That Was The Week That Was
Since the 2016 presidential election, we've had to deal with weekly controversies, but none like the week that was.
August 5, 2019
In the early 1960’s a British satirical comedy aired on BBC television titled “That Was the Week That Was” (TWTWTW). An American version followed under the same name and was broadcast over the NBC network in 1964-65. The premise of the show was to lampoon the establishment and political figures. For purposes here I am going to borrow the title, but my intent is anything but comedic in nature.
Since Mr. Trump assumed office, a week has not gone by where something, an event, or a situation involving this president has passed without a bit of controversy. President Trump, usually under the constant watchful eye of the media, and his political detractors, has a tendency at times to exaggerate, create out of whole cloth, and say things, usually on social media that will cause feigned outrage in certain quarters.
We can look back over the last 3 years and find any number of instances where the president has said or done something, and had to bear the brunt of his enemies, and suffer the slings and arrows of their pretentious and often petty sanctimony. Recently a week began with comments on social media that I believe will be long remembered, and could, and probably will, have broad implications and ongoing repercussions.
Our story began on Sunday, July 14, and on that day from those busy thumbs of the president, and keyed into that small device with an even smaller screen, there appeared a message, a tweet, that would send the political and journalistic world into fits of hysterical caterwauling. The next morning, Monday, July 15, the headlines were awash with responses, some were in support, some neutral, and others incensed and indignant, in one particular case the tabloid cover story read “Hater-In-Chief.”
What was it that caused this brouhaha? The president decided to direct his anger and frustration at several newly-elected female members of the House of Representatives, all progressive socialists and Democrats: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Pressley. Each of these congresswomen, now referred to as the “Squad” and ladies of color, has on numerous occasions criticized, insulted, and rebuked this nation, the president and the American people.
I’m certain many of you by now have become familiar with Mr. Trump's comments, but for those who might not, in part they included:
“So interesting to see Progressive Democrat Congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world, if they even have a functioning government at all, now loudly and viciously telling the people of the United States, the greatest and most powerful nation on earth, how our government is to be run. Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime-infested places from which they came, then come back and show us how.”
The fact is only one of the Squad was an immigrant, Ilhan Omar.
The president followed up with this tweet:
“In America, if you hate our country, you are free to leave. The simple fact of the matter is, the four congresswomen think that America is wicked in its origins. They think that America is even more wicked now and that we are all racist and evil. They’re entitled to their opinion, they’re Americans. Now I’m entitled to my opinion, and I think they’re left-wing cranks.”
The media and Democrats were beside themselves and condemned the president’s comments. Day after day every commentator on cable and network news, radio talk show host, the media in all its sordid manifestations began each of their reporting with “Trumps racist tweets..." The president stood his ground and when questioned at press briefings explained how the congresswomen had made some of the most anti-American and anti-Semitic comments in their brief time in the congress.
There are several theories as to why the president would go down this road. According to most, prior to the tweets, the Democrats were self-imploding with disagreements among moderates versus the new Socialist Democrats. Just the previous week Congresswoman Cortez had accused Speaker Nancy Pelosi of racism for comments she had made that the Squad found objectionable. So why did the president interfere, why not just sit back and enjoy the show?
Some believe it was calculated, and a political masterstroke by the president. His intent was to have the entire Democratic Party come to the defense of the Squad, which they did, and thus the party’s support would be considered its acceptance of the actions and behavior of the four congresswomen. This, in turn, would characterize the congresswomen as being fully embraced into the party, and possibly its new face.
This did not end the controversy, not by a long shot. At a rally in North Carolina, on Wednesday, July 17, thousands had gathered to hear their president give another rousing all-encompassing issues-oriented speech, and Mr. Trump did not disappoint. At about midway in the speech, the president began to talk about "the Squad." His words echoed those that were in his tweets, and after a brief period a chant emerged from the crowd “Send her back, send her back.” It quickly faded and the president resumed his speech.
Those three words created a firestorm among all the usual suspects in the media and among Democrats. Following the rally, the remainder of the week was consumed with the three words “Send her back,” and why the president didn’t immediately stop the chant. He said he did, and also said that he did not approve of the chant. It was determined by the so-called fact-checkers that 10 to 13 seconds had passed before the crowd had stopped. I guess 5, or perhaps 8 seconds at the most, would have been acceptable? Keep in mind, while all this was being played out, the Democrat presidential candidates, Iran, China, the Ninth Circuit Court ruling in the president’s favor on abortion funding, and everything else, took a backseat.
How has this changed the political momentum, and who will be negatively affected by all this nonsense? If this was his intent, will the president’s actions, whatever his motive may be, assist him during this election season? Will the Democrats use this incident as a wedge issue to prove the president is a racist? Years from now, will those who follow us look back at this time and proclaim “That Was The Week That Was.”
Visit Bob Pascarella's website at www.ShortStoriesInVerse.com