President Donald Trump points to supporters after speaking at his Black Voices for Trump rally Friday, Nov. 8, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Another day, another contrived and fake controversy.
Last night, while Nancy Pelosi, the Democrats and Bill Kristol were all pleasuring themselves with impeachment, President Trump held a rally in Battle Creek, MI. The rally was not only in a key swing state but in Justin Amash’s district.
What is interesting is that Chris Cillizza and Dave Weigel are no longer fact-checking the size of the rallies because they don’t want you to know the answer.
Incredible Rally tonight in Battle Creek Michigan!
✅ 20,202 voters identified (92.2% from MI)
✅ 15% haven’t voted in last four elections, WOW!
✅ 15% have voted in only one of the last four elections
✅ 17% Democrats
Dems play theater while @realDonaldTrump is winning!
— Brad Parscale (@parscale) December 19, 2019
— Trump War Room – Text TRUMP to 88022 & get the APP (@TrumpWarRoom) December 19, 2019
Just watched some of the Right Side livestream…the crowd lined up outside in the freezing cold at this Battle Creek, Michigan rally is insane. https://t.co/XiopryOzem
— Brent Scher (@BrentScher) December 18, 2019
Calhoun County sheriff tells us about 5,400 members of the general public were let in for the @realDonaldTrump rally in Battle Creek. He said more than 2,000 were in overflow crowd outside the arena. @WOODTV pic.twitter.com/fqEWapPQjJ
— Leon Hendrix (@LeonHendrix) December 19, 2019
Mike Pence and US Senate candidate John James were there. There was a little drama as President Trump was delayed in taking the podium but the performance was quintessential Trump. Very few Trump rallies are without some sort of contrived fake outrage and this one was no different. The subject of late Michigan Representative John Dingell came up and how Trump had ordered flags flown at half-staff when he died:
Here is Trump last night at his rally after he was impeached by the House, complaining about Debbie Dingell after all he did for her late husband John Dingell and then she voted to impeach him. He even suggests that the late Congressman is in hell-even his supporters groan. pic.twitter.com/F5xkalVZ1M
— Amee Vanderpool (@girlsreallyrule) December 19, 2019
The reaction could have been predicted:
The comments from Trump about Rep Dingell is utterly sick and cruel. I am sending strength to the Dingell family, especially his wife Debbie. Take heed in knowing he only attacks people for whom he is threatened by their great legacies. History will forever judge him very harshly
— Meghan McCain (@MeghanMcCain) December 19, 2019
Absolutely disgusting. One of the worst things this very horrible man has ever said. And that’s not easy.
He just joked about an esteemed Congressmen who recently passed away, John Dingell, being in hell.
— Shaun King (@shaunking) December 19, 2019
John Dingell served our country in World War II. He was the longest-serving Member of the House in history, was instrumental in passing Medicare, Civil Rights, Clean Air Act, & more. @realDonaldTrump is not fit to carry Mr. Dingell’s boots. How dare Trump disparage his memory.
— Paul Begala (@PaulBegala) December 19, 2019
Trump laments that Debbie Dingell voted to impeach him despite the fact that he allowed the normal state funeral to proceed for her late husband, former Rep. John Dingell. Trump then suggests John Dingell is in hell — to audible groans. pic.twitter.com/wsYfddNIA9
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) December 19, 2019
There’s no faking the pain and anguish Debbie Dingell is expressing here. Many of us can relate to losing a loved one. Very few of us can relate to having that loved one smeared by the President of the United States. https://t.co/Whq3tG80MF
— Siraj Hashmi (@SirajAHashmi) December 19, 2019
If you want to criticize this, have at it. Just don’t expect anyone to take you seriously. As a nation, we seem to have developed some kind of fetish about lionizing dead Democrats and near Democrats, like John McCain. Something that doesn’t happen for dead conservatives, like Antonin Scalia. Joking about people being in Hell is hardly breaking new ground in comedy and Dingell hit room temperature nearly a year ago so it isn’t like the grieving family was across the street ant the wake while the joke was being made. Though none of us knows who is in hell, and I don’t know the state of Dingell’s soul when he died, we do know Dingell, while alive, was a vicious partisan who would never hesitate to use what power he had to cause harm to his opponents. He was a pro-abort (which tends to indicate that he may not be in heaven) and a lot of this his colleagues didn’t think he was a great guy but were afraid to say it out loud:
Few people in official Washington are ambivalent about John Dingell, a 65-year-old Democrat from outside Detroit and the chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee and its Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. Some, generally off the record, call him a mean-spirited, vindictive, power-hungry bully.
I’d say “some” probably covered a lot of waterfront.
I’ve bumped this comment by GreenLanternMD to the story:
The New York Times article in 1996 titled “Tale of a Bully”
A shameful mark of the long years when Democrats controlled the House of Representatives was the abusive record of John D. Dingell of Michigan, chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee. In the arrogance of his power, he terrorized individuals and institutions that he wanted to humble.
… The precedent Mr. Dingell set was truly dangerous: an ambitious Congressman using his power to decide what is true or false in science. The question is why this travesty went so far.
Quite a legacy.
I would also add evil to that collection. Because in addition to supporting abortion he tried to help the communists take over Central America, he fought the Strategic Defense Initiative, coddled the Soviet Union’s propaganda campaign that was the Nuclear Freeze movement, and he was against any form or tax or regulatory relief that could help get government off the backs of working men and women. He may have cast a couple of righteous votes but let’s not kid ourselves that Dingell was either a good man or good for America. Dingell was all about Dingell. That isn’t unusual is DC, but it isn’t a quality that makes you immune from criticism or being the punch line of a joke.
This is tiring. The whole genre of pearl-clutching stories that start with “Trump said [gasp, shock]” are just puerile and repetitive. You don’t like the guy. Fine. We get that. We’ve gotten that for the past four years. The Dingell comment is just another fake, ginned-up controversy. It is sort of the flip side of the Tom Nichols Twitter soliloquy denigrating Trump supporters. The upshot is that if you don’t befoul yourself in outrage over a dead Democrat hack being made the butt of a very mild joke, you are a bad person. If you aren’t offended about a joke about a dead Democrat, you are also a bad person. I don’t think the people criticizing what happened even believe their own words. They are simply engaged in a point-scoring exercise, Why anyone thinks this merits an apology is beyond me.
The sissies who were scandalized by Trump’s Dingell comment last night have been cheering this on for 3 years. Go take a walk with your concern for “Norms.” pic.twitter.com/U9Q2wHMYlH
— David Reaboi (@davereaboi) December 19, 2019
Lighten up. It was a joke. And as we used to say in the Army, “f*** ’em if they can’t take a joke.”