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MSNBC Host, Commentator Have Preposterous Reaction to GOP Presidents Day Meme

  Who would be at all surprised that the Republican Party didn’t celebrate Barack Obama on Presidents’ Day? That’s not a rhetorical question...

 Who would be at all surprised that the Republican Party didn’t celebrate Barack Obama on Presidents’ Day?

That’s not a rhetorical question, sadly, but a trivia one. Quick, name two people on cable news — say, MSNBC, since I’m going to assume you’re the intelligent type and read the headline — who would be dense enough to rail against the GOP for posting a Presidents’ Day meme on Monday that didn’t lionize the 44th president of the United States.

If you guessed Joy Reid and Elie Mystal — a frequent network contributor, particularly to Reid’s show — you win the prize. Both of them commented on how they thought the meme was whitewashing the presidency on Twitter without noticing how farcical that sounded. 

In fact, the meme didn’t even mention Obama. And that’s what got them upset.


First, here’s the meme we’re discussing:

If you’ve been on social media for any length of time, you know how this work. If not, here’s an example from 2019, noting that Washington, D.C., was known as the “District of Champions” at that moment because the NHL’s Washington Capitals, MLB’s Washington Nationals and the WNBA’s Washington Mystics had won titles.

However, the city’s football team — then the Washington Redskins, soon to become the Washington Football Team and now the Washington Commanders — well, not so much:

There’s a kind-of reason to laugh at this meme, which may not have been as well-considered as it could have been. That reason wasn’t the one given by plenty of Democrats — including Reid, who was shocked not just that Biden was the “Not You” when the GOP was talking about “Great U.S. Presidents” but that Obama didn’t even factor in. 

Reid quote-tweeted an equally dense Christine Pelosi, daughter of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who said, “If you want to know what Republicans ‘anti-CRT education’ looks like, here it is! They whited out President Obama during Black History Month.”

“Disappearing the first Black president while whitewashing Richard Nixon and disrespecting the man who served as the first Black president’s VP, who is now president,” Reid tweeted.

“Notable as this party writes education mandates telling your kids’ teachers what they are allowed to teach…”

Yes, well, the party that “writes education mandates telling your kids’ teachers what they are allowed to teach” noticed Barack Obama was a Democrat, not a Republican. That gives them one up on Reid, I guess.

At least Reid picked out what most people mocked the GOP’s tweet for: including Nixon. (So, yes, this makes Christine Pelosi denser — but no major legacy media source has seen fit to give her a punditry show for her incisive analysis, so we’re sticking with Reid here.)

Yes, I’ll grant the GOP probably could have excised the only president who resigned from office from the list (Ulysses S. Grant, Teddy Roosevelt and Gerald Ford all could have substituted ably), but that’s still not what really got Christine Pelosi or Joy Reid hopping mad.

Same thing with Mystal, who also writes for liberal publication The Nation:

“They put Nixon there POSITIVELY, but not Biden,” he tweeted. “And, of course, the @GOP would like you to think that Barack Obama never existed at all.”

Fine, I propose a trade-off: Give the GOP a mulligan. They can go back to the drawing board and take Nixon out. Consolidate the text for “Presidents’ Day” in Calvin Coolidge’s square and move the word “To” to Eisenhower’s.

Then, put a pic of Barack Obama in the center left (the only time he’ll ever be referred to as “center left” by conservatives) along with the text “NOT YOU.” In Biden’s square, change the text to, “NOT YOU, EITHER.” Carry on from there. Problem solved!

But wait. We’re forgetting all of the other diverse firsts that the GOP is whitewashing here with their Presidents’ Day meme: 

  • First disabled president. (FDR.)
  • First Catholic president. (JFK.)
  • First president to not know the definition of the word “is.” (Bill Clinton.)
  • First woman not-really-president but come on guys you know she totally deserved it and America let her down, so is that really her fault? (Hillary Clinton.)

That’s some pretty steep white privilege the GOP needs to overcome. However, according to Fox News, you know who else ignored all of those brave firsts, too?

Apparently, the Democrats “would like you to think that Barack Obama never existed at all.” And that’s not just me facetiously ragging on Elie Mystal: Biden’s career was over after his dreadful 2008 presidential challenge until Barack Obama, looking to prove his seaworthiness with Wall Street and party establishment types, salvaged the senator from Delaware into a long, slow slide into irrelevance by the deus ex machina of the vice presidency. It seems just slightly ungrateful neither Biden nor the party acknowledged this.

But no — Pelosi, Reid and Mystal were all livid that the GOP, not the Democrats, weren’t feting a former president whose positions they were diametrically opposed to. And it’s all because we’re just hopping mad over critical race theory and losing Eurocentric cultural hegemony. Why on Earth should we be the ones allowed to decide what our own kids are taught?

I’d posit there’s a better question, however: Why should three people so bereft of either imagination, good-faith arguments or common sense on the matter think they’re the qualified ones?

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