Laura Ingraham Serves Up Trump Love And A Really Awkward Wave

Elections

Laura Ingraham's RNC speech Wednesday got tons of attention for her awkward wave/salute thing that looked a hell of a lot like a brief Nazi salute, which was immediately captured and memed all over the interwebs by the viral gif service Giphy. It didn't help a hell of a lot that it was paired on the big monitor in the arena with an image of Donald Trump waving back, as captured by Getty Images and fair-use parodied here:


Adweek noted that Giphy very carefully avoiding the phrase "Nazi salute," instead tweeting the animation out with the more ambiguous "Did she just..." and giving itself "enough wiggle room to avoid seeming overly antagonistic."

They also found the best answer to that question:

The New York Daily News went with the simple but elegant, "What the heil?" Here at Yr Wonket, we want to make it absolutely clear that we don't see it as anything but a hilarious coincidence, since the actual content of her speech would have been entirely appalling all by itself, even if she'd closed by saying "Friendship is Magic" in American Sign Language.

It was a veritable catalogue of resentments, a festival of Ingraham flinging out all the Trump-branded red meat rightwingers could gobble up. Watch, if you dare:

In addition to the usual targets -- Hillary Clinton, mostly, with even more "Lock her up!" chants from the crowd -- Ingraham made a characteristically diplomatic call for party unity:

"We should all -- even you boys with wounded feelings and bruised egos -- we love you, but you must honor your pledge to support Donald Trump now," she said.

As the crowd roared on its feet, she added: "Tonight."

Calls for party unity are always best delivered in a tone of sarcastic bullying. To be fair, that is Ingraham's only factory setting.

She also remembered America has seen terrible days before, like in 1979, when we were all stuck in gas lines and waiting for the hostages to come home from Iran, not to mention having to listen to disco. In a neat bit of quotation repurposing, she said, "We waited for someone to convince us the long national nightmare would soon be over." That's pretty neat, shifting that phrase from being about Watergate to being about the hellscape that was Jimmy Carter's term in office. (Pfft. The Camp David Accords. So what?!) But then, a Miracle from Heaven!

And then, Ronald Reagan rode in just in time to restore our national confidence -- oh, he's watching us today! [...] -- restore our economy, and our military.

That would be the military that tripped over each other invading Grenada because the Army's radios couldn't talk to the Navy's. And navigated using tourist maps. But that's not the point! The point is that in this similar time of national despair, when the economy has been ruined by 76 straight months of growth and a declining unemployment rate, there's hope that another Ronald Reagan might come to our nation's rescue, even if we're not in danger. And that New Reagan will be Donald Trump, YAY! On a unicorn, possibly, although Republican staffers have done a lot to alienate unicorns this week.

Moving on to another predictable but always popular target, Ingraham told the press they'd better stop hating America, or else:

To all my friends in the press, I see you, hello... You all know why, in your heart, Donald Trump won the Republican nomination. You know it. You know why he won it? Because he dared to call out the phonies, the frauds and the corruption that has gone unexposed and un-covered for too long. Do your job! [standing ovation] Doing your job is a novel concept!

As to the people "on another network" who had observed that the room didn't have much energy the other night -- which, dear Crom, it didn't -- Ingraham angrily demanded, "Why don't you sit here with the people?! What a joke! America is on to you!" So yes, let us accurately report that the Wednesday-night crowd was pumped up with all the anger and resentment Ingraham stoked. Had a reporter been dropped into their midst, we have no doubt they might have torn her to pieces and devoured her.

Donald Trump respects us enough to tell us the hard truths about what has happened to our country. On issues like immigration, trade, our diminished status in the world. Even in the face of unfair criticism and sheer hatred. They had their chance. Now, it's our chance.

After all that Us and Them talk, Ingraham closed with a call to "go forth and reject the politics of division," with a completely straight face. And then we got the vaguely fascistic looking salute.

She might have done better to end with a song.

[AdWeek / NYDN / Philly.com / Vox]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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