Brow Beat

Tomi Lahren Picked a Twitter Fight With Cardi B. Big Mistake.

Cardi B, looking skeptical, performing in Los Angeles.
Let’s find out and see!
Theo Wargo/Getty Images

For decades, much of the entertainment industry has treated American white supremacists the way you’d treat a hive of extremely angry bees, bending over backwards not to provoke them, lest they stop spending their delicious honey on superhero movies. A big part of that approach is having a thick skin when right-wingers go a round or two with “liberal Hollywood,” their favorite punching bag. So it would be understandable if conservative commentator Tomi Lahren thought she could insult rapper Cardi B’s intelligence without any blowback:

Unfortunately for Lahren, that’s not what happened. Lahren’s tweet was an effort to assure her followers that they could safely ignore an Instagram post from Cardi B about the shutdown, in which the rapper succinctly and accurately outlined the way Donald Trump was making other people suffer. But Cardi B didn’t get bogged down in policy minutia in her response to Lahren’s bad-faith bullshit, opting instead to simply put her Loubouton where the Fox contributor’s neck was.

To “dog walk” someone is to kick their ass, and Lahren seemed to concede that she would probably lose a fight with the woman who famously threw a shoe at Nicki Minaj. Nevertheless, she couldn’t resist calling her a moron again:

That went over at Cardi B headquarters about as well as you’d expect. The rapper noted that Lahren was “blinded with racism” while staying focused on the damage the right-wing was doing to the country:

Part of the reason entertainers tend to ignore gadflies like Lahren is that they tend to be followed by a swarm of Twitter users who are ready and willing to spend weeks ruining the lives of anyone who points out that their emperor has no clothes. It’s not considered sporting for high-follower Twitter users like Cardi to engage with civilians, but she wasn’t about to let a man whose user name is literally “White Bread” complain to her about Obamacare:

Whatever you think about the ethics of holding up a random Twitter user for ridicule, it’s worth looking at the rhetorical move Cardi B makes here. First she short-circuits the usual stay-in-your-lane arguments by repositioning herself as a wealthy taxpayer (and if you guessed the user hassling her would only make it a few tweets before complaining about “those bum fucks who don’t work and live off the government,” you guessed right). More importantly, she ignores the invitation to formally debate the merits of the Affordable Care Act and steers the discussion right back to the topic right-wingers want to talk about least: what Donald Trump and the Republicans are doing to the country right this second.

At this point, Lahren tried to reinsert herself into the conversation, but her response is yet another example of the right-wing’s biggest blind spot: They can’t imagine everyone else isn’t secretly just as awful as they are. Lahren assumes that Cardi B pointing out that she pays high taxes is “complaining,” rather than stating a fact that contradicted the rhetorical frame Lahren’s supporters were building. From there, it was a quick jump to the conclusion that Cardi B has no political concerns other than how much money she gets to keep:

Asking a person of color to join a white supremacist movement in exchange for money says a lot about the way you see the world, and none of it is good. Cardi B’s Twitter game was strong enough to get a shout-out from Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, currently the undefeated champion of tricking conservatives into telling on themselves:

Meanwhile, Lahren, who, again, tagged Cardi B in an unprovoked tweet calling her a moron, has decided that she’s the real victim here:

This is far from the first time a high-profile entertainer called out Republican lies about their industry—George Clooney has been great on this—but it’s still amazing how unprepared Republicans are when someone loudly, disrespectfully hollers bullshit. Will this tactic pay off for the left in the years ahead? Let’s find out and see.