“I don’t think there is any danger in ignoring a debate about Mr. Potato Head and Dr. Seuss,” said John Anzalone, Biden’s advisor and campaign pollster.
Anzalone argues that there is no benefit in engaging in “meaningless” topics, and that there may indeed be an advantage in ignoring them as the Biden administration and Democrats move closer to it. ‘a huge Covid relief package, amid more than 500,000 deaths from the pandemic. “Republicans risk ignoring the money from the distribution of the Covid vaccine to states, the funding of schools for the reopening and the checks in the pockets of Americans in difficulty,” he added.
Other aides to the president agree, pointing to the often fleeting nature of the stories that burn conservative airwaves as proof that there is no need to weigh.
The gulf between what the right sees as “canceling culture” and what the left sees as “trolling” is sort of growing in the post-Trump political landscape. And neither side is showing signs of backing down. While Biden World may find all of this a boring distraction, Republicans are seeing an ointment. In the absence of power and a unifying political message, a relentless focus on “canceling culture” has proven to be a galvanizing force for their grassroots.
“Ultimately I think it unifies the party but expands it into the area we need – the suburban moms, the college graduate men we struggled with in 2020, there is some ground. understanding with those constituencies, “said Mercedes Schlapp, senior colleague at the American Conservative Union Foundation and former Trump aide in the White House. “We are the party of common sense and we are not going to be the party of the police constantly what our kids read and not for this cancellation culture crowd to decide.
Republicans on Thursday opened a new front in the battle, centered on Biden’s use of the phrase ‘Neanderthal thinking’ to describe the raison d’être of leaders of GOP-led states lifting their Covid-19 restrictions .
Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fl.) Trolled the left by calling on the president to apologize for offending people whose very, very, very, very distant ancestors belonged to the archaic human species. He suggested to Biden to “seek training on unconscious bias.” And Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) Even took to the airwaves to defend the reputation of cave men and women.
“Neanderthals are hunter-gatherers, they are protectors of their families, they are resilient, they are resourceful, they take care of their own,” Blackburn told Fox Business. “So I think Joe Biden needs to rethink what he’s saying.”
Fighting metastasizes so quickly that it sometimes becomes difficult to remember how it started. In Dr. Seuss’ case, the Biden administration omitted the famous author of children’s books in a proclamation for Reading Day across America, which was intentionally based on the good doctor’s birthday. Then the succession of Dr Seuss decided not to publish six of his children’s books because they contained illustrations that the field itself considered “hurtful” and “wrong.”
The topic quickly became a fixture of GOP lawmakers and conservative cable programming. Tuesday was primary objective on Fox News even as FBI Director Christopher Wray sat in the hot seat for a hearing on the Jan.6 riots on Capitol Hill. In total, the network spoke about it 60 times, according to a Washington Post count.
Minority House Leader Kevin McCarthy, (R-Calif.) Even raised the issue in the House during a debate on a voting rights bill introduced by Democrats. “First, they ban Dr. Seuss and now they want to tell us what to say,” McCarthy said.
For the White House, it was generally worth getting around. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki kicked off when asked why Biden didn’t include Dr Seuss in his Reading Day announcement, as the elders did Presidents Trump, Obama and Bush.
“The proclamation was drafted by the Ministry of Education, and you could certainly tell them more about its drafting,” Psaki said.
This is not the only cultural war that Psaki has refused to engage in. When asked about Biden’s Neanderthal comment, she called it a “reflection of her frustration” with Americans refusing to follow public health guidelines. Previously, she declined to respond directly to the announcement from Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban that his team would stop starting games by playing the national anthem – a policy he ultimately reversed course on.
The Culture War playbook is well worn out for the GOP, especially when they are outnumbered in Washington. But recent examples have taken a different form from those of the past. This was especially true in Trump’s day where, rather than being tied to a specific policy or politician, they often take the form of a reaction to perceived social pressure for political correctness.
During Barack Obama’s presidency, wizards saw many of these “scandals” as being motivated by their dislike of him personally, or having to do with his race, or often a combination of the two. The incidents included photos of Obama wearing no jacket in the Oval Office (after no such photos had been taken of George W. Bush for eight years) and the Obamas inviting the hip artist and actor hop Common at the White House for a poetry reading. , which drew the contempt of Karl Rove and Sarah Palin. “Oh lovely, White House…” she said.
There was also the so-called “Starbucks salute,” when Obama unofficially greeted the Marines while holding a cup of coffee in his raised hand.
“The not-so-subtle implication was ‘he’s part of the Other and he has no place here,’ a former Obama White House official said, calling many attacks racist.
Much of the fuss today doesn’t even involve Biden, his administration, or his political agenda. Instead, it involves things like business decisions about children’s toys.
Last month, toy maker Hasbro announced it was dropping the “Mr.” of its logo and branding in an effort to promote gender equality and inclusion. After an initial storm over the decision, the company clarified that Mr. Potato Head and Ms. Potato Head would continue to be sold under those names. Hasbro acknowledged the initial confusion. But by then, the story had taken off. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), Speaking to CPAC last weekend, called the Potato Head toy “America’s first transgender doll.”
Republicans, separated by warring factions, have found common ground to push back “the culture of cancellation.” “America Not Canceled” was the dominant theme at this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference, with Donald Trump and 2024 hopefuls like Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) raising the issue with topics such as immigration, China and climate change.
“Is this going to supplant the pandemic or the economy at the top of voters’ minds?” No, ”GOP strategist Matt Gorman said. “But it’s a cultural touchstone for people that shows where a party’s priorities are. Suburban parents see school districts banning a children’s book or changing the names of schools, but not bringing kids into classrooms is one way of infuriating them. They see them focused on the absolute bad things.
There are numbers that seem to strengthen Gorman’s argument. According to a new Harvard CAPS-Harris survey, a majority of Americans see “the cancellation of culture” as a threat to freedoms in the United States. Eighty percent of Republicans see her as a threat, compared to 48 percent of Democrats in the survey.
Pollster Frank Luntz said using a “cancellation culture” as a stick is “definitely” effective in rallying the GOP base.
“The delegitimization of Trump and his constituents five years ago is what led to his election,” Luntz said. “The culture of cancellation by the left is exactly the same strategy, and it will lead to the same result. It doesn’t matter if you are on the left or on the right: people will fight for their right to exist.
Even those in the entertainment industry – one of the vanguards of the “culture cancellation” wars – worried that all of this could prove to be effective. “This is how Trump gets re-elected, by the way, cancel Dr. Seuss, cancel Abe Lincoln. Melt Mr. Potato Head’s private parts and throw them on the Muppets, ”Jimmy Kimmel said on a recent show. “This is his path to victory.”
So, will Republicans succeed? Is it, in fact, 98 ¾ percent guaranteed? The White House does not think so, as evidenced by the fact that one official responded with a Seussian rebuttal on his part.
“Republicans can complain, but they are still in the grip
To a president who acted like a Neanderthal
Instead of gathering, the flames they attract
When they should be working with Joe on the bailout
Cry and whine and grind their teeth as they can
It is in fact the Republicans who are in disarray!