Rep. Eric Swalwell is quickly establishing himself on the right as “The King of Cringe.”
The California Democrat – whose yet-to-take-off presidential campaign is all about going “big” – has managed to amuse conservatives once again. His latest campaign videos, which were posted to his social media accounts Sunday, feature Swalwell sitting at home with his wife, Brittany Swalwell, and their two young children as bubbly muzak plays in the background.
The overall message of the three short clips is that Swalwell and his wife have an egalitarian relationship in which they both struggle to balance career and domestic duties.
The first video opens with Eric Swalwell smelling his daughter’s diaper, and asking his wife in a baby voice: “Did she poop?”
“No. I would know,” she says, prompting him to laugh awkwardly.
In the second video, Brittany Swallwell, who is introduced as a national sales director for The Ritz-Carlton, vouches that her husband “changes probably more diapers than I do when he’s home with us.”
However, Eric Swalwell quickly steps in to make clear that it would be even harder if he were a woman.
“Look, I’m not kidding myself,” he says. “I think being a woman candidate is harder than what I’m experiencing. I have a lot of respect for the candidates.”
“It’s entirely unfair to ask a woman candidate, ‘Why aren’t you with your kids,'” he offers. “She’s fighting for her kids first and foremost, and if she’s like us, we’re doing this for our kids and everyone else’s kids.”
In the final video, Swalwell recalls bringing his daughter