Last week The Leader, apparently eager to ingratiate himself with conservatives newly convinced of his fitness for the presidency, nominated an alleged racist to be Attorney General of the United States and chose the captain of shitlord mothership Breitbart.com to be his in-house propagandist. (“Even if you buy [Steve Bannon’s] disingenuous denials that his ‘alt right nationalism’ is in any way racist or anti-Semitic, you should at least take him at his word that it is not conservatism as we know it,” complained Jonah Goldberg, author of a book about how liberals are the Real Fascists.)
But The Leader’s most successful rightwing outreach came from Veep-Elect Mike Pence, who went to the Broadway hit Hamilton on Friday, where he was greeted by the audience with a mixture of cheers and boos. He also heard a curtain speech by one of the show’s stars pleading for his to be an administration for “all the People.”
The Leader devoted the next 24 hours to tweets of revenge against Hamilton; Pence, content to bide his time till The Leader is impeached or overdoses, played good cop. And from every corner of Wingnuttia, rightbloggers who could normally be counted on to sneer “fuck your feelings” at the “safe spaces” of “special snowflakes” sputtered and snarled as if it were Ford’s Theater all over again.
The speech given by Brandon Victor Dixon, who plays Aaron Burr in the show, is brief and I will reproduce it in its entirety:
Vice President-elect Pence, we welcome you and we truly thank you for joining us at Hamilton: An American Musical. We — we — are the diverse America who are alarmed and anxious that your new administration will not protect us, our planet, our children, our parents, or defend us and uphold our inalienable rights, sir. We truly hope this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and to work on behalf of all of us. We truly thank you for sharing this show, this wonderful American story told by a diverse group of men, women of different colors, creeds and orientation.
Even the few rightbloggers who also reproduced, and maybe even read, this fairly gentle speech acted as if Dixon had pulled a Peter Handke on Pence.
“This is the kind of national discussion the left loves: the kind where they talk and you listen,” said Hot Air’s John Sexton, who doesn’t seem to grasp what a stage play is, or else considers it an inferior form of town hall forum or of blockbuster movies where no one cares if you yell at the screen.
Similarly unclued was Peter Ingemi (a/k/a Datechguy) who — enraged that the ACLU had defended Dixon’s comments on free speech grounds — retorted, “I’m sure the ACLU, Professor [Robert] Reich and the entire cast of Hamilton were delighted by these citizens lawfully executing their constitutional rights,” then showed a video of a “Trump flash mob” outside the theater (“Take that, liberal actors!”). I guess Ingemi doesn’t know about the ACLU and Skokie.
Perhaps sensing insufficient abashment from his collection of Effete Liberal dolls, Ingemi then quoted Kerry Pickett of the Daily Caller, who proposed wingnuts “interrupt [Hamilton] performances with their opinions.” Why should the actors on stage be the only ones allowed to talk? (One Trump fan has already tried this in Chicago.)
Some of the brethren adopted a #BoycottHamilton hashtag, vowing not to purchase seats for the show, which is booked through 2018. “I love that #BoycottHamilton is trending,” tweeted @apurposefulwife, “but I’ve always boycotted it bc it erases white history & culture & propagandizes via ghetto lies.” ([Whispers]: They got black people in it pretending to be the Founding Führers!).
Later a double-m #BoycottHammilton hashtag was also circulated, either to get around some fanciful “censorship” of the original by the liberal fascists of Twitter, or to accommodate the brethren who were homeschooled.
“Americans respond by cancelling tickets,” alleged Carmine Sabia at BizPacReview. At the end of a lengthy recap, Sabia claimed she got this intelligence from Fox & Friends, which she said reported that “some people were so offended by the video that they vowed to cancel tickets.” Then she ran a video clip from CBS News, which said no such thing. (BizPacReview has appeared on a list, or what rightbloggers like to call a “blacklist,” of fake news sites, for reasons you can probably guess.)
