Since there’s nothing else at all of consequence happening in this country right now, Republicans are trying their best to turn President Biden’s latest remarks into a rallying cry — but somehow, we have a feeling that “I’m a proud caveman” isn’t going to catch on quite as well as “we’re a basket of deplorables!” did.
On Wednesday afternoon, President Biden disparaged the Republican governor of Texas’ decision to fully re-open and repeal the mask mandate as “neanderthal thinking” for the obvious danger that it poses to public health. Pearls were immediately clutched and monocles firmly clenched by Republicans who suddenly took great offense at being compared to an extinct species of archaic humans from about 40,000 years ago.
But inevitably, some tried to turn it around on Biden and pull the classic schoolyard “well, actually your insult is a compliment” approach to the complete non-issue that should have been forgotten about as quickly as the neanderthals were.
Senator Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee — a troglodyte if we’ve ever seen one — declared that being a caveman was in fact very cool and good while on FOX Business with fellow subhuman boggart Stuart Varney. “Neanderthals are hunter-gatherers, they’re protectors of their family, they’re resilient, they’re resourceful, they tend to their own. So I think Joe Biden needs to rethink [it],” declared Blackburn.
Marsha Blackburn responds to Biden's "Neanderthal" comments w/ impassioned defense of Neanderthals: "Neanderthals are hunter-gatherers, they're protectors of their family, they're resilient, they're resourceful, they tend to their own. So I think Joe Biden needs to rethink [it]." pic.twitter.com/758y7urJKZ
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 4, 2021
The incredibly lazy attempt to assign isolationist family values to our stouter and shorter-limbed cousins falls flat by doing just the briefest bit of research. Neanderthals are believed to have disappeared largely thanks to climate change, which is especially ironic considering Senator Blackburn is one of the most outspoken climate change deniers in Congress.
One might think that it would be too on the nose for Republicans to proudly compare themselves to literal cavemen who all died out due to climate change, but Blackburn apparently considers this a good hill to go extinct on.
Whether it’s “neanderthal thinking” or the ridiculous fake controversy over “canceling” Dr. Seuss — which is stretching into its third day of coverage on FOX — it’s obvious that without Trump, Republicans are desperate for any kind of content to keep the outrage machine chugging along to avoid the public from the way they are obstructing COVID-19 relief, actively enabling the virus’ resurgence, and systematically rolling back voting rights in every state they can. We cannot allow them to hog the narrative and the public’s attention with this anarcho-primitivist nonsense.
For a party that’s so insistent that “facts don’t care about your feelings,” we’re seeing positively unsustainable levels of salt coming from the GOP these days.
Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.