Sean Spicer: The idiot we need and deserve

You can support independent journalism by sponsoring me on Patreon. $4.50 a month gets you two newsletters a week and more exclusives than you can poke a stick at.  

 

Don’t fire Sean Spicer. I never thought I’d see myself typing those words, but there we are. It is 2017 and everything is a lie, nothing is real. Up is down. Down is up. And it turns out, Spicer  is exactly the kind of mascot we need to make obvious the heinous disdain this government has for democracy, and anyone of the non-white / non-rich persuasion.

Why would you want to replace him with someone in possession of a more sophisticated, socially justified and domestically acceptable form of racism and disregard for facts / reality?

As the person responsible for communicating and rationalising the political will of the White House, Spicer has on more than one occasion, sacrificed his own reputation to defend Trump’s political, national security and social agendas.

That Republicans are also calling for his head over Spicer’s startlingly insensitive comments about The Holocaust should highlight to those concerned about WTF is happening in 2017 that it’s not the White House policies they have a problem with per se, it is how they are being presented.

“[Hitler] didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons,” he said, in a statement in which he tried to imply that Assad was worse than Hitler.

(I’m not going to get into a discussion here about the similarities and who has it worse, suffice it to say all brutality is unacceptable and each situation should be understood in its own context).

Totalitarianism doesn’t just happen. It grows. It is built. Deliberately. And sometimes slowly,(though to be fair it took Germany less than two years to descend into Fascism), arguably mostly in a more subtle manner than Spicer is capable of articulating. Could you be a little less obvious in your systematic deconstruction of democracy, please, Sean? There’s a good lad. Spicer couldn’t even get through an apology without tripping over his own moral relativism:

Spicer, bless his heart, has crystallised the contradictions of Trump’s Syria policy (if you can even call it that).

As New Republic’s Bryan Buetler points out: “Spicer attempted no fewer than four clarifications, starting with the conceit that the Jews killed in ‘Holocaust centres’ weren’t citizens”.

Spicer claimed Hitler did not use gas on his own people in the same way that Assad is doing. (He did). “I was trying to draw a contrast of the tactic using airplanes to drop chemical weapons on innocent people,” said Spicer, simultaneously implying that Hitler’s victims weren’t innocent.

Spicer is overseeing the casual brutalisation of America’s population (credit to journalist Paul Wallbank for the phrase).

So far he has presided over two attempts at a Muslim Ban, 56 tomahawk missiles aimed and fired directly on Syria, a ban on electronic devices on flights over a trade war with EU nations, “All Lives Mattered” the Holocaust, has been used as a proxy to accuse President Obama of wire tapping Trump Towers, and of course he attacked the media for correctly reporting that the turnout to Trump’s inauguration was… disappointing, before banning publications such as The Times, CNN and Washington Post from attending White House press briefings.

“Conform and obey or you will be beaten and / or there will be other consequences.”

Between the clamp down on press freedoms,  the events unfolding on Monday’s United Airlines Flight and The massive overreaction of the Lakeside Sheriff’s office to claims of heroin addiction (video below) we are quite clearly seeing the brutal suppression of anything the government – or the private sector – perceive as illegal, or even simply inconvenient.

The violent reactions to protestors in recent months – including the removal and arrests of Native Americans from their sovereign land to make room for the Dakota Access Pipeline in a military style takeover, further illustrates that fact.

We have few to to thank for these developments but none more so than Spicer who has proudly and dumbly made plain the terrifying Brave New World we are in fact living in. This is 1984 IRL.

And apparently this kind of fascism which Spicer so proudly – and dumbly – supports is already bleeding into the culture. What kind of person would allow themselves to be dragged from a plane who isn’t mentally ill,” is the kind of question floating around the interwebs right now, in response to the brutal assault of Dr David Dao by Chicago Police Officers sanctioned by United Airlines. As if a lack of capitulation to authority is itself a sign of mental illness.

The conditions for totalitarianism have been laid. A more competent press secretary might have already flicked the switch. But there stands Spicer and his dumb, awkward, ignorance, a gift mankind didn’t even know it needed.

Sean Spicer has the subtlety of a fucking sledgehammer and he is exactly the figure head we need for this frightening moment in time. I can’t think of a better self-satirising bobble-head to represent America in 2017.

He should stay on as press secretary. I fear for what will happen to what is left of democracy if he were to be replaced by someone even half competent at his or her job.

Claire Connelly is working on her first book, How The World Really Works, a guide to recognising rhetorical red flags and immunising yourself against bullshit. You should definitely buy it when it comes out. A podcast of the same name will also be launching in the coming months. Stay tuned. In the meantime, for the cost of one cup of coffee a month, you too can support independent journalism. Damn the man. Endow the Fourth Estate!