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Oh, boy. The look on Representative Adam Schiff’s face was priceless as the California Democrat disembarked the Air Force bus on Thursday.
A few days ago, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) sent a letter to the White House, practically disinviting the president of the United States from giving his State of the Union Address on January 29. She cited security concerns and suggested that the president reschedule his address for a time after the government shutdown. But everyone knew that her explanation was absolute nonsense.
Clearly, this was a political move meant to trap President Trump and to derail his ongoing negotiations to get a physical barrier along the southern U.S. border. It was a simple calculation—Pelosi wanted to make Trump hurt. She wanted to go after something she perceived as important to him. Everyone with a brain understood the motive.
And so, President Trump grounded Nancy Pelosi’s plane—something that she cared about. Using the same rationale that she had used to stymie his State of the Union.
U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) quickly tweeted that “one sophomoric response does not deserve another.”
Au contraire, senator! Sophomoric responses seem to be the only responses that sophomores can understand. It’s sad because it seemed as though Graham was in the process of growing a spine. We should suppose that old habits die hard.
Many establishment conservatives, for some reason, hate getting their hands dirty. They hate engaging in the mudslinging that is the very hallmark of politics. Perhaps it’s because they’re afraid it’ll look bad on the front page of the failing New York Times.
After all, it is uncouth. Undignified. Beneath them. And they have kept parroting these platitudes for decades, while politically savvy operatives from the other side have continued smearing and slandering them and their friends.
If we learned anything from the funerals of John McCain, George H. W. Bush, and Mitt Romney (OK, fine . . . it was only a self-immolating op-ed in the dastardly pages of the Washington Post, but for the purposes of this argument, that’s close enough), it is that the only conservatives and Republicans the mainstream media and its surrogates are capable of respecting are either dead or emasculated.
Perhaps the only surprising fact here is that more NeverTrumpers haven’t joined the former category; excessive hand-wringing and pearl-clutching cannot be good for one’s health.
We must have learned something from years of abuse from an overly biased media and sophomoric political pundits who seem more concerned with scoring cheap political shots than actually governing the country and preserving its well-being. In fact, we obviously did learn something. We elected Donald Trump.
Turning Their Weapons Against Them
Abuse and cheap political shots are easy. And if one side won’t dignify them with a response, let alone a retributive attack, they are an exceedingly effective weapon. If a politician baselessly accused of racism, sexism, and pedophilia responds by saying that he will not dignify the accusations with a response, the negative advertisements write themselves.
The only way to deter such base tactics is to use the same tactics effectively against the perpetrators. A taste of one’s own medicine often cures the wanton pettiness and shamelessness that spurred an original unwarranted attack. And it certainly helps if someone can outplay the disgusting would-be character assassins at their own game.
The incalculable schadenfreude that many downtrodden conservatives have felt over the past few years as they have watched President Trump mercilessly troll the Democrats is only amplified by the ironic fact that the president was able to do so simply by using the Democrats’ tactics more skillfully than they could.
It’s the most satisfying manifestation of “instant karma” that we have seen in recent history.
And if that weren’t enough, the Left is now decrying their own tactics on a daily basis. They scream bloody murder at tactics that they themselves have employed for decades. And we are now treated to daily explanations of civic virtue, the value of robust institutions, and yes, morality. You know, the same things that they have tried to disassemble for decades.
If you spend years attacking the rule book and explaining how those rules are oppressive and immoral, you don’t suddenly get to cling to those rules when your opponent finally agrees with you and decides to fight you on your own terms.
Civility and etiquette are nice things. And they are also expensive when deployed only by one side. While we might feel morally righteous by extending them to those who do not reciprocate our efforts or even seem to appreciate them, this moral righteousness is a privilege that many conservatives can’t afford to sacrifice on people unwilling to do likewise.
And after all, we should not reward a bitch that bites the hand that feeds her.
So, President Trump, continue playing hardball with Nancy Pelosi. We’re all getting immense enjoyment from the fact that the opposition suddenly has to face the same abuse that we have endured for decades. And, for all of our sakes, let’s pray that Lindsey Graham grows a spine soon.
Photo credit: Elodie Cuzin/AFP/Getty Images