THE RIGHT FINDS THE STRANGEST THINGS TO WHINE ABOUT…. Conservative reactions to Wednesday’s memorial service in Tucson have been a little haphazard. They’re trying to complain about something, but they’re having trouble picking a coherent flaw.
The first complaint had to do with the crowd, but realizing there’s no 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.
The latest complaint is that event organizers gave the memorial a name — “Together We Thrive” — and distributed T-shirts to attendees.
As absurd as this may sound, the right really was worked up about this, blasting “Team Obama” for handing out branded shirts at a “Pep Rally Memorial.” Malkin complained, “Can’t the Democrat [sic] political stage managers give it a break just once?” Drudge, predictably, pushed this, too.
The problem, of course, is that those doing the whining had 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 also complained that taxpayer money was used to buy the shirts, and that wasn’t true, either. Literally every claim conservatives have made about this has proven false.
But here’s the kicker: told that her complaint has no basis in reality, 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.”
This is a conservative classic. First, present a baseless, classless allegation. Second, run into facts that prove the allegation wrong. Third, pretend the allegation is correct anyway. Malin’s follow-up, in effect, is, “Oh yeah? Well, I have no proof, but I prefer to think I’m still right.”
I so desperately wish these folks would grow up.