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The Umbrella Truthers: Embarrassed by Trump’s rainphobia, MAGAs attack Obama over the time a Marine held his umbrella for him

Rain, rain, go away

By David Futrelle

Into each life some rain must fall. Unless, of course, you’re Donald Trump, in which case you do anything and everything you can to keep even a single drop of that foul skywater from touching your elaborately styled and apparently quite delicate combover — even if it means dishonoring the memories of Americans who died serving their country.

And even if it means hogging a comically huge umbrella for yourself while your wife and youngest child brave the winds and rain.

You’d think that someone so clearly terrified of rain as Trump would be a pretty deft hand with an umbrella. But he often seems a bit baffled by them, letting the wind have its way with his umbrella while he deplanes or, in one infamous case, simply dropping his umbrella on the ground at the door of Air Force One rather than closing it up and taking it in with him like a normal human being — the incident captured in a video that went viral because it seemed all too apt a symbol of Trump’s presidency.

Trump’s continuing struggles, both with rain and with umbrellas, have evidently left many of his supporters feeling a bit defensive, as I learned last night after posting a picture on Twitter of a grim-looking POTUS staring at an umbrella like he’d never seen one before.

I was responding to a tweet by The Daily Caller — racist Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s vanity publication — asking its readers to caption a photo of incoming Democratic congresswoman Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez looking a teensy bit awkward while getting ready for a group photo.

A gaggle of Daily Caller fans — Trump stans all — responded with dozens of vaguely belligerent if predictable tweets, some gloating that Trump is President and the rest of us are not, some slinging insults. (There was also one guy apparently suffering from the delusion that I’m a Washington Post writer who once said something dreadfully controversial about toilet paper in the White House.)

But I was a little surprised by how many in the Daily Caller MAGA squad responded with a weird version of “no, u” on Trump’s behalf, praising his ability to hold his own umbrella (not really that major of an accomplishment) and attacking Obama because, during one speech in the rain on the White House lawn, a Marine stood by holding an umbrella for him. 

This has apparently become the go-to response amongst MAGAheads whenever some Trump non-fan makes a joke about Trump’s rain or umbrella foibles. If you do a search for “obama umbrella marine” on Twitter you will find page after page after page of this, going back months:

It’s almost as if that Non-Player Character (NPC) meme so popular with extremely online Trump stans is 100% pure projection. But I digress.

In the alternate universe of the MAGAheads, it is Trump who is the macho man who braves pouring rain to deliver speeches, while Obama is something less than a real man — a “bitch,” a “pussy,” a “pansy,”“f*ggot,”“little queen” who must have his umbrella held for him by a manly Marine. The MAGAheads seem especially fond of labeling Obama a “princess.”

For some of Trump’s defenders, who are evidently suffering from that “economic anxiety” that MAGAs are so prone to, the fact that the Marine who held the umbrella was  (gasp!) white is what really sticks in their craws.

It’s not hard to see how much of this reaction stems from the same psychosexual racist anxiety I wrote about recently when looking at right-wing media coverage of the Honduran refugee caravan.

It’s worth pointing out that the MAGA “case” against Obama here is based on willful blindness and racist double standards. Yes, sometimes Obama had others hold umbrellas for him when it would have been awkward or inconvenient for him to hold the umbrella himself — just as other presidents have. But he also held his own umbrella most of the time — and sometimes held umbrellas for others and in once incident caught on camera went without so that Michelle could get protection from the rain. He also gave speeches in the rain, as most politicians have.

There’s nothing heroic about any of this, of course. This is all pretty normal behavior from a normal human being who isn’t thrilled about getting rained on but who isn’t terrified of it either, and who is willing to get a little bit wet sometimes if it helps others stay dry. Trump is the weirdo here, and his fans know it. Which is why they’re pushing back so hard on this particular point, even if they have to invent a whole mythology around Obama in order to do it.

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Shadowplay
1 year ago

They really are pathetic.

