In what I suppose passes for the hypocrisy that represents vice’s nod to virtue, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders began today’s press briefing with a “tribute” to Martin Luther King Jr., that was mostly composed of a quotation from King’s final sermon in Memphis before his assassination 50 years ago. Gaze in awe or anger.
Yes, having selected one of Dr. King’s least provocative, least political, and least-embarrassing-to-conservatives quotes, Trump’s spokesperson raced through it with approximately the reverence one would associate with the safety instructions on a commercial flight. Rarely have eloquent words been delivered so flatly.
Esquire’s Charles Pierce described the moment well:
Watching SHS, functioning as the official voice of a president who started his road to the White House by spreading lies and slander about the first African-American president, reading those words in her dead-eyed Weekend-Anchor-in-Fort-Smith voice was enough to make me feel radically non-non-violent, which really is not the proper way to feel on this solemn occasion.
But Sanders’s “tribute” was of a piece with her boss’ official proclamation commemorating the anniversary, which suggests that King’s troublesome political legacy should be forgotten:
It is not government that will achieve Dr. King’s ideals, but rather the people of this great country who will see to it that our Nation represents all that is good and true, and embodies unity, peace, and justice.
That should put paid to those agitators who think racial, economic, and social justice require a government that believes these are legitimate political goals! Now let’s move on to the next day of MAGA!