Echo Chamber: May 11, 2018

Dear Mr. VP,

I feel like I’m still reeling a bit from George Will’s twenty-dollar-word take down piece. I mean, the man called you horrifying. What am I even supposed to write after that.

There was actually a ~3 hour pause between that sentence and this sentence I am writing now, in which I hemmed and hawed, and read news, panicked about a variety of things, wrote and rewrote things in my head, and here we are again. George Will doesn’t get the last word.

Will used the word horrifying, so I suppose we can start there.

I’ve been pretty vocal, I think, in my lack of hero worship of John McCain. I appreciate the moments in which he has stood up against some of the most egregious plans of your administration, and also, he’s still been mostly on board. Also, he might regret choosing Sarah Palin, but he sure-as-shit did it, and let’s talk about how we can trace Palin —–> Trump. (I’m not actually going to make a flow chart here – let’s just pretend I did. It stops in places like “Tea Party.”) And other people agree with me.

But all that said, the man is dying. So it’s sort of amazing to me that, in a party that’s supposed to be all about respecting life, a Trump staffer can say something like “”It doesn’t matter, he’s dying anyway,” when discussing McCain’s opposition to Gina Haspel.

Reports on this meeting note that no one spoke up. No one called Kelly Sadler out on being disrespectful and, frankly, cruel.

I get it. It’s hard to call someone out when we’re feeling disappointed or hurt by their behavior, or even offended by it. Most of us prefer to avoid conflict, and so it feels more natural to sit back and let egregious things fly in front of us, because saying to someone “Hey, I don’t like what you just said,” or “Hey, that was pretty fucking awful,” is uncomfortable.

But to hearken back to George Will a bit more, this is peak obsequiousness. It’s like the entire Trump administration is just people nodding at each other as you seek to raise the bar on horrifying behavior. You all like to castigate liberals for living in echo chambers, but what is your administration other than the biggest echo chamber that exists? One in which you can mock dying men without fear of consequence?

I’ll be on the lookout for your statement on this moment, in which you admonish Stadler, but I’m not holding my breath.



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