We will keep asking what it will take to make Republicans find their voices against the most corrupt and corrupting president our country has ever seen.
This weekend, we learned that the last remaining adult is leaving Trump's cabinet: Dan Coats, a former senator and member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, was ousted from his job as Donald Trump's director of national intelligence "for telling Trump the truth. ... He told Trump too many unsettling facts," according to Slate reporter and writer Fred Kaplan.
In his place, Trump is nominating sycophant U.S. Rep. John Ratcliffe, a Texas Republican who in congressional hearings last week argued that special counsel Robert Mueller went beyond his bounds by making clear in his report that he did not exonerate the president. Well, no — because the facts didn't exonerate the president, and Mueller said so again, clearly, in those hearings.
Wait. Was that a faint, "Oh, my!" from any of our elected Republican officials? Of course not. They're quieter than crickets.
But Trump was not quiet. In quick turnaround fashion, he unleashed another volley of racist tweets, this time targeting Rep. Elijah Cummings, the Democratic head of the House Judiciary Committee — another committee investigating the president.
Trump spent much of the weekend attacking the Baltimore, Maryland, representative for presiding over a crime-ridden and "rodent infested" district. This comes after Trump spent days attacking "the Squad" of four nonwhite female lawmakers. That rant lead to chants of "send her back," directed at Rep. Ilhan Omar, a nonwhite immigrant member of Congress (and naturalized citizen of the United States) from Minnesota.
Trump and far too many Republicans seem to think these attacks are brilliant politics. Trump himself tweeted: "If the Democrats are going to defend the Radical Left 'Squad' and King Elijah's Baltimore Fail, it will be a long road to 2020."
But even Fox News' Chris Wallace had to take a step back, noting a pattern: "Infested. It sounds like vermin. It sounds subhuman. And these are all six members (he's including previous Trump tweet jabs at Georgia Rep. John Lewis) of Congress who are people of color." In short, Trump has basically moved back and forth between "s---hole countries" and "s---hole districts."
This from the same useful Putin idiot who continues to disrespect even the memory of the late Republican Sen. John McCain who Trump said wasn't a war hero because he was captured and spent five years of misery in a Vietnam prisoner of war camp.
So, just for the record Republican senators and representatives from Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama: We invite you here and now to go on record praising or lamenting your president's racist and disruptive words and actions. We want to hear from you.
Tell us what you think. Are you with him? Are you ready to call him out? Are you there? Knock, knock? Hello? Is anybody home?
Just as review, we'll note that on July 17, we pointed out that the president's pronouncement that four Democratic freshmen congresswomen of color should "go back" to the countries from which they came (New York, Massachusetts, Minnesota and Michigan) was met with crickets from the vast majority of our Tri-State federal elected officials.
As a matter of fact, Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander, caught on tape by a questioning CNN reporter, was flatly evasive: "I'm working as hard as I can on reducing health care costs. I'm not giving a daily commentary on the president's tweets," he said. The reporter pursued him, asking, "But these are, you know, racist tweets. I mean do you have any concerns about it?" Alexander smiled and waved as the Capitol elevator doors closed. (See the CNN clip here: cnn.it/2xMZEEg)
Reporters heard nothing from Sen. Marsha Blackburn. Have Tennessee Reps. Chuck Fleischmann or Scott DesJarlais even blinked? Not. Nor have Reps. Mark Green, Tim Burchett, David Kustoff, Phil Roe or John Rose. All of our Republican Tennessee representatives opposed the mid-July House condemnation vote on Trump.
In Georgia, only Sen. Johnny Isakson and Rep. Rob Woodall found within their better angels a need to acknowledge that Trump's comments were not appropriate or acceptable. Doug Collins and Jody Hice, in essence, blamed both sides. All the rest were mum.
In Alabama, Sen. Richard Shelby of Birmingham told CNN he hadn't read about the president's comments, "but I'll go check it out." Rep. Bradley Byrne, of Fairhope, offered to pay the four congresswomen's tickets to "Venezuela so they can enjoy their failed Socialist Paradise." All the rest, including Rep. Mo Brooks, made like church mice.
It's not that our lawmakers don't like being vocal. Take Alexander, for instance.
Last week, he put out a flurry of news statements just ahead of Congress' summer break, including one about problems of fraud and errors in income-driven student loan repayment programs. Alexander said these problems could be fixed with legislation he sponsored and the Senate passed "last year." That's right. Last year. "The Senate should pass again this year the bipartisan legislation that would prevent fraud and errors and make it easier for borrowers to repay their loans."
Pony up, folks. We're on the record here asking for your response this year — right now — to your president's pathetic comments and actions.