They’re just bestowing absolution upon themselves, but soon they’ll fall into line again…
Very crazily, one of the biggest stories these days is Trump’s ridiculous murder conspiracy theory Tweets targeting MSNBC host and former Republican U.S. Representative Joe Scarborough. It probably could’ve been better handled by the media by just ignoring the President incoherent ranting on this, which also would’ve caused less upset to innocent and grieving people. (In fact, we were almost going to commend Breitbart for doing just that, until they published a story criticizing CNN for criticizing the Tweets).
To those who want to use it to point out that Trump is wicked and cruel and relishes unfairly meting out punishment to people who are “unfair” to him, we knew that. And that he has no empathy for innocent bystanders. Or that this is proof the President is unfit for office, we get it.
Even so, it’s not new behavior on the part of the President. And there are a lot more important things to press Trump and his folks about these days. For instance, as the Washington Post eloquently put it, as the number of people in the U.S. dying from Coronavirus crossed 100,000:
“The demise of these 100,000 people has had strangely little public impact in a country with a long history of honoring its fallen and committing to common cause in their memory.”
Yet against that backdrop, many publications that normally support Trump suddenly found voice to condemn him. Or at least warn him. Meanwhile, our liberal friends seem particularly enraptured with the fact those publications are now boldly declaring the President’s finally crossed some kind of line, which has finally got them calling him out on his lies. And that this specific instance of his online bleating is potentially political poison if he insists on keeping it up. As if we might be witnessing a real transformation in Conservatives’ unquestioning support.
Their criticisms of the President in this case, really have nothing to do with him, because they know it won’t have any effect. And it’s just about this one, particularly disgraceful lie. Not his whole body of lies. As Jonathan Chait in New York Magazine puts it:
“What they won’t do is draw the obvious conclusion that Trump not only lies from time to time but is a liar.”
So what it’s really only about is washing the stink off themselves.
So they’ll do that, and then get right back off their high horse before you know it. And the President will continue unabated, as he already has: threatening to “strongly regulate, or close…down” Twitter because for the first time ever it put a “fact check warning” on some of his Tweets about mail-in ballots. Whining that “Social Media Platforms totally silence conservatives (sic) voices”. The same platforms that give him an unlimited outlet to spout directly to his 80.3-million followers (on Twitter alone!) anytime of the day or night.
Which brings us back to where we started today, and the murder insinuation Tweets:
“[This] isn’t political hardball. It’s a smear. Mr. Trump rightly denounces the lies spread about him in the Steele dossier, yet here he is trafficking in the same sort of trash.”
“Even his critics should want DJT to play a lot of golf, because when he does, he’s not tweeting crap like this.”
The New York Post:
“You did not look like the bigger man. You might be making your enemies angry, but you’re making allies tune out.”
The Washington Examiner:
“President Trump’s crazed Twitter rant on this subject was vile and unworthy of his office. Some will undoubtedly shrug it off as Trump being Trump, but one could hardly be blamed for reading it and doubting his fitness to lead….And observers might even someday look back at this incident as the instant when things began to unravel.”
Quick Update To Our Story: “Will Voters Be Able To Use COVID-19 As An ‘Excuse’ To Get An Absentee Ballot This Fall?”
The Supreme Court of Texas just ruled that lack of immunity to COVID-19 is not reason enough to request an absentee ballot in that state. So sorry, you’ll have to show up in person there. President Trump promptly called the decision a “big win”. Now, people over the age of 65 do automatically qualify for absentee ballots in that state. And the ruling does allow limited flexibility for people who are at demonstrably high risk of contracting Coronavirus to send in for an absentee ballot, but with Texas’ Attorney General vowing to aggressively prosecute misrepresentations of that, not sure it’s a route many people will take.
Here’s a link to our original story.