When your natural state of being is to always be outraged, angry about anything, well sometimes it appears to be hard. The conservative reactions to the memorial service in Tucson is a perfect example (there are many, many others). They have to be mad, they have to complain about something, but they’re having trouble picking something this time around.
The first complaint had to do with the crowd. But they soon realized there isn’t a lot of upside to condemning a grieving community. This talking point soon faded. The second had to do with accusing President Obama of lying about the way in which Gabrielle Giffords opened her eyes. These complaints were as demonstrably false as they were ugly.
It seems the latest complaint is that event organizers gave the memorial a name—”Together We Thrive”—and distributed shirts to attendees.
As absurd as this may sound, the right really is getting all worked up about this, blasting: Team Obama” for handing out “branded” shirts at a memorial service. As Michele Malkin complained, “Can’t the Democrat [sic] political stage managers give it a break just once?” As you might guess Drudge and Fox News jumped in to parrot this message.
The problem, of course, like the other two examples I have mentioned, is that they have no idea what they’re talking about.
[O]fficials at the University of Arizona said the White House had nothing to do with the name or the logo.
“The name of the event and the logo for the event were done entirely by the university,” said Johnny Cruz, a spokesman for the University of Arizona. “Branding of the event was not done in consultation with the White House, or any elected officials or political organization.”
The T-shirts were also the university’s doing, Cruz said.
“That was the university’s idea,” he said. “We wanted to give people something to remember, to symbolize the community spirit.”
The right, as you might guess, also complained that taxpayer money was used to purchase the shirts. Again, not true. Literally every claim conservatives have made, to get to their normal state of anger and outrage about this event has proven 110% false.
But here’s the kicker. When Malkin was told that her complaint was not factual on several levels, Malkin argued:
Given the Obama White House’s meticulous attention to stage prop details, however, I would say the odds of involvement by Axelrod/Plouffe & Co. are high.
Notice what she did there. This is a classic conservative move. First, present a baseless, classless allegation. Second, be presented with facts that prove your allegation wrong. Third, pretend the allegation is correct anyway. Stay classy Republicans, stay classy.