Well, Bully for Them
Trump's bizarre, nasty, misogynistic tweets yesteray about Mika Brzezinski have rightly gotten a lot of attention, and criticism. Even, thus far, from a few Republican senators, Ben Sasse, Lindsay Graham and Susan Collins. (The silence from other parts of the GOP speaks loudly...) I won't repeat the tweets about her looks here because they don't deserve the attention. Though I will note what is clearly Ms. Brezinski's understated response -- she sent a tweet that had nothing, no personal text from her, other than a picture of a Cheerio's box with the words on back, "Made for little hands."
Worth noting too is the response of "anti-cyber-bullying advocate" (sic) First Lady Melania Trump, who previously said in one of her first official statements, "We need to stop hurting people “made to feel less in looks or intelligence.” Through a spokesman, the noble First Lady and "anti-cyber-bullying advocate" (sic) released her own defense of Trump -- "As the First Lady has stated publicly in the past, when her husband gets attacked, he will punch back 10 times harder.” Which is just what you expect to hear from an "anti-cyber-bullying advocate" (sic).
However, as cringeworthy as the president's tweets were, and as empty as were the First Lady's statements (though in fairness she may be busy and unfocused by virtue of preparing for her long-announced press conference from about a year ago), it was the comments from press spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders that I found, in some ways, more egregious.
In an interview, she said that Trump's misogynistic, petulant tweets about Mika Brzezinski are absolutely fine because he had had personal attacks made against him on the Morning Joe show which Ms. Brzezinski co-hosts.
The thing is -- of course, which most children can figure out -- Barack Obama faced overwhelmingly worse personal attacks, many deeply-racist, relentlessly for eight years (including from Trump himself), and so did W. Bush, Clinton, and even Reagan, especially during his most doddering moments -- yet when did they ever LASH like this?! Or lash out, period. They understood a lot of things about being president, most notably that they were, in fact, freaking President of the United States. And personal attacks against them were like (as Howard Cosell once put it) spitballs against a battleship.
Alas, we long-since expect such nasty, thin-skinned childishness of Trump -- but Ms. Huckabee's statement confirms that it's administration policy.
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Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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