If you haven’t heard, last week recently elected Democratic congresswoman Rashida Tlaib used the phrase “impeach that motherfucker”, referring to Trump. Needless to say, Very Serious Pundits wailed and gnashed their teeth over the incivility. Others worried that this would undermine the legitimacy of impeachment. But Tlaib, even if inadvertently, did something very important.
Consider that Trump has done the following–and this is a short list that does not refer to his policy decisions:
- As president*, he argued that Nazis had a legitimate point of view (“many sides”). Actual Nazis. We fought a goddamn war against the Nazis. You never go Full Nazi.
- He has cheated on each of his wives.
- He leers at his own daughter.
- He thinks he’s entitled to walk into a room of half-dressed teenagers (girls).
- By his own account, he “grabs [women] by the pussy.”
- He has been sued, successfully, for defrauding people who wanted an education (to the tune of $25 million).
- He lies uncontrollably and is not bothered by that at all.
- He is a walking, breathing, non-stop violation of the emoluments clause.
- He is such a bad business partner that Goldman-Sachs, not exactly paragons of virtue, use him as an example of someone not to do business with; the only bank that will lend to him is Deutschebank, which is the 21st century version of BCCC. One of his business partners is a money man for the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.
- He is very likely involved in money laundering.
- He taunted a disabled journalist.
- He is a stone-cold bigot and racist (we would be here all day if I listed the particulars).
Like I said, this is a short list–and it doesn’t include his policy actions. How else should such a horrible, degenerate, despicable person be described? If Trump isn’t a motherfucker, who is?
One of the way Trump’s behavior becomes, if not normalized, then less shocking is when it is not described accurately. We’ve pretty much blown by “This is not normal” or inappropriate. Motherfucker is the appropriate term. It makes clear just how awful a person he is. Vulgarity confers on him the respect he deserves–which is to say, none whatsoever.