It has been hard—one would have thought impossible—to eclipse the sadness and outrage in the aftermath of the Orlando slaughter. And yet, a posse of craven, opportunistic Republican politicians, Fox Newsians and washed-up, Trump-supporting celebrities have managed to quickly hit new depths of depravity and cruelty. And they have done it with glee, without even waiting for the dead to be identified, let alone buried.
Of course, we should have known Trump would shock us all over again, even though we have tried to learn never to be shocked by his vileness and his enthusiasm for slinging the slimiest of mud. He did. Then he was joined by the so-called pillar of reason and respectability, the grownup in the Republican room, Sen. John McCain. McCain happily echoed Trump’s insinuation outright, that President Obama—rather than firearms—is to blame.
1. GOP senior statesman McCain proves he is really no more honorable than Trump.
Much like the man who once insulted him for not being a war hero because he was stupid enough to be captured, Senator John McCain said President Obama was "directly responsible" for the Orlando shootings. Quick vocab check. “Directly responsible” has pretty specific connotations, like either firing the actual bullets or providing the actual gun.
On Thursday the pea-brained former GOP nominee, now desperately wanting to be re-elected to do the same stellar job of representing Arizona, said this: "Barack Obama is directly responsible for it, because when he pulled everybody out of Iraq, Al Qaeda went to Syria, became ISIS, and ISIS is what it is today thanks to Barack Obama's failures, utter failures, by pulling everybody out of Iraq."
Later, McCain said he had “misspoken,” twice. Here he parted ways slightly with Trump, who, if he were to admit he was wrong at all, would have said he was “misinterpreted,” the press was out to get him, and banned the Associated Press from reporting on his campaign. (In real life, Trump just doubled down on his absurd claim that Obama might be a secret Muslim in league with ISIL; at least that’s what some people think, so it’s worth repeating.)
What McCain called “misspeaking” barely scratches the surface; he also had his history wrong, since it was GOP Pres. George W. Bush who helped create ISIL with the invasion and destabilizing of Iraq.
Details, details. Actually, we prefer people whose brains have not been captured by termites.
2. Geraldo Rivera decides it’s a good idea to shame the victims of the Orlando massacre.
Remember when unhinged Ben Carson suggested that the students shot in Oregon by the three or four mass shooters should have fought harder for their lives? They should have “banded together,” the alleged doctor said. “I would not have just stood there and let him shoot me.”
Nor did the soft-spoken numbskull back down when it was pointed out that this was a phenomenally d*ckish thing to say about victims of an unspeakable tragedy.
Fox Newsian non-brain surgeon Geraldo Rivera failed to get the message. Initially, after the Orlando shooting, he tweeted some semi-appropriate outrage about gun rights:
“Refusal to see gaping loophole that allowed erratic #IslamicState Terrorist to purchase a legal arsenal shows how 2nd Amendment sick we are.”
But for some reason known only to Rivera, on air he decided to shame and lecture the victims at the Pulse nightclub much like Carson had.
“When you’re in that situation and you have no weapons, you have two choices,” he began, having never been in a situation remotely like that situation, because no one has. “If you can’t hide and you can’t run, there are two choices. You stay and die, or you fight. For God’s sakes, fight back. Fight back.”
This was Monday morning, well before any survivors got to tell their story. It has since come to light that some of the injured and terrified victims did try to fight back. The gunman pulled out another easily acquired gun, laughed, and shot them some more.
3. Sarah Palin slithers out from under her rock to say more unhinged things.
Managing to once again strike her trademark balance between being hateful and bonkers, Trump surrogate Sarah Palin took to Facebook this week to do some target practice on President Obama. In a rant some speculate might have been an instance of drunken Facebooking, Palin hauled out her ALL CAPS mode to call the president “A SPECIAL KIND OF STUPID.”
Apparently, she, errrr, thinks this (and we use the word “think” loosely) because Obama has suggested that easy access to high-capacity assault rifles had something to do with the horrific mass shooting in Orlando. “Enough is enough, Mr. President,” Palin slurred, perhaps channeling the mad mom voice she uses with her young children. “There’s no ‘due respect’ due you after pulling this stunt.”
