Yesterday, feeling incredibly sick with a brutal sore throat, I lay down to rest in the afternoon and made the irrevocably bad choice to pick up Twitter, where I was informed of a protest at SFO against the Muslim Ban. As an Arabic speaker, I realized I might be in a unique position to assist, so I pulled myself out of bed and headed down there with a massive thermos of tea.
Over the next several hours, while it appeared nobody was able to even speak with the detainees, I streamed live for a bit on Twitter, I talked to some cops to get their bead on the situation, I grilled Gavin Newsom (who has future-presidential-candidate-who-loses-in-the-primary written all over him) for information, I ran into some old Dartmouth friends I hadn’t seen in ages, and then, feeling too sick to stand, I went home.
Once I got home, however, my fervor hadn’t totally died down, and so, for my own curiosity, I decided to make a spreadsheet of every member of the House of Representatives and to check their twitter pages to see if they’d made any kind of statement about the sweeping and sudden executive order to block all immigrants, even ones with families, houses, jobs, and green cards here in the USA, from entering the country. The results were fascinating.
There are 247 Republican members of the House of Representatives.
Of the 247, 13 don’t use Twitter, and may have released a statement in some other way, so I’m removing them from the count.
Of the remaining 230 Republicans who DO use Twitter:
36 of them made a comment to commemorate Holocaust Remembrance day (and, defying White House policy, 6 of them actually referenced something somewhat related to Jews)
30 of them made reference to the Challenger astronauts who died
5 spoke out against the Muslim Ban.
That’s right – exactly 5 reps, or 2% of the GOP, care about the 1st Amendment to the Constitution, equal protections of the law, or respecting the lives and families of legal immigrants who hold Green cards, visas, and other forms of documentation (of course, 0% of them respect the experiences of undocumented immigrants, but that’s a story for another day).
It bodes very poorly for the country that such an overwhelming majority of GOP representatives had no public comment about such a massive extension of executive power or the specific (and somewhat random) targeting of countries who have never produced terror attacks in the US (the largest sponsors of terror activity are by far Saudi Arabia and the UAE, both of which are exempt from the ban, and curiously, both of which have strong business ties with both the US and with Trump personally).
Trump w/ UAE magnate/criminal Hussein Sajwani, a beacon of western values
However, virtually every GOP Representative did have a comment to make on a different issue.
What did everyone want to talk about?
Basically every GOP rep, with only a handful of exceptions, had a Twitter feed filled from top to bottom with “March For Life” content. I suppose I shouldn’t have been as surprised, but I’ll be honest, I was. It struck me as another moment in which my life (and the lives of most on the liberal coasts) and the lives of heartlanders sharply diverge and neither side even knows it’s happening. The abortion issue is truly massive, even though Blue Staters have more or less considered the issue settled, at least within their own states (e.g. Roe v. Wade exists, abortion is legal, we need to defend that, but in general we won so things are reasonably good).
Now, I intend to write at greater length on abortion later, but my takeaways are as such:
- Abortion may be such a fundamentally divisive issue that a position of compromise may not be attainable, which maintains a high level of tension in the political climate
- Only 5 GOP representatives give even a tiny shit about opposing Trump.
In case you were wondering, those five are:
Justin Amash (R – MI)
Brian Fitzpatrick (R – PA)
Mike Coffman (R – CO)
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R – FL)
Charlie Dent (R – PA)
Thank you guys. You are a primary line of defense against the onslaught of tyranny in America. We rely on you.