The Snow Job

It's not the snowflakes, it's the blizzard.

Yesterday, the White House official twitter account tweeted this out:


Yesterday, per weather.com's monthly listings for Washington, D.C., the temperature peaked at 69 as part of a weekend heat wave. The skies were clear. As numerous people on the ground in the nation's capital reported, it did not snow.

In the comments on the above-linked tweet, regime apologists are out in force to spread the explanation: it's a picture of the first snow. The tweet never specified when it happened. People who are pointing to it in confusion or calling it a deception are making things up. People post pictures of interesting and notable things to Twitter after they've happened all the time.

And sure, it's possible that the social media person was given the photo days after the fact, or didn't find it in their inbox until they were looking for something to post on Sunday. It's possible, even likely, that there was no agenda behind it. I wouldn't bet my life or even money on it because the chance that it was done deliberately is still appreciably high. 

Because on his first day in office, Donald Trump started by lying about the weather. He said that the rain on his inauguration day had miraculously held off until he finished and everyone had gone inside. This was not true. Everybody who attended the inauguration or watched it on TV or the computer — which is, lest we forget, a huge, record-breaking number of people according to White House sources — saw the rain. He was comfortable lying about something that was obviously and provably wrong, and there were no consequences.

So when a regime that is both hostile to the truth in general and to the idea of global warming and climate change in particular sends out a tweet that implies DC had snow during a January heatwave... well, it goes back to credibility. A lot of the early headlines around the exchanges of fire with Iran focused on how Trump's habitual lies acknowledged to a surprising degree how little credibility he has with the US public, given the media's banal retreat from defending the concept of truth in the Age of Trump.

Could there be innocuous explanations for the tweet? Yes. Do we owe the liar's regime the benefit of the doubt? No, and we'd be fools to give it. Even in the innocent scenarios, the fact that the picture was thrown up without explanation or context shows the fluid approach Trump takes with regards to timeline, such as telling the story of his "transcript" release so that he did it after Schiff paraphrased it in a hearing, in order to make him the heroic tough guy who called Schiff's bluff.

Trump's exactly the kind of guy who, having a nice picture of the first snow of the year, would bring it out again and again and each time say it's the first, because "first" is, like all other words, meaningless to him beyond being good or bad. "They're saying winters are getting warmer, meanwhile we had the first snow of the year. How do you explain that?"

Trump's defenders call it "Trump Derangement Syndrome" that we'd even care if he lies about the weather, because what does it matter in the grand scheme of things if it was raining or snowing or if the sun was shining? But it matters because in this case the grand scheme is made up of a never-ending flood of petty schemes, each of which have their own aims and which in the aggregate serve to create a vision of the world in which the truth doesn't matter, in which the only justification needed for anything Trump does is that he did it. The White House Twitter can put out any picture it wants at any time, with or without explanation, so it's good and proper that it does so.

Or to put it another way: an individual snowflake is nothing, but with enough of them blowing around everywhere visibility is reduced to zero, and as they pile up, the landscape underneath is rendered unrecognizable, normal activities become hazardous or impossible, and the task of digging out Herculean. 

This is what we face.

If you haven't already, it's time to put on your snow boots and grab a shovel.

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