Donald J Trump, a man who has been repeatedly accused of sexual assault and heralded by white nationalists as a savior, is nominally the President of the United States of America. Practically, he is a morbidly bloated and ill-dressed adolescent who watches the soft bits of Fox News and pretends that he is important while a hellish gaggle of lunatics and right-wing extremists grapple for the reins of the nation, assuring Trump that he's important while he tweets at celebrities who make him feel as small and pathetic as he really is. Yesterday's target was Snoop Dogg.
Let's say that again. Yesterday, the target of the President's ire was beloved rapper, entrepreneur, and cannabis enthusiast Snoop Dogg.
The root of his discontent—besides the fact that his father didn't love him growing up—is a video that Snoop Dogg released on Monday, a visual for the remix of BADBADNOTGOOD and Kaytranada's "Lavender." There, Snoop pulled a gun on a Trump-clown and had him chained up in a parking lot while blunts were blown, carefree. It was funny! How did Donnie feel?
Yes, this tweet a further debasement of the office of President, a steaming hot dump on decent human values and the weight that his title would carry if it wasn't in his puny hands. But, beyond that, it's as though this went through a Donald Trump Tweet Generator. He says that Snoop's career is "failing" (it's not), squeezes in a jab at Obama (insecurity is a bitch), and then makes a wildly paranoid claim about his predecessor's tendency to throw musicians in jail for disrespecting him, as though this man right here is Kim Jong Goddamn-un.
All of which conjures up a familiar feeling: depression, fear, anxiety, black comedy, that glimmer of joy at realizing that Trump's unregulated weight doesn't make up for his thin skin, before a return to depression, fear, and anxiety. It wakes us all up better than a cup of coffee.
This time, however, we have an extra layer of fascinating, bacteria-ridden scum to scrape off of the morning news. Please, guards of Hades, bring in the cast of the Grand Old Party.
"Snoop shouldn't have done that," sentient voodoo doll Marco Rubio said Tuesday. "We've had presidents assassinated before in this country, so anything like that is something people should really careful about." First off, Marco, you don't get to refer to Cordozar Calvin Broadus, Jr. as "Snoop" as though you're rolling blunts with him in front of a green screen or baking cookies with him like Martha Stewart. Snoop Dogg, Snoop Doggy Dogg, Snoop Lion, Snoopzilla, and in the right context Snoop Scorsese could all pass. But you can't spend your career trying to blockade legal weed and then refer to this titan like he's your buddy.
The "we've had presidents assassinated before" horseshit is far more sinister, of course. If Marco (first names are fine, I guess) feels so strongly about the resurfacing image previous assassinations and their resurfacing impact on the safety of one Florida resident, it's a wonder that he doesn't apply this logic to, say, any disenfranchised people ever. For example, when the President shares a white supremacist meme, he could say "we've had a number of hate crimes committed in the last few days, not to mention a history scarred by white supremacy and bigotry, so this is something the President should be really careful about." We're ready when you are, Marco.
A pause. What could make this all less symmetrical, more immediately repulsive, more instinctively mother-taught-me-never-to-take-candy-from-strangers wrong? Oh hey, Ted Cruz.
"I think it really is in poor taste to be making fun of murdering someone, and particularly assassinating the president," he said. "We have a really sad history in this country of attempted and successful assassinations and it's irresponsible for a musician or artist to encourage murdering the president," Cruz added. "I think anyone reasonable or responsible should be disagreeing with the video. We should not be advocating the murder of the President of the United States, and it's sad that that is deemed a controversial statement."
Now, Daniel Kreps at the Rolling Stone, whose perfectly sardonic nature made this all more bearable, said that this interview was part of "another probing TMZ interview conducted while Ted Cruz waited for an elevator." Clearly, this is a sentence that shouldn't have to exist, but the absurdity is oddly charming right now, and anyway, we have more pressing matters at hand.
Ted Cruz understands the difference between a music video and an order to assassinate the President. Nobody can stop talking about Just How Fucking Smart our Teddy is, and to make it this far in politics while being so actively repugnant means that, seriously, the guy has to be a Machiavellian genius. He understands this all, and yet he no longer knows who he is. He hates Donald Trump, a man who straight-up 1650s-style insulted his honor, and then kowtowed to Donnie as soon as he realized there was no chance of him winning shit anytime soon. So he twists the logic, insists that Snoop Dogg is advocating for the President's assassination, and then gives it some "it's sad that that is deemed a controversial statement" jazz at the end.
Alright then. Republicans have actively gerrymandered every part of this country in an active attempt to nullify the votes of people of color. Their standard-bearer has bragged about sexually assaulting women. People are being turned away from the border because of their religion. I think anyone reasonable or responsible would be disagreeing with the racism, sexism, and terrifying destruction of civil liberties that this presidency entails. And it's sad that that is deemed a controversial statement.
Alex Robert Ross is failing on Twitter. Follow him there.