As it turns out, nothing matters to Republicans like literal political correctness. Not praising dictators, or demeaning allies, or condoning murder. Not repeatedly violating the Hatch Act and laughing about it. Not ignoring congressional subpoenas. Not turning the entire Department of Justice into a political engine to persecute and exonerate on demand. Nope. Those things are all cool.
What matters is that Democrats bent a courtesy rule from an antique manual of etiquette. It’s causing Republicans to break out the fans, drag out the swooning couches, and bring forth the whine horns.
Steve Scalise is shocked, shocked. Not that Donald Trump spewed racism, again, or that Republicans spent the last two days defending him, again. He’s shocked that Nancy Pelosi dared say the word “racism,” which is, superconveniently for the right, apparently the sin that cannot be named. Only, Pelosi and John Lewis and others named it.
And House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy gloated over the Republican victory when they caught Pelosi saying the dirty word and declared that she was forbidden from speaking in the House for a whole day. They so had her! Except, just this once, Democrats decided they could remove their white gloves and waive a rule that, unlike the Hatch Act, unlike those subpoenas, unlike obstruction of justice, is not a law.
After all the proclamations about Republicans not being concerned about political correctness, it turns out that the only thing they cared about this week was the most little-forks-to-the-outside, pinky-in-the-air, picayune point of order imaginable. Racism is fine with them. “Racism” is not.
Now, is there something in the old manual about not calling out lies, obstruction of justice, or murder? Because Republicans would find that handy. But it’s funny that they managed to get that bit about racism into the rules some time ago. It’s almost as if they knew that would come up.