The Washington Post is my go-to online news source — unless you count Daily Kos, of course, at which I loiter like a teenager contemplating his 11th Mountain Dew Baja Blast refill on a Saturday afternoon at Burger King.
I prefer The Post because it appears to irritate Donald Trump even more than The New York Times, and its crossword puzzle doesn’t make me feel as dumb as a Trump.
But, whoa Nelly, did it publish a steaming heap o’ hog tripe yesterday.
The headline — “If Biden really wants to unify the country, here’s the olive branch he must extend to conservatives” — was bad enough, but then I read the column itself, courtesy of contributing columnist Gary Abernathy.
Put your gas masks on, because this is one sulfuric ass-blast you won’t soon forget.
First, the lead, which is, shall we say, misleading:
It was announced this week that the theme for President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration will be “America United.” To achieve such a lofty aspiration, Biden will need to do better than he did following the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, when he claimed that President Trump, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) and others who repeat the “big lie” of election fraud are embracing the strategy of Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels.
Yes, Joe Biden needs to do better than he did in the aftermath of the January 6 riots. Joe Biden does.
Of course, Joe Biden quite accurately pointed out what Trump, Cruz, Josh Hawley, Mo Brooks, Tommy Booberville, et al., were doing — repeating, ad infinitum, debunked claims about a “stolen” election. And those claims, predictably, led to anger, chaos, and widespread distrust in our sacred elections.
That’s a pretty big lie, and an extremely pernicious one. One that has already led to violence and murder, and could very well wreak further destruction. So if the jackboot fits …
Assuming sanity prevails and we are spared the melodrama of an impeachment trial for a president no longer in office (even if the House’s impeachment of Trump this week was admittedly more justifiable than the first one), Biden will probably focus much of his inauguration remarks on two preeminent subjects — the fight against covid-19 and the assault on the Capitol. But the new president will divide more than unify if he pretends the Capitol incursion happened in a vacuum. He must likewise condemn violence across America instigated by left-leaning agitators and acknowledge that there’s plenty of blame to go around for a nation more on edge than at any time since the 1960s.
Joe Biden has condemned “left-wing” violence. Repeatedly. But I guess Abernathy has been listening to Fox News talking points instead of, I don’t know, Biden himself.
And a lot of the violence that occurred over the summer in the wake of the George Floyd protests was instigated by right-wingers. But tell me more about how Joe Biden is already failing to tidy up Donald Trump’s cosmic shit stain of a presidency.
Abernathy then whines about Trump being kicked off Twitter and about Parler being kicked off Amazon’s servers and about all the un-American “censorship” of right-wing voices. You know, those voices that stirred up an insurrection that led to, erm, mayhem and murder.
There are those who say that Trump abused social media to incite violence. Others read the same tweets and disagree. More disturbing than anything Trump could tweet, though, is the fact that the highest elected officeholder in the land could have his voice virtually silenced by the whims of a handful of unelected Silicon Valley bullies.
They’re not “whims.” They’re called terms of service, and Trump has been violating them with impunity for years, jiggle drawers.
On Jan. 20, Biden can reassure all freedom-loving Americans, “I vehemently disagree with — and am often repulsed by — nearly everything that Donald Trump and many of his followers say. But in America, we defend the right of others to say things that we may find repugnant. We respond to those who use their words to express hate, ignorance and lies not by forcibly silencing them, but by answering them with love, education and truth.”
Uh huh. Unless they violate a social media platform’s terms of service and/or try to get Nancy Pelosi killed with a torrent of hateful lies. Then they can choke on a bag of dicks. And I kind of doubt a “Kumbaya” song circle will bring the Proud Boys to heel. Just a hunch.
And Biden should make this promise: “I pledge today to all Americans, whether liberal or conservative, Democrat or Republican, supporter or political foe, you will have a champion in the White House for your right to freely express your thoughts and your opinions on the digital platforms on which we all depend. I will work with Congress and our tech leaders toward the goal of ensuring that those rights are not only protected, but encouraged.”
UNLESS THEY VIOLATE THOSE DIGITAL PLATFORMS’ TERMS OF SERVICE! WHICH THEY FUCKING DO! A LOT!
Biden can use what will surely be one of the most-watched inaugurations in history to embrace Americans across the political spectrum, or he can berate nearly half of America for their beliefs and their choices — relegating his oft-repeated desire for unity to just one more “big lie.” Mr. President-elect, please make it count.
What the fuck is this?
After four years of stomping on cars and buses and dry-humping America to the brink of exhaustion, Trumpzilla gets a pass and Joe Biden is now expected to clean up his messes?
Why does this sound so familiar?
Biden needs to show up in a tan suit on day one just to get all his worst scandals out of the way. Then maybe he can focus on, I don't know, taming the coronavirus, rescuing Trump’s cratered economy, squashing domestic terrorism, restoring our fractured global esteem, unfucking countless government agencies and now—if Abernathy is to be believed—restoring civility to a country that Donald Trump has been kicking the shit out of for four years.
I believe Biden is up to the task, but Jesus. These sycophants give Trump credit for all kinds of things he had nothing to do with. Maybe, just maybe, he deserves the lion’s share of blame for the current unrest?
Just a thought.
This guy is a natural. Sometimes I laugh so hard I cry.” — Bette Midler on Aldous J. Pennyfarthing, via Twitter. Goodbye, Asshat: 101 Farewell Letters to Donald Trump is hot off the presses! Along with Dear Fcking Lunatic: 101 Obscenely Rude Letters to Donald Trump, Dear Prsident A**clown: 101 More Rude Letters to Donald Trump and Dear F*cking Moron: 101 More Letters to Donald Trump, you’ll see the Trump years from a hilarious new perspective. Click those links!