Politics is suffering from an overabundance of memes. Not organic in-jokes, the ones that defy all logic, materialising purely from the gleeful minds of those who spend too much time on the internet. Instead, we have foisted upon us painfully earnest attempts at “humour”, resurrected from moments better left unremembered, zombified cries for attention that we should simply lay to rest. 

Think “nevertheless, she persisted,” which became a mid-2010s feminist rallying cry after Sen. Elizabeth Warren appeared to violate a Senate rule during a confirmation hearing. Hardly riveting stuff, but that didn’t stop Warren from adopting the disapproving words of Sen. Mitch McConnell as part of her brand. (Chelsea Clinton even borrowed the phrase for a set of children’s books.) Of course, the slogan also landed on Warren’s campaign merchandise.

After former President Donald Trump was convicted on 34 felony counts on Thursday, erstwhile rival Hillary Clinton wasted no time in releasing a mug bearing the words, “Turns out she was right about everything.” The image on the mug of Clinton holding a teacup and the text-to-image spacing screams, “this is my first day as a graphic designer!” Clinton has past form for such gaffes, this coming from the same woman who once tried to pander to young voters by telling them to “Pokémon go to the polls.”

We on the Right like to point out the failure of Left-wing comedy. In truth, blatant partisanship never makes for worthwhile content. Still, that won’t stop it from going viral.

Last month, Democrat Rep. Jasmine Crockett entered the contest for song of the summer, at least according to sympathetic media figures. When Crockett accused Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene during a House of Representatives committee hearing of having a “bleach blonde, bad-built, butch body,” the phrase was suddenly everywhere. Crockett embraced the musical remixes and accolades and even decided to trademark the phrase, plastering it on T-shirts in “A Crockett Clapback Collection.”

It seems like nearly every member of Congress during any committee hearing is looking for a soundbite to add to their own “clapback collection.” At least Crockett is being upfront about it. 

To be sure, it’s not just Democrats who are looking for accolades for their snappy remarks. The “bleach blonde” moment only happened in the first place because Greene told Crockett, “I think your fake eyelashes are messing up what you’re reading” – hardly the sort of comment one would expect during an official political hearing. Student of the Trump school of politics that she is, Greene likely thought she was setting herself up to be the winner of her own viral moment. 

Obama era-Democrats liked to repeat First Lady Michelle’s phrase, “When they go low, we go high.” “If ‘they’ always go low and ‘we’ always go high, then ‘we’ are going to end up with busted ankles,” wrote one self-proclaimed progressive voter in Esquire. Now, Leftist Democrats seem to think Mrs Obama’s statement was a mantra for losers. 

There’s a grain of truth to this argument: there’s no use in quietly accepting insults and cowering in the face of conflict. But there’s a difference between lobbing an insult in the heat of the moment and choosing to trademark that attack on another woman’s appearance, slapping it on T-shirts and basking in praise for all of this among sympathetic media.

Crockett has, so far, appeared on Good Morning America, MSNBC, The View and numerous print publications attempting to extend her five minutes of fame. When a host on The View asked Crockett how she responds to critics who see her as degrading the institution of Congress by fundraising off an insult, she laughed along with the audience as they looked at the T-shirts on screen. “Kind of like the audience just did,” she said. 

Sure, she’s engaging in the same kind of grifting as Trump, with his Bibles and his shoes, but she’s doing it to “save our democracy.” 

I guess I have to take away Crockett’s points for transparency. “Democracy” conveniently seems to be on the line whenever Democrats need to fundraise, and Crockett certainly isn’t hurting from all the free media attention. Whether or not the “girlboss” shtick plays with voters, it’s a quick path to money and fame.