The repugnant kleptocrat currently occupying the White House is not a conventionally funny person.
You may laugh at him for numerous reasons — most of which are likely tied to his rampant displays of utter stupidity and lack of self-awareness — but 45 is nobody’s joke teller. Although he has made various television and film appearances over the course decades, when left to his own devices, the man has never displayed a sincere ounce of humor in him. Forty-five does not joke; he insults, belittles, and makes thinly veiled threats with a smirk.
Likewise, he strokes his own ego with a self-satisfying grin. There are mosquito bites funnier than the “jokes” that come out of Minute Maid Mao’s mouth. That’s why it was frustrating to hear the newly minted White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders dismiss criticism over remarks 45 made last week while speaking to law enforcement officers on Long Island, New York.
“When you see these towns and when you see these thugs being thrown into the back of a paddy wagon, you just see them thrown in, rough, and I said, ‘Please don’t be too nice.’ Like when you guys put somebody in the car and you’re protecting their head, you know, the way you put their hand over, like, don’t hit their head and they’ve just killed somebody, don’t hit their head, I said, ‘You can take the hand away, OK?’”
In response, Sanders said on Monday, “I believe he was making a joke at the time.” Meanwhile, the Suffolk County police department, where 45 made the remarks, wrote the following on Twitter:
And Boston police commissioner William Evans said this:
“The Boston Police Department’s priority has been and continues to be building relationships and trust with the community we serve. As a police department we are committed to helping people, not harming them.”
And the New York Police Department’s commissioner James O’Neill had this to say:
“To suggest that police officers apply any standard in the use of force other than what is reasonable and necessary is irresponsible, unprofessional and sends the wrong message to law enforcement as well as the public.”
“The President, in remarks delivered yesterday in New York, condoned police misconduct regarding the treatment of individuals placed under arrest by law enforcement. In writing to you, I seek to advance no political, partisan, or personal agenda. Nor do I believe that a Special Agent or Task Force Officer of the DEA would mistreat a defendant. I know that you would not. I write because we have an obligation to speak out when something is wrong. That’s what law enforcement officers do. That’s what you do. We fix stuff. At least, we try.”
Yet, on Tuesday, when asked again about 45’s words, Sanders claimed, “I think you guys are jumping and trying to make something out of nothing.” And when asked about Rosenberg’s email, Sanders argued, “[It] wasn’t a directive, it was a joke.”
A foolish man who ran on remixes of Richard Nixon’s “law and order” platform and Ronald Reagan and Pat Buchanan’s racially-motivated pledge of “Making America Great Again” made a “joke” about police brutality —which disproportionately affects the very kinds of people he vilifies — and we were supposed to just chuckle along?
We shouldn’t be taking an unserious man so seriously, but unfortunately, because so many White people suffered from “economic anxiety,” we have to contend with the ramifications of their votes.
So no one is blowing 45’s faux quip out of proportion. This is a man who took out a full pledge ad advocating for the death penalty of men later found to be innocent — and their proven innocence has meant nothing to the sitting president. Funny enough, at the end of June, Sanders was asked about the violence in Chicago and argued that crime problems are related to “morality.” She is the sister of a person who allegedly tortured a dog and a daughter of a bigot who, too, shoots off prejudice in the form of “jokes.”
Now she works as spokeswoman for a demagogue.
Needless to say, she’s not someone who ought to lecture about morality or comedic usage. Police brutality is not funny nor is it vital — anyone who suggests otherwise is a heaping bag of garbage. To that end, Sarah Huckabee Sanders can report to the nearest trash chute alongside Anthony Scaramucci, her former boss Reince Preibus, and her soon-to-be-old boss Sean Spicer.
She can take her president with her. The sooner the better, ideally.