are white supremacists nor am I saying that the average Republican is even racist. What I am saying though is that the Republican Party is COMPLICIT to obvious racist and immoral activity inside our party."

McCollister continued: "We have a Republican president who continually stokes racist fears in his base. He calls certain countries 'sh*tholes,' tells women of color to 'go back' to where they came from and lies more than he tells the truth. We have Republican senators and representatives who look the other way and say nothing for fear that it will negatively affect their elections. No more. When the history books are written, I refuse to be someone who said nothing. The time is now for us Republicans to be honest with what is happening inside our party. We are better than this and I implore my Republican colleagues to stand up and do the right thing. We all like to cite Abraham Lincoln's Republican lineage when it is politically expedient but NOW is the time to ACT like Lincoln and take a stand."

The stand came. But not as McCollister and reasonable Republicans should expect.

The Nebraska Republican Party on Monday instead called for McCollister to re-register as a Democrat.

"John McCollister has been telegraphing for years that he has little if nothing in common with the Republican voters in his district ... ," Nebraska Republican Party Executive Director Ryan Hamilton said in a statement. "His latest false statement about Republicans should come as no surprise to anyone who is paying attention, and we're happy he has finally shed all pretense of being a conservative."

So, it's official? Being conservative means being racist — or at least silent about racism?

That wasn't the way the Republican Party reacted in Ohio — ground zero for one of the shootings.

After state Rep. Candice Keller on Sunday posted comments on Facebook blaming that mass shooting on "drag queen advocates," the Democratic Congress, former President Barack Obama, violent video games and the hatred of veterans, Ohio Republican Party leader Jane Timken called on Keller to resign.

In a statement, Timken said Keller's post was "shocking and utterly unjustifiable. ... Our nation is reeling from these senseless acts of violence, and public servants should be working to bring our communities together, not promoting divisiveness."

Closer to home, neither of our Tennessee senators, Lamar Alexander and Marsha Blackburn, nor Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, made any direct comment about white supremacists, white nationalists, Trump's baiting rhetoric or his teleprompter talk.

On Monday, Fleischmann posted online: "Heartbroken for the people of El Paso, TX and Dayton, OH. We are stronger than those who seek to divide us with cowardly actions and we will continue to pray and lift up all who are hurting. Please join me in honoring the victims of these tragedies and asking for peace for their families."

Blackburn, on Saturday, posted about El Paso: "It is with sadness that we have learned of today's shooting in El Paso. Thank you to the local law enforcement that apprehended the shooter. Our prayers go out to those injured. Our deepest sympathy, thoughts and prayers for families who have experienced the loss of life."

Blackburn was one nine Republican politicians to run Facebook ads echoing Trump-like white supremacist talking points of an immigration "invasion." Trump ran 2,200 such ads on Facebook in January and February. Blackburn ran multiple ads between Oct. 31 and Nov. 6 when she was elected to the Senate.

Alexander was more to the point: "Our nation cannot ignore these mass shootings. That is why [he worked on several pieces of legislation over recent years to address the multifaceted problem]. ... I am ready to do more, especially on background checks, to identify those who shouldn't have guns. ... Every day our internet democracy displays millions of hateful thoughts. To change behavior, each of us has a responsibility to replace these hateful thoughts with statements that respect the dignity of every individual, regardless of their background."

Meanwhile, there was Fake News Fox. Tucker Carlson on Tuesday claimed white supremacy is not a real problem in America: "This is a hoax, just like the Russia hoax. It's a conspiracy theory used to divide the country and keep a hold on power."

Well, he's right that they are alike. White Supremacy and Russia election interference are both attacks — one on America's voting integrity and the other on America's black, brown and Jewish people. Both also are horrifyingly real.

Frankly, if you've ever watched Carlson or Fox's Lou Dobbs for more than two minutes, you should be certain of it.

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