The Slatest

Democrats Judiciously Weigh Merits of Calling Trump a “Motherfucker” Who Should Be Immediately Impeached

Newly sworn-in Detroit Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib made a bit of a splash Thursday* night by concluding a celebratory speech with some salty language about, essentially, keeping it real even if some aspects of your own personal realness are widely seen as politically unpalatable:

We’re gonna do exactly the way my grandmother from Beit Hanina, Palestine did. To all of my residents who have gone through the civil rights movement who continue to fight for Black Lives Matter. For everything. Don’t you ever, ever let anybody take away your roots, your culture, who you are. Ever. Because when you do, people love you. And you win. And when your son looks at you and says “mama, look, you won. Bullies don’t win.” And I say, “baby, they don’t.” Because we’re gonna go in there and we’re gonna impeach the motherfucker.

Not surprisingly, that last line has set off some debate about whether Tlaib was politically wise to have kept things as real as she did, as far as calling the president of the U.S. a motherfucker and promising to impeach him. House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler, the New York representative who’d actually be in charge of the impeaching, says it’s premature:

As New York magazine’s Jonathan Chait notes, Tlaib has actually made a more formal case in the Detroit Free Press for why she thinks impeachment is already appropriate, of which this is the gist:

We already have overwhelming evidence that the president has committed impeachable offenses, including, just to name a few: obstructing justice; violating the emoluments clause; abusing the pardon power; directing or seeking to direct law enforcement to prosecute political adversaries for improper purposes; advocating illegal violence and undermining equal protection of the laws; ordering the cruel and unconstitutional imprisonment of children and their families at the southern border; and conspiring to illegally influence the 2016 election through a series of hush money payments.

Put more pithily by my until-just-recently colleague, newly announced New York Times columnist Jamelle Bouie:

For what it’s worth, Tlaib might be feeling that she went a little too far, declining to speak on Friday morning with reporters at the Capitol who asked if she’d like to elaborate on her comments:

Speaker Nancy Pelosi is more or less standing by her, though:

So … who knows? In the third year of the Grab Them by the Pussy administration, anyone who says they know how it’s going to play politically to get a little fresh on camera is lying. One thing I am sure of, though, is that there is going to be a second wave of backlash when Republicans actually watch the whole video and see how much she talked about Palestine.

Correction, Jan. 4, 2019: This post originally misstated that Tlaib’s speech happened Friday night, which is impossible because Friday night had not happened yet when this post was published.