Aw, Starving Trump Administration Must Eat at Home. Sad!


Over the weekend, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders made headlines by apparently mistaking her official White House Twitter account for a Yelp page where she could complain about a bad customer service experience she had at a Virginia restaurant. Sanders took a break from studiously side-stepping accountability and mocking reporters to grab a bite at Red Hen Restaurant. Unfortunately, for her, the owner of the establishment sensed her staff’s discomfort with serving someone from such an openly antagonistic administration. The owner polled the staff, they voted, as in the 2016 election the popular vote that was not in Trump’s favor, and Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked to leave.

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Sanders tweeted that the action said more about the owner than it did about her, claiming, “I always do my best to treat people, including those I disagree with, respectfully.” Point of fact, just last week when CNN’s Jim Acosta asked Sanders, a government employee, to clarify her statement that it was “biblical to enforce” immigration law, Sanders replied, “I know it’s hard for you to understand short sentences.” So, I guess we all have different definitions of the word respectfully.

The Sanders incident follows a similar pattern of Trump administration members trying to leave their sinister work at the office and being confronted at restaurants like Scrooge bumping into Jacob Marley’s ghost at the Old Country Buffet. Kirstjen Nielsen had the audacity to go to a Mexican restaurant last week; even the avocados were like “Get out of here.” And then, of course, there’s the plight of Stephen Miller, who is a vengeful collection of Andrew Jackson’s night terrors that somehow gained sentience and took the human form of Old Sheldon. Miller was yelled at at another Mexican restaurant. The protestor yelled “Fascist,” which is accurate though they could also have easily yelled “Irony is dead.”

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So what is poor, beleaguered Trump foot soldier to do? Are we to become a society where powerful, xenophobic dog whistlers who constantly stoke racial animus must eat at home?! Is this what the founders wanted? The situation is really getting dire. Take a gander at this transcript of a call from another administration official who was just trying to grab a bite before going back to a hard day of human rights violations:

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Operator: Food Assistance Helpline.

Some Ghoul: Help! I’m a member of the Trump administration and I’m being shouted out of a restaurant!

Operator: Oh, I think you have the wrong number.

SG: Can you hear me?! Everyone’s chanting is so rhythmic. What a nightmare. Please send chips and guac to the corner of 8th and K.

Operator: This helpline only addresses emergency issues of food insecurity and hunger.

SG: I’m very hungry! And you know, now that I think about it, I realize I asked for water with lemon and I didn’t get a lemon. Can you deploy the National Guard?

Operator: You’re abusing this helpline and your position.

SG: Fake news! I’m the victim. I’m being mercilessly persecuted by a waitress wearing flair. I told them it was Jeff Sessions’ 150th birthday and they didn’t even sing the little song.

Operator: Happy birthday?

SG: No, “Look Away to Dixieland.”

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Operator: I’m hanging up

SG: Heartless liberal! Help me! How am I supposed to eat in public?

Operator: Have you tried putting a bag over your head like what was allegedly done to detained children at the Shenandoah Valley Juvenile Center?

SG: It’s the Democrats’ fault.

Operator: Unlikely.

SG: Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer are running a summer camp to register underaged immigrant voters.

Operator: You know that’s a lie.

SG: Yeah, but your coworker from three jobs ago doesn’t know that and he just posted about it on Facebook.

Operator: I didn’t even know we were still friends!

SG: The forgotten people. Ugh. I’m famished. If I don’t eat soon I may get so light-headed I accidentally make a morally sound decision. To quote my new favorite rapper, hurry up with my damn croissants.

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Operator: Are you at a French restaurant?

SG: No! Macron and Trump are on good terms this month, ominously. Why would I want to bait the French? Now that poutine-slurping monster Justin Trudeau? That’s a horse of a different color.

Operator: So you admit you’re baiting people?

SG: Ugh. You people. It’s not baiting! I just did a Google search for restaurants run by immigrants that employ LGBTQ people and offer a comprehensive health plan even for people with preexisting conditions. I then cross-referenced that list by a search for establishments with social media followings and/or good lighting. I then made that list into an itinerary and forwarded it to 45 local resistance groups. Normal dinner plans.

Operator: Does it ever get exhausting being so craven?

SG: It wouldn’t be exhausting if I could get some food here! I mean, they’re just walking by my table, turning a blind eye to me. What am I, Scott Pruitt’s many scams?

Operator: I’m going to go help other people now.

SG: This is just like the left. You only want to help when it’s convenient for you. I’m just trying to eat. Doesn’t it say in the Bill of Rights that I have a right to be served food by people that I am actively harming with the work I do?

Operator: Surprisingly, it doesn’t say that.

SG: Yet!

Operator: Okay. Bye.

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SG: Wait! I have a question for you. It’s okay to treat me like this because you don’t like my actions and the monolith that I represent? It’s an act of political protest? What if I was a gay couple wanting to get a cake or a little black girl selling water or an immigrant from Guatemala? What then?

Operator: Well, if you were, your life would be dramatically different, every single decision you made and option that was made available to you would different, less even. Every second of your life would have been impacted by intersecting systems of oppression that the Trump administration reinforces, stokes, and codifies with laws. Anyone refusing you service or attacking you would be targeting an individual and their rights and not the White House, arguably the seat of power for the free world. So—

SG: I’m sorry, I missed that. I was on the phone with Grubhub. Ugh, what a nightmare this has been… Hello?… Are you still there?… Hello? How rude! Doesn’t anyone want to be trolled by me? What’s become of our great land of civility, opportunity, and unlimited salad and breadsticks?

Follow R. Eric Thomas on Twitter.


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