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Dandelion Whine: Right-wing media try and fail to generate a controversy over Biden’s weed picking

During the Obama administration — if you can remember that far back — the right-wing press got pretty good at generating controversies out of nothing — collectively clutching their pearls when, say, Obama allegedly dishonored the White House by wearing a tan suit. And them there was the time he ordered spicy mustard for his hamburger, like some kind of fancy-pants snob.

With another Democrat in the White House, you might expect the right-wing press to be pulling phony controversies out of thin air on a regular basis. And, to be fair, they’ve been trying to. But they’re clearly out of practice and so most of their recent attempts have failed big time.

Last week, they tried to get the crowd worked up over Biden’s plan to restrict the average American’s consumption of red meat to only 4 pounds a year — only to discover that Biden had no such plan; they’d been had by a British tabloid’s misleading story.

The right-wing press also tried to get Americans up in arms about the government allegedly sending copies of a kids’ book by Kamela Harris to children stuck in our border camps. Never mind that the govcernment never did any such thing; it turns out that some random person had donated one copy of the book to the kids in a humanitarian drive.

Now the right-wingers are trying to generate some sort of controversy over a strange but utterly insignificant gesture on Joe BIden’s part. Last Thursday, while walking to the Marine One helicopter on the White House laws, Biden spied a dandelion in its seedy phase, then picked it and gave it to his wife.

Now, I don’t know why he picked a weed to give to Jill. It’s a somewhat strange thing to do. But hey, at least the two of them actually seem to enjoy one another’s presence — in stark contrast to the previous First Couple. I doubt Trump would even bother to pick up a wad of dirt to give to Melania.

Is there any logic to Biden’s gesture? Mediaite points out that

[t]here is a folk belief that blowing on a dandelion can grant wishes, but there is little scientific evidence to back this up.

So maybe Biden was trying, in a not-altogether-serious manner, to wish Jill good luck. Or perhaps there was some other private joke between the two of them. Who knows, and more to the point, who cares?

Well, one person who cares is Newsmax host Grant Stinchfield, who had a bit of a tantrum after seeing the footage, declaring

Joe Biden today getting on Marine One and he stops and picks up, I think it’s a dandelion, but it’s a dandelion that hasn’t even blossomed into a flower yet, like that gives everybody asthma. So you blow it, it goes everywhere, and everybody starts sneezing.

Well he picks up the weed and gives it to Jill, that’s, what, I guess is supposed to be some kind of a sweet gesture. … I say it was a planted dandelion there, who knows?

Is he really suggesting that someone literally planted the dandelion there on the White House lawn so that Biden could see it, pick it, give it to Jill, and then reap sweet praises in the press for such an, er, romantic gesture? Maybe.

But he’s definitely not the only right-wing personality who thought something weird and devious was going on. On Fox News, Mediaite reports,

Laura Ingraham and Fox News contributor Raymond Arroyo spent several minutes mocking Biden, snarking that the president had given his wife a “weed” (a common theme among critics), comparing him to Frankenstein’s monster, and decrying the positive coverage that the gesture received.

“It was a sweet gesture, Laura, even if it was a weed, maybe the poor man didn’t know ,” Arroyo said, then joked “Look, at least you didn’t try to pick a lemon off of Jill’s dress, so this is a good thing.”

Fox News host Tammy Bruce, meanwhile, was moved to incoherence by Biden’s little gesture, complaining that the dandelion-picking moment

made the news. That was like the news. This is what we’re dealing with.

[mocking voice] He romantically gave his wife a dandelion.

It’s as though they want us to go into a coma, or do they believe we are infants and we can’t, we don’t know what’s going on, and look, I think it’s nice that when a man picks up a flower in some fashion and gives it to his wife, but he’s the president of the United states, it’s not the news,

We’ve got Covid, we’ve got a border that’s open, we’ve got big enemies looking at us and trying to figure out how to destroy us, and this is the news?

This would be a searing indictment of the triviality of so much political news coverage in the mainstream press — except that the only people talking about it are on Fox News, Newsmax, and, oh, did I forget LewRockwell.com?

“Have You Ever Given or Received a Bouquet of Dandelion Weeds?,” asked writer Thomas DiLorenzo.

