About a month ago, House Democratic leaders brought a border bill to the floor for a vote, with the hopes that their members would rally behind it. For the most part, Dems backed the proposal and it passed with relative ease. There were, however, a handful of exceptions.
Four first-year progressives -- Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) -- balked at their party's bill, signaling a fissure between the left and the Democratic leadership.
Yesterday morning, "Fox & Friends" aired a segment on the four women lawmakers. Just minutes later, Donald Trump thought it'd be a good idea to share some thoughts on the subject.
"So interesting to see 'Progressive' Democrat Congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world (if they even have a functioning government at all), now loudly and viciously telling the people of the United States, the greatest and most powerful Nation on earth, how our government is to be run.
"Why don't they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came. Then come back and show us how it is done. These places need your help badly, you can't leave fast enough.
"I'm sure that Nancy Pelosi would be very happy to quickly work out free travel arrangements!"
For many years, "go back to where you came from" was the kind of ugly rhetoric one might expect to hear from the angry drunk at the end of the bar. Now the overt racism has been embraced by the sitting president of the United States.
Indeed, for Trump, it's performative racism. This president's cringe-worthy record on race is not new, but occasionally, the Republican chooses to flaunt it. Subtext becomes text. Dog whistles become bullhorns. His tolerance for subtleties sometimes disappears and his bigotry becomes plain and unapologetic.
From Trump's perspective, hateful and divisive rhetoric helped elevate him to the nation's office, so he sees value in sticking to the same script, confident in his ability to stoke racial divisions in order to hold onto power.
But as demoralizing as it was to see such a display from a sitting American president, it's important to emphasize that the moral rot of Trump's message runs deep.