Dean Obeidallah, a former attorney, is the host of SiriusXM radio’s daily program “The Dean Obeidallah Show” and a columnist for The Daily Beast. Follow him @DeanObeidallah. The opinions expressed in this commentary are his own. View more opinion articles on CNN.
(CNN)It must have been a dream come true for Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene. The Georgia Republican got a standing ovation as one of former President Donald Trump’s opening acts on Saturday night at the kick-off of his “revenge” tour in Wellington, Ohio. Yet Greene’s reception from the crowd of rabid Trump supporters should have been no surprise: she had truly earned this spot with her open bigotry, embrace of dangerous conspiracy theories and playing on White victimhood — all things that are a big part of Trumpism.
And Greene didn’t’ disappoint those Trump fans by failing to serve up the rancid red meat they clearly crave. Furthering “The Big Lie,” Greene said to the adoring crowd: “Let me ask you a question — who is president?” In response the crowd yelled back: “Trump! Trump! Trump!” She called for infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci — a man seen as a villain to many in Trump world — to be fired, eliciting roars of approval.
Then Greene went after one of Trump’s favorite targets, New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC). In 2019, Trump said the progressive congresswoman should “go back” to the country she came from — along with three other US-born Democratic female representatives of color. (AOC was born in the Bronx.)
Taking a page from Trump’s bigoted playbook, Greene told the Ohio audience about AOC: She’s “the little communist from New York City,” adding, “She’s not an American. She really doesn’t embrace our American ways.” In response, the crowd booed AOC with someone yelling, “Lock her up,” to which Green responded, “Yeah, Lock her up, too. That’s a good idea.”
Greene had to be feeling pretty good about her “performance.” At least until later that night, when AOC tweeted her response to a video clip of Greene calling her “a little communist.” Did AOC lash out with righteous rage against the smears and lies Greene had spewed? Nope, instead AOC responded to Greene’s smears and words with seven words: “First of all, I’m taller than her.
And boom — that tweet went wildly viral. By early Sunday afternoon it had over 470,000 likes and more than 47,000 retweets. For perspective, Greene’s “Thank you for having me, President Trump!” rally tweet, which embedded a video clip of Trump speaking, had about 9,400 likes. Ouch, that had to hurt Greene
AOC gave us a master class in the use of comedy being an effective tool in crushing the lies and smears of some in Trump world. Instead of engaging angrily — as Greene likely hoped for–AOC’s seven-word response caused far more people to laugh at Greene (based on Twitter likes) than those who cheered the attack lines at the Trump rally.
If Greene has any questions about how bad the witty putdown was, she can simply ask her favorite insurrection inciter, Trump. He fully grasped the power of comedy in the world of politics. Trump loved to mock and malign people with demeaning nicknames so that others would laugh at that person. Trump understood that helped him and hurt the person he made the butt
Opinion: AOC’s master class in crushing Trumpian lies
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