[guest post by Dana]
Yesterday, we saw President Trump unwisely step in and distract Democrats from their infighting by making himself the focus of their attention with his inaccurate and inflammatory tweets attacking members of their caucus. Last night, he doubled down on his perceived righteousness in the conflict. This morning, he is tripling down by way of calling for an apology from the same Democratic Congresswomen that he suggested go back to where they came from and then come back to govern:
When will the Radical Left Congresswomen apologize to our Country, the people of Israel and even to the Office of the President, for the foul language they have used, and the terrible things they have said. So many people are angry at them & their horrible & disgusting actions!
If Democrats want to unite around the foul language & racist hatred spewed from the mouths and actions of these very unpopular & unrepresentative Congresswomen, it will be interesting to see how it plays out. I can tell you that they have made Israel feel abandoned by the U.S.
It’s ironic that, along with helping the Democrats by his reckless tweeting, President Trump has once again forced the hand of the GOP’s sitting members of Congress. Does the elected official ignore his own moral compass and remain silent in order to stay in Trump’s good graces, or is he compelled to follow his own conscience and publicly condemn the President’s bigoted comments – consequences be damned?
Sen. Pat Toomey isn’t afraid to follow his conscience:
President Trump was wrong to suggest that four left-wing congresswomen should go back to where they came from. Three of the four were born in America and the citizenship of all four is as valid as mine. I couldn’t disagree more with these congresswomen’s views on immigration, socialism, national security, and virtually every policy issue. But they are entitled to their opinions, however misguided they may be. We should defeat their ideas on the merits, not on the basis of their ancestry.
With this latest kerfuffle, Jonathan Swan revisits Trump’s assertion made during the presidential campaign that he could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and he wouldn’t lose any voters. It was true then, and sadly, it appears to be true now:
Trump knows he can say whatever he likes and face no consequences from the party he has conquered.
The few Republicans who dared to defy him either got crushed by pro-Trump candidates in primaries (Rep. Mark Sanford), quit the party (Rep. Justin Amash) or retired (Sens. Jeff Flake and Bob Corker). One remaining critic, Sen. Mitt Romney, mostly pushes back by issuing stern but ineffectual tweets. And Sen. Ben Sasse, who used to lambaste the president, has mostly gone silent.
No modern president, besides George W. Bush immediately after the 9/11 attacks, has enjoyed such popularity with Republican voters.
UPDATE: Via Sahil Kapur of Bloomberg and Dallas News, these are the Republicans that have joined Sen. Toomey in denouncing President Trump for his comments toward the four Democratic congresswomen: Rep. Mike Turner, Rep. Will Hurd, Rep. Pete Olson, Rep. Chip Roy, Sen. Tim Scott, Sen. Susan Collins.
And via Alison King of NBC10 Boston, comes this weak tea from Mitt Romney:
“I certainly feel a number of these new members of Congress have views that are not consistent with my experience and not consistent with building a strong America.”
“At the same time, I recognize that the Pres has a unique and noble calling to unite all Americans regardless of our creeds or race or place of our national origin and I think in that case, the Pres fell far short.”
I’ll continue to update the post with any further responses from GOP members as I see them published. If you see some that I’ve missed, please let us know in the comments.
(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)