Surprise! The House Republicans from Washington State—Dan Newhouse (WA-4), Jaime Herrera Buetler (WA-3), Dave Reichert (WA-8), and Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-5)— haven't said a word about the President calling El Salvador, Haiti, and African countries "shithole countries." Dino Rossi, the only Republican running to replace Dave Reichert in Washington's 8th congressional district, has also been silent on this issue.
I wrote to all of these politicians for comment and will update this post if I hear back from any of them, but I'm not holding my breath.
Their silence on this issue says a lot. It says they either agree with the President's remarks, or they don't think the issue of a racist (and incredibly dumb) President is worth talking about, or else they're just more scared of pissing off Trump's base than they are of taking the very obvious position that those countries aren't "shitholes," and that anyone who refers to them or their people as such while bemoaning the relative paucity of Norwegian immigrants in this country is a racist. The least they could do is call Trump's comments "unpresidential," but no. Their desire to retain a two-year appointment in the House of Representatives is so great that they're willing to debase themselves by tacitly endorsing the President's bad ideas. How utterly fucking embarrassing for these people.
Fun facts: McMorris Rodgers and Herrera Buetler are up for re-election this year. The Democratic front-runners in each race are Lisa Brown and David McDevitt, respectively. Rossi's running against approximately nine million Democrats. The races will be difficult to win, but the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is targeting all of them in 2018. If enough people open up their wallets and volunteer their time in those districts, there's a possibility some of those districts can be flipped.
The response from Washington State Democrats, by the way, has been loud, proud, and on point.
Seattle's congresswoman Pramila Jayapal came out the gate with a strong condemnation:
Donald Trump's remarks today were racist. There is no other word for it.
The White House doesn't deny he made them and offers no apology. History is being written. https://t.co/Uig8S9jFes
— Rep. Pramila Jayapal (@RepJayapal) January 12, 2018
Rep. Suzan DelBene, who serves Washington's 1st district and who today introduced legislation to strengthen sexual harassment laws in the public and private sectors, also called Trump's comments racist:
.@realdonaldtrump’s racist comments are more evidence of a pattern of prejudice & don't reflect the values of our nation. We must continue to fight for a #DACADeal & ensure immigrants from all countries know they are welcome to help keep our country great. https://t.co/oVRjA41f4Q
— Rep. Suzan DelBene (@RepDelBene) January 12, 2018
In an statement from a spokesperson, Denny Heck (WA-10) called Trump's comments "profane" and "self-evidently and inarguably racist."
Derek Kilmer, who represents Tacoma and the peninsula, also weighed in, saying "like many of [Trump's] previous remarks, they were insulting, outrageous, and wrong."
In a Facebook post, Congressman Rick Larsen (WA-2) said "the President’s comments...were despicable, ignorant, and un-American."
"As a Norwegian-American," he added, "I am particularly incensed with his vulgar notion that immigrants from Norway should be more welcome than those from Haiti or Africa."
Adam Smith (WA-9) tweeted, "The President’s recent racist and xenophobic comments on Haiti and Africa betray a complete lack of understanding of the challenges facing these countries and their people. Refugees fleeing untold violence and instability should never be cast aside."
See, Republicans? It's not so hard.