My three-year-old grandson just came up to me and asked, “Grandpa, why is Eric Swalwell seriously resurrecting the woke toddler meme long after it has become a national joke?” I was speechless.
A few years ago, it became common for Leftists to claim that their precocious children had revealed the manifest truth of Leftist policies with a simple and pointed question. These takes were so contrived that they became the focus of widespread mockery, and so it took someone as tone deaf as Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Fantasyland) to revive the meme with a straight face. On Monday, he tweeted: “My 4-year-old just FaceTimed to ask what I’m doing to “help the people in Buffalo” and “why did the bad man do this?” Absolutely gutting. This cannot be his normal. It’s time to BAN ASSAULT WEAPONS. #EndGunViolence”.
This cannot be normal indeed. My five-year-old granddaughter took a long puff on her cigar, set aside her “GET YOUR ROSARIES OFF MY OVARIES” sign, and said to me: “Swalwell is full of it. His kid doesn’t watch the news, and whenever our Critical Race Theory focus group meets at the nursery school, he stays in the next room watching Mickey.”
I was stunned, but I know how woke Disney is, so I had to wonder if she had a point. Yet after he was inundated with ridicule, Swalwell doubled down in a follow-up tweet: “I love the ‘no 4-year-old would ask this’ takes. You’re in absolute denial if you think our kids aren’t watching the horrors we are allowing.” He included with this a screenshot of a text exchange in which someone, presumably Swalwell himself, asks: “What is he asking for?” The response: “He wants to know if you are going to help the family of the people who died at the supermarket massacre. He’s watching the news.”
Included in this was a photo of a toddler in a dress with a ribbon in his or her hair. Was this Swalwell’s son who had asked him about the Buffalo shooting? He has a son who was born in 2017 and a daughter who was born in 2018, so the photo could be of his daughter, although obviously, the context of the tweet suggests that it is a photo of his news-watching son. Is Swalwell’s son or daughter trans as well as woke on gun control? Does Swalwell use his children as walking billboards for all the Left’s pet fantasies and delusions? We cannot discount the possibility.
Swalwell was clearly stung by all the ridicule. He responded testily to one skeptic by sending the photo of the beribboned toddler again with the note: “Yeah cause I have time to make up s**t my 4 year old says.”
Of course. Eric Swalwell is a busy man. He is hard at work saving interracial marriage, which he claims is in peril from the evil Republicans, tweeting in the wake of the Supreme Court leak and without the slightest basis in fact: “The Republicans won’t stop with banning abortion. They want to ban interracial marriage. Do you want to save that? Well, then you should probably vote.”
But Swalwell is by no means an all-work-and-no-play kind of guy. He famously got involved with Fang Fang, a suspected Chinese spy who slept with at least two mayors in the Midwest as part of a pillow-talk intelligence-gathering campaign. According to a December 2020 Axios exposé, “Fang took part in fundraising activity for Swalwell’s 2014 re-election campaign, according to a Bay Area political operative and a current U.S. intelligence official. Swalwell’s office was directly aware of these activities on its behalf, the political operative said. That same political operative, who witnessed Fang fundraising on Swalwell’s behalf, found no evidence of illegal contributions.”
Nonetheless, when a “suspected Chinese intelligence operative” is working that closely with you, eyebrows are going to be raised. Fang, Axios continued, also “helped place at least one intern in Swalwell’s office, according to those same two people, and interacted with Swalwell at multiple events over the course of several years.”
Yet despite this, Swalwell held on to his seat on the House Intelligence Committee in March 2021 on a party line 218-200 vote. In this he benefited from being a far-Left Democrat who is venomously hostile to Trump; if he had been a conservative Republican who had done exactly the same things, his own party would have abandoned him, and he would have long ago resigned in disgrace and returned to his home district.
But being a Democrat means that you have genius children who endorse the woke line, because, of course, the Left would have us believe that their various authoritarian, insane, or simply stupid projects and pet causes are so axiomatically true and right that even the youngest child can see it. Being a Democrat also means, as boomers used to say about love, never having to say you’re sorry: in today’s two-tiered justice system, if you have the right political opinions, you can get away with pretty much anything. For Eric Swalwell, it even means that you can loudly break wind on national television and have the network issue an explanation covering for you. Yes indeed, it’s great to be a Leftist politician these days.
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He is author of 23 books including many bestsellers, such as The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades), The Truth About Muhammad and The History of Jihad. His latest book is The Critical Qur’an. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.