One terrible, nasty aspect of how Republicans work their lifestyles upon the rest of us is through the pathetic and asinine use of crowing victimhood whenever they’re called on something that’s obviously shitty and there’s no way out except to apologize — which they never do, so we’re stuck with their shit.
A recent prime example is the ‘Let’s Go Brandon’ daddy on a Christmas Eve call with the Bidens:
Somehow the guy is the true victim, and Biden was somehow in the wrong, as a guy gets on the phone to troll him on Christmas Eve after Biden was kind to the guy https://t.co/6DICyql7iN
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) December 24, 2021
Nutshell/update — the asshole guy, Jared Schmeck, now claims people are after him for just exercising his freedom of speech. He didn’t mean any disrespect of Biden or anything, just being funny. He claims victimhood after all and then goes off on a weird-ass crossroads of idiocy — per Raw Story this morning:
On Monday, Schmeck donned a “Make America Great Again” hat and appeared on Steve Bannon’s War Room podcast.
“Let’s Go Brandon — and I’ve said it in other articles — I am a Christian man,” Schmeck explained.
“For me, it’s God first and foremost. I don’t follow any one man blindly.”
He disagreed with reports that say he doesn’t support Trump.
“That’s absolutely false,” Schmeck said.
“Donald Trump is my president and he should still be president right now. The election was 100% stolen. So, I just want to make that clear.”
Dumb-ass shitheel. I wonder if his kid is way embarrassed.
And this immediately claiming victimhood seems to be an angle pushed by all Republicans who get caught in a corner without rhyme or reason for certain actions — stupid is as stupid does and then claim they are the victims. Where does this shitty attitude come from? Seemingly, a longtime GQP routine — make a shit-faced statement then when called on it, whine like a baby.
Sophia A. McClennen, professor of International Affairs and Comparative Literature at the Pennsylvania State University, and co-author of “Is Satire Saving Our Nation? Mockery and American Politics,” looked at the Republican need to whine and proclaim victimhood on just about any subject they’re called on this morning at Salon, indicating it’s a built-in disease that’s horrible for the future of this country:
We’ve spent time analyzing the head-scratching right-wing ploy of sowing distrust in vaccines within the GOP constituency, a move which has literally killed off supporters and occasionally GOP leaders and pundits as well.
But what we haven’t done is recognize that the right-wing response to the pandemic is part of a larger political practice: Victimized Bully Syndrome.
Some of you will be familiar with DARVO, an acronym for deny, attack and reverse victim and offender. DARVO describes the behavior of psychological abusers when they are being held accountable for their behavior.
Donald Trump and his supporters clearly exhibit DARVO habits. Rather than accept blame for anything they do, they turn around and accuse those blaming them of creating the problem.
Victimized Bully Syndrome (VBS), as I’m describing it, though, is slightly different from DARVO. With DARVO the abusive behavior comes first and DARVO only emerges if the attacker is asked to take responsibility.
But with VBS the cries of being victims come first and are used to justify the underlying bullying behaviors.
The bully under VBS is always already acting in self-defense.
Take this example: In a recent interview with Fox News, Dr. Mehmet Oz, candidate for Senate in Pennsylvania suggested that Americans had been victimized by President Biden’s “one-size-fits-all” COVID-19 “rules that limit our freedom.” According to Oz, U.S. citizens “want government to get out of their way to stop scaring them into submission.”
If we set aside the sheer stupidity of a doctor suggesting that we need “as many different approaches as possible” to the pandemic, the critical takeaway is Oz’s claim that Biden’s policy is designed to victimize the public by scaring them, taking away their freedoms, and destroying their dignity.
According to this logic, refusing to wear a mask, get vaccinated, or support public health policy is a valid defense, rather than bullying behavior that puts everyone in peril.
And lest there be any doubt, the right isn’t just refusing to be vaccinated and to follow public health guidelines; in the face of the pandemic they have chosen to respond with aggressive bullying: engaging in violent confrontations over masking policies, attacking teachers, threatening school board members, violently trolling scientists who speak to the media about COVID, and more.
In fact, the violent far-right has exploded in the United States along with COVID-19.
Similar to the “sore winner syndrome” we saw emerge in the wake of former President Trump’s election, VBS posits that those on the right are all the time being victimized by their government and that it makes perfect sense to respond aggressively.
It is this exact same logic that was the backdrop to the January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol and we can see the same logic in play in right-wing responses to the House investigation into the attack.
Trump spokesperson Taylor Budowich claimed, “Democracy is under attack. However, not by the people who illegally entered the Capitol on January 6th, 2021, but instead by a committee whose members walk freely in its halls every day.”
That’s right, according to Budowich the real threat to our democracy are those elected officials investigating what happened on January 6, not the actual people who attacked the Capitol.
Those people were, according to this twisted logic, simply victims of election fraud.
It gets worse.
VBS, then, isn’t only being used by the right to foster a public health catastrophe, it is literally being used to justify armed murder and armed insurrection. As long as we allow the right to continue to describe themselves as victims who have been harmed, injured, threatened and therefore need to act aggressively in self-defense, the closer we get to civil war.
In fact, a recent Public Religion Research Institute poll showed that 30-percent of Republicans believe that “true American patriots” might need to resort to violence in order to save the country. Nearly 40-percent still think the election was stolen.
So as long as the victimized bully syndrome pandemic is transmitted across the right-wing community, it will continue to surpass any threats to our nation from any new variants to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Until we address the real threats to our nation, we not only won’t stop COVID-19; we will allow the true risks to our health and the health of our democracy to continue to spread.
And it just won’t go away on its own.
Hence, and once again, here we are…
(Illustration out front: ‘Art Critic’ by Norman Rockwell, found here)