I’ve never heard of it; have never seen dandelion “flowers” for sale at any florist or at the section of the grocery store where they sell flowers, or anywhere else. I tried to buy some on Flowers.com but with no success. That’s because it’s kind of like giving someone a bouquet of poison ivy or sneeze-inducing ragweed. It’s cute when a five-year-old child picks a “bouquet” of dandelion weeds for his mom, but creepy and demented when an 80 year-old-man does it. Especially if he’s the man who has his finger on the nuclear button.

But the media are portraying Senile Joe’s asinine picking of a dandelion weed for his wife as some kind of Romeo-and-Juliet moment. Dumb-Ass Americanus is said to be “swooning” all over twitter over it. Jill Biden has that “what an asshole” look on her face in the photos of the event on the internet.

Again, the only people paying attention to the dandelion moment are the right-wingers.

And even they are having trouble caring about it. I looked through Pariots.win — the Reddit-like discussion forum that emerged from the now-banned The_Donald subreddit — to see if I could find anyone reacting to the dreaded dandelion thing. I found only a handful of commenters with anything to say.

There was someone called Crucial8GB who declared

Biden has Dementia. The Democrat Party should be charged with elderly abuse.

There was Tobyrocky accusing the Dems of something like child abuse:

Typical mind of a 5 year old. They give their mom’s dandelions too.

And then there was orrvarpen, who spouted this bit of nonsense that I’m not going to even try to decipher.

Looks like a white rubber duck. And sleepy Joe has gotten gills, did he fall into the deep and cold water of well force one again?

I don’t think “Dandelion-picking Joe” is going to supplant “Sleepy Joe” as a term of opprobrium on the right. But it’s not for lack of trying.

We should expect the next phony controversy to pop up within a few days now. Let’s hope it suffers the same fate as “Joe BIden Picks a Dandelion.”

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Victorious Parasol
Victorious Parasol
1 year ago

All this talk about dandelions and butter reminds me of another childhood custom, where you’d hold a blooming dandelion against another child’s chin to see if they liked butter.

Speaking of alternative names, my grandmother used to call them “the devil’s weed” because their roots are notoriously long, reaching all the way down to Hell. Naturally this meant I tried to see how long a root I could pull out of the ground before it snapped.

Ohlmann
Ohlmann
1 year ago

@Karalora : might be a cultural thing too. I never heard of people wanting to get rid of dandelion where I lived.

Note that dandelions will grow everywhere, but won’t grow in particulary large amount more easily than actual garden plants, so if I want a garden I would rather get something like basilic or mint which tend to participate more to flavor (depending on what can grow where you live ofc).

(it’s a bit excessive to pin down dandelion hate to capitalistic excess. Remember middle age farmers didn’t exactly grew huge dandelions field either, and while edible I wouldn’t say it’s particulary special compared to other salads and the like)

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
1 year ago

@ Vicky P

you’d hold a blooming dandelion against another child’s chin to see if they liked butter.

Ah, over here that’s done with buttercups.

As for the ‘weed’ discussion. I’m loving it that re-wilding is taking off here. Obviously we need that for practical survival reasons; but it’s also just nice to look at and sense generally.

There’s incentives to do that now in the private sector. Things like advantageous planning consent etc.

A lot of churchyards now dedicate at least some bits to just letting things grow wild; and our local authority is very good at it too. And they put little insect houses everywhere. I much prefer a big overgrowth with all sorts of flowers than neatly trimmed grass verges.

Masse_Mysteria
Masse_Mysteria
1 year ago

@ Lumipuna

Ranunculus is also called buttercup in English,

I hadn’t thought of that. I think it was one of my Swedish teachers who said that this thing had to do with literal translations of Finnish names specifically. Maybe something to do with how people nowadays don’t recognize as many plants as before, so the plant names might start becoming specialized vocabulary or something.

Incidentally, Chamaenerion angustifolium (fireweed) is also good eating. I remember using the leaves in salad back when I lived in a place where it was easy to get (not too close to a road or some such).

Dalillama
Dalillama
1 year ago

The landlord came and cut down our mint & clover because there were dandelions. We’ve put down seed balls of native flowers, but it’s been damnable dry this spring.

Lumipuna
Lumipuna
1 year ago

A lot of churchyards now dedicate at least some bits to just letting things grow wild; and our local authority is very good at it too. And they put little insect houses everywhere. I much prefer a big overgrowth with all sorts of flowers than neatly trimmed grass verges.

That sounds cool – letting people push daisies in peace.

