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Long IslandColumnistsDan Janison

Crowdsourcing political excuses becomes a great web phenomenon

President Donald Trump on Sunday at World Series

President Donald Trump on Sunday at World Series Game 5 at Nationals Park in Washington. Credit: EPA/Chris Kleponis

President Donald Trump faced chants of "Lock him up!" when he appeared at Game 5 of the Nationals-Astros World Series.

Politicians of all kinds get jeered at ballgames. And sooner or later, you had to figure, the 3-year-old rally chant aimed at Trump's uncharged political foe was going to get thrown back at him in person.

But because the widely unpopular president's support group clearly felt a need to explain away this embarrassment, denizens of social media have tried to come to the rescue.

On Twitter, Donald Trump Jr. picked up on a theme already forming from other supporters of the president.

“I’ll take boos from the leftist DC fan base and cheers from the great men and women of the United States Armed Forces any day of the week!” Trump Jr. tweeted.

Earlier the contrived message was distributed that the president had been greeted with a mixture of boos and cheers at the game. Instead, in the words of one devoted retweeter, the fans at a ballpark were "a crowd of rich, liberal elitists."

How did they know that? Did the GOP take an exit poll of disappointed Nats fans as they filed out? Are Series seats inexpensive in other cities? Facts didn't matter.

On Monday, Junior posted a recirculated video of the president surrounded by military officers on the field before an Army-Navy college football game.

Never mind that more than a few soldiers slammed the president's recent shunning of Kurds in Syria. This was a video meant to counter the humiliating abuse Trump took from the home team crowd on Sunday.

Television and Twitter excuses are all the rage these days. Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the National Security Council's Ukraine expert, clearly was alarmed as he heard Trump's July 25 phone call with that country's president and reportedly said so.

That's bad for a president trying to fend off impeachment. So Sean Duffy, a former Republican congressman from Wisconsin recently hired as a talking head on CNN, used a bit of initiative to help the excuse-making process.

"It seems very clear that he is incredibly concerned about Ukrainian defense," Duffy said of Vindman. "I don't know that he's concerned about American policy … we all have an affinity to our homeland where we came from … he has an affinity for the Ukraine."

Vindman's family brought him here when he was 3.

Of course the practice is bipartisan. Hillary Clinton's champions, for example, still blame hostile Russian meddling for her defeat in the Electoral College above dozens of other factors.

Internet conspiracy "theories" are generated almost daily to meet the needs of political deflection.

The anonymous Ukraine whistleblower proved to have been truthful, which is all that matters, so the person's motive and contacts had to be attacked.

Special counsel Robert Mueller exposed Trump's attempts to squelch an independent review of his campaign, so the roots of the probe had to be impeached.

Numerous allies of Trump were hauled in on criminal charges, so it had to be a witch hunt that didn't prove "collusion."

Joe Biden, the former vice president, is running to replace Trump, so he must be more dishonest than the current president.

All attempted excuses have a purpose, and in 2019, social media spread them in tandem with fake news and real news.

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