Oh, dear, President Trump is not the only reckless wee-hours tweeter in town!
Obama adviser Ben Rhodes woke up Thursday to a wave of social media condemnation after a wee-hours tweet joking about the “obits” for top Republican leaders.
The tweet was in reference to a photo posted on President Trump’s Instagram account showing him, Vice President Pence, House Speaker Paul Ryan, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell smiling and giving a goofy thumbs up in the Oval Office – apparently celebrating the passage of the GOP tax reform bill.
Dan Pfeiffer, another top Obama adviser, prompted the response from Rhodes after he tweeted of the pic, “I hope this is the photo they use on the front page of the Times on the day Trump is indicted.”
Seven minutes later came the Rhodes repartee:
“And alongside the obits for Ryan, McConnell, and Pence.”
A generous interpretation is that Rhodes referred to the political obituaries of Messrs. Ryan, McConnell, and Pence.
Nevertheless it is worth mentioning that Mr. Rhodes' lethal tweet comes to light on a day when George Will has a brilliant column about the current atmosphere in Washington headlined "The Survival of the Shrillest" (and a mere day after two Democratic congressional members have compared the GOP tax reform bill to taking away Tiny Tim's crutch).
I love it that Will highlights the shrillness over net neutrality, an enormously important but extremely arcane issues–find two people who accurately can tell you what it is about:
During two decades, the Internet was barely regulated as it delighted its users. In 2015, a regulatory policy (“net neutrality”), one without a constituency sufficient to move Congress, was imposed by bureaucratic fiat. Thirty-three months later, net neutrality was ended. And the rending of garments and gnashing of teeth commenced: “This is the end of the Internet as we know it” (Senator Bernie Sanders); “A brazen betrayal . . . disastrous . . . I am disgusted” (Senator Richard Blumenthal); “Outrageous” (Senator Cory Booker); “Horrible” (Senator Tim Kaine); “Shameful” (Senator Sherrod Brown).
Apparently not as impressed as I am with the tax reform achievement, Will dings the claims of the GOP but he does not spare the opponents either:
Cue the Cassandras. This tax cut of less than 1 percent of the next decade’s projected GDP is “the worst bill in the history of the United States Congress.” (House minority leader Nancy Pelosi.) It “will result in 10,000 extra deaths per year” and “our country will be living on a shoestring for decades.” (Former Treasury secretary Larry Summers.)
. . .
The result is an ever-more-clamorous politics, and the survival of the shrillest. Hence 2017, the year of living splenetically, has been replete with confirmations of Eric Hoffer’s aphorisms: “Rudeness is the weak man’s imitation of strength.” And: “We lie the loudest when we lie to ourselves.”
I would like to believe that 2018 will be less splenetic–but I definitely am not counting on this.