Glamorizing political violence should never be normalized, no matter how hard the GOP tries.
Given the chance to reprimand Donald Trump, ever so slightly, for retweeting a video on Sunday that promoted violence against women, and specifically against Hillary Clinton, Republicans are for the most part giving him a pass.
The refusal by Republicans to even timidly call out, let along acknowledge, Trump’s dangerous, anti-social behavior means that GOP politicians are leading the normalizing problem. They’re increasingly to blame for allowing the head of their party to engage in dangerous, anti-women rhetoric and social media posts.
Not surprisingly, Trump’s offensive tweet came from an account called “Fuctupmind,” which often posts tweeted racist, homophobic and anti-Semitic content in the past, BuzzFeed reported.
On MSNBC Monday morning, host Stephanie Ruhl pressed Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY) about Trump’s demented weekend tweet glamorizing political violence against his former opponent. But given the chance to scold the president, the Republican, as usual, declined.
“It’s a big ass deal!” Ruhle responded, during her conversation with Reed and historian Max Boot.
RUHLE: I have to say that tweet yesterday, that was a lot. This is the president of the United States retweeting a video of himself, and I’m going to throw it out there, with a horrible swing. For a guy who’s great at golf, a horrible swing.
BOOT: This is the real scandal, Stephanie.
RUHLE: Yes. Hitting Hillary Clinton in the back with a golf ball — that ain't funny.
REED: Well Stephanie, I would agree with you that he’ does have a terrible swing. The bottom line is obviously the tweeting and all that, the rhetoric and all the concern there, I’ll let the president speak to that.
RUHLE: “All that”? All that's a big ass deal!
REED: What I’m looking at Stephanie is what the president is doing for America.
Trump’s violent outburst came after Clinton concluded the first week of her book tour where she often eviscerated Trump and called out the looming threat his authoritarianism poses to American democracy.
The appalling retweet of the Clinton gif also came after too many in the press last week fell over themselves trying to announce yet another presidential “pivot.”
That’s never going to happen.
The better question was perhaps asked by the Washington Post: “GIF-gate is another opportunity to return to a question that has been rumbling online for more than a year: What exactly does Trump have to do to get kicked off Twitter?”