The White House no longer minces words. President Obama's administration is using the freedom that comes with not having to run for another election to maximal effect.
The White House called out Donald Trump specifically and the GOP generally for their support of prejudice and intolerance in their policies and actions. This was triggered by Trump's silence after a supporter made offensive remarks towards Muslims and the president.
The White House was specific. And it had prescient advice for the GOP that it should heed.
"People who hold these offensive views are part of Mr. Trump's base," said Josh Earnest. "Mr. Trump himself would be the first to tell you that he's got the biggest base of any Republican politician these days. Now it is too bad that he wasn't able to summon the same kind of patriotism that we saw from Senator McCain, who responded much more effectively and directly when one of his supporters at one of his campaign events made the same kind of false claims.
Now what is also unfortunate is that Mr. Trump isn't the first Republican politician to countenance these kinds of views in order to win votes. In fact, that is precisely what every Republican presidential candidate is doing when they decline to denounce Mr. Trump's cynical strategy, because they are looking for those same votes.
Now other Republicans have successfully used this strategy as well. You will recall that one Republican congressman told a reporter that he was David Duke without the baggage. That congressman was elected by a majority of his colleagues in the House of Representatives to the third highest-ranking position in the House. Those same members of Congress blocked immigration reform. Those same members of Congress oppose reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act. Those same members of Congress couldn't support a simple funding bill because they are eager to defend the confederate flag.
So those are the priorities of today's Republican Party. And they will continue to be until someone in the Republican Party decides to summon the courage to stand up and change it."
That response was very well designed. It not only called out the Republican Party as one that explicitly uses prejudice as a tool, but it forced the next question. It demands that the Republican Party answer lest the answer be implicit: The party is in fact one that countenances hate, prejudice, and intolerance.