Why do we ever use any other screenshot?

Tucker Carlson devoted chunks of his Fox News Paranoia Hour Monday and Tuesday night to accusing Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Illinois) of all sorts of terrible things: hating America, wanting to tear down all statues of George Washington, and of course wanting to impose socialist totalitarianism, after which she'll no doubt take away your MyPillows, too. It's the usual bullshit from Carlson and Fox, but before we get into it, we really need to lay out a tasty truth sandwich for you, to make clear just how unhinged and substance-free Tucker's Two Nights Hate really was. Like, even less substantial than usual.


And for that, we need to start with CNN's "State of the Union" show Sunday, because what Carlson is spinning as Tammy Duckworth's anti-America agenda was really little more than the senator trying to dismiss a really stupid line of questioning and talk about stuff she considered more important.

Here's the dealio: Following Donald Trump's big Culture Wars speech at Mount Rushmore, host Dana Bash really wanted to get Duckworth to talk about whether Democrats want to tear down all the statues everywhere, even of the sainted George Washington. We've cued up the video to the relevant bit:

Senator Duckworth joins CNN's State of the Union to discuss Confederate statues & BountyGate youtu.be

Bash noted that Duckworth favors renaming military bases named after second-place generals in the Civil War, then wanted to know, what about George Washington, who also held enslaved people in bondage. "So, in your view, where does it end? Should statues, for example, of George Washington come down?"

Duckworth's reply focused on why Donald Trump's priorities are very wrong for this moment:

Well, let me just say that we should start off by having a national dialogue on it at some point.

But, right now, we're in the middle of a global pandemic. And [...] Russia, [which] has put a bounty on American troops' heads.

What really struck me about this speech that the president gave at Mount Rushmore was that he spent more time worried about honoring dead Confederates than he did talking about the lives of our American — 130,000 Americans who lost their lives to COVID-19, or by warning Russia off of the bounty they're putting on Americans' heads.

I mean, his priorities are all wrong here. He should be talking about what we're going to do to overcome this pandemic. What are we going to do to push Russia back? And, instead, he had no time for that. He spent all his time talking about dead traitors.

Bash really wanted to get into the particulars of what to do with statues of Washington, but Duckworth wasn't especially interested in that, and the conversation moved on to other topics.

So naturally, Tucker Carlson spent two nights of his show attacking Duckworth's patriotism because, as she gave Bash the brush-off, she said sure, we should talk about how George Washington is honored. It started out Monday, following a segment on Trump's wonderful inspirational Rushmore speech, which libs hate because they hate America.

You're not supposed to criticize Tammy Duckworth in any way because she once served in the military. Most people just ignore her. But when Duckworth does speak in public, you're reminded what a deeply silly and unimpressive person she is. Here's Tammy Duckworth from over the weekend, telling us it's time to get rid of George Washington.

The clip rolls, and immediately cuts off after Duckworth's noncommittal line about having a "national dialogue." That's what counts, for Carlson, as wanting to erase the Father of Our Country. Also, something happened in the studio that made Carlson giggle, which sort of detracted from his patriotic outrage. He soon got back on track, and solemnly said that, much though it pained him to do so, he would take the very rare step of questioning Tammy Duckworth's patriotism, because if you don't adore George Washington, then having had your legs shot off in an RPG attack on your helicopter hardly counts for much, now does it?

It's long been considered out of bounds to question a person's patriotism. It's a very strong charge, and we try not ever to make it [unless it's Alexander Vindman, Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and all Democrats currently living — Dok]. But in the face of all of this, the conclusion can't be avoided. These people actually hate America. There's no longer a question about that. [...] Can you really lead a country that you hate?

Remember, "all of this" consisted of Duckworth's waving off Bash and saying that's a conversation to be had, some day. What a totalitarian America hater!

Duckworth's reply was succinct enough:

Carlson ramped up the crazy Tuesday, with a longer segment about how much Duckworth hates America some more, and also dragging in Ilhan Omar, because it's been a good week or so since he's accused her of treason, probably. And how dare Duckworth's office refuse his invitation to call her a traitor in person, those monsters, they're trying to quash FREE SPEACH too!

There's just so much evil lying here, like his dismissal of Duckworth's heroism as having "once been injured while serving in the Illinois National Guard." Probably got a paper cut, haw haw.

And then there's Carlson's contention that Duckworth's "he spent all his time talking about dead traitors" — i.e., Confederate statues — obviously applied to every historical figure Trump mentioned in the speech. "George Washington, Clara Barton, Jackie Robinson: They are all, according to Tammy Duckworth, dead traitors. Pretty shocking." We hear she also hates Christmas.

Carlson added,

To morons like Duckworth, Washington is just some old white guy who needs to be erased. Let's tear down his statues, rename our capital city Sharpton or Mandela and let the revolution continue.

And yet Duckworth won't even come on Carlson's show to defend these positions of hers that he completely made up. Disgusting.

Carlson also joined other rightwing numpties in going after Rep. Ilhan Omar for a speech in which she said that beyond reforming the justice system, we should also reform all systems that lead to oppression, implying that she had said she wants to tear up the Constitution. Omar's speech included these lines:

As long as our economy and political systems prioritize profit without considering who is profiting, who is being shut out, we will perpetuate this inequality. So, we cannot stop [with reform of the] criminal justice system. We must begin the work of dismantling the whole system of oppression wherever we find it.

See, she said right there she wants to dismantle AMERICA's economy and government altogether! Because apparently we must preserve our systems of oppression, perhaps to honor George Washington.

Well! Tucker Carlson has a message for these ladies who openly hate America by saying it could be a better place. You guessed it! The message is You are not even actual Americans because you failed Tucker Carlson's Loving America Test. We've annotated Carlson's stirring peroration with the parts he's not openly saying, in brackets.

There are many of us here who do like this country [as you clearly do not]. We live here [neither of you was born here, and why don't you go back?] We don't want to destroy it [as you filthy foreigners do]. We have every right to fight to preserve our nation and our heritage and our culture [We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children]. No, really:


Somebody at Fox sure seems to be trying out material in case Joe Biden chooses Duckworth as his running mate. We can't imagine Carlson's little tantrums worry her much. It's been a while since the Right managed to portray Max Cleland as a friend of terrorism. But Tammy Duckworth isn't inclined to let some idiot man who finished dead last on "Dancing With the Stars" get away with impugning her character.

[CNN / NYT]

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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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