August 2017

Twitter is like alcohol – it doesn’t change you, it reveals you. And what it reveals is that there are a lot of dumbasses out there.

Take Joe Walsh. This ex-Illinois Representative took exception to a satirical magazine’s cover cartoon celebrating God drowning fascists with Hurricane Harvey. The cartoon was inflammatory and insensitive – and Walsh was within the bounds of reason to say so. He tweeted, “French rag Charlie Hebdo mocks Harvey victims as Neo Nazis” – fair enough. But he added that “Charlie Hebdo makes fun of everyone but Muslims. Cowards”

Walsh forgets that Charlie Hebdo is infamous for cartoons skewering Muslims. So notorious that incensed Muslim terrorists massacred 12 and wounded 11 in an attack on their Paris office.

The internet called Walsh an idiot. Walsh replied in kind, tweeting, “Only an idiot would think I wasn’t aware of the attacks. My point is Hebdo has gone soft on Islam since the attack”. Sorry, Joe, there are no mind readers. You said something dumb. Man up and own it.

On the Christian front, Joel Osteen took heat for keeping his Houston megachurch resolutely closed at the height of Harvey’s flooding – while at the same time tweeting out pointless pablum such as, “God is still on the throne. He brought you through in the past; He’ll bring you through again”. And, “Jesus promises us peace that passes understanding. That’s peace when it doesn’t make sense”.

Excoriated for his indifference while Mosques – and even furniture stores – around him were throwing their doors open, he first claimed the building was flooded. Then, after pictures showed it sitting high and dry, Osteen offered the ludicrous plaint that, “We were just being precautious, but the main thing is the city didn’t ask us to become a shelter then.”

Dear God man, if humanity didn’t give you direction, didn’t the Lord give you an instruction manual? You know, the one you use to beat gays over the head?

Not to be outdone, Donald Trump used a Harvey visit as a means to aggrandize himself and his crowd size – while also copping free ad time for a $40 cap. But it was his claim that he had seen the damage ‘first hand’ that raised eyebrows. As he tweeted, “After witnessing first hand the horror & devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey, my heart goes out even more so to the great people of Texas!”

First, journalists traveling with him called that claim crap. And then confirming his words were nonsense, Trump posted an Instagram of himself staring first hand at a TV screen – not a drop of water or victim in sight.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders wasn’t about to let common sense come to the party. Here’s her defense of Trump’s claim:

“He met with a number of state and local officials who are eating, sleeping, breathing the Harvey disaster. He talked extensively with the governor, who certainly is right in the midst of every bit of this, as well as the mayors from several of the local towns that were hit hardest. And detailed briefing information throughout the day yesterday talking to a lot of the people on the ground.” 

Adding with a flourish, “That certainly is a firsthand account.”

Sanders has away to go to overtake Kellyanne Conway as Trump’s most slippery spokesperson – but she is catching up.

Perhaps abashed, although more likely through political calculation, Trump pledged to give $1 million to Harvey relief. In ecstasy, son #2, Eric, tweeted he was, “So proud!!! Let’s see if or the acknowledges this incredible generosity. My guess: they won’t…. ”

Only, they had – three hours earlier. I won’t say Eric is dumb. But he makes Don Jr. look smart. And that’s incredible.

Let me close with one thought. Trump promised money – he didn’t give it. Given his history, let’s wait for the receipt before cracking the champagne.

 

 

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