What Palin called a “stunt” was the president’s statement after meeting with the victim’s families: “Those who defend the easy accessibility of assault weapons, should meet these families and explain why that makes sense,” Obama said. “Why is it they think our liberty requires these repeated tragedies? That’s not the meaning of liberty.”
John McCain’s running mate’s approach to dealing with repeated tragedies is to spread as much hatred and Islamophobia as possible: “Exploiting a sick, evil, ideological-driven attack on Americans to further your twisted anti-Second Amendment mission is disgusting,” she ranted. “Today you’re demanding an ‘explanation’ from law-abiding gun owners, but not demanding the same from followers of Islam, the religion behind this terror? If the demented Orlando terrorist doesn’t represent all Islamic followers, then why do you insinuate he represents all gun owners?”
This is torture.
4. Brain surgeon, Trump supporter Scott Baio makes pronouncement on Obama’s intelligence.
Scott Baio, another celebrity who should never have been granted the power of speech, took to the airwaves this week to accuse President Obama of being a secret Muslim.
Ooh, that’s original. The Trumpian logic goes something like this: if the president does not use the words “Islamic terror” at the right time—which is anytime something bad happens—well, then he must be a secret Muslim.
“I can’t tell, Lester, if he’s dumb, he’s a Muslim or he’s a Muslim sympathizer and I don’t think he’s dumb,” Baio said, inexplicably calling Fox Newsian Ashley Webster "Lester." Trump, Baio added, is the only man brave enough to take these terrorists on.
For good measure, and not in the least bit hysterically, the ‘80s sitcom star speculated about Obama and Hillary Clinton's “end game." "Is it to totally eliminate the United States as it was created and founded and the way it is now?"
Baio stilltotally has that comedy thing down.
5. Fox News so-called doctor criticizes doctors for thinking gun violence is bad for people’s health.
There is one doctor on Fox News other than frequent guest and former commentator Ben Carson, who seems to care even less about gun violence. This is a tough race, since Carson has gone on record to say he’d rather see dying, shot-up patients than have his guns taken away.
Similarly, Dr. Keith Ablow scoffed at the idea that gun violence is a public health problem. His co-host Brian Kilmeade pointed out that that wildly leftist organization, the American Medical Association, has called for the CDC to study gun fatalities. “Let's ask Fox News medical A-team analyst and professional doctor, Keith Ablow,” Kilmeade said. “He joins us live from Boston. So, is gun violence a disease?”
Ablow’s considered response: “Of course gun violence isn't a disease. This is part of the progressive agenda, alive and well at the AMA, the American Medical Association, which has said in commenting about their desire to study this very seriously that they really need to look into the problem of uncontrolled gun ownership.”
Kilmeade then downplayed the number of gun homicides, a number which is not known since Congress has made sure no one can actually study it. Only 10,000, Kilmeade said pulling the number out of thin air. That’s nothing.
For Ablow’s part, he just denied guns have anything to do with gun deaths period, and accused the AMA of “not being doctorly," adding, “So stop it. Call yourself the American Political Association and shut up.”
Kilmeade managed to get in a pretty good last word: “Okay. Dr. Keith Ablow, that's your medical advice, shut up.”
6. Sterling public servant in Florida’s “inspirational message.”
Hours after the Orlando shooting, Florida Assistant State Attorney Kenneth Lewis found it appropriate to post this on Facebook:
“The entire city should be leveled. It is void of a single redeeming quality. It is a melting pot of 3rd world miscreants and ghetto thugs. It is void of culture. If you live down there you do it at your own risk and at your own peril. If you go down there after dark there is seriously something wrong with you.”
He was promptly suspended, apparently for violating the esteemed office’s social media policy, not for being an incredibly insensitive, dumb a**hole.
Notably, Lewis went to “sensitivity training” after a deeply offensive post two years ago on Mother’s Day, in which he suggested “crack hoes” should get their “tubes tied” and other warm and fuzzy thoughts he termed “inspirational.”
Might want to hire new sensitivity trainers.