Smashing Keurigs and fat-shaming dictators -- is this real life?
This a note to any sane people still out there in the wilds of Weird America.
I need your help. I need you to reach out and tell me if the things I'm seeing are real, as my ability to distinguish truth from fiction has been tested, stretched to its limits, and my tenuous grasp on reality grows weaker each day.
I awoke this weekend to online videos of Americans either throwing coffee-making machines out second-story windows or smashing them with golf clubs. The widespread assassination of small household appliances seemed bizarre in and of itself, but the explanation for such group-think behavior strained credulity even more: Fans of Fox News host Sean Hannity were angry because coffee maker company Keurig stopped advertising on his show after he seemed to defend Republican U.S. Senate nominee Roy Moore against allegations that Moore had inappropriate sexual contact with a minor.
So these patriotic, conservative Hannity groupies were standing up for an accused child molester by destroying an expensive coffee maker they bought with their own money, a coffee maker that, it's worth noting, many liberals don't like because it uses small plastic pods that are bad for the environment.
Is this really happening?
The evidence against Moore is substantial enough that many Republicans and Republican fundraising entities are abandoning the former Alabama judge. On Monday morning, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Moore should exit the race.
"I think he should step aside," McConnell said, acknowledging the women who have accused Moore of sexual misconduct. "I believe the women, yes."
But Hannity had already announced on Twitter that he was giving away 500 coffee makers (presumably the non-Keurig variety) to his "Deplorable friends" who submit the best Keurig-smashing videos, ensuring that the "we're-defending-an-accused-pervert-by-destroying-our-own-property" crowd remains enraged.
And in Alabama, a JMC Analytics poll conducted after the allegations against Moore were reported found that 37 percent of evangelicals in the state are now more likely to vote for the former judge.
So nearly 40 percent of these faithful evangelical Alabamans look at reports about four women claiming Moore pursued relationships with them when they were teenagers and see a net positive in his favor.
I think the cheese may have slid off my cracker.
And the coffee maker-smashing, Bible-thumping defenders of Moore aren't the only ones grinding reality into an easily snorted hallucinogenic powder.
Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway was on television over the weekend declaring that any public official who has mistreated women should "step aside," apparently forgetting the double-digit sexual misconduct allegations against her unlikely-to-step-aside boss.
Speaking of that boss, he took to Twitter while on his overseas trip to say this about the leader of North Korea: "Why would Kim Jong-un insult me by calling me 'old,' when I would NEVER call him 'short and fat?' Oh well, I try so hard to be his friend -- and maybe someday that will happen!"
Is this a movie? I feel like I'm watching an amazingly stupid movie and I can't get it to end.
Please, sane Americans, tell me the president of the United States did not send a tweet about a rogue, nuclear-armed dictator in the tone of a teenage bully who was never hugged enough as a child.
And while you're at it, tell me the tweet he sent 30 minutes before that one didn't actually refer to Americans who distrust him as "haters and fools." Because I could've sworn I saw a tweet that said: "When will all the haters and fools out there realize that having a good relationship with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing."
Please tell me I'm not just imagining all this. Please tell me this is really going on and I haven't let sanity slip through my fingers.
Because from where I'm standing, I see it raining coffee makers in a country where many with deeply held religious beliefs find accusations of inappropriate sexual contact with a minor to be a feather in one's cap and the president is communicating foreign policy like a hormonal adolescent while calling the people he supposedly leads losers and everybody and their brother is calling anything they don't agree with "fake news" and a pack of people who follow a thick-headed Fox News host with cult-like passion are destroying their appliances just to make "the liberals" squirm even though "the liberals" don't give a whup what those nutters do with their stupid environment-destroying appliances.
And all of that, quite frankly, makes me think I've lost my mind.
So help me out, sane people. I know you're out there.
Please tell me whether this is real or not.
Please tell me I'm not alone.
(Rex Huppke is a columnist for the Chicago Tribune and a noted hypocrisy enthusiast. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter at @RexHuppke.)