White power: Here’s the photo that the GOP House members tweeted out under the caption, “UNIFIED.”
Republicans took a very poorly photographed victory lap today, tweeting out a selfie of the GOP members of the House posed behind Vice President-elect Mike Pence.
The caption? “UNIFIED.”
Perhaps the GOP is merely trying to emulate the racial makeup of the House of Representatives, as seen in this 19th century image of Henry Clay and his pals in power.
Awww, isn’t that sweet — the GOP establishment is telling Pence that there are no hard feelings about all his and future President Trump’s “drain the swamp” rhetoric.
Except there’s something missing from all this unity: There’s not a black face in the crowd (unless you count that guy crammed over on the extreme right of the photo who is neither Ludmya Love or William Hurd, the only two black GOP members of Congress). The caption should not have been “UNIFIED.” It should have been, “We love Mike Pence — am I white or am I white?”
Or the House Republicans could have just rerun the Aryan-styled photo that Speaker Paul Ryan tweeted out earlier this year of scores of House interns — their ties and dresses being the only thing of color in the photo. That image played right into the #GOPSoWhite hashtag.
Except that it’s not just a hashtag. It’s reality.
There are only 11 minority members of the GOP caucus in Congress, compared to 68 in the smaller group of legislators on the Democratic side of the aisle.
So break that down:
The white stuff: House Speaker Paul Ryan tweeted this monotone selfie earlier this year.
There were 247 Republicans in the 114th Congress when it convened, for a black and Hispanic representation of 4.4%. There are 191 Democratic members of the House, meaning that 35.6% of that group is black or Hispanic.
The House Republicans’ “UNIFIED” photo is especially bad optics considering that the President-elect has spent the last few days offering humility, even asking his opponents for their “guidance … so that we can work together and unify our great country.”
That’s a nice sentiment — unless, as the House Republicans seem to be suggesting that only white people can make America "great" again.
It’s a weird time in our nation when Donald Trump is the one using calming language in his 5 a.m. tweets.