“This morning, the President doubled down on his attacks on our four colleagues suggesting they apologize to him,” Pelosi wrote to House Democrats. “Let me be clear, our caucus will continue to forcefully respond to these disgusting attacks.”
Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) and freshman Rep. Tom Malinowksi (D-N.J.), who was born in Poland, will draft the resolution, according to Pelosi. It’s unclear when the House will vote on the measure and the speaker did not specify in her letter…
“The House cannot allow the president’s characterization of immigrants to our country to stand. Our Republican colleagues must join us in condemning the president’s xenophobic tweets,” Pelosi wrote.
That would have been a no-brainer no matter what. It’ll bring Democrats together after a barroom brawl within the caucus that went on for days and force Republicans to choose whether to condemn Trump’s tweets or side with him on a “leave the country” solution to Ilhan Omar and other dark-skinned progressive critics of U.S. policy. Liberals in the media have spent the past 30 hours demanding that Republicans say which of those positions they hold. Pelosi has the power to actually force them to say, so she will. What makes a floor vote in this case especially obligatory, though, is the uproar that followed a few months ago after Omar’s dual-loyalty shot at American supporters of Israel. At the time Republicans and some Democrats demanded a resolution denouncing her by name, since that was her second offense. (She had previously gurgled about AIPAC and “the Benjamins” influencing U.S. policy towards Israel, remember.) But the left revolted and Pelosi ultimately caved, watering down the resolution until it became a condemnation of anti-semitism so pedestrian that Omar herself voted for it. With the GOP having given her so much grief about that resolution, it was a cinch Pelosi would pay them back with a resolution aimed at Trump now.
As for when the vote might be held, a Democratic aide coyly told Politico, “one step at a time.” That’s a no-brainer also. Why rush? Why not let this story play out for a few days and let Republicans bleed some more? The only hard question Pelosi’s wrestling with is whether to make it a routine denunciation or a formal censure, as Republicans will feel more comfortable voting for the former than the latter. She wins either way, though: GOPers who vote against the resolution will be savaged as racists, GOPers who vote for it will be ripped by righties for not having had Trump’s back in his latest explosion of Twitter diarrhea. For instance, which way will this pitiful chump go?
Maryland Congressman @RepAndyHarrisMD tells me President Trump's tweets this weekend were "clearly not racist" and that "he could have meant go back to the district they came from–to the neighborhood they came from." Full interview https://t.co/avXhiW2uBP
— Bryan Nehman (@BryanNehman) July 15, 2019
“Go back to your home district” is not what POTUS meant, as he made clear this afternoon in the clip below. It goes to show how bad Trump’s tweets were, though, that no professional Republicans are defending them on the merits today. The congressional GOP thus far has been torn between half-hearted claims a la Andy Harris that Trump was somehow misunderstood to grudging admissions a la Lindsey Graham that Trump went too far buttttttttt is certainly correct that the “Squad” is anti-American and anti-semitic and that’s what we should focus on, not him telling a black member of Congress to go back to Africa. The strongest, most unqualified condemnation of Trump I’ve seen from a prominent figure at a right-wing institution is this one, and he’s, er, not much of a right-winger himself:
Sad to watch my friend @realDonaldTrump take low road regarding @AOC of the Bronx, @RashidaTlaib of Detroit @AyannaPressley of Boston & @Ilhan of Somalia & Minneapolis. Let’s stick to issues & steer clear of language that’s xenophobic even racist. @POTUS you’re better than that.
— Geraldo Rivera (@GeraldoRivera) July 14, 2019
The sharpest criticism I’ve seen from the left, meanwhile, came from Dem Rep. Jim Himes, who’s of white European ancestry, completely generic-looking as far as traditional American pols go, but was born in Lima, Peru. Can anyone imagine Trump telling me to go back where I came from, Himes asked? If not, then his jab at Omar (and AOC, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Pressley) isn’t about being born elsewhere. It’s about something else.
Here’s POTUS commenting on the tweets followed by AOC doing her usual thing. One surreal aspect of Trump telling malcontents to leave the country if they’re so unhappy here is that there may have been no right-leaning celebrity/aspiring politician in the United States who spoke as harshly about America during the Obama years as Trump himself. “This country is a hellhole. We are going down fast,” he said (on Megyn Kelly’s show!) a month before launching his presidential bid in 2015. It’s not unusual to hear that from populist outsiders on either side politically; 80 percent of the appeal of nationalism is the idea that invaders of various sorts have ruined the homeland economically and culturally and need to be neutralized or removed — “go back to your home countries” — to restore it to greatness. If everyone who thinks America sucks because it’s not living up to its promise had to live abroad, Trump would have spent the duration of the Obama presidency tweeting from Scotland.
Trump doubles down on "go back" tweets, rants about Ilhan Omar, AOC, Pressley, and Tlaib pic.twitter.com/LByLdEh9Qd
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) July 15, 2019
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) July 15, 2019