Today I'd like to focus on the Republican Party — as revealed in prominent Republicans’ responses to the growing furor over Trump's dinner last week with two avowed antisemites and white supremacists.
Although not all Republicans have condemned it, I’ve been struck by how many are heaping criticism.
- Mike Pence says Trump demonstrated “profoundly poor judgment” in inviting them to dinner and should “denounce them without qualification.”
- Mitch McConnell says “there is no room in the Republican Party for antisemitism or white supremacy and anyone meeting with people advocating that point of view … are highly unlikely to ever be elected president.”
- Kevin McCarthy says ‘I don’t think anybody should have a meeting with Nick Fuentes [one of Trump’s dinner companions]. And his views are nowhere within the Republican Party or within this country itself.” Marco Rubio describes Fuentes as "evil," "nasty," and "disgusting."
- Senator Bill Cassidy warns that “President Trump hosting racist antisemites for dinner encourages other racist antisemites. These attitudes are immoral and should not be entertained. This is not the Republican Party."
And so on.
But I have to wonder: Where were these Republicans a few years ago when Trump refused to reject David Duke's endorsement? Or when he said there were "very fine people" among the Charlottesville neo-Nazis? Or when he told the Proud Boys to "stand back and stand by?" Or when he labeled African and South American nations "shit-hole countries?" Or when he said an American judge couldn't do his job because of his ethnicity? Or when he tried to implement a "total and complete ban on Muslims entering the country?”
So here’s today’s Office Hours question: Do you think these prominent Republicans have had some sort of epiphany? Or are these just convenient things for them to say until the ruckus dies down? Or do you think that they’re just not afraid of Trump anymore?