(or cow parsley, as in Finnish version of the saying)

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
1 year ago

@ lumipuna

 letting people push daisies in peace.

Heh, quite.

https://trurodiocese.org.uk/2016/06/bring-your-churchyard-to-life/

I do like the more natural look I have to confess; and I’m someone who loves Japanese gardens.

comment image

But the roads are a lot nicer now too. It also makes economic sense. The council say this is cheaper than maintaining the old verges.

https://www.cornwalllive.com/news/cornwall-news/gallery/pretty-wildflowers-brighten-up-main-4503753

Bookworm in hijab
Bookworm in hijab
1 year ago

Lumipuna,

the North American milkweed is even more poisonous

Ooh, I hadn’t known that! I’m assuming it’s only poisonous if you eat it? I was going to plant a bunch to encourage monarch butterflies.

My favourite-not-favourite dandelion story is that my daughter once picked me a lovely bouquet of the things…and only once I’d carried them inside did I see the enormous yellow orb-weaver that had hitched a ride on them. I’m not scared of spiders but that thing was two inches from my nose.

In terms of mint, is anyone else here familiar with apple mint? It’s got big downy leaves and a much less “sharp” flavour than many mints seem to.

Big Titty Demon
Big Titty Demon
1 year ago

I mean, Dr. Biden doesn’t actively hate her husband and slap him away any time he tries to touch her. Maybe the previous incumbent should have given his wife more dandelions, is all I’m sayin’.

Who are we kidding, it wouldn’t have helped. There’s no helping that. Side note: dandelions also make excellent jam. I found this out during my Redwall phase as a child, where I didn’t believe it was a real thing and then was proven wrong by a very crafty mother, now that I think about it. It took her about an hour to make the jam but me several to collect the dandelions.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
1 year ago

@ big titty demon

You got me a googling. I’m glad I did; thank you!

https://www.truefoodsblog.com/recipe/dandelion-jam-vegan-honey/

Lizzie
Lizzie
1 year ago

As a kid (last millennium) we would pick dandelion clocks, as they were called, and blow the seeds off to see what time it was. And there was a soft drink called dandelion and burdock, more appreciated by adults than children.

Anon Get-it-On
Anon Get-it-On
1 year ago

I know I have brought up this website before because it is really bad but no one here took it serious.

eradica.wordpress.com

(Trigger Warning, it is really, really bad with hate speech, criminal acts, gun violence and other terrible things.)

Instead of going to the site, maybe it is better to let wordpress know that they are hosting terrible nazi MRA’s.

https://wordpress.com/abuse/

I hope they act on it.

rabid rabbit
rabid rabbit
1 year ago

Dandelions should especially not be cut early in spring, because they’re some of the first things to flower and therefore one of the few things available as food for bees emerging from hibernation.

Prophet309
Prophet309
1 year ago

@ Anon Get-It-On

You only seem to comment to drop links to sites with graphic, disturbing content–and, iirc, there were multiple instances where you didn’t provide a warning.

I’m suspicious of you because you don’t appear to interact with this community except to tell people to report awful sites. Furthermore, in the past, it seemed more like you were just trying to traumatize people by getting them to click on a link and see awful stuff they weren’t expecting.

@ everyone else (especially frequent commenters)

Is it okay if I email David asking for a ban? I’m tired of seeing this person and their disgusting links.
I’m asking for permission because I’m not a regular commenter and thus there’s a definite possibility I missed something important.

Last edited 1 year ago by Prophet309
Dalillama
Dalillama
1 year ago

@Prophet309
I concur with your assessment.

bekabot
bekabot
1 year ago

“I doubt Trump would even bother to pick up a wad of dirt to give to Melania.”

If Trump saw a dime on the ground he might pick it up — but he’d keep it for himself.

Bookworm in hijab
Bookworm in hijab
1 year ago

@ Prophet309,

I’m kind of a sporadic commenter, but *all* I’ve ever seen of Anon-get-it-on is posting disturbing links.

I’m not sure if they’re a troll or just really, really clueless, but I’d support a ban or at least an official warning and maybe some form of strict moderation like no links allowed.

Dalillama’s a regular so if they (I’m sorry, I don’t recall which pronouns you use?) say ban I concur with them.

GSS ex-noob
GSS ex-noob
1 year ago

First off, kudos to David for “Dandelion Whine”. ?

