Don Jr., Top Republicans Wax Idiotic About Chinese Spy Balloon
The Pentagon announced on Thursday that it is tracking what it believes to be a Chinese surveillance balloon soaring over the western United States. President Biden took the military’s advice to refrain from taking “kinetic action” on the balloon, as officials believe it doesn’t pose any physical or intelligence risks and debris from a strike could harm people on the ground. China has claimed the balloon is a weather research “airship” that blew off course, but the Pentagon isn’t buying the PRC’s explanation, announcing on Friday that Secretary of State Antony Blinken is now postponing a scheduled trip to China.
The story has been conspiracy catnip for conservatives who have been trying to cast the president as a compromised agent of China. “How many insane decisions… or lack of intelligent decisions (a la watching a spy balloon & not shooting it down) have been made because Joe Biden and his family are compromised by our enemies?” Donald Trump Jr. tweeted on Friday. “Incredible that no one even asks given the prolific amount of evidence out there!!!”
Don Jr. isn’t the only Republican whose response to the balloon was to SHOOT AT IT!
“SHOOT DOWN THE BALLOON!” the elder Trump wrote on Truth Social. “Biden should shoot down the Chinese spy balloon immediately,” Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) tweeted. “President Trump would have never tolerated this. President Trump would have never tolerated many things happening to America.” Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-Mont.) seemed to suggest that his constituents might shoot the balloon down themselves. “Shoot. It. Down,” he wrote. “The Chinese spy balloon is clear provocation. In Montana we do not bow. We shoot it down. Take the shot.”
Don Jr. agrees. “If Joe Biden and his administration are too weak to do the obvious and shoot down an enemy surveillance balloon perhaps we just let the good people of Montana do their thing,” he wrote of shooting down the balloon, which is 60,000 feet in the air and no longer above Montana. “I imagine they have the capability and the resolve to do it all themselves.”
Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.), the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, even went on Fox News to suggest that the “federal government doesn’t know what’s in the balloon” and that it could be “bioweapons” sent from “Wuhan.”
The federal government might not know what’s in the balloon, but they certainly know a hell of a lot more about the situation than Comer, Greene, Zinke, the Trumps, or any of the other Republicans frothing at the mouth to shoot the balloon out of the sky. It seems plenty reasonable for Biden to heed the Pentagon’s advice rather than take military action against a global superpower because a bunch of MAGA lawmakers with no more information than anyone else on Twitter wants to make him look weak.
Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder spoke to reporters about the situation on Friday, emphasizing that they don’t believe the balloon poses any physical risk to the American people but declining to divulge any other intelligence the government may have gathered. Conservatives quickly made clear they fully intend to keep the conspiracy wheels churning. “Well, I wonder if that balloon has as much hot air as what we just got,” responded Harris Faulkner of Fox News.