First Lady Melania Trump’s announcement of plans to renovate the White House Rose Garden triggered an avalanche of hateful reactions on Twitter, showing that even flowers can be fighting words in today’s US political discourse.
“Even in the most difficult times, the @WhiteHouse Rose Garden has stood as a symbol of strength & continuity,” the first lady tweeted on Monday before linking to the announcement.
Even in the most difficult times, the @WhiteHouse Rose Garden has stood as a symbol of strength & continuity. Today, it is my pleasure to announce our plans to renew & restore this iconic space so that we preserve its history & beauty for generations to come.
— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) July 27, 2020
A few of the replies were garden-variety disagreement, such as Democrat strategist Leslie Marshall’s tweet: “People are dying. Is this really what our nation wants our tax dollars spent on? Bad timing in my opinion.”
People are dying is this really what our nation wants our tax dollars spent on !? Bad timing imo”Melania Trump will lead ‘significant renewal’ of the White House Rose Garden” https://t.co/UGPithWkeZ
— Leslie Marshall (@LeslieMarshall) July 27, 2020
But others were more outlandish, from likening Trump to Adolf Hitler’s wife, to dropping F-bombs.
Replying to the first lady’s statement that the Rose Garden has been a “symbol of strength and continuity” and the renovation would “preserve its history and beauty for generations to come,” one Twitter commenter who describes themselves as a mental health counselor replied, “Just what we need now, Eva Braun.”
Just what we need now, Eva Braun.
— Jeffrey Guterman (@JeffreyGuterman) July 27, 2020
Another critic said, “I’m thinking Marie Antoinette.” Screenwriter Greg Cope White went on the attack: “You’re a hoe, so put yourself to use. You’re installing the toppled Confederate statues in the Rose Garden?”
You’re a hoe so put yourself to use. You’re installing the toppled confederate statues in the rose garden? #bebest#coviddeathtollrising
— Greg Cope White (@eatgregeat) July 27, 2020
Some of the critics managed to get in a humorous dig while remaining in relatively good taste, such as comedian Dana Goldberg saying, “Working on the curb appeal for the Bidens. I like it.”
Working on the curb appeal for the Bidens. I like it.
— Dana Goldberg (@DGComedy) July 27, 2020
Another Twitter user added, “Oh no. Turning the Rose Garden into Trump tacky.”
Trump didn’t give a cost estimate for the renovation project, but it will reportedly be funded with private donations and presumably won’t stand in the way of the latest Covid-19 relief package, expected to total upward of $1 trillion, pending in Congress.
The plans call for a “renewal” of the garden’s original design, when it was installed in 1962 by the John F. Kennedy administration. The project also will include improving access and installing utilities.
The first lady made an optimistic pitch for the project that could also be called unrealistic in the current climate: “The very act of planting a garden involves hard work and hope in the possibility of a bright future.”
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