Texas Sen. John Cornyn is outraged – OUTRAGED! – that Office of Management and Budget nominee Neera Tanden said mean things about his fellow GOP senators on Twitter.
“I think, in light of her combative and insulting comments about many members of the Senate, mainly on our side of the aisle, that it creates certainly a problematic path,” he said earlier this week about Tanden’s Twitter feed.
Which is interesting!
Because Cornyn has not always been, um, so vigilant when it comes to things that are said on Twitter by prominent political figures.
Back in June, when reporters asked Cornyn about a tweet from President Donald Trump suggesting, with zero evidence, that a Buffalo man pushed down by police amid a Black Lives Matter protest was an Antifa plant, Cornyn simply walked away from the podium – refusing to even deign the question with a response.
Which is very different than his outrage over Tanden’s tweets, right?
The difference? Tanden is the OMB nominee of Democratic President-elect Joe Biden. Trump is, well, Trump – the Republican president and titular head of Cornyn’s party.
This is, of course, blatant hypocrisy. If Trump’s tweets were something to be dismissed, then why do Tanden’s tweets – which are partisan, yes, but were not flagged by Twitter as being threatening or breaking the platform’s rules of conduct – somehow disqualify her from serving in Biden’s administration? (Tanden, just after the November election, began deleting her tweets – perhaps sensing this was all coming.)
Cornyn is far from alone in exerting this clear partisan double standard.
Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton recently referred to Tanden as a “partisan hack” for her comments and tweets about Republican senators during Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation fight and predicted she would never be confirmed.
But how did Cotton react when Trump told four female freshman Democratic members of Congress to go back to where they came from (three were born in America and the fourth is a naturalized citizen)?
“The president is gonna tweet what he’s gonna tweet,” Cotton told Axios.
North Dakota Sen. Kevin Cramer called Tanden “a partisan activist who’s gone after senators of the majority party” in an interview with The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman.
But when asked about the Buffalo incident – and Trump’s false tweet about Antifa – Cramer was more reticent. “I don’t even know the episode he’s talking about,” he told reporters.
To be clear: It is well within Republican senators’ rights to oppose Tanden at OMB. And if Republicans retain the Senate majority following two runoffs in Georgia on January 5, Tanden will need at least one GOP senator to cross party lines and vote for her in order to be confirmed.
What is rich – given the past four-plus years – is how many Republican senators are basing their initial skepticism of or opposition to Tanden’s nomination on her past tweets. Because you don’t get to selectively ignore explosive tweets from the President of the United States and then argue that tweets are disqualifying for someone solely because they are a Democrat.
If using Twitter to make personal attacks and calling people names is disqualifying, Republican senators should have said so years ago.
CNN’s Allison Gordon contributed to this report