Short memoried, too – there’s also a perfectly good picture of Obama having some problems with getting an umbrella through a gate that they could use if they have to defend their god.

JessicaRed
JessicaRed
1 year ago

They can’t seem to agree whether Obama was insufficiently manly, or whether he emasculated the marine by making him hold the umbrella.

Maybe that’s what they’re so mad about, a True Manly Man being emasculated by an insufficiently manly man.

Remember when Bush saluted Marines with his dog’s paw? And nobody cared because we’re all adults and it wasn’t a big deal?

TreePerson
TreePerson
1 year ago

Obama got a couple Marines on camera while he gave a speech, lord dampnut bailed on a memorial because of some rain.

KindaSortaHarmless
KindaSortaHarmless
1 year ago

Terminal Lance, a webcomic about life in the Marines from an enlisted man’s perspective, did this strip (CW: general coarseness, NSFW material in some strips, and quite a few strips will be very hard for non-marines to understand): https://terminallance.com/2013/05/17/terminal-lance-presidential-service/

The joke in the strip is more about the differences in culture between the infantry and everyone else, but the artist’s comments at the end sum it up nicely:

I find it entertaining to see Marines on my Facebook page saying things like, “I would have told him to fuck off and hold his own umbrella.”

No you wouldn’t.

Shut up.

We’re Marines, if the President of the fucking United States asks you to hold a fucking umbrella, you hold a fucking umbrella… Honestly, holding an umbrella for the President is probably the least demeaning thing I could imagine doing as a Marine, as opposed to the other bullshit I had to do every day…

He’s the President, he rates an umbrella.

Get over it.

Vucodlak
Vucodlak
1 year ago

@ KindaSortaHarmless

Reminds me of a story my grandfather told me about serving with his brother.

My grandfather and his baby brother were both in the Army during the Korean War. My grandfather was a captain in the military police, and my great-uncle was a private who was about to be shipped to front line. At my great-grandmother’s request, my grandfather pulled some strings to get his brother assigned to his command, away from immediate danger (my great-uncle was my great-grandmother’s favorite, as she frequently made clear to her dutiful eldest son).

My great-uncle was pissed. He didn’t like being babied, and he told my grandfather as much the moment he arrived. My grandfather replied that it was for his own good, to which my great-uncle replied “Fuck you.”

It took approximately three-tenths of a second for the sergeant outside my grandfather’s office to fly through the door and grab him by the scruff of the neck, bawling “Who in the hell do you think you are!?!” along with various colorful threats. My grandfather immediately assured the sergeant that it was quite alright, that it was just a family matter, and asked him to please peal his brother off of the desk.

You don’t tell your C.O. to fuck off, and you damn sure don’t say that to the Commander in Chief.

Rabid Rabbit
Rabid Rabbit
1 year ago

And yet, I’m pretty sure all these people would insist that Justin Trudeau is a p*ssy. (Say what you will about Trudeau, he does know how to do the symbolism part of the job.)

Gijoel
Gijoel
1 year ago

On the plus side all these dickweeds aren’t harassing others when they tweet you their pathetic “uh uh you are.”

Victorious Parasol
Victorious Parasol
1 year ago

Trump supporters work hard at making 45 look good. If only Trump put half as much effort into understanding and performing the duties of POTUS.

Singerdog
Singerdog
1 year ago

Now, I have seen a picture or two of trump playing golf in the rain…

epitome of incomprehensibility

…simply dropping his umbrella on the ground at the door of Air Force One rather than closing it up and taking it in with him

I know it’s not a big deal in the List of Things Trump Has Done, but this video annoyed me. It shows he automatically expects other people to pick up after him.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
1 year ago

The Queen always carries her own umbrellas.

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Except when Princess Michael of Kent tries to visit.

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Rabid Rabbit
Rabid Rabbit
1 year ago

@Alan:

I like the second of those pictures. Philip’s face is just such a perfect “Dammit, I knew I should have married someone closer to my own height.”

