You’d think she killed somebody

From the U.K.-based tabloid Daily Mail, on Thursday, October 21, 2021 (here):

“Republicans are telling Meghan Markle to ‘stick to acting’ and daring the royal family to strip her of her title after she wrote a letter to Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer advocating for paid family leave on Thursday.

“The duchess wrote a lengthy note detailing times in her childhood when she was forced to participate in middle class activities, like getting a job as a teen for gas money and eating at a salad bar, in order to push for the national paid family leave program tucked into Democrats’ budget reconciliation plan for social spending.

“‘Ms. Markle’s latest interference in U.S. politics reignites the question in my mind as to why the Royal Family does not simply strip her and Harry officially of their titles, particularly since she insists on sending this under the pretense of being the Duchess of Sussex,’ Rep. Jason Smith, R-Mo., told

“‘While her attempts at appealing to working class families by recalling her days of eating at Sizzler were laughable, her comments make crystal clear that the passage of this massive tax-and-spend bill is aimed more at helping global elites get huge tax breaks than helping the working families she claims to have dined with.'”

From the way they’re reacting, you’d think she killed somebody. (But then, aren’t Republicans calling millions of American women baby killers? So, that’s kind of routine for them.)

There’s a lot here, and it’ll take a few paragraphs to deconstruct it, so bear with me.

(1) Markle wasn’t exactly born poor, but she wasn’t born as royalty, either. Her dad worked in the TV industry, and she attended school in Hollywood (and then a parochial high school). She wanted to be a diplomat, and graduated from college, but couldn’t pass the State Department’s foreign service officer test. Being a Hollywood kid gave her an entrée to acting; but she claims being mixed race made it tough to get roles at the start of her career.  (See her bio here.)

(2) I’m not a fan; if you ask me, she was a mediocre actress, is a shameless golddigger, and her prince is dumber than a box of rocks.

(3) I wouldn’t be an admirer of royalty anyway. Like most Americans, I despite the very notion of hereditary aristocracy, don’t want to be ruled by a king even if his name isn’t Donald Trump, and wouldn’t shed a tear if the British people decided to get rid of their monarchy when their beloved and respectable queen is no longer around and the crown passes to the oldest survivor of her dysfunctional children, although that’s basically their problem and no business of mine.

(4) Markle is an American citizen, so how is expressing her opinion “interference in U.S. politics”? Don’t all American citizens have that right? (No, not according to Republicans. They don’t believe in democracy, and not a whole lot in free speech, either, but let’s save that for another time.)

(5) If the queen decides to strip Markle of her royal title herself, rather than dumping that task on Charles or whoever succeeds her, that’s fine with me; but like I said, that’s British business and none of mine. Or Rep. Smith’s.

(6) Is there something wrong with participating in “middle class activities, like getting a job as a teen for gas money”? Or eating at salad bars?

(7) Maybe Rep. Smith, the son of a minister who repaired cars on the side and a dog breeder (bio here), is envious — she’s a royal, and he’s not, neener neener. Or resentful — he’s smarter than her (e.g., graduated from law school), but somehow she ended up with a better gig and social position than he has. Maybe he doesn’t like that nobody ever referred to him as “[his] royal hotness.” Well, he’s not as good-looking as her see photos). I don’t care; that’s his problem. As they say in the U.S. military, that “sounds like a personal problem to me.” (Every boot camp veteran knows exactly what this means.)

(8) It appears Rep. Smith is telling Markle to shut up. Don’t we have free speech in this country? Guess not. (See parenthetical comment in #4 above.)

(9) Advocating for paid family leave is “helping global elites”?

(10) Her lobbying for a bill that would raise taxes on the rich is “helping global elites get huge tax breaks”? Isn’t it Rep. Smith’s party that tries to get huge tax breaks for the elites? I think this is just one more illustration of how completely detached from reality Republicans are. They also have a tendency to misrepresent things. Also, in case you missed it, he and his party oppose paid child care for working class families. (They don’t like food stamps for the working poor, or free school lunches for their kids, either.)

So what I’d say to Rep. Smith is, you know who’s laughable? You are.

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