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The biggest Republican outrage out of Wednesday’s House Judiciary Committee hearing, where three witnesses called President Donald Trump’s actions egregious and impeachable, was a dad joke about the president’s child.
At yesterday’s hearing, Stanford Law professor Pamela Karlan, while talking about how the Constitution did not allow the president to grant titles of nobility, said that while Trump could name is kid Barron, he couldn’t make him a Baron.
Get it? Barron, Baron (Baron was a title of honor that kings in Europe could grant, which was the kind of monarchical system America rebelled against, which, whatever, it was a dad joke, it wasn’t that good.)
The mere mentioning of Barron’s name in a hearing—which could be construed as unnecessarily mentioning him but was in no was dragging him—sparked a vitriolic response from many prominent Republicans.
Melania Trump and White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham kickstarted the outrage.
Classless move by a Democratic “witness”. Prof Karlan uses a teenage boy who has nothing to do with this joke of a hearing (and deserves privacy) as a punchline. And what’s worse, it’s met by laughter in the hearing room. What is being done to this country is no laughing matter.— Stephanie Grisham (@PressSec) December 4, 2019
A minor child deserves privacy and should be kept out of politics. Pamela Karlan, you should be ashamed of your very angry and obviously biased public pandering, and using a child to do it.— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) December 4, 2019
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), Trump’s staunchest defender, said it made her look “mean.”
GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz criticizes Pamela Karlan's comment: "When you invoke the president's son's name here, when you try to make a little joke referencing Barron Trump, that does not lend credibility to your argument. That makes you look mean." https://t.co/9mOLkfWyja pic.twitter.com/5wVyE9wrQi— ABC News (@ABC) December 4, 2019
And while Karlan apologized for cracking the joke, it wasn’t enough.
Hunter Biden is off-limits but Barron Trump is not? https://t.co/k4I8iK7y39— Kellyanne Conway (@KellyannePolls) December 4, 2019
On Twitter, though, many weren’t buying the outrage over the comments, as both #FakeOutrage, and #BeBestMyAss, a shot at Melania Trump’s anti-bullying initiative, trended.
•Children in cages— A Feral ThunderCat Ⓥ (Adventure Nipples) (@xtineogle) December 5, 2019
•Your husband publicly mocking a 16 year old girl
•Using a baby orphaned in a gun massacre as a prop
•Taking SNAP benefits away from hungry children
The list goes on.
Where was this energy then?
Sit down and STFU, lady. #BeBestMyAss pic.twitter.com/FWkK0PBEcX
You would think someone who obtained US citizenship through an “Einstein” visa would understand that Karlan’s statement was not a slight against her son. 🤦🏾♀️ #FakeOutrage #BeBestMyAss #ThursdayThoughts https://t.co/HCKSmJUdSU— Charli Huxley (@ImKnotTheOne) December 5, 2019
Dear Melania, please apologize to the Obama girls for perpetuating the birther movement when there dad was President. #FakeOutrage— Sara Spector (@Miriam2626) December 5, 2019
Regardless of the minor kerfuffle over the president’s son, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced this morning that she would proceed with articles of impeachment against Trump.
David Covucci is the Layer 8 editor at the Daily Dot, covering the intersection of politics and the web. His work has appeared in Vice, the Huffington Post, Jezebel, Gothamist, and other publications. He is particularly interested in hearing any tips you have. Reach out at [email protected]