Secondly, I guess the RW is so unfamiliar with the concept of spontaneous affection and true love between husband and wife that this confuses their narrow minds? I know Agent Orange and his mail-order bride didn’t care for each other — does this extend to all of them?

I have picked dandelions. They’re pretty little yellow flowers. We have them in the US because Europeans brought them over as salad greens and wine making ingredients. And the puffball stage is really fun to blow on and make a wish.

For those who are firmly in the “they’re weeds!” camp, Joe kept that one from spreading and creating more dandelions, so there.

If the Fox “news” woman is so upset that this is a news story, then why is she giving it all this airtime instead of ignoring it?

@Bookworm: I used to play with milkweed all the time as a kid, and I’m still here. We were told not to eat it, that’s where the poison comes in. Butterflies love it.

I’m looking for some kind of ground cover that’ll grow on pure clay soil in an arid environment. Any suggestions?

GSS ex-noob
GSS ex-noob
1 year ago

@Prophet309: I’m with you. The term “concern troll” comes to mind, also “wolf in sheep’s clothes”.

Dalillama
Dalillama
1 year ago

@Bookworm in Hijab
She/her

@GSS ex-noob
Annoying jackass is the phrase that comes to my mind.

epitome of incomrepehensibility

The landlord came and cut down our mint & clover because there were dandelions. 

@Dalillama – 🙁 seems like kind of an asshole move.

I’ve got a little rectangle of land on my parents’ property for a mini veggie garden. So far oregano, mint, and chives are coming up from last year. I’m all for dandelion greens in salads, but my mom’s a picky eater and doesn’t like the taste, so I’m thinking of planting some romaine lettuce too.

Anon Get-it-On
Anon Get-it-On
1 year ago

I am sorry if I upset anyone, I did try to improve if I made a mistake in the past and put a trigger warning to tell you it is bad content. I also wanted to share actionable advice to block the site, but now, ironically you want to block me. I was warning about the site because they advocate violence.

Dalillama
Dalillama
1 year ago

@Anon
Why do you think we would specifically care about these sites? What leads you to believe that this is a useful way to get people to do whatever it is you want us to do? Why, after it’s been made clear to you that nobody wants you to do this, do you keep doing it?

NB: I don’t actually care even a little bit about the answers, these are study questions for you to use for your own benefit, preferably elsewhere.

galanx
galanx
1 year ago

Prince or pauper, beggar man or thing
Play the game with ev’ry flower you bring
Dandelion don’t tell no lies
Dandelion will make you wise
Tell me if she laughs or cries
Blow away dandelion
One o’clock, two o’clock, three o’clock, four o’clock chimes
Dandelions don’t care about the time
Dandelion don’t tell no lies
Dandelion will make you wise
Tell me if she laughs or cries
Blow away dandelion, blow away dandelion
Tho’ you’re older now its just the same
You can play this dandelion game
When you’re finished with your childlike prayers
Well, you know you should wear it
– Rolling Stones

Anon Get-it-On
Anon Get-it-On
1 year ago

Why do you think we would specifically care about these sites?”
I think I misunderstood this community. I thought it was to track and mock online misogyny and by extension really bad websites related to the MRM. Since the capital riots happened, I thought what they were posting was much more than “tough guy” talk and maybe a really bad call to action so I thought making people more aware was a good think. But I misunderstood. It seems like you want “sort of” bad stuff to mock so that you can go on about your day and not feel too bad.

My comments were in moderation when I first posted and then David let them through even though some people were not happy so I thought everything was within the theme of the site. And I didn’t reply because when I saw the comments a bunch of time went by so I thought I would let it slide instead of try to explain myself.

I suppose if you think I am not a good person whom is trying to help I can’t convince you and you already made up your mind I guess. You don’t want to know about that site and you don’t want to stop that site or warn others and I guess it is okay for you to chose whatever kind of activism you want to engage in. Maybe I should try the SPLC and maybe that is more in their wheelhouse than what you want to do here. What can I say but sorry for misunderstanding. But not sorry for trying to expose potentially dangerous stuff. You know one of the guys in the capitol riots was a well known man. He probably said and did lots of thinks were people said it’s just tough guy talk and he is being eccentric so more people listen to his hard rock band. But people told me if you follow his interviews and ask his fans nothing he did was surprising. So now you have a website where guys say crazy stuff and maybe they really mean something by it. You don’t care and that is okay but at least maybe tell me who Is would tell besides the SPLC.

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