On her first day in Congress, Rashida Tlaib called Donald Trump a “motherfucker.” This rules, but as you could probably expect, it has also officially become a Thing, thanks to an opposition willing to weaponize anything and everything despite how hypocritical it might make them look, and a political press and a Democratic Party that’s just gullible enough to fall for the same routine over and over again.
Republicans, of course, immediately seized on the comments, with the GOP leadership, including new House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, holding a hypocritical press conference to very seriously denounce them:
It wasn’t just Republicans, though. Some of Tlaib’s fellow Democrats, along with many in the press, also lost their shit over this.
This is where it’s helpful to remind both the press and House Democrats that:
1. The President of the United States says worse things than this about immigrants on a daily basis.
2. You do not have to indulge the GOP’s faux outrage.
Tlaib calling Trump a “motherfucker” is unquestionably good and right. Sure, it’s not “civil,” but neither is throwing kids in cages or committing war crimes in Yemen or making the poor even poorer so the richest corporations in the country can lay off workers and buy back stocks. Maybe hostility towards the president, and a little open incivility—because let’s be honest, there are few members of Congress who don’t say the word “fuck” on a daily if not hourly basis—is what’s needed right now.
The press and the Democrats so frequently forget that the GOP is not the country. Remember the non-scandal involving ACORN? Pure conservative outrage, the political media’s hysterical amplification of the issue, and Democratic acquiescence all but killed one of the best groups doing voter registration drives in America. The organization folded in 2010; after the 2012 election, nearly half of Republicans polled believed it helped Obama steal his re-election.
We saw another version of this earlier this year, when Rep. Maxine Waters implored supporters to publicly confront and call out GOP politicians over the Trump administration’s immigration policy, and Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi both criticized her for it. Likewise, when members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus tried to confront Trump over his family separation policy, now-House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer called it “not appropriate” and called for members to “uphold decorum.”
Pelosi, to her credit, seems to be learning, as she shied away from criticizing Tlaib during an interview with Joy Ann Reid today:
White fear and reaction are the driving forces behind the Republican Party. Over the next few days, you’re going to hear the right call for Tlaib’s censure or removal from Congress altogether, with some references to Tlaib’s Palestinian heritage and Muslim religion sprinkled in. Don’t fall for it. The GOP is going to do the same old shit, and no one should give them any attention for it. Fuck ‘em!