A similarly clairvoyant Tyler Durden of Zero Hedge predicted “a steep decline in Hamilton ticket sales which may have just lost half of its potential audience in the future.” Half! This guy must have great sources.
Fantasies of vengeance against the insolent artists abounded. “I’m trying to imagine a scenario where I’ve paid to go to New York City for the weekend, shelled out cash for the ‘Hamilton’ tickets only to have the performance interrupted by the cast,” seethed Mickey White of RedState, appearing not to know the speech occurred after the play ended. “I’d demand a refund. For the entire weekend…” Not only the Richard Rodgers Theatre would suffer! (Now I’m “trying to imagine” White yelling at an impassive Marriott manager: “I’m Mickey White of Fritters, Alabama, and I demand a refund on my room — some sissy actors made a speech at me!”) “We want to be entertained,” demanded White in closing. “We don’t want a political lecture from a bunch of NYU Drama grads.” I like to think he then booked tickets for Falsettos because it sounded like a fun night of music.
“Hamilton Cast Lecture To Mike Pence Proves Liberals Still Don’t Get It,” said White’s colleague Jay Caruso. “I am sure Pence thought to himself, ‘Wow. I didn’t understand why Donald Trump and I got elected until seeing this Broadway musical! Now I saw the light!’ ”
This was a common theme: That liberals had made a terrible tactical error by allowing artists — in the brethren’s imaginings, not autonomous beings but merely liberals’ culture-war shock troops — to say liberal things in the presence of their wingnut betters. And if they continued to insult The Leader, the Trumpentariat would rise against them and in 2020 give him an ever greater victory — perhaps even a majority of the votes!
Rod Dreher, a Moral Majority drama queen whose columns since Trump’s election have been mostly sack dances over the sorrow of liberals, threw himself into a full-body sputter. “Don’t think people outside your cultural bubble aren’t noticing all this, taking note, and learning,” he said, his literary lip quivering. “You think your emotions and your passion entitles you to crap on everybody else, and not even to show them basic respect. You people saw about ten days ago where that gets you, but you won’t stop and can’t stop politicizing everything, filling it with your spite, even a night out at the theater. You are taking America to the brink…” (Ahem.)
Stephen Kruiser of PJ Media claimed second sight, intuiting that “the boorish lack of self reflection from the left is already changing some minds. Republicans who didn’t support Trump this year are starting to realize what a bullet the country dodged by not letting the hysteria-mongers cement a foothold in the White House and are beginning to warm up to him before he ever gets in office.” Kruiser did not provide any links to any polls that supported this claim, nor did he even cite the traditional Cab Driver Who Agrees With My Rightwing Sentiments.
While all this was going on, the Wall Street Journal was trying to reason with The Leader, encouraging him to make his anticipated self-enrichment in office less obvious by liquidating his businesses. “The left is already teeing this up as a daily target,” they implored. “One reason 60 million voters elected Donald Trump is because he promised to change Washington’s culture of self-dealing, and if he wants to succeed he’s going to have to make a sacrifice” — C’mon stop laughing, guys, we’re almost done — “and lead by example.… Mixing money and politics could undermine his pledge to ‘drain the swamp’ in Washington.”
Ha ha, okay guys, go ahead and laugh, it would be cruel to ask you to take that shit seriously. WSJ did mention, as delicately as they could, Ivanka peddling her 60 Minutes bracelet and The Leader’s large foreign loans, but didn’t find room for his muscling diplomats to use his hotels, nor his meetings with business associates to plot their post-inaugural asset-stripping, nor his etc.
But bottom line, why would he pay WSJ or anyone else any mind? Conscience? Ethics? Love of country? The Leader probably figures that, anytime the suckers start to catch on, he can just send Gingrich or Giuliani or somebody like that to an Ani DiFranco show or an LGBT club and wait for the Trumpkins to flip when they don’t get their ass kissed. Let the corruption be ever so rank, he can count on culture war to keep them off the scent.