Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Why is Sarah Huckabee perpetually outraged?

While walking the dogs this morning my hubby Stew, who also functions as unsalaried political analyst and ace chef, made an astute observation: "That woman Sarah Huckabee seems to be perpetually outraged about something."

Stew's right. Sarah seems to wake up outraged before she slides into outright disgust as the day wears on.

Worse still, the rest of us reading the news in bed are soon outraged and disgusted as well when we find out what Sarah's boss has done the day before or tweeted about that morning.

By noon outrage is sweeping the land and ruining everyone's lunch.

This morning was no different. In a written statement reported in the New York Times, Sarah said the White House found a federal judge's decision to halt the dismantling of a program that protects young undocumented immigrants from deportation "outrageous," especially coming on the heels of  negotiations on the issue between the president and a congressional delegation.

By eight o'clock this morning—most likely while still in bed watching television—Trump tweeted that the decision demonstrated that the federal court system is "broken" and "unfair."

Apparently it didn't occur to either Sanders or Trump that decisions by the judiciary, a separate branch government, don't depend on negotiations between the president and members of Congress, and that judicial dissent doesn't signal a dysfunctional judiciary.

Keep an eye over your shoulder, Sarah. (NYT photo)
Judges rule based on their own worldview and the evidence in front of them. That's what judges do. It's fair for Trump and Sanders to express disappointment or to be discouraged by the ruling, but to be outraged, disgusted or question the integrity of the judge is churlish and ignorant. You can always appeal

No matter what you think of Sarah, it's difficult not to feel some sympathy for her. Her job, aside from fuming outrage and disgust regularly, is to put a positive spin on Trump's often nonsensical statements and decisions. Imagine being the point person for The Flat Earth Society or the North Korean Free Speech Alliance.

The last several weeks have been tough on Sarah, as everyone from former trusted aide Steve Bannon, to Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker down to the White House cat, if there is one, chimed in to question Trump's grip on reality.

To clear the air, Trump tweeted that he was not crazy. He declared himself to be, "like, very smart," and a genius. Naturally, his unhinged reaction only confirmed rumors of his unhinged-ness.

Imagine standing in front of a group of people and, with a straight face, declaring yourself a genius. If not loony, that'd be considered very odd behavior. Even your friends would roll their eyes.

What's most discouraging is that Trump, and Sarah as his mouthpiece, perpetuate a state of war with the press, the American public and anyone interested in a calm, rational discussion of the issues.

In her choice of descriptions and reactions Sarah could help turn down the volume, except that would only get her fired by a president who revels in distractive chaos and yes, outrage.

It's sad alright.

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9 comments:

  1. Is there a reason you couldn't refer to her by the name she uses -- Sarah Huckabee Sanders?

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    1. Jennifer: Good question. Actually I tried different formulations. I thought of using her full three-part name on first mention and then going with Huckabee, but that would be confusing because when I hear Huckabee I think of Gov. Huckabee. Huckabee-Sanders sounded clumsy and Sanders alone not too clear. Same problem with Hillary Rodham-Clinton. So I went with Sarah, the same as when people use plain Hillary. It's not proper journalistic usage that would be acceptable at a newspaper, but this is a blog not a newspaper, so that didn't bother me.

      Did you think I was purposely being sneering or disrespectful? I wasn't. Actually I have a certain amount of respect for her, standing behind the podium each day trying to explain Trump to a room of skeptical reporters.

      Thanks for your observation.

      Al

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  2. I buy your explanation. Like Hillary, Sarah didn't hyphenate, which can cause reporting problems, but both can be referred to by both surnames, just as we Mexicans do with Peña Nieto. (Oddly, Vicente Fox wasn't referred to as Fox Quesada very often.)

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  3. You're right too, Jennifer. "Sarah" wasn't particularly clear and may have been taken as patronizing.

    al

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  4. Actually, I cannot muster any respect or sympathy for her. Nobody is forcing her to be the mouthpiece for that liar.

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  5. Joan and Retired Teacher: Unfortunately, that's what mouthpieces do for a living, although Sean Spicer lowered the bar right down to ground level. Remember Ron Ziegler, Nixon's press secretary who introduced the notion of "operative" and "inoperative" statements, which now sound like an early version of "alternative facts"?

    al

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    1. Yes, but it was her choice to take that job. I doubt that she would be out on the street and starving if she had not taken it, or if she showed some integrity and quit.

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  6. There he goes again and I say really right on!

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