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Reading the Far Right: Some Still Love Trump's Twitter Tantrums

Some Still Love Trump's Twitter Tantrums

A few, however, are beginning to object to the president's juvenile outbursts.

Donald Trump's toxic tweets have been denounced by many, even by numerous Republicans -- but some in the far-right media world are still defending the president's Twitter habit.

"I love the example that President Trump sets for America," Jesse Lee Peterson wrote on World Net Daily in the wake of Trump's deeply offensive and, some might say, unhinged tweets last week about MSNBC hosts Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough. "Finally, there's a real man in office! He breaks the culture that kills masculinity and distorts truth. He shows tough love with no fear. Americans have not seen such a man in so long that many do not recognize it." Yes, not those men who embrace dangerously feminized principles such as, uh, courtesy.

We found many commentators expressing similar sentiments as we read various right-wing websites (so you don't have to) in the past week -- although we also were happy to find some who were more critical of the president. Several, however, had us wondering what it will take to make them stop defending Trump.

"Trump is certainly capable of playing by the rules of decorum," wrote Breitbart contributor Joel B. Pollak. Well, we wonder about that. But Pollak continued, "One would like a president to do so at all times. Yet recent history is littered with Republicans who played nice and lost elections, or backed down from a fight once in office. Controversial tweets may be a political hazard of a winning mentality."

Pollak also contended that Trump "is usually punching back: his targets almost always start the fight." Oh, by telling the truth about him? Or subjecting him to the type of criticism that all presidents receive?

"I think that when you're president of the United States, it comes with the territory that folks are going to criticize you," President Barack Obama said in 2011. "That's what I signed up for." And he never hit back in the manner of Trump.

And President Lyndon B. Johnson, who reportedly could be pretty coarse in private, was publicly polite to the Smothers Brothers, a comedy team who mercilessly satirized him in the 1960s. He wrote Tom and Dick Smothers, "It is part of the price of leadership of this great and free nation to be the target of clever satirists. You have given the gift of laughter to our people. May we never grow so somber or self-important that we fail to appreciate the humor in our lives."

Trump is apparently far too self-important to shrug off satire (such as Alec Baldwin's impersonation of him on Saturday Night Live) or to take serious criticism of his policies with equanimity. But his Twitter tantrums are just fine with some of his supporters.

"The more the media and the establishment politicians scream about the President's tweets, the more obvious it becomes that he should keep tweeting," Jeff Crouere wrote on Townhall. "President Trump has over 33 million followers on Twitter and his tweets are a terrific way to connect with his supporters without the filter of the liberal media." Actually, many of those followers have been found to be robotic accounts, a means of inflating numbers that is used by many celebrities.

Another fan of Trump's tweeting is Charles Hurt, who writes for The Washington Times and is also carried on Breitbart. Of the tweets about Brzezinski and Scarborough, he wrote, "It is all so delicious. Mercilessly inventive. Joyously vicious. Like an entire season of pro wrestling drama, all sewn up into two little Twitter messages." Well, that's quite a recommendation.

Kurt Schlicter, in a column carried on Townhall and BarbWire, recommended that any conservative who objects to Trump's tweets should just ignore them, because, after all, he's not Hillary Clinton, or, as Schlicter charmingly calls her, "Felonia von Pantsuit."

"His tweets are not annoying," Schlicter wrote of Trump. "I don't care about his tweets, so they don't annoy me. I didn't vote for Donald Trump to be a role model or a moral paragon. I voted for him to not be Hillary Clinton, and to incrementally move towards actual conservatism." Conservatives who don't like Trump's tweets are often "pseudo-cons," according to Schlicter.

Actually, some commentators who are pretty far to the right have taken Trump to task. Townhall and WND contributor Michael Brown, who we've called out for his anti-LGBT statements, said his fellow conservative Christians need to hold Trump accountable.

"We can be loyal to the president and still be ashamed of such language" as he used toward Brzezinski and Scarborough," Brown wrote. "We can support him and still say, 'Mr. President, you demean yourself with such behavior, and you'll never get the respect you desire if you sink so low.' In fact, that's what real loyalty and support looks like. But when we find it necessary to stand up for him, as if he's the weak little victim being attacked by these terrible giants, we also demean ourselves."

