I don’t subscribe to the president’s Twitter feed for the same reason I don’t record the observations of infants at day care centers. They might murmur something cute once in a while, but most of it is indecipherable and not noteworthy.
So it is with the president.
But every once in a while he, unlike the infants, says something so abysmally stupid that everybody hears about it, and because he is both ignorant and unrepentant, it stays in circulation.
Last Friday before he left for Paris to further contest Green Day for the copyright on American Idiot, he commented on the fires in California:
I have often referred to the president as tone-deaf. It’s not exactly complimentary, but it does relieve him of some responsibility for what otherwise might be considered meanness and vindictiveness.
I was too kind. We all were. There is a streak, a very wide streak of meanness and vindictiveness—of general malevolence—that not only surrounds him but actually defines him. That anyone could witness the devastation of those fires, the tens of thousands of homes destroyed, the hundreds of thousands of lives shattered, and the death toll that rises hourly (now approaching 30, with hundreds unaccounted for—that anyone could witness all that and blame the victims signifies a mind not merely warped but manifestly deranged.
One can easily imagine the president blaming Katrina victims for living in low-lying areas and 9/11 casualties for working in buildings that were too tall. He has already blamed shooting victims for not being armed and returning fire. His facile view of life’s complexities is usually laughable, but today it’s detestable.
In another less inflammatory tweet the president said “Our hearts are with those fighting the fires … The destruction is catastrophic. God Bless them all.”
Yes, God bless these courageous men and women. But again, no words for the victims. A tweet like that would require empathy: no disrespect to infants, but you’re as likely to find empathy among the babies in the day care center as you are in the White House.