This is Essential Politics for August 2017. Find our daily look at California political and government news over here.
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista) called Thursday for a House Judiciary Committee hearing on the impact of white supremacist groups on civil rights.
The move comes as party leaders are fretting over the political fallout from President Trump’s response to the violence spawned by white supremacists and neo-Nazis last weekend in Charlottesville, Va.
“As the nation grieves and heals from the scenes of this past weekend, we have a duty to more fully understand what led to these terrible events and the persistence of these hateful, extremist ideologies,” Issa said in a letter to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.).
Trump condemned the neo-Nazis and white supremacists whose protests against Charlottesville’s removal of a Confederate monument turned violent.
But earlier this week the president reversed course in his remarks on the violence, saying some “very fine people” marched alongside the extremists, and casting some blame on counter-protesters. On Thursday, Trump lamented the growing calls to take down Confederate monuments.
Issa, who narrowly won reelection last year, is one of California’s most vulnerable Republican incumbents in next year’s House elections. He has been trying to broaden his appeal among moderates in his coastal district, which straddles northern San Diego and southern Orange counties.
On Thursday, he bemoaned the “despicable display of bigotry and evil” by a “repulsive hate group,” saying a hearing should be held next month.
“While Congress cannot legislate respect, decency, or acceptance of others,” he said, “we have an obligation to use our platform to lead our country forward on these matters.”