In the wake of Donald Trump's public defense of racist activists, plenty of Republicans have registered their dissatisfaction. They've tweeted, they've criticized, they've wrung their hands and furrowed their brow. They have not, however, been willing to go any further.
Perhaps what they need is an opportunity to do something more meaningful. As Rachel noted on the show last night, three House Democrats -- Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.), and Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) -- will introduce a congressional censure resolution tomorrow, condemning the president's response to the violence in Charlottesville.
The editorial board of USA Today makes a compelling case that it should pass. The editorial read in part:
Expressing disapproval in 140 characters or fewer is insufficient when the president angrily asserts that there were some "very fine people" among the bigots waving Confederate battle flags and swastika banners; when torch-bearing marchers chanted "Jews will not replace us"; and when police said one Nazi sympathizer rammed a sports car into a crowd, killing an innocent counterprotester. The victim, 32-year-old Heather Heyer, was remembered Wednesday at a heartbreaking memorial service.
When these things happen in the United States, and the president blames "both sides," more formal condemnation is necessary. This is a moment of reckoning for members of the Party of Lincoln: Do they want to stand up for American values, or do they want to keep enabling a president whose understanding of right and wrong has slipped dangerously off the rails?
If congressional Republicans choose the former -- and history will be watching -- they should join together with Democrats to censure Trump.
Don't assume the argument will necessarily fall along partisan or ideological lines. Steve Schmidt, a longtime GOP strategist and former aide to John McCain, said Tuesday's show that congressional Republican leaders "have to censure him, or they risk sliding into a moral abyss with him."
Jennifer Rubin, a conservative Washington Post writer, echoed the sentiment, arguing yesterday, "Any Republican not willing to sign on [to the censure resolution] should be voted out. Period. It's the only litmus test that matters."