Hypocrisy and bathroom call-outs

Dear President Biden,

When I saw the Henry Olsen Opinion headline in the WP – Protest Kyrsten Sinema all you want. But have some decency while doing it. – yesterday I figured there must have been some righteous fussing at her. However, since I can’t stomach Mr. Olsen, I wasn’t about to click on the piece. I did, though, have the thought that it was pretty cute (and majorly hypocritical) to call out whoever it was that was fussing at Sinema (no doubt fed up progressives since conservatives are more likely to throw rose petals for her to walk upon than raise their voices at her) when I couldn’t (and can’t) recall anything from Mr. Olsen or any of the other WP right-wingers calling out the horrifically dangerous terrorizing of public health officials who called for mask mandates or who are encouraging vaccination or the election officials who didn’t give in to the GOP’s attempts to subvert your election.

Basically, the headline left me with a “really? WTF?” sort of reaction. No real feeling of surprise but more of a tired, “here we go again with the pseudo righteous bullshit” from a GOP toady.

It’s possible that Mr. Olsen is actually a very thoughtful, reasonable, kind person but since I’ve never been able to get even halfway through one of his pieces without wanting to throw my laptop across the room (at him, if possible) I’m just not willing to do anything remotely like due diligence to make sure that my thin slice of him is or isn’t accurate. If someone wants to point out his good qualities, that’s fine, but it’s time for me to move on and stop giving him my time/energy.

Sort of.

What prompted me to pivot from my planned topic of the day (which is the grave dangers posed by incrementalism) is a Twitter thread that Laura shared with me this morning by David Roberts (@drvolts) about this phenomenon of conservative people raising a fuss about progressives having confronted Sinema during her class and following her into the bathroom. It’s a terrific thread and he articulates a lot of what I had only vaguely thought every time I scanned the Opinion section for new entries the last 24-ish hours and pointedly skipped over Mr. O’s contribution.

I will now pause and do some due diligence to see if the progressive protesters are on record of having said or done anything threatening to Sinema or if they were just trying to get her to stop being a coy (withholding to the point of breach of her contract as an elected official) enigma.

Ok, I’ve now read three different (non-WP) articles and it appears that nary a threat or abusive utterance was made. They were just trying to make Sinema engage with them about the issues and because they didn’t want to pay big money for a seat at one of her fancy campaign dinners and she wasn’t making herself available otherwise, this is what they decided to do – with cell phones rolling.

No surprise – I think it was pretty brilliant.

So what the hell if it was in the bathroom? Bathrooms are places people go multiple times every day and when one is an obsessively avoidant Congressperson, bathrooms are fair game. And geez, how many deals have been made while whizzing into urinals? Just saying….

And really, the bottom line here is that such creative guerrilla tactics are much more like inviting someone to tea than what’s been done to The Squad or to public officials who’re trying to protect the public’s literal health and the health of our democracy so if you all would point this out sometime soon, that would be really, really good.

May we all be safe from threats and abuse.
May we all be willing to distinguish between being called out and being threatened or abused.
May all of our elected officials be strong enough to face their constituents.
May we not accept the coy enigma act.

Sincerely,
Tracy Simpson

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