Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) refused to apologize after causing a furor with an expletive-laden, anti-Trump battle-cry. While some cooler heads among the Democrats admonished her, however, the liberal media stood by her side.
Tlaib, the first Palestinian woman in Congress, celebrated her swearing-in at a bash on Thursday. While in a festive mood, Tlaib delivered a speech that contained a profane call to impeach US President Donald Trump.
She quoted her son as saying: “Look mama, you won. Bullies don’t win.” Tlaib replied: “You’re right, they don’t. And we’re gonna go in and impeach the motherf**ker.”
The remark prompted a round of applause from the audience, and was well-received by the anti-Trump resistance online. However, there has been outrage from conservatives. But, Tlaib subsequently made it clear that she would not apologize. “I will always speak truth to power. #unapologeticallyMe,” she tweeted on Friday.
An array of media outlets on the left have sprung to Tlaib’s defense in a series of ardent op-eds, apparently channeling the infamous maxim of former Obama administration attorney general Eric Holder: “When they go low, we kick them.”
The Huffington Post’s columnist Michelangelo Signorile wrote that “there is no downside and only upside to Tlaib’s statement because, like De Niro and others before her, she is firing up progressives who feel her passion.” New Statesman America’s Nicky Woolf argued that Tlaib’s “approach” is “good for Congress” because civility is obsolete and belongs to the dustbin of history.
Leah Carroll from left-wing woman-empowerment media outlet Refinery29 argued that there is nothing for Tlaib to be ashamed of in a piece titled: “Rashida Tlaib Just Said What Everyone Else Is Too Afraid To Say Out Loud.” The Washington Post’s Molly Roberts wrote: “What’s so wrong with mother****er?” – apparently nothing, according to her op-ed.
The adulation, however, has not been shared by everyone even in Tlaib’s own camp. Several establishment Democrats, who have toned down impeachment rhetoric during the ongoing shutdown, chided Tlaib for her indecorous choice of words.
“You cannot accomplish very much of anything unless you have civility and show respect for your colleagues. And I think those kind of comments do not take us in the right direction,” House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings said, as cited by the Hill. Rep. Lacy Clay (D-Mo) was also unimpressed, calling the F-bomb “inappropriate.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) also disapproved of Tlaib’s wording, telling MSNBC that she “wouldn’t use this language,” but at the same time justified the freshman congresswoman’s taunt, noting that it “was nothing worse than the president has said.”
Even the news outlet that is seemingly always ready to pick on the commander-in-chief – CNN – has taken a moderate tone. The channel’s host and former Obama adviser David Axelrod tweeted: “Come on! I get the anger but is this helpful? No, it’s not.”
CNN’s Chris Cillizza argued that Tlaib had only fired up Trump’s base and “almost certainly” employed “the wrong strategy if Democrats want to beat Trump in 2020.”
The argument inevitably spilled onto Twitter, where users, free of any obligation to maintain a facade of objectivity, faced off online. Pro-Trump commentators argued that the president would not have enjoyed any of the support shown for Tlaib if he had uttered similar remarks.
If the POTUS had called Rep. Rashida Tlaib a derogatory name for women, there’d be moral outrage, uproar, accusations of misogyny,racism,xenophobia, and talk of how a leader must have a civil tongue.
— Dr.Darrell Scott (@PastorDScott) January 5, 2019
Liberals, however, noted that Trump himself is no stranger to strong language.
“…if we are fortunate enough to win back the House and or the Senate, that’s when civility can start again.”
“We’re going to go in there, and we’re going to impeach the motherfucker.”
—Rep. RashidaTlaib (D-Mich) 1/3/18
— MARK SIMONE (@MarkSimoneNY) January 5, 2019
Tlaib made history in November after becoming first Palestinian woman to be elected to Congress. She ran unopposed in her Michigan district after securing her party’s nomination in August.