Trump Derangement Syndrome is endemic among liberal journalists. With the hysteria over every little thing Trump does—from his so-called “Muslim ban” that isn’t a Muslim ban to how many scoops of ice cream he had—it can be refreshing to see a loud voice on the left speak over the madding crowd.
When Jeet Heer, senior editor of The New Republic and frequent Trump critic, began one of his notorious manthreads to weigh in on the conversation about calls for Trump’s impeachment, readers were hopeful for a sane take on the issue. Why any rational person would take seriously a person who insists that the primary reason people voted for Trump because they’re white and racist is anyone’s guess.
Heer began his tweetstorm with the words, “So the big hot take on the left is ‘Why push for impeachment? President Pence would be worse!’ Can I explain why this is nonsense?” It quickly went downhill from there as the deranged columnist launched into a tirade filled with references to pop culture.
The rant was akin to the innumerable metaphors comparing Trump to Harry Potter, Game of Thrones and Star Wars—the favorite topics of smug hipsters who aren’t even half the people they pretend to be.
“Trump & Pence bad but different. Trump is chaotic evil, Pence is lawful evil,” referencing character alignments in Dungeons & Dragons. “Trump is the Joker, Pence the Grand Inquisitor.”
“Worst case scenario under Pence is The Handmaid’s Tale (theocratic totalitarianism). With Trump it’s Mad Max (nuclear apocalypse),” continued Heer. “America can recover from a theocracy (in fact it already has: early Puritan settlements). Less easy to recover from a nuclear holocaust.”
The tweetstorm continued with specious speculation about how Trump would attempt to take down Pence with “Trump TV,” how he maintains a cult of personality that would split the GOP in twain, and how Pence would be dogged by similar scandals Trump presently faces. With this much baseless conjecture about a Pence presidency, Heer’s fiction rivals William Gibson’s imagined alternate reality in which Hillary Clinton won.
Jeet Heer should save his manthreads for a fantasy novel.