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McFeely blog: A disgusting slur, followed by an implausible excuse from N.D.'s most Christian U.S. Senator

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U.S. Sen. Kevin Cramer, a Republican from North Dakota, fancies himself the most Christian fellow. You could just ask him about how Christian he is, and he'll tell you. Or you could check out his Twitter feed, on which he told President Donald Trump he'd be on his knees at his request for a national day of prayer.

Now that's Christian!

But now is a time to wonder about Cramer. In two fell swoops Tuesday night he tweeted a disgusting slur directed at Speaker of the U.S. House Nancy Pelosi and followed with an excuse that seems so implausible that most reasonable people would simply call it a flat-out lie.

Slurs? Lying? That doesn't seem very Christian at all.

In response to a tweet by right-wing web site The Daily Caller that said (with implied sarcasm) everything in Pelosi's economic stimulus bill was only related to the COVID-19 scare, Cramer tweeted:


"She's retarded."

Among words deemed offensive in 2020, that word would rank in the top five. The term is now widely regarded as derogatory toward people with cognitive disabilities. No proper-thinking adult has used the term for decades. It is something most 14-year-old boys stopped using 15 years ago.

Yet it showed up on a very Christian U.S. Senator's social media account before being deleted after 10 minutes.

It gets better.

Or worse.

When reached by Forum News Service reporter Jeremy Turley , Cramer claimed his "fat fingers" and his phone's auto-correct function changed his intent of writing "She's ridiculous" to what was tweeted out.

OK, then.

It's not exactly clear what fat fingers have to do with auto-correct, but we do know this: If you type the word "ridiculous" into Twitter -- and, yes, I experimented -- the social media web site doesn't auto-correct. It lists suggested words in a bar below the tweet. The suggested words include "ridiculously" and "ridiculousness."


U.S. Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., tweeted "she's retarded" in response to a post containing a quote from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Twitter screenshot

The other "r" word does not show up.

In a really strange twist -- can you pick up the sarcasm? -- Cramer used the word "ridiculous" in a tweet as recently as Monday and, you'll never believe this (sarcasm again), apparently his phone did not cause it to auto-correct to "retarded."

So. Weird.

Must be the Deep State unelected bureaucrats out to get him.

One function of Twitter's suggested word function, though, is that if you type in an often-used word, it will suggest the often-used word. So if we're to believe Cramer's impossibly implausible explanation for his bigoted tweet, we must adhere to the belief his fat fingers often type the word "retarded" into his phone.

The acceptable defenses, if there are any, are sort of running dry here.


article5014637.ece poll - SenCramer Do you believe Sen. Kevin Cramer's excuse that he mistyped the word "ridiculous" and it came out "retarded" when referring to Rep. Nancy Pelosi on Twitter? Yes No

The best thing for Cramer to do would be to apologize, straight up and without qualifiers, that his Pelosi Derangement Syndrome got the best of him and his tweet was horribly inappropriate. That might be difficult for him now, since he's gone with the fat fingers/auto-correct defense and apologizing would be an admission he lied.

And that doesn't look very Christian. Although a Jimmy Swaggart-style apology would be entertaining.

No, apologies aren't part of Cramer's repertoire. He's never been so inclined, given his level of arrogance and self-righteousness. There's a better chance he'll turn his bigotry into a fund-raising opportunity, given the state of the Republican Party today and its fixation on Pelosi. Expect an email today, NDGOPers, saying Cramer needs your help in stopping Pelosi and the liberal media trying to take down him and Trump.

His excuse for using a disgusting slur against Pelosi, which was entirely unbecoming a U.S. Senator, was surely delivered with Cramer's smirk and smugness. Trump Republicans thrive on winks and nudges when they pretend to clean up their messes. And there are few in North Dakota politics less remorseless than Cramer.

All of which seems wildy un-Christian, if that mattered to the senator and his supporters.

As a public service, we’ve opened this article to everyone regardless of subscription status.

President Donald Trump and then-Rep. Kevin Cramer share an embrace on Wednesday, June 27, 2018, at Scheels Arena in Fargo. David Samson / The Forum

Opinion by Mike McFeely
Mike McFeely is a columnist for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead. He began working for The Forum in the 1980s while he was a student studying journalism at Minnesota State University Moorhead. He's been with The Forum full time since 1990, minus a six-year hiatus when he hosted a local radio talk-show.
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