During the Obama administration — if you can remember that far back — the right-wing press got pretty good at generating controversies out of nothing — collectively clutching their pearls when, say, Obama allegedly dishonored the White House by wearing a tan suit. And them there was the time he ordered spicy mustard for his hamburger, like some kind of fancy-pants snob.
With another Democrat in the White House, you might expect the right-wing press to be pulling phony controversies out of thin air on a regular basis. And, to be fair, they’ve been trying to. But they’re clearly out of practice and so most of their recent attempts have failed big time.
Last week, they tried to get the crowd worked up over Biden’s plan to restrict the average American’s consumption of red meat to only 4 pounds a year — only to discover that Biden had no such plan; they’d been had by a British tabloid’s misleading story.
The right-wing press also tried to get Americans up in arms about the government allegedly sending copies of a kids’ book by Kamela Harris to children stuck in our border camps. Never mind that the govcernment never did any such thing; it turns out that some random person had donated one copy of the book to the kids in a humanitarian drive.
Now the right-wingers are trying to generate some sort of controversy over a strange but utterly insignificant gesture on Joe BIden’s part. Last Thursday, while walking to the Marine One helicopter on the White House laws, Biden spied a dandelion in its seedy phase, then picked it and gave it to his wife.
Now, I don’t know why he picked a weed to give to Jill. It’s a somewhat strange thing to do. But hey, at least the two of them actually seem to enjoy one another’s presence — in stark contrast to the previous First Couple. I doubt Trump would even bother to pick up a wad of dirt to give to Melania.
Is there any logic to Biden’s gesture? Mediaite points out that
[t]here is a folk belief that blowing on a dandelion can grant wishes, but there is little scientific evidence to back this up.
So maybe Biden was trying, in a not-altogether-serious manner, to wish Jill good luck. Or perhaps there was some other private joke between the two of them. Who knows, and more to the point, who cares?
Well, one person who cares is Newsmax host Grant Stinchfield, who had a bit of a tantrum after seeing the footage, declaring
Joe Biden today getting on Marine One and he stops and picks up, I think it’s a dandelion, but it’s a dandelion that hasn’t even blossomed into a flower yet, like that gives everybody asthma. So you blow it, it goes everywhere, and everybody starts sneezing.
Well he picks up the weed and gives it to Jill, that’s, what, I guess is supposed to be some kind of a sweet gesture. … I say it was a planted dandelion there, who knows?
Is he really suggesting that someone literally planted the dandelion there on the White House lawn so that Biden could see it, pick it, give it to Jill, and then reap sweet praises in the press for such an, er, romantic gesture? Maybe.
But he’s definitely not the only right-wing personality who thought something weird and devious was going on. On Fox News, Mediaite reports,
Laura Ingraham and Fox News contributor Raymond Arroyo spent several minutes mocking Biden, snarking that the president had given his wife a “weed” (a common theme among critics), comparing him to Frankenstein’s monster, and decrying the positive coverage that the gesture received.
“It was a sweet gesture, Laura, even if it was a weed, maybe the poor man didn’t know ,” Arroyo said, then joked “Look, at least you didn’t try to pick a lemon off of Jill’s dress, so this is a good thing.”
Fox News host Tammy Bruce, meanwhile, was moved to incoherence by Biden’s little gesture, complaining that the dandelion-picking moment
made the news. That was like the news. This is what we’re dealing with.
[mocking voice] He romantically gave his wife a dandelion.
It’s as though they want us to go into a coma, or do they believe we are infants and we can’t, we don’t know what’s going on, and look, I think it’s nice that when a man picks up a flower in some fashion and gives it to his wife, but he’s the president of the United states, it’s not the news,
We’ve got Covid, we’ve got a border that’s open, we’ve got big enemies looking at us and trying to figure out how to destroy us, and this is the news?
This would be a searing indictment of the triviality of so much political news coverage in the mainstream press — except that the only people talking about it are on Fox News, Newsmax, and, oh, did I forget LewRockwell.com?
“Have You Ever Given or Received a Bouquet of Dandelion Weeds?,” asked writer Thomas DiLorenzo.
I’ve never heard of it; have never seen dandelion “flowers” for sale at any florist or at the section of the grocery store where they sell flowers, or anywhere else. I tried to buy some on Flowers.com but with no success. That’s because it’s kind of like giving someone a bouquet of poison ivy or sneeze-inducing ragweed. It’s cute when a five-year-old child picks a “bouquet” of dandelion weeds for his mom, but creepy and demented when an 80 year-old-man does it. Especially if he’s the man who has his finger on the nuclear button.
But the media are portraying Senile Joe’s asinine picking of a dandelion weed for his wife as some kind of Romeo-and-Juliet moment. Dumb-Ass Americanus is said to be “swooning” all over twitter over it. Jill Biden has that “what an asshole” look on her face in the photos of the event on the internet.
Again, the only people paying attention to the dandelion moment are the right-wingers.
And even they are having trouble caring about it. I looked through Pariots.win — the Reddit-like discussion forum that emerged from the now-banned The_Donald subreddit — to see if I could find anyone reacting to the dreaded dandelion thing. I found only a handful of commenters with anything to say.
There was someone called Crucial8GB who declared
Biden has Dementia. The Democrat Party should be charged with elderly abuse.
There was Tobyrocky accusing the Dems of something like child abuse:
Typical mind of a 5 year old. They give their mom’s dandelions too.
And then there was orrvarpen, who spouted this bit of nonsense that I’m not going to even try to decipher.
Looks like a white rubber duck. And sleepy Joe has gotten gills, did he fall into the deep and cold water of well force one again?
I don’t think “Dandelion-picking Joe” is going to supplant “Sleepy Joe” as a term of opprobrium on the right. But it’s not for lack of trying.
We should expect the next phony controversy to pop up within a few days now. Let’s hope it suffers the same fate as “Joe BIden Picks a Dandelion.”
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