I have a soft spot in my psyche for the underdog – the one who is unlikely to win an argument, sporting event, contest, campaign, cause – anything that requires taking a side. I perennially support the one with the least likely possibility of winning. I may not even be conscious of the choice I’ve made until the closing bell rings with the underdog surprisingly winning or losing as expected. It’s in my DNA.
It’s also in my DNA to never kick a person when she’s down. Why is that necessary? Whoever it is has already been walloped enough by someone else or circumstances beyond their control or tackled already by a defensive back, so why “pile on”? That’s like a mantra with me. Avoid piling on someone who has already admitted defeat.
Today, however, my DNA has run right up against my political reality TV show, and the collision isn’t pretty.
I’m talking about the Press Secretary’s remarks yesterday at his daily press conference concerning the recent events in Syria. For some strange reason, Sean Spicer tried to compare the tyranny of President Assad to that of Adolph Hitler in WWII and remarked that even Hitler had never used gas to kill his own citizens.
One of the astounded reporters said, “He killed the Jews.”
And so we have the piling on of Sean Spicer who immediately apologized for his remarks following the press conference yesterday and was interviewed this morning on MSNBC and reiterated his mea culpa for the gaffe.
I really don’t believe Sean is the total issue here, but I would start by firing him if I could. He is the daily voice of the administration and, as such, has the ear of media in this country and around the world. This is one blunder I call a bridge too far because it displays either a blatant ignorance of history or a distorted perception of history or a complete lack of respect for the magnitude of the deaths and destruction under the Nazi regime.
This is not to say that the atrocities of the Assad government in Syria have not been horrific. Comparing horrors of inhumanity, however, runs the risk of ignoring that the numbers enumerated represent the loss of real lives. Whether those numbers are hundreds or thousands or millions that are snuffed out by evil leaders who use gas or other equally savage means, the most important number is one. One child. One family. One multiplied to the nth. power.
In a world where our nation sends battleships to seas near North Korea and missiles to Syria while the White House Easter Egg Hunt is in disarray because the West Wing can’t organize it since they can’t organize themselves, it would be helpful to have a Press Secretary who spoke in complete knowledgeable sentences to deflect attention from his boss who communicates regularly through enigmatic tweets.
My bad is not quite good enough this time, Sean. We need a better spokesperson. My DNA feels remorse for piling on you, but, to quote one of your boss’s favorite sayings, you’re fired.