Politics

Daily Dem Panic Meter: Bombs Were Not a False Flag, It Turns Out!

Mugshots of bombing suspect Cesar Sayoc are reflected on a portrait of U.S. President Donald Trump prior to a press conference at the Department of Justice in Washington, DC on October 26, 2018.
Mugshots of bombing suspect Cesar Sayoc are reflected on a portrait of U.S. President Donald Trump prior to a press conference at the Department of Justice in Washington, DC on October 26, 2018.
ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/Getty Images

The Daily Dem Panic Meter is a wildly subjective and speculative daily estimate of how panicked Democrats are, or really should be, leading up to the midterms on Nov 6th. The meter is calibrated to measure Democratic panic in these increments: Very panicked!; Panicked!; Not that panicked; Not panicked; Excited about the future of the party and country!

OK, so it wasn’t a false flag, they weren’t fake bombs, and the suspected mail-bomber is a full-on MAGA-ite. Does this mean that the President will tone down his rhetoric, including direct attacks on CNN as the enemy of the people and George Soros as the puppetmaster of the resistance?

Ha!

Instead, as news of the suspect’s identity broke, Trump, delivering remarks at the White House, talked about how nice he had to be today while discussing his political opponents, as his supporters yelled “Soros” and “lock him up” and “CNN sucks.”

Trump later said he might “really tone it up” because the media has been “very, very unfair” to him. “I did not see my face on the van,” Trump said, referring to the image-covered van of Cesar Sayoc, the suspected mail bomber. “I heard he was a person who preferred me over others but I did not see that.” (Trump’s face was definitely on the van).

The people Trump appointed to run the government were a little more straightforward. FBI Director Christopher Wray said that, contrary to what many of the most…voluble….online conservatives were suggesting, “[the bombs] are not hoax devices.” And while neither Wray nor his boss, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, would speculate on Sayoc’s motives, even Sessions said that he “appears to be a partisan.”

When Trump was asked if he would call the Clintons or Obamas, two of Sayoc’s apparent targets, he showed some unexpected grace and self-awareness (in his own way): “If they wanted me to, but I think we’ll probably pass.”

Objectively, a troubled man who loves the President being suspected of sending functional explosives to a list of the people the President criticizes may be, like, one of the most profound reasons to panic for a Democratic society. But the fact that the attempted bombings appear to be exactly what a lot of sane people thought they were is a reason for the Democrats to be a little less panicked about the election. Instead of the confusion and counter-accusations that would come from a continued information vacuum, the Sayoc arrest puts the focus squarely on the President and one of his most alienating qualities: how he talks (and tweets) about his opponents.

The Daily Dem Panic Meter is:

Donkey who is not that panicked but is obsessively looking at its smartphone.
Lisa Larson-Walker