President Joe Biden seems to be pretty unhappy about the suspected Chinese spy balloon flying over Montana. His administration signaled this by postponing Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s trip to Beijing—less than a day before Blinken was supposed to depart.
Donald Trump apparently prefers a different response. “SHOOT DOWN THE BALLOON!” the former commander-in-chief Truthed this morning. A few hours later, former UN ambassador Nikki Haley demonstrated her status as the sane, serious alternative to Trump by tweeting the same thing, but with some lowercase letters mixed in.
Shoot down the balloon. Cancel Blinken’s trip. Hold China accountable.
Biden is letting China walk all over us. It’s time to make America strong again.
— Nikki Haley (@NikkiHaley) February 3, 2023
With the GOP’s official foreign policy now firmly established, it was time for House Republicans to spread the word. And also to raise some money. So they fired off an email to grassroots supporters.
“Shoot down the balloon, you coward!” the subject line blared.
I found this a bit insulting. Sure, I’ve written a few snarky blog posts about over-the-top Republican fundraising emails, but calling me a “coward” seemed a bit out of line. Soon, though, I realized that I wasn’t the coward they were talking about.
“We need you to sign our petition to tell Joe Biden: Shoot down the balloon, you coward!” the email explained. “We need all patriotic Americans to rise up and demand that President Biden take action right now and shoot down China’s spy balloon.”
And just below that was another way I could help: “Chip in $35 or more” to secure my “2023 majority membership.”
Now, I’m not so sure shooting down the balloon would be a good idea, but times are tough and sending money to the Republican Party just isn’t in my current budget. Still, I didn’t want GOP fundraising staffers to call me a coward, so what choice did I have? I quickly signed the petition.
Alas, the Republicans were still not satisfied with my courage.
A new GOP fundraising page opened on my screen.
“THANK YOU FOR SIGNING!” it said. “Can you support Republicans as we work to hold China acountable [sic] and put America First? 10X MATCH IS LIVE! CHIP IN NOW.”