There’s no ambiguity, no “two sides” to this. Donald J. Trump delivered a series of racist tweets.
And on Tuesday, the Democratic-led House voted 240-187 to pass a resolution condemning those tweets.
The resolution challenged Trump’s “racist comments that have legitimized and increased fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color.”
Leading up to the vote, Texas Republican lawmakers remained largely silent on the issue, refusing to speak on the House floor or refraining from commenting publicly about the president’s tweets.
Only four Republicans total in the House voted yes on the resolution calling the language racist. Of the 23 Texas GOP members in the House, only one, Rep. Will Hurd, voted for it (four members abstained).
By and large, the majority of the Texas GOP lawmakers kept silent, preferring to wait out the news cycle rather than attempt the impossible task of spinning the tweets in any other way.
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, the Democrat from Houston who co-sponsored the resolution, told House members, “I wish we were not here, but we are here.”
Brandishing a tiny constitution for effect, Lee said, “the president of the United States took to [Twitter] and talked about the first African American woman from the 7th district, talked about the first Palestianian-American woman, the youngest woman elected to Congress, and the first Somali-American— women of color.”
During the debate over the resolution, Republicans mustered no real defense against the accusations of Trump’s racism and only managed to repreadily label those calls “unparliamentary.”
Only a handful of Congressional Texas GOP leaders, like Reps. Will Hurd, Pete Olson and Chip Roy, were publicly critical of the tweets the past couple of days.
There were of course, some exceptions; Rep. Lance Gooden of Dallas tweeted that Trump’s comments were not racist and accused the four congresswomen of making a career out of “playing the race card.” Rep. Brian Babin of Woodville made a radio appearance and said the outcry over the tweets was “identity politics at work.”
Following Trump’s tweets, many Democrats have renewed calls for Trump’s removal from office.
Fernando covers Texas politics and government at the Texas Signal. Before joining the Signal, Fernando spent two years at the Houston Chronicle and previously interned at Houston’s NPR station News 88.7. He is a graduate of the University of Houston, Jack J. Valenti School of Communication, and enjoys reading, highlighting things, and arguing on social media. You can follow him on Twitter at @fernramirez93 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org