By offering a full-throated defense of some of President Donald Trump’s vilest public statements, spineless Montana Sen. Steve Daines has shown more starkly than ever that he needs to be voted out of office next year.
Since taking office, Trump has smashed through countless boundaries of civilized behavior. He has done it so many times he has made Americans numb to his hateful, crude language. Yet on July 14 he sank to a new, abysmal low, tweeting falsely about four “Congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe” and using a heavily worn racist trope to tell them they should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”
On July 15, a handful of Republicans in Congress sharply criticized Trump’s words, while most spoke in muted tones out both sides of their mouths or claimed they somehow hadn’t seen the tweets that dominated the news for all of the previous day. But Daines tainted himself like few others with his own tweet echoing Trump’s false, divisive rhetoric, labeling the same four members of Congress as “anti-American” and “anti-Semite,” and signing off with “I stand with @realdonaldtrump.”
Now, I believe most of the policy positions held by these four members of Congress are ill-informed, extreme, and unwise. But public servants who paint everyone whose politics they disagree with as “anti-American” don’t represent the Montana I know. Nor do politicians who try to defend open racism by wrongly calling its targets “anti-Semites” merely because they criticize the current Israeli administration.
Donald Trump dishonors this country by occupying its highest office, and now Steve Daines has proved beyond any doubt that he is not fit to represent Montana.