8 words that reveal Republicans' total complicity with Trump
Posted June 2, 2020 6:31 p.m. EDT
CNN — On Tuesday afternoon, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was asked about President Donald Trump's speech Monday night and decision to forcibly remove peaceful protesters ahead of a photo op in front of St. John's Church.
"I'm not going to critique other people's performances," offered the highest ranking Republican elected leader in Congress.
Those eight words amount to a remarkable abdication of McConnell's role as a leader, in his own right, of one of the two major parties in this country. But depressingly, McConnell's response was the rule rather than the exception among his Senate GOP colleagues.
"I didn't follow, I'm sorry," said Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy.
"Didn't really see it," said Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson.
"I was grateful for the President's leadership," said Montana Sen. Steve Daines.
Uh, OK. Let's be very clear what happened here. The President of the United States delivered a speech about the need to "dominate" the streets in the wake of protests that have arisen following the death of George Floyd, a black man who was held down and killed while in Minneapolis police custody.
Then the President, in a transparent attempt to push back on the storyline that he had to be whisked to a bunker below the White House to protect him from protesters in DC last Friday, strolled across H Street to St. John's Church and held a Bible aloft shortly after police had forcefully cleared peaceful protesters from Lafayette Park.
Yes, that all happened. In America. In 2020. Amid ongoing protests and riots. And a global pandemic.
For McConnell to refuse to comment on "other people's performances" when the stakes are this high and the President's behavior is this abnormal is simply more evidence of how complete the GOP's complicity in Trump's radical approach to the presidency actually is.
The Point: Moments of crisis like this one demand politicians willing to step beyond their partisan bubbles to, you know, lead. This is not that.