Bette Midler evidently was not a fan of Melania Trump’s speech at the Republican National Convention Tuesday night. As the First Lady took the stage and delivered a speech CNN pundits would later praise for its empathy, the entertainment legend mocked her for being an “illegal alien” who “can’t speak English”—insults she later said Trump has more than earned, given the racism both she and the president have openly embraced.
“I’m surprised Trump wants to destroy the #PostOffice,” Midler wrote as she live-tweeted the convention. “He got all his wives from it.” Another barb: “Melania lacks warmth so severely that I just had to turn my AC down.”
Naturally, prominent right-wingers seized the opportunity to stage some bad-faith outrage over Midler’s tweets. For instance: Dana Loesch, who once whined on television about Mattel adding a Kenyan train to Thomas & Friends—called Midler a xenophobe, while Islamophobe and actor James Wood scoffed, “The party of diversity mocks an American for her accent...”
But as Midler and others have pointed out, the First Lady’s speech runs counter to everything she and her husband have actually stood for, both before and during Trump’s nearly four years in office.
Midler retweeted a video of Melania speaking with Joy Behar in 2011—in which she demanded to see President Barack Obama’s birth certificate. “BUSTED!” she wrote. “Here’s FLOTUS, in her previous incarnation as a racist and a birther. Now she’s getting the #SaintMelania treatment. Don’t fall for it. She’s no Jackie O, no matter how hard they try.”
And seemingly responding to critics lashing out over her tweet about Melania’s English, Midler tweeted, “Why not? Just giving them a taste of their own immigrant bashing medicine. I guess they’re not keen.”
“Just as George Orwell wrote,” Midler added in another retweet, “‘War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.’ Down is up and we have been gaslit for four years.”
And that’s saying nothing of the First Lady’s choice to wear a now-infamous jacket emblazoned with the words, “I really don't care. Do U?” while boarding plane to the U.S. southern border as critics cried out against migrant family separation.
Regardless of what anyone thinks, Midler seems comfortable with her messaging. Her overall review of Melania’s speech? “Anodyne, anodyne, nothing but simple minded pablum. ‘I have to remind myself that I am very lucky.’ I completely agree! You are one lucky Slovenian! And after all that surgery, you hit a kind of horrible jackpot, chained to [a] colossal idiot.”