Time to Log Off is a weekly series documenting the many ways our political figures show their whole asses online.
Every week I endeavor to find some figure in politics — a lawmaker, policy commentator, or otherwise notable character — who has, as these types inevitably do, thoroughly beclowned themselves online, and is in dire need of being told in no uncertain terms that it’s time to log off now, please and thank you, full stop.
Well, sometimes when it rains it pours, and so this week I bring you not one, not two, but three politicos who not only desperately need to log off, but shut the hell up, too.
First, let’s head on over to Ohio, the Buckeye State, where the two leading GOP contenders to join the United States Senate are locked in a deep and excruciating struggle to see who can get more racist. To begin with, there’s J.D. Vance, a billionaire-backed venture capitalist weirdo whose brief stint as a mediocre writer earned him enough mainstream cache to ensure that we will simply never stop hearing him spew words from his perfectly round noggin ever again.
Here’s Vance’s latest campaign ad, in which he point-blank asks voters if they’re racist and “hate Mexicans,” before encouraging them to vote for him so he can do some racism.
Theoretically, the ad is supposed to bolster the self-esteem of voters who are tired of being called racist. But what if, instead of making an overt play for the bigot bloc, J.D. were to consider logging off, instead? And if he’s worried about being alone in the big scary world, he can always hang out with his GOP rival Josh Mandel, who leads Vance in the Ohio Republican Senate primary race. Mandel earned his invitation to log off this week by running a campaign ad that attempts to denounce racism by, uh, calling a leading anti-racist legal theory “crap.” Oof.
While the ad itself didn’t manage to be quite as in-your-face bad as Vance’s, Mandel took things to a different level altogether when he decided that the best follow-up for his “I’m super duper not a racist” video was to insist Martin Luther King Jr. would have loved him, and anyone who says otherwise is a historically ignorant clout chaser. The problem is that he was insisting this to King’s own daughter Bernice, who was understandably not thrilled that her father was being invoked to whitewash Mandel’s right-wing candidacy.
I think a good rule of thumb is that if you find yourself arguing about how you know someone’s own father better than they do, and end up being factually wrong while doing it, you should probably just go right ahead and log off.
Finally, let’s mosey on down to Maryland, where Republican Gov. Larry Hogan celebrated his eight years in public office and his (self-proclaimed) “Taekwondo Day” by basically pulling a Bansky:
No, it’s not as bad as the plumes of racism billowing out of the Ohio GOP primary, but in terms of sheer cringe, I’m sorry Mr. Governor, but it’s time to log off. (Please don’t chop me in half.)