President Donald Trump has quite often found himself on the receiving end of the same criticisms he once doled out. There was the time he criticized Hillary Clinton staffers for "seeking immunity" — and then told his National Security Adviser Michael Flynn to seek immunity. There was the 2012 tweet criticizing Obama for not disclosing White House visitors — then did the same thing earlier this year. And now, he's taking a big old gulp again. This time, it's a video of Trump drinking water during a speech that has the internet roasting him.
During his first post-Asia press conference on Nov. 15, Trump became, shall we say, parched, and reached for some water. After saying, "They don't have water, that's OK," with the distinctive scratch of a throat dry as a desert, he found a small bottle of water. And then he hamfistedly grabbed the bottle with both hands. While one of those hands was still gripping the cap.
It was weird and looked uncomfortable and, of course, people are making fun of him for it, because it was, well, awkward.
I know, I know. It sounds silly. And it is. But it's also the exact thing for which he mocked former GOP presidential hopeful, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.
Trump was gifted at picking up on weaknesses in his opponents during the campaign — that and name-calling. There was Crooked Hillary. There was Lyin' Ted. And then there was Choke Artist Marco.
Trump's "choke artist" dig started innocently enough: in 2013, Rubio was slated to give the GOP response to then-President Barack Obama's State Of The Union speech. In the middle of his response, Rubio needed water, and as it was live television, he reached out of frame, grabbed a bottle, and drank all while maintaining eye contact. It was, in all honesty, weird.
Well, I guess Trump loved it, because he tweeted about it. A lot.
The Washington Post dug up all of his 2013 tweets about what I am now calling watergate, because I think it has a nice ring to it.
This, of course, snowballed into a broader criticism of Rubio when the two men were running for the GOP presidential ticket.
In Feb. 2016, according to The Independent, during a campaign stop in Texas, Trump mocked Rubio's 2013 thirst, saying, "He's like this: 'I need water. Help me, I need water.'"
Then he called Rubio a "choke artist" and threw his water bottle.
It went a little something like this:
Very presidential behavior.
And now, very ironic.
So of course, whenever Trump behaves badly or contradicts himself, people are roasting him.
Even Rubio is getting in on the fun, giving Trump pointers.
Rubio still remains, you know, Rubio, but this was a solid burn of a man who has a deep well of judgment which he uses often and with glee.
Some people on Twitter have said that making fun of or criticizing Trump's clumsy bottle handling is just another example of the mainstream media wasting time and making a bigger deal of things than they should be.
Usually I would agree with that assessment, because, honestly, who hasn't temporarily forgotten how to use their hands? WHO AMONG US, eh? But this feels different to me. Criticizing him for forgetting how to hold a water bottle doesn't seem like it's just about the water bottle. It's about what his actions tell us: that he is allowed to make mistakes, but everyone else should be ready for his oft-cruel judgment.
Trump is often petty and sometimes downright mean. He uses his platform to cut down other people, no matter how inconsequential the circumstance. Someone who tweets obsessively about another man drinking water strangely is a person who lacks empathy. If it were one tweet, I mean, sure. Who doesn't love making fun of strangers on Twitter? But this was impulsive and consistent — and he carried it into his campaign. Three years after Rubio's SOTU response, Trump mocked Rubio, another grown man, for drinking water. This pettiness, this bullying — as we know from myriad other examples — is something that survived pre-campaign Trump, the campaign itself, and is now thriving in his tenure as president.
And, yeah, OK, it's pretty satisfying, too, to watch videos juxtaposing the two men failing at the simplest of tasks. Just desserts, if you will. Mmm, mmm.