Yesterday, The Associated Press tweeted a fact-check of President Donald Trump's presidential address which frustrated many on social media.
In a tweet, the AP blamed both Democrats and President Trump for the government shutdown, now in its third week.
The tweet frustrated many who accused the publication of victim blaming and noted that Republicans still had the majority in both houses of Congress at the time the shutdown began. And then Kate Aronoff, a contributing writer with The Intercept, swooped in with an analogy sure to please millions of Star Wars fans.
In short, Darth Vader was solely responsible for the destruction of the planet Alderaan. (There was some disagreement about whether Grand Moff Tarkin––who gave the order while Vader restrained Leia––was actually responsible, but Aronoff's point still stood.)
Many found her analogy quite apt and provided some snarkiness of their own.
Now in its twentieth day, the shutdown is the second longest in U.S. history, and there is no end in sight. The inauguration of the 116th Congress last week marks the first time ever that a federal shutdown will extend into two different Congresses.
The president’s response to the shutdown has been widely criticized. He’s claimed since the shutdown, which kicked off last month after he declined to sign a stopgap funding bill because he disagreed with the decision of Congress not to provide the funding he’d requested for his proposed border wall, is a ploy orchestrated by Democrats.
The president’s insistence on blaming Democrats for the shutdown contradicts his own statements. In December, he preemptively accepted ownership of a then-possible shutdown.
“I am proud to shut down the government for border security, Chuck. … I will take the mantle. I will be the one to shut it down. I’m not going to blame you for it,” he told Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer in the Oval Office on December 11.
The president's contentious address on border security two nights ago has also been derided as one based on lies and racism.
The president emphasized the need for a wall along our nation’s southern border, suggesting at one point that it was morally imperative.
“Some have suggested a barrier is immoral. Then why do wealthy politicians build walls, fences and gates around their homes?” he said. “They don’t build walls because they hate the people on the outside, but because they love the people on the inside.”
The president has not budged on his reasons for the shutdown, and it's safe to expect more Star Wars analogies in our future.