GOP Extends Post-Election Middle Finger Of Friendship
During his victory speech Saturday, President-Elect Joe Biden offered a message of unity and reconciliation with Trump supporters. That's what he should do. He's the bigger person, unlike the petty Black man writing this post. Republicans are responding true to form, though, and slapping away Biden's extended hand of friendship. Sunday, on Fox News, Newt Gingrich burned a whole tree's worth of olive branches when asked about Biden's speech.
GINGRICH: Well, look, it's a nice sentiment.
Don't get excited. He's being sarcastic.
GINGRICH: First you go out and the Democrats steal five or six states, and that's what Republicans believe we're watching.
It doesn't matter what Republicans “believe." There's absolutely no evidence for these absurd charges. He's just sore because Georgia, which he represented in Congress for years, is one of those states Democrats “stole" by receiving more votes.
GINGRICH: Then you turn around and say, let's forget four years of Nancy Pelosi. Let's forget four years of impeachment, harassment, opposition, hostility, hatred, and now that I've won, why don't we be nice together.
Newt Gingrich calls Joe Biden's election a "corrupt, stolen election" that was "financed by people like George Soro… https://t.co/OFEbXHYx7s— Jason Campbell (@Jason Campbell)1604841037.0
This is the emerging Republican narrative, and it's as mentally sound as Lex Luthor blaming Superman for his hair loss. Resistance to Trump's gross policies and investigation into his many crimes was apparently “harassment," but it's not like everything was rainbows and flowers before Trump won. Gingrich has the gall to say this while appearing on a cable channel that was relentlessly hostile to Biden's former boss, Barack Obama.
Blackface explainer Megyn Kelly tweeted similar twisted thoughts this weekend. It was drunk supervillain history.
It's a flat-out lie that people who voted for Trump were “unfairly attacked relentlessly." They've been catered to with New York Times profiles and Democratic outreach over the past four years. The standard position was that Trump's a con man who exploited his white working class supporters' legitimate economic concerns. Interestingly, the rare times Trump supporters were mocked outright, the culprits were Lincoln Project types, not actual liberals, whose hearts can't stop with the bleeding.
Republicans like Kelly want to use 70 million Americans as a human shield for Trump. Attacking him and his crime family is attacking “regular America." These are the same people who enabled birtherism and other slanders against Obama, which they insisted didn't reflect their views about all Black Americans.
But “Gaslight" is the GOP's new post-Trump funk jam.
During Trump's impeachment trial, Republican Senator Lamar Alexander conceded that the House proved he withheld aid to pressure Ukraine into smearing Biden before the election. He still voted to acquit President Lame Duck because he believed the voters should decide his fate. Now that the voters have rendered a clear verdict, Republicans are pissed and pretending Trump was railroaded over a blowjob.
Gingrich led the baseless impeachment against Bill Clinton, so he's one to talk about “harassment" and “opposition." In 2000, Gingrich claimed Al Gore's potential presidency would be “tainted" if he successfully had all the votes counted. Now, he suggests with even less evidence that Biden's stolen this election.
GINGRICH: I think [Biden] would have to do a lot to convince Republicans that this is anything except a left-wing power grab financed by people like George Soros, deeply laid in at the local level. And, frankly, I think that it is a corrupt, stolen election.
After slandering Biden and election officials from both parties, Gingrich questioned how Republicans and a Biden administration could possibly work together. Then, one of the bland, white hosts said that despite Biden's “happy talk," Democrats were the ones who resorted to personal attacks rather than debate real issues. Republicans, by the way, claimed Joe Biden was a socialist who wanted to defund the police and set cities on fire.
Do they even listen to themselves?
This weekend, political scientist and author Ian Bremmer suggested we temper our Return of the Jedi-celebrations and consider the unfortunate Empire, whose beloved leader was just tossed into a bottomless pit.
We're gonna go with the “fuck off" option.Twitter
Even Democrat and Fox News whisperer Pete Buttigieg suggested something similar — keep the champagne chilled a little longer and reach out to someone who voted for a wannabe despot and who likely believes a shadowy liberal cabal “stole" the election.
True reconciliation requires movement from both sides. Republicans have only become more entrenched in their repulsive position. When they're ready to acknowledge reality, we can talk. I don't hold pointless grudges, but for now, after four years of genuine terror, I'm going to respectfully dismiss Bremmer and Buttigieg's advice and instead get my freed Munchkin on.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."