Brown concluded with an admission that Obama stayed classy: "If you're a Christian conservative, put the shoe on the other foot, and ask yourself how you'd be feeling had President Obama gone after, say, Rush Limbaugh and Laura Ingraham like this. Would you be defending him?"

Cal Thomas, a widely syndicated columnist who's nevertheless way to the right, also expressed alarm at Trump's Twitter taunts. "The president has said his tweeting is a way around the media, but using tweets to insult people does not benefit him, or his agenda," Thomas wrote in a column published on Townhall and elsewhere. "Much of the world, which is used to looking to America for leadership, is appalled by his behavior."

"The president should cool it with the tweets for a while -- at least the insulting ones -- turn off the TV, stop reading newspapers (except my column!) and focus on pursuing his agenda. If he won't, he will be playing into the hands of his opponents. Winning a policy battle is far better than trying to win a battle of insults. That's a fool's pursuit."

Sums it up pretty well.

These columns mostly predated Trump's subsequent tweet of a video showing him physically smacking down CNN, but no doubt many on the far right will try to defend that. Breitbart's Pollak has already objected to CNN and the Anti-Defamation League, pointing out that the pseudonymous Reddit user who takes credit for creating the wrestling-themed video also created some racist, anti-Semitic, and homophobic memes. "Neither the ADL nor CNN provides any evidence that President Trump sourced the video from that user, or that he even knew the source, or the source's posting history," Pollak wrote over the holiday weekend. But tweeting it still seems far beneath the dignity of Trump's office.

The announcement Friday afternoon that Secretary of Defense James Mattis was delaying the enrollment of new transgender military recruits for another six months also didn't get a lot of play in the right-wing world yet, coming as it did at the start of what, for many, was a long weekend. There will most likely be plenty of response in the coming week, probably praising Mattis for the delay but urging him to reinstate the armed forces' ban on trans people altogether.

With the planned July 1 start of enrollments looming, anti-LGBT activist Peter Sprigg called for just such an action in a column carried on Townhall and other sites, claiming the Obama administration lifted the ban "without any systematic study of the consequences" (not true) and giving an estimate of the additional medical expenses for trans service members that goes far beyond any other out there. He also cited "high levels of psychopathology" among trans people as a reason to keep them out of the military -- as if none of that is due to bigotry, and ignoring the rigorous screening procedures the armed forces have in place.

Lastly, a column on one of the far-right sites that, refreshingly, predicts the eventual end of homophobia and sees it as a good thing. Not that we can entirely endorse the view put forth by Townhall political editor Guy Benson, who is gay -- he supports "carve-outs" from antidiscrimination law for small businesses that provide goods and services for weddings. He claimed that LGBT rights activists shouldn't be worried about discrimination by these businesses, as "it's indisputable that the number of these 'conscientious objectors' within the wedding industry is limited and dwindling," and polls indicate that Americans' support for marriage equality is at a record high.

"Gay marriage supporters have done an exceptional job of winning hearts and minds over a very short period of time," he wrote. "Maintaining a course of magnanimity and persuasion (which can entail the simple but impactful act of living openly in one's community) is the best way forward, in my view. This will sometimes require accepting that not everyone can or should be forced to comply with the new cultural norm in every public-facing facet of life."

Well, we would be more inclined to say that we want the law on our side, and we don't think anyone would endorse "carve-outs" for businesses that don't want to serve interfaith or interrracial couples. (Houses of worship and clergy members have the right to pick and choose which marriages they will bless.) And we take issue with him giving Trump any credit for increased support for marriage equality and LGBT rights generally. "Trump is ... unquestionably the most overtly pro-LGBT rights president in Republican history, for what it's worth," Benson concluded, without noting that this is a very low bar. "Have his ambivalent-to-supportive views on gay marriage helped move his supporters on this issue?" But we will give Benson and his site credit for a column that doesn't see the demise of homophobia as a sign of the apocalypse.

We will be back next week with more of what we've gleaned from reading the far right so you don't have to.

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