A week after Tennessee Republicans expelled two Democrats from the state House for a breach of decorum, wealthy Republicans from around the country will arrive in Tennessee for a Republican National Committee donor retreat. It’s simultaneously a bad look for the party and completely fitting. Republicans jetting in for that should be faced with some tough questions about what’s going on in Tennessee, where the House Republicans who expelled Reps. Justin Jones and Justin Pearson have a recent history of overlooking unsavory behavior by some of their own—and are reportedly even now continuing to overlook their own House speaker’s far graver violation than a breach of decorum.
The Republican donor event will be headlined by Donald Trump and also feature Mike Pence, four senators, three governors, and six House members. There is serious cash on the line, in other words. “Privately, Republicans acknowledged to Playbook the inconvenience of visiting a state where local party leaders are mired in ugly headlines and accusations of racism,” Politico reports. Oh, an inconvenience. How awkward and uncomfortable for them, the poor dears. “Their presence, they know, will likely invite questions about whether national Republicans condone the decisions of their Volunteer State brethren—and reporters are likely to hear wildly different answers depending on which GOP officials they ask.”