Moggie
Moggie
1 year ago

Why is she not wearing hearing protection while firing that gun?

Robert
Robert
1 year ago

Moggie, that stylish hat she’s wearing is weapons grade adamantium.

Moggie
Moggie
1 year ago

@epitome of incomprehensibility:

I know it’s not a big deal in the List of Things Trump Has Done, but this video annoyed me. It shows he automatically expects other people to pick up after him.

I’m sure he does, but in that incident he just looked like a confused old man to me.

As for that last photo of Trump with an umbrella: are we sure he’s not Oswald Cobblepot?

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
1 year ago

@ rabid rabbit

Heh yeah. You can just imagine him mutter, grumble, why do I always have to walk at the back; and her maj just smiling “Who’s Queen?”

Of course, you’d have to be a complete boorish oaf not to know you don’t walk in front of the Queen.

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(I love the look she’s giving him)

Hypatia's Daughter
Hypatia's Daughter
1 year ago

Yep, Trudeau did it right.
But rain made the WWI trenches hell on Earth.

Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
1 year ago

@Moggie:

As for that last photo of Trump with an umbrella: are we sure he’s not Oswald Cobblepot?

I’m just waiting for the latter-day Watergate Tapes to turn up (Cohen’s tapes, perhaps?) and for this to start playing on loop at CNN until he tenders his resignation:

“I played this stinking country like a harp from Hell!”

(Failing that, a recording of him saying “This country means about as much to me as a sniveling bowl of dog snot!” surfacing would suffice.)

Jane Done
Jane Done
1 year ago

I would say I’m shocked that the act of simply being required to hold an umbrella can make these men’s entire sense of self worth collapse, but fragile masculinity is so endemic to america it got elected president.

Rabid Rabbit
Rabid Rabbit
1 year ago

@Alan

Her thoughts seem pretty clear there. “I’ve outlasted 11 (?) presidents so far, young man, and I am bloody well going to make sure I live long enough that you will not get to come to my funeral. Also, your staff need to learn how to iron your jackets.”

Robert
Robert
1 year ago

Rabid Rabbit – I read an account by a recent PM (possibly Blair) who went into his first official meeting with HRM full of confidence. She looked at him and said in an offhand way, “My first Prime Minister was Churchill,” and he deflated immediately.

Bananananana dakry: Short-Haired, Fat, and Deranged
Bananananana dakry: Short-Haired, Fat, and Deranged
1 year ago

@Alan Robertshaw

If looks could kill, that preening fake-baked turkey would have been six feet under before midterms and so would have the elder of his spawn. No big loss to anybody, either.

HRM is a woman who lasted through the Blitz and could fix her own goddamn jeeps, thank you very much. He, on the other hand, is too gorram stupid to realize that you can’t fix California wildfires by raking.

Citerior Motive
Citerior Motive
1 year ago

“[T]he same psychosexual racist anxiety I wrote about recently when looking at right-wing media coverage of the Honduran refugee caravan.”

For that matter, psychosexual racist anxiety is a pretty good description of the whole ‘cuck’ thing as well.

bekabot
bekabot
1 year ago

Aww, the reason Trump can’t let anybody else carry his umbrella is because he’s afraid he’ll be bonked on the head with it from behind — and he’s afraid with reason; two years of him in office have taught us all that much. I leave it to the readers here to decide whether that’s a state of things which ought to be greeted with approval, or not. Draw your own conclusions, folks.

epitome of incomprehensibility

@Moggie – Oh, true, he could’ve just forgotten it. And it’s not just a function of age. A while ago, I was lost in thought and put a library book in the fridge. (“Cool story,” indeed.) 😛

@Alan – I’m impressed by the outfit/umbrella colour-coding!

epitome of incomprehensibility

For something stupid as well as thoughtless (in a bad way), here’s what Trump said about the forest fires:

a) It’s important take care of the “floors” of the forest
b) Finland manages their forests by raking and cleaning them out, so why can’t the U.S. do the same?*

*Obviously Finland is much cooler than Paradise, California. It’s also wetter. And some were saying that the “managing” bit is code for development, that he’s using the tragedy as an excuse for removing more forests’ protected status and logging them.

Oh, and thinning out forest growth is a thing, but it’s understandable that people are posting memes about garden rakes and Make America Rake Again, given Trump’s wording.

Redsilkphoenix: Jetpack Vixen, Intergalactic Meanie
Redsilkphoenix: Jetpack Vixen, Intergalactic Meanie
1 year ago

I was under the impression that the Parks Service already did controlled burns to help keep the underbrush down to a manageable level to prevent massive fires like this. Did they stop doing that a decade or so back?

Oh, and from what I can tell, privatized / developed land is not burning at a noticeablely slower rate than the ‘undeveloped’ land is. So why would adding tons more people out there be a good idea?

Full Metal Ox
1 year ago

@Moggie:

As for that last photo of Trump with an umbrella: are we sure he’s not Oswald Cobblepot?

Absolutely certain: last I checked,the Penguin knew how to wield his umbrella and at least aspired to cultural refinement.

@Alan:

Are you familiar with Samurai Knitter’s Broochwatch ’18 Twitter thread, wherein she interpreted the possible significance of the Queen’s jewelry choices when meeting with Trump? The account seems to have been suspended but is discussed here, on a blog devoted to royal jewelry (I love it when extremely specific geeky special interests yield valuable information):

http://www.thecourtjeweller.com/2018/07/much-ado-about-queens-brooches.html

Full Metal Ox
1 year ago

Wait a minute…how exactly does Obama’s being an effete sissy reconcile with the bigoted perception of black men as subhuman brutes impervious to pain?

Rabid Rabbit
Rabid Rabbit
1 year ago

@Full Metal Ox:

You have to remember that when convenient, Obama’s not a real black person, but the bastard mongrel of degenerate race traitors and the embodiment of white genocide. You can tell because he married a black woman instead of cleaving to his better half and trying to purify his offspring by having kids with a white woman, though obviously it would be just as horrible if he had done that.

At least, I assume someone’s made that argument somewhere.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
1 year ago

@ full metal ox

Are you familiar with Samurai Knitter’s Broochwatch ’18 Twitter thread,

Yup, I think we had a bit of a discussion about it here (or was it on the Discord?). But anyway, yeah, the Queen knows exactly what she’s doing and the importance of symbolism, so I found those choices very telling.

(There’s some nice bits about the Queen in Michelle Obama’s new book)

Diptych
Diptych
1 year ago

It took approximately three-tenths of a second for the sergeant outside my grandfather’s office to fly through the door and grab him by the scruff of the neck, bawling “Who in the hell do you think you are!?!” along with various colorful threats. My grandfather immediately assured the sergeant that it was quite alright, that it was just a family matter, and asked him to please peal his brother off of the desk.

Good heavens. I’m sure this wasn’t the point of your story, but tales like this do impress upon me how deeply, unshakably civilian I am. The nerve of that sergeant, intruding upon a private cussing event.

Jenora Feuer
Jenora Feuer
1 year ago

Considering both Justin Trudeau and Her Majesty are up above, I still remember a story that Margaret Trudeau (Justin’s mother) wrote about at one point. This was back when she was still married to Pierre Trudeau, and he was the Prime Minister, and they were both on a state visit with Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth.

With all the formal bowing that was going on, in the midst of a handshake, Margaret decided to do a full curtsy. She then discovered that she couldn’t stand up, because it required a little more leverage than she had. She had a brief moment of panic and looked up, and Queen Elizabeth, without shifting her face much at all to indicate she knew something anything going on, just tightened her grip and gave a slight lift of her arm to let Margaret Trudeau brace herself and stand up again, all without anything being obvious to the cameras.

I just always considered that incident, of quietly saving someone from embarrassment at a public event, to be very much an exemplar of her attitude.