On Thursday morning, President Donald Trump dedicated his daily sunrise Twitter attack to an old foil. As his target was a woman, he predictably focused on her looks. The reactions came fast and furious, but this one tweet about Trump’s Mika Brzezinski comment shows that, while half of the country is utterly shocked and appalled that the President of the United States would attack a journalist in such a superficial, misogynistic, and deceitful manner, the other half is basically the embodiment of your favorite side-eye GIF come to life.
In a pair of tweets, Trump claimed that "low I.Q. Crazy Mika" and her Morning Joe co-host Joe Scarborough repeatedly harangued him at his Mar-A-Lago resort around the new year while Brzezinksi was "bleeding badly from a face-lift." The claims are untrue, according to CNN, but as ever with this administration, facts are beside the point.
Condemnations from prominent GOP leaders flooded Twitter. "Your tweet was beneath the office and represents what is wrong with American politics," tweeted South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham. "I don’t see that as an appropriate comment," Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said at a press conference, according to Politico. "I am Jack's complete lack of surprise," said fictional character Tyler Durden, along with everybody else who didn't vote for Trump.
As the tweet above perfectly shows, starting petty social media feuds, making false claims about rivals, and insulting women's appearances are all old hat for Trump, and it's baffling that so many people are just now beginning to quickly issue public condemnations of his behavior.
Religious scholar and prominent Trump critic Reza Aslan put it more bluntly in a tweet of his own: "Hold on. A p*ssy grabbing, confessed sexual predator alleged rapist said something misogynist? Ya don't say!" (Trump's representatives have never responded to Romper's request for comment regarding the rape and sexual harassment allegations, but he has publicly denied them all and has never been charged with a crime.) Aslan's tweet and the above tweet show that Trump's language and behavior have been "beneath the office of the president" for some time. Why is this comment suddenly the one that's bad enough to trigger a response from most prominent GOP figures?
Pennsylvania Sen. Orrin Hatch sub-tweeted Trump by quoting himself: "It’s incumbent on all of us, then — from the President to Congress on down — to be responsible for our speech." Respectfully, sir, where were you when Trump accused former Fox News host Megyn Kelly of having "blood coming out of her wherever" because she dared to press him to answer a question while moderating a presidential debate?
Trump's long history of sexist comments and insults directed toward women is so thoroughly well-documented that many media outlets have running lists of every offense. Even former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's campaign staff joined in, gathering 140 examples before giving up last October. Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse responded to Trump's latest attack, "Please just stop. This isn't normal and it's beneath the dignity of your office." What he and so many other Republicans refuse to acknowledge is that this is normal. This is the man they elected, and this is how he's always behaved. It's hard to believe that they're just now realizing it.