Unpresidential Dogs And 52-Year-Old Scandals: The Right Is Really Reaching For Its Outrage
In the four years Donald Trump was in office, there was nary a slow news day. Even if nothing else was happening in the world, the president of the United States would be on Twitter saying something that, previously, would have been unthinkable even coming out of the mouth of Archie Bunker. It was a bad time, and frankly, not all that interesting to write about. Of course, if you asked someone on the Right, we all had "Trump Derangement Syndrome" and were just sitting around all day waiting for him to do something that we could nefariously spin to make him look bad. As if we even had to try. It was just there. There was no waiting involved. I think we all, frankly, would have appreciated some more waiting.
But nevertheless, they were very upset about this and also very sure that they never did this to either Barack Obama or Bill Clinton, despite the fact that they actually stole the "Derangement Syndrome" thing from "Clinton Derangement Syndrome." They feel they were especially fair to Obama, never questioned his presidency the way we did with Trump, and certainly never criticized him for anything that was not a very serious and real offense ... like the tan suit and the Grey Poupon.
And now, graciously, they are criticizing Joe Biden for very serious things ... like the fact that his dog isn't quite presidential-looking enough.
Yes, on Friday, Newsmax host Greg Kelly brought on an actual panel of presidential historians to discuss whether or not Joe Biden's dog Champ is well-groomed enough, based on one picture, to be a White House dog.
Via Media Matters:
Did you see the dog? I want to show you something I noticed. Doesn't he look uh, a little rough? I love dogs but this dog needs a bath and a comb and all kinds of love and care.
This dog looks like from -- I'm sorry -- from the junkyard. And I love that dog, but he looks like he's not been well cared for.
The dog looks fine. Looks like a dog! Probably just chilling after coming in from the snow. Quite frankly, I don't think many dogs have been looking their best in the last few months, and it's hardly as if you can give them a bath every day, because their skin — like human skin — will get dry and itchy, especially during the winter.
But this is not for real. Greg Kelly is not sincerely concerned that a White House dog is being neglected. He just literally has no other material. This one picture of a dog is all he's got, and goddamnit, he's gonna make it work.
Last week, Ted Cruz garnered no small amount of criticism for running off to Cancun while his constituents in Texas were freezing their extremely large belt buckles off, with no power or electricity, or extremely expensive power and electricity. This was obviously a pretty gross thing to do, especially as so many people who weren't elected officials in the state of Texas, like Beto O'Rourke and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, were doing so much to help those people out.
Many on the Right thought that this was just faux outrage, unlike getting worked up over one picture of a dog looking unpresidential, and that we were only pretending to think this was a bad thing to do because we wanted to make Ted Cruz look bad. Because apparently all anyone thinks about all day and night is how to make Ted Cruz look bad. Or how to make Donald Trump look bad or any other Republican, because clearly they never do anything to look bad on their own. Unlike that one dog.
Chappaquiddick, of all things, was trending on Twitter yesterday, thanks to a viral tweet that read "Everyone pretending to be outraged over Cruz in Cancun gave this a complete pass," above the picture of former Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy's car floating in Poucha Pond.
If conservatives have to go so far back to find something to be legitimately outraged about they can't even find something with a color photo, I'd say we're doing pretty good. I really do appreciate the fervor with which Republicans believe that the actions of Democrats who are no longer alive should excuse anything they want to do today. It's like when they bring up Southern Democrats during the Civil War and the Jim Crow era in the hopes that people will ditch the party that was racist in the past in favor of the party that is currently racist here in the future.
The outraged quote tweets on that one, from other Republicans, are also pretty amazing.
omg. My only issue was the optics and how it gave the left something to feed on.
But this. This was waaaaaaay worse. Still crickets.
Crickets! Perhaps it is a little hypocritical of us to criticize something Ted Cruz did last week while not also criticizing something Ted Kennedy, a man who has been dead for almost 12 years, did 50 years ago. Why we were not tweeting about this regularly in 1969 when it happened? Hmm? Truly, our silence on this matter speaks volumes. What? Are we too busy tweeting about the first moon landing, Charles Manson, and Woodstock? Probably! I guess I am too busy trying to make sure my parents meet on a beach in Rhode Island so that I can be born many, many years in the future. This is all very confusing.
Obviously, the only way to hold this Dead Kennedy accountable for his sins is for all of us to immediately become conservative Republicans. Or to excuse literally everything anyone named Ted does after the year 1969 (which could get awkward). Or ... or ... we could refuse to vote for Ted Kennedy in the Democratic primary when he runs in 1980. That'll show him.
Anyway! This is now your open thread! Talk amongst yourselves!
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse