Ethics Quiz: How Much Mockery Should Chelsea Clinton Get For Her Brain-Dead…But FUNNY!— Tweet?

The above tweet and graphic somehow wended its way to Chelsea Clinton. You know: Hope of the Democratic Party Chelsea Clinton? Lifetime Impact Award winner Chelsea Clinton? Graduate of Stanford,  with a masters degree from Oxford—that Chelsea Clinton?

Here is how that Chelsea Clinton responded:

Your Ethics Alarms Ethics Quiz Of The Day is…

How much public ridicule, if any, should be heaped on Chelsea for this?

And why?

Among the  retorts so far:

“No, this is the exact hat Lincoln was wearing when he signed the Emancipation Proclamation. People forget that.”

“Nope, Lincoln was wearing that exact hat at the Theater.”

“Nope, they found a picture of Lincoln wearing a MAGA hat from the nineteenth century. No photoshop needed.”

“I remember this photo was taken at the 1856 Republican National Convention and is real.”

“It’s as real as those Bosnian snipers.”

My answer: she should be as much and as wittily as possible, as long as one agrees that similar treatment should greet one’s own brain-farts if they are especially funny, like this one is.  This will be a great test of Chelsea’s character: if she can take the ribbing and laugh at herself, that will win her points with me.

If she doesn’t understand what’s wrong with the tweet, however…well, that would be a problem.


Pointer: Newsbusters

45 thoughts on “Ethics Quiz: How Much Mockery Should Chelsea Clinton Get For Her Brain-Dead…But FUNNY!— Tweet?

  1. Jack,

    It would seem more likely (given that she is an otherwise intelligent young woman) that she meant “Please tell me this flier has been photoshopped as a gag and it isn’t really the flier they’re using.” Assuming she did, is it still funny to mock a poor choice of words?

    • I have to agree that’s what she meant. Still, some of those replies were pretty funny. If she didn’t anticipate a response like this, then she may be intelligent but she is also totally clueless. I say funny replies are good and let’s see if she can give it back with good humor.

    • Sure. And frankly, that never occurred to me. Why? Why would anyone assume that a GOP event advertised with the first GOP President wearing the hat that was central to the campaign of the current President from the party of Lincoln wasn’t completely genuine, appropriate and reasonable? Only someone who somehow believes that the current President isn’t really President. Since I don’t think like a Democratic resistor, if this was Chelsea’s intent, it flew right over my head….because it’s still stupid, and offensive to boot.

      It’s an obvious graphic. Corny, not especially well-executed, but still obvious.

      • You are in denial that the current president has positioned himself in opposition to GOP principles held from Lincoln through Dirkson and Kemp and even Nixon and Reagan. Anyone spending energy riduculing a private citizen for her first amendment-protected perspective as against a power structure taking a wide knife to the bipartisan consensus of decades…well, I wouldn’t expect you to understand the revulsion many will have to Lincoln wearing that hat.

        • Jesus, Chris, talk about derangement. This comment has more nonsense in it than Jabberwocky. Trump is a Republican President leading a Republican administration, and that’s all the graphic symbolizes. Anyone “revulsed” needs help…the same people who are “revulsed” by Jackson and Jefferson being featured in Democrat graphics, perhaps. Lincoln is no more distanced from Trump than TR is from Reagan. The President is a lot closer to, say, Grant than Obama was to JFK. No offense, but you’re full of it on this.

          And apparently don’t know that the First amendment makes no guarantees against private citizens, pundits, comics or bloggers making fun of stupid comments by public figures or non-public figures. And your lost comment is an insult, since I understand all of these matters extremely well, and you seem to be thinking with what, your heart, your spleen? That was an embarrassing comment.

  2. I don’t always give humans credit for knowing what they’re talking about, but am I the only one who thinks she just meant that she hopes that’s not really the cover of the program, because it’s so incredibly tacky? It seems obvious to me that she meant that. Some statements make sense even if they sound silly when you take them at face value.

    • Also, considering the flier she was responding to was equally as absurd as anything she said in response, I feel like they cancel each other out.

      However jovially you might share her gaffe, too many on the right are already using it as an excuse to call her stupid, making it tainted. It’s the same reason I never repeat anything Ann Coulter’s says, even when they’re (occasionally) insightful — even if I don’t mean [whatever it is] in the same spirit she said it, it’s nevertheless guilty by association.

      • They make themselves look bad by suggesting that it means anything but what it is: a misfired tweet. She used “photoshop” when a photo wasn’t involved, thus suggesting that this was “fake photo.” She meant to say, “Tell me this isn’t really what they used! Please!” But even that isn’t “sarcasm.” She flunked the “good sport’ test and obviously inherited her parents unwillingness to just tell the truth.

      • You are a bad man. Or a bad woman. Or a bad non-heteronormative-whatever-the-hell-tag-tag-is-politically-correct-these-days person with the bad luck to belong to species Homo Sapiens.

        Shit, I hope that writing out “Homo Sapiens” wasn’t a microagression. That was grossly inappropriate and I should never have typed that. I an aghast and WILL seek corrective counseling, and I deeply, deeply apologize.

        (Jack… level four or five? Just asking).

        But it had Dark ‘n’ Stormy shooting out of my nose anyway… which is much easier to clean than Jack’s brains on the ceiling.

    • It was a goof. Show me any evidence, ever, that Chelsea is a mad wag, and prone to any kind of humor at all. Claiming it was intentional is just awful partisan bias. As if Trump, who does have a sense of humor, has ever received such a benefit of the doubt. She screwed up, that’s all: it wasn’t what she intended to say or how she meant to say it. (The second please is the smoking gun for me.) It’s no crime, but the people claiming it was intentional sarcasm are being hypocritical.

      • If I ever say – err, when i have said – something stupid/funny like that I own it, explain what I meant and accept that my phrasing was less-than-ideal. I work with software for rockets, so the unfortunate use of metaphorical crashes is a staple of conversation every single day.

        • Bingo. My sister was once asked by a friend, “Let’s go trick-or -treating” and replied, “Great! What night?” Brain fart. She owed it, and we laugh about it still. Me, I DO stupid things, rather than say them. I enjoy the mockery as much as anyone.

        • Trump is often funny, intentionally. His ending shot to TIME last week, “I’m President and you’re not” was funny. People who hate him can’t find him funny, but that’s a different issue.

  3. “This provided a great advantage over cultures where power and influence were conferred by birth. Idiot kings and emperors were never in short supply.”

    This from Jack’s post on Idiots in high places.

    I’ll admit I have a fixation on this topic, but it drives me nuts when kids of influential people or actors in Hollywood seem to amazingly show up at Yale or Harvard or Stanford. The Kennedys, the Bushes, Chelsea, the Obama girls (assuming they’re headed to Harvard). And of course it happens with the kids of CEOs and lesser pols and federal judges and all sorts of people. It’s just really un-American. We’re going to lose the advantage Jack speaks of.

    Of course it’s a bit of a catch-22 to the extent things like the SATs aren’t that great. The SATs are what have given us almost thirty years of the Clintons and all the other brilliant technocrats. Ironic, given the fact the SATs were dreamed up in an attempt to figure out how to fill the non-legacy spots at Harvard and Yale and so forth so there would be competent people coming down the pike to run the economy the wealthy families own but don’t generate competent heirs to run.

  4. I agree with most of the posts here – poor choice of words but clear enough intent. The Clintons have maintained a stodgy public persona, especially Chelsea, so I doubt very much that she was joking.

    I do think that if the President tweeted something similar (oh wait he does like 3x a week with calling most anything “fake news”) it would be brushed off here and magnified in MSM, which I take as standard issue. Thanks to visiting here I have come to view all tweets as basically unworthy of anything more than a passing glance. I consider that a very valuable lesson against hysteria.

    I just don’t care enough about Chelsea Clinton to elevate her to grudge status. It feels like she is there a bit for you, Jack. The parents, I get, and the entitlement is frustrating for sure, but there are so many others like her that it seems wasteful of your time to worry about the minutiae of her social media or what awards she’s sharing with random celebs.

    • Any public figure on Twitter is eventually going to stumble into one of these. I have nothing against Chelsea—I even met her once. I object to dynasties, nepotism, and transferable respect. Not all Presidential kids have been so willing to cash in. Robert Lincoln; Teddy’s sons…they handled it right. And where is Amy Carter?

      • Hopefully living a happy life, and works for the Carter Center (quietly). Even the Bush girls got quieter, kinda. Although I think one of them is now a Progressive Democrat…

        • Leaders should have the advisors they trust, and whether they are friends, blood relatives, spouses, etc. doesn’t and shouldn’t matter to them. Paying them creates an appearance of impropriety. Presidents make the call whether the appearance is worth the benefits. In the case where we’re talking children of billionaires, the impropriety is minimal. Having Ivanka advise Trump is no different in substance that Michelle advising Barack.

          • Michelle didn’t have an official job title other than “First Lady.”

            I don’t understand how this is anything other than nepotism. What qualifications do Ivanka and Kushner have to be doing these jobs? None.

            You’ve brought up the billionaire thing before as a defense against claims Trump and his family are using the presidency to cash in; I don’t understand why you think this is convincing. Do you think billionaires typically get to a certain position of wealth and then just say “Well, I’ve earned enough!” There is a reason the greedy billionaire stereotype exists. Nothing about Trump’s behavior indicates he’ll ever think he has enough money or power–he wouldn’t have ran for president if that was his attitude.

            • The only qualification any advisor has to have, Chris, is that the President values his or her advice. It has always been thus, and must be thus. If the advisor is trusted sufficiently to be around at the President’s call, then a position is appropriate.

              You do realize that your Michelle comment is a non-sequitur, right? Many Presidents, probably most, have used their spouses as close advisors, from Abigail Adams and Dolley Madison to Eleanor Roosevelt and Nancy Reagan. What difference does it make what official title is used? So Trump listens to his daughter rather than his wife. JFK used his brother. There’s no ethical difference at all.

              • Jack, you said you object to nepotism. This is nepotism. It is a much more clear example of nepotism than what you’re accusing Chelsea Clinton of doing.

                • Actually, I don’t think Chelsea has ever been the beneficiary of nepotism. She has simply risen by her family connection, without any independent accomplishments of her own. Nepotism is when someone passes over qualified people to hire relatives who are objectively less qualified. The problem is that objectivity is impossible to prove. If the role requires qualities for which the individual who is a relative is more qualified, it pits getting the job done most effectively against the appearance of impropriety, and it is the leader’s duty to make the appearance go away, or at least minimize it, if he ohe is absolutely convinced that the relative is the best one for the job—and the leader’s needs. This is a tough task. In an earlier post, I wrote..

                  When a leader hires a relative, there is no way to know whether the choice was based on merit or favoritism; usually it’s a mixture of both. Even if the family member would be objectively regarded as the best available talent, he isn’t as good when he’s working in a nepotism situation. “Doing a good job” is no longer an objective standard when the one judging how good the job performance is has a powerful bias, as a father does when judging his son. The relationship is not a good thing: does the son’s extra-loyalty mean that he won’t speak up and challenge his father’s poor decisions when a less conflicted assistant coach would? Does the father’s loyalty mean that he’ll be less critical of his son’s performance? Or will the father over-react, being more critical of his son to show that he isn’t biased? That’s problem with nepotism too.

                  There is no way to tell what is happening or what the effect of the nepotism is, which is why all appearance of impropriety situations are toxic to trust; there is no way to tell whether the apparent conflict is causing real harm or not. When everything goes well, the doubts will be muted and there won’t be a crisis in public trust, but that is luck, and nothing more. What if President Kennedy’s Attorney General, younger brother Robert Kennedy, had become embroiled in a controversy like the current Attorney General, credibly accused of stone-walling Congress? Then Bobby’s lack of credentials for his job—other than President’s trust in him as a confidante—would have haunted JFK. Would Kennedy have had the integrity to fire his younger brother, if he deserved to be fired? We can’t be sure; for all we know, Jack did know of misconduct that should have led to Bobby’s exit.

                  There are exceptions, and I would say that the President has a good argument for one.

  5. Nothingburger.
    If you can’t laugh at this tweet why be able to laugh at all. All the analyzing it just makes it funnier to me. I hope it’s ethical to be able to laugh at dumb things people say.
    Drawing conclusions about Chelsea’s intelligence from her tweets strikes me as a useless and delusional occupation. Since Andrew Sullivan’s lifetime obsession with Sarah Palin is no longer profitable maybe he can take the job.

  6. This is why the smiley and winky face shouldn’t be frowned upon in internet communications. Now we have no idea what Chelsea is thinking, but I wouldn’t put it past the current administration to use something this tacky. Note — the Bosnian sniper comment was hysterical!

  7. With all the criticism Trump gets for his endless tweets, I would think the super-intelligent, overachiever Democrat loser-daughter would eschew this kind of moronic, low class form of communication. If she goofed, good. If she showed herself as a real moron, also good.

  8. Agree with Spartan (will wonders never cease)…we have no idea what she was thinking, or what she meant. I tend to take peoples comments at face value, and this one was just dumb.

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