Wanting to apologize for NeverTrumpers is like apologizing for some of your more wayward friends after college.
Seriously! They’re going to get their stuff together. OK, really, more than their stuff. OK, so it’s their crap, but like, they’re really going to get it together this time. Look, look, don’t say that s-word. They’re going to do it, really. They’re doing their own thing. Don’t judge, all right?
It doesn’t have to do with the fact that they disagree with me. I’m originally from New York City and I don’t spend most of my time in Bible study. This means before I was quarantined, I spent time with liberals in their natural habitat.
It instead has to deal with the fact with the fact that so many RINOS are … well, like David French.
David French is legitimately the kind of NeverTrumper you want to like. He’s not a bad guy — really, he’s not!
He’s got the pedigree — law degree, National Review, a lo-fi podcast with his wife that you don’t mind listening to. He’s even got that cutesy quote from Rush Limbaugh on his Twitter profile to remind you that he doesn’t take his position as a professional Trump-hater all that seriously! (El Rushbo apparently called him a “real problem,” which was apparently a life-changer for a man with 204,000 Twitter followers.)
And yet, he’s the kind of guy where you can understand why Brit Hume decided to curse at him — blanked-out curses though they may be have been.
So, here’s what French was commenting on — a furrowed-brow question from NBC News’ Peter Alexander on Friday, purportedly about people who are concerned in the midst of the coronavirus epidemic.
This made Peter Alexander mildly famous. See also: “Peter Alexander: 5 Things To Know About Reporter Trump Called ‘Terrible’ For Asking To Send Hopeful Message” from Bonnie Fuller’s HollywoodLife.com. (Not just any HollywoodLife.com… !)
The subtext of the question, in case you didn’t get it, was that Trump couldn’t rise to the occasion. I know this because a) Peter Alexander is the kind of man who knew what the lowest common denominator was before he asked the question and b) that wondrous, ad-festooned excavator of the lowest common denominator, Bonnie Fuller’s HollywoodLife.com, said, “Instead of using the opportunity to rise to the occasion to deliver a Presidential message of reassurance and hope to the American people, Trump lashed out viciously at” Peter Alexander.
French had the same thoughts about the question that HollywoodLife.com had (yes, none other than Bonnie Fuller’s HollywoodLife.com!):
This was a legitimate question, the response is inexcusable. Trump’s change in tone didn’t last long. https://t.co/5M3L9PKVpJ
— David French (@DavidAFrench) March 20, 2020
So anyway, Brit Hume said a somewhat more expletive-strewn version of what I was thinking, but it’ll do:
Legitimate question my a**. It was the kind of bullsh*t gotcha question which hack WH reporters have been asking for decades. But instead of going off on the reporter, Trump should have said the whole briefing in all its particulars was a message to people who are scared. https://t.co/Qg0lYC1fxk
— Brit Hume (@brithume) March 20, 2020
More or less.
So the only way Peter Alexander’s question could have been more obnoxiously laden with Beltway-insider subtext was if he was holding an Apple Pencil while he intoned it. And not the old-fangled Apple Pencil but the new one that adds more usefulness but mostly allows you to say that you have the new Apple Pencil and not the old one. Oh, and it also only works with the iPad Pro.
Peter Alexander didn’t ask this because he wanted an answer. He asked this because he wanted a confrontation.
I don’t know whether President Trump should give a great “there’s nothing to fear but fear itself” speech as his reply. I say that because, in a world where FDR never gave the “there’s nothing to fear but fear itself” speech, Donald Trump could give that — and also, the “blood, sweat and tears” speech and the “I have a dream” speech, all the while doing a version of “Who’s on First?” with Dr. Anthony Fauci — and it wouldn’t matter.
He wouldn’t have moved America’s heart and tickled our funny bones enough for it to matter.
For that matter, this was a stupid question. Rookie “Superman” writers would have shot this down as a query that a flustered Jimmy Olsen would have asked Lex Luthor at a news conference at Metropolis City Hall. What would you tell Americans who are afraid because they’re fearful because this virus is fearsome and your leadership is scary? Any answer, President Luthor? I’m here with my Apple Pencil waiting for you to respond, sir.
Even if both Trump and Luthor dealt with the question equally as well with the question as they dealt with the loss of their hair, Alexander’s query wasn’t anything more than a useless inquiry by a man who thought it sounded way better in his head than it did coming out of his mouth.
Brit Hume is normally reserved. Perhaps he doesn’t deserve plaudits for dealing with the question this way.
It certainly beats the way David French dealt with it, however.
You don’t like the response? Fair enough. “Legitimate question” isn’t just stretching it, it’s ignoring a subtext completely.
And that’s the thing: No matter how “text” the “subtext” was, David French would have still ignored it.
Peter Alexander: “What do you say to Americans, right now, who think you’re directly responsible for thousands of deaths?”
Donald Trump: “That’s a nasty question.”
David A. French: “This was a legitimate question, the response is inexcusable. Trump’s change in tone didn’t last long.”
Bonnie Fuller’s ThousandsOfHollywoodDeaths.com: “10 Things You Need to Know About How Donald Trump Caused <insert minor celebrity here>‘s Death.”
Really, David French isn’t that bad! I swear. He’s at least as good as, um, Bonnie Fuller.
Whoever she is.
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