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    Wednesday, August 16, 2017

    Trump Poses Another Test For Republicans; They Will Fail Again

    After Donald Trump's racist rant yesterday, it seems that we have crossed another threshold of shock and outrage that is all too familiar with the President. We heard his racist bile, equating neo-Nazis with those protesting against them. We heard him equating a treasonous and racist Civil War military leader who was in part responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Americans with the founders of our country. We saw his unrestrained, uncontrolled, and vicious anger. And our immediate reaction is that this can not stand. But, sadly, it will.

    Yesterday afternoon felt almost exactly like the immediate aftermath of the Access Hollywood tape where Trump admitted to being a serial sexual predator and when we also thought that Republican support would melt away. But it didn't.

    There were forceful statements from Marco Rubio, John McCain, and even Paul Ryan decrying bigotry and hatred and declaring that this is not what the country stands for. But as David Jolly pointed out on Last Word last night, none of those statements denounced Donald Trump for his racist rhetoric and views. And until Republican leaders do that, their words are almost meaningless.

    Unless I'm mistaken, it appears that Mitch McConnell has retreated inside his shell once again. And most of the GOP Congressional caucus has joined him in silence. Their silence speaks volumes, making it clear that, even if they actually oppose racism, hatred, and bigotry, which is a real question for many of them, they are still quite happy to have their Republican party have a racist bigot as their standard bearer. In addition, they realize that the core base of support in their party actually believes everything that Trump says and, overtly or tacitly, endorses the racism and bigotry he represents. To oppose Trump is to put their own election in jeopardy. So they stand silent. And so it will continue.

    Even Republicans with a conscience, an apparently rare breed indeed, have nowhere to go right now. There is no way to tackle an attempt to remove Trump with the budget and debt ceiling battles needing to be resolved in the next month or two. And that's ignoring that tax cuts that their corporate and oligarchic overlords are counting on them to produce. So, once again, they will give Trump a pass.

    Even a token gesture, such as resigning from the Republican party and becoming an Independent would at least be some sort of signal of real opposition to the white nationalist turn of the Republican party. Instead, we just get wonderful words, devoid of any real power or impact. And soon we will move on to the next Trump atrocity and do it all again.

    These Congressional Republicans knew exactly what they were getting. From the "Mexican rapists" to Judge Curiel to Gold Star families to a Muslim ban to "inner city carnage", Trump's racism and bigotry was on full display. Whether they believed he personally felt that way or was trying to gain political advantage is irrelevant and now moot as he has shown his true colors. Those Republican leaders and the nearly 63 million people who voted for this monster all knew exactly what they were getting. And they all supported him anyway.

    Yesterday, Trump posed another test for the Republican party. It is the same test that he posed when he attacked John McCain, Judge Curiel, Khizr and Ghazala Kahn, and admitted to being a serial sexual predator. It is the same test that he posed when he claimed he could shoot someone on 5th Avenue in broad daylight and still not lose support. In all those cases, the Republican party failed the test. It will be no different today.

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