This reminds me of how righties and lefties would trade insults back in the day about how fat Michael Moore and Rush Limbaugh were and each would be very offended indeed at the other side for body-shaming their guy. We must show sensitivity to those with physical challenges — provided they have the right ideology.
If they don’t, well, open season.
Here’s Tucker last night lightly goofing on Dan Crenshaw’s disability, which Crenshaw got while serving America courageously in battle:
Tucker refers to Crenshaw as “Eyepatch McCain” pic.twitter.com/k9tn1JRPyM
— Acyn (@Acyn) May 17, 2022
Annnnd here’s Tucker a few years ago showing a flash of indignation at SNL’s Pete Davidson for lightly goofing on Dan Crenshaw’s disability:
Tucker Carlson was furious when SNL made a joke about Dan Crenshaw. But last night, he mocked the fact that the veteran lost his eye in combat, calling him ‘Eyepatch McCain.’ What does that tell you? pic.twitter.com/Uvq22pXtaD
— MeidasTouch.com (@MeidasTouch) May 17, 2022
Crenshaw wasn’t in Congress at that point and therefore was an unknown quantity ideologically. Today he’s one of the more outspoken hawks in the House Republican caucus, which offends Tucker’s anti-anti-Russia isolationism. Thus did his near-blindness go from tragic to comic.
That’s not the only way he’s being treated unfairly in the clip. As you’ll see in the interview below, Crenshaw didn’t “attack moms who are worried about baby formula as pro-Russia,” as Carlson alleges. What he said is that the $40 billion aid package to Ukraine *is* exorbitant and there are good reasons to question it. But complaining that the money should be spent on baby formula instead isn’t one of those good reasons because the baby-formula shortage isn’t being caused by a lack of funding. It’s being caused by a snafu at a plant in Michigan, inefficiencies in the U.S. formula market, some truly terrible regulations by the FDA that limit European imports, and a smidgen of tariffs that nationalists like Tucker typically admire.
“Why are we spending money on Ukraine instead of baby formula?” is a dishonest argument, in other words, at least if you’re a Republican politician with ways of finding out what’s actually driving the shortage. And when politicians are willing to be that dishonest in service to cutting aid to Ukraine, it’s logical for Crenshaw to wonder if they might have an ulterior motive. Mitch McConnell’s worried about it too:
The GOP leader argues the United States will be there for Ukraine as long as it takes and that there’s “broad bipartisan support for helping them” despite 57 no votes in the House on the package and Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-Ky.) unilateral delay of the legislation in the Senate. Perhaps most important, McConnell is directly rejecting the notion that helping Ukraine comes at the expense of the United States.
“It’s in America’s interest to do this. This is not a charity we’re involved in here. It’s in our interests to help Ukrainians just like it’s in the interest of NATO countries. So this is not some handout,” McConnell told reporters on Sunday in a call after his visit with Zelenskyy. “This is to prevent this ruthless thug [Vladimir Putin] from beginning a march through Europe. And the first place to stop him is in Ukraine.”
It’s no coincidence that McConnell jetted into Kiev days after Rand Paul delayed Ukraine’s aid package in the Senate. McConnell’s seen the polling showing how strongly American voters support Ukraine and he knows that Republican populists in the House and Senate screeching about the aid could turn into a liability for the party. So he counterprogrammed the “America Firsters” by holding a photo op with Zelensky. Now, if the populists dig in as the war drags on, Mitch can fend off Democratic attacks about it by showing off his photo with the president of Ukraine.
It’s the vaccine saga all over again. McConnell was a rarity within the congressional GOP by remaining a loud and proud advocate for getting vaccinated all last year, even cutting ads to that effect, as other Republicans backed off in the teeth of populist anti-vaxxism. McConnell held firm partly because he contracted polio as a child and felt a duty on the merits to encourage others to protect themselves from COVID. But partly too it was smart politics aimed at blunting a foreseeable Democratic attack. When liberals eventually accused the GOP of being the party of anti-vaxxism, McConnell could feign surprise and say, “Anti-vaxxism? I’m the party’s leader in the Senate and I’m as pro-vax as it gets.”
Same thing now, except with Ukraine aid. Although, thankfully, the anti-aid faction remains small relative to the rest of the caucus: Just 11 of the GOP’s 50 senators voted against the package when it advanced on the Senate floor yesterday.
I have my issues with Crenshaw but he’s clear-eyed and articulate here in explaining how Congress *is* putting America first by supporting the Ukrainians. It’s not every day that you get a chance to help wreck a major adversary’s army and set their country back decades without spilling a drop of your own population’s blood. You’d think the stingy Europeans would similarly appreciate the opportunity.