Republicans are calling for Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney to apologize to President Trump for blaming the president for a nonexistent "racist incident" at Weccacoe Playground.
Good luck with that.
A couple of Thursdays ago, a black doll was found hanging from a noose in Queen Village.
The mother who discovered it called the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations, which investigates hate crimes. They told the mother to call 911.
Police arrived and the mayor freaked out.
Kenney promptly sent out a disastrously prepared… yes, prepared! … statement, declaring, "I am sickened by what took place today at Weccacoe Playground. Although the investigation is still underway, I want to immediately condemn this despicable act. It demonstrates how far this country has fallen when people are inspired by the hateful rhetoric of our president. And it is particularly disgraceful to make a sacrilege out of a sacred burial ground, where thousands of African Americans are interred. The city will do everything in its power to bring the people responsible to justice for this disgusting act."
Yes, with the investigation just beginning, Kenney dug into the muck-filled morass of his gray matter to indict the completely irrelevant opposing political party for what he wrongly presumed to be a hate crime.
Fortunately, NBC10 reporter Rosemary Connors investigated the story. Connors learned that the doll was strung up by two preteen boys who told her they thought the doll was creepy and strung it up to scare people.
One of the boys is black.
The other boy is white.
The boys reportedly did not even know about the symbolism of the noose and the history of lynchings in America.
Will Kenney apologize to President Trump for declaring him guilty of somehow aiding and abetting a nonexistent racist act?
Of course not.
Should Republicans insist?
Kenney profits from the politics of division, and whether or not you feel his behavior is reprehensible, it's up to voters to decide if someone like this represents them.
To Kenney, admitting he overreacted and then apologize for smearing a Republican would be like admitting Philadelphians are driving the short ride to Delaware to buy Pepsi and their groceries tax-free.
His knee-jerk reaction to the boys' prank is very much like his reaction to honest criticism of his soda tax: blame-shifting.
Last year, Kenney told the Philadelphia Inquirer, "[Beverage companies] are so committed to stopping this tax from spreading to other cities, that they are not only passing the tax they should be paying onto their customer, they are actually willing to threaten working men and women's jobs rather than marginally reduce their seven-figure bonuses."
That was last February, when supermarkets and distributors reported a 30 percent to 50 percent drop in beverage sales.
Kenney either doesn't believe his soda tax has cost hundreds of jobs or he doesn't care, putting him directly at odds with Teamsters Local 830, which says hundreds of jobs were lost due to his stupidly targeted tax.
Either way, in Kenney's world, the beverage industry is the enemy.
Just like when it comes to badly behaving kids, Trump is the enemy.
Ironically, Trump has apologized for crude comments he made about women in 2005, saying, "I said it, I was wrong and I apologize."
Will Kenney apologize?
No, there's no political gain in an apology.
Good news for both of the prankster boys is that Mayor Kenney's record also suggests he will not keep his word and "bring them to justice."