The US House of Representatives is preparing to vote to condemn Donald Trump for the tweets he wrote this week regarding several Congresswomen, which have been widely characterized as racist. Are there any real ramifications of this action, or is it a purely symbolic act? The vote is expected to go along party lines, so it may seem like mostly a political statement.

For those complaining about my characterization of the tweets, it's in the title of the resolution:

Condemning President Trump's racist comments directed at Members of Congress.

The tweet that started this controversy was:

So interesting to see “Progressive” Democrat Congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world (if they even have a functioning government at all), now loudly nd viciously telling the people of the United States, the greatest and most powerful Nation on earth, how our government is to be run. Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came. Then come back and show us how it is done. These places need your help badly, you can’t leave fast enough. I’m sure that Nancy Pelosi would be very happy to quickly work out free travel arrangements!

3 of the 4 Congresswomen he refers to were born in America, so his suggestion that they "go back ... from which they came" is also ignorant.

Link to the resolution condemning Trump

  • 2
    Can someone walk me through why this tweet is thought to be racist?
    – Michael J.
    Jul 29, 2019 at 19:03
  • 1
    @MichaelJ. That sounds like a good subject for another question. Put simply, he singled out Congresswomen of color, and implied that they don't belong in America.
    – Barmar
    Jul 30, 2019 at 0:43
  • 1
    @MichaelJ. I've added a link to the resolution, which explains why the House considers it racist.
    – Barmar
    Jul 30, 2019 at 0:45

2 Answers 2


It's symbolic with a political twist. Picture three scenarios:

  1. A significant number of Republicans acknowledge that yeah, Trump's tweets were basically racist and ought to be condemned. This case will weaken Trump's position significantly, in that it'll show Republicans no longer supporting him. (Unlikely IMHO.)

  2. A significant number of Republicans instead abstain. In this case they'll get accused by critics of basically not having a spine, to say nothing of a moral compass.

  3. A significant number of Republicans vote against condemning Trump. In this case they'll get accused by critics of not having a moral compass, or of behaving like Trump yes-men.

Any way it goes, the vote will make Trump and/or the Republicans look bad. (To critics, anyway; I assume things could look good to the target audience in the 3rd scenario.)


The possible ramifications of this vote are numerous, though they winnow down as either side refines their statements. The Squad's response weakened the Democrat position overall, increasing the apparent division. The symbolic impact of this vote is dependent on two major factors: the nature of the vote, and who is looking at it.

On the nature of the vote it ranges across multiple possibilities:

  1. Narrow success with some Democrat defectors.
    If the results look like this, expect the action to be shelved quickly. It would read as further failure of the leadership, and the progressive faction would be livid.
  2. Party line vote
    This outcome will result in the most diametrically opposed views on the decision. The left will use it to indict the right as a whole, while the right will challenge the left for their failure to similarly rebuke Rep. Omar for her anti-Semitic statements. It won't change the mind of any one on the edges, and depending on how it is handled the middle will winnow either left or right.
  3. Bipartisan vote with some Republican support
    He will attack those that vote against him, threaten to support their primary challenger, and bloviate extensively. Nothing large will come of the vote.
  4. Bipartisan vote with significant Republican Support
    This becomes a watershed moment in Trump's reelection campaign.

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