Friday, January 12, 2018


In a meeting on immigration, President Trump referred to Haiti, El Salvador, and some African nations as "shithole countries" -- and now some in the media want you to believe that he's received across-the-board condemnation.

This is from The New York Times:
... the president’s vulgar language on a delicate issue ... drew a backlash from Republican and Democratic lawmakers, many of whom called Mr. Trump’s utterances unacceptable at best and plainly racist at worst.

Representative Mia Love, a Republican of Utah who is of Haitian descent, demanded an apology from the president, saying his comments were “unkind, divisive, elitist, and fly in the face of our nation’s values.”

“This behavior is unacceptable from the leader of our nation,” Ms. Love went on in an emotional statement that noted her heritage and that said her parents “never took a thing” from the government while achieving the American dream. “The president must apologize to both the American people and the nations he so wantonly maligned.”

“As an American, I am ashamed of the president,” said Representative Luis V. GutiĆ©rrez, Democrat of Illinois. “His comments are disappointing, unbelievable, but not surprising.” He added, we can now “say with 100 percent confidence that the president is a racist who does not share the values enshrined in our Constitution or Declaration of Independence.”

The reactions were extraordinary bipartisan rebukes to a sitting president...
And here's Scott Detrow on NPR's Morning Edition:
So there was broad condemnation. Many Democrats had reactions very similar to what Steny Hoyer, the #2 Democrat in the House, said. His quote was that "President Trump's comments are racist and a disgrace. They do not reflect our nation's values." Many Republicans critical as well. Utah Republican Mia Love, who has Haitian roots, put out a statement saying, "The president's comments are unkind, divisive, elitist, and fly in the face of our nation's values."
(Emphasis added.)

But the condemnation wasn't "broad" or truly "bipartisan." There are 292 Republicans in the House and Senate, I've found only these mild rebukes from white congressional Republicans:
Sen. James Lankford, R-Oklahoma, ... called the reported comments "disappointing."

"If these comments are accurate, they are disappointing." Lankford said. "I would not talk about nations like this, because I believe the people of those countries are made in the image of God and have worth and human dignity."

... Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch, of Utah, said in response to the vulgar remark, "I look forward to getting a more detailed explanation regarding the President's comments. Part of what makes America so special is that we welcome the best and brightest in the world, regardless of their country of origin."
Senator Tim Scott, who, like Representative Love, is black, also called the remark "disappointing":
Sen. Tim Scott, the only Republican African-American senator, said the President's comments are "disappointing."

"The American family was born from immigrants fleeing persecution and poverty and searching for a better future," the South Carolina senator said in a statement. "Our strength lies in our diversity, including those who came here from Africa, the Caribbean and every other corner of the world. To deny these facts would be to ignore the brightest part of our history."
Compare that to congressional Democrats, non-white and white:
Democratic Rep. Jim McGovern of Massachusetts, tweeted: "America's president is a racist and this is the proof. His hateful rhetoric has no place in the @WhiteHouse. Every single Republican must denounce these comments now."

... Democratic Rep. Karen Bass, of California, also reacted on Twitter.

"@realDonaldTrump -- You would never call a predominantly white country a 'shithole' because you are unable to see people of color, American or otherwise, as equals," she wrote.
Representative Cedric L. Richmond, Democrat of Louisiana and the chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, called the president’s closed-door comments “yet another confirmation of his racially insensitive and ignorant views” and said they reinforced “the concerns that we hear every day, that the president’s slogan, ‘Make America Great Again,’ is really code for ‘Make America White Again.’”

Senator Richard Blumenthal, Democrat of Connecticut, described the comments as “the most odious and insidious racism masquerading poorly as immigration policy,” and argued that they would make it more difficult for the two parties to reach consensus on an immigration deal.

“It inflames and encourages the worst instinct and the basest dark side of immigration issues,” Mr. Blumenthal said.
The outrage is much greater on the Democratic side. That's to be expected -- but it's not what some are reporting. The difference in the parties' reactions should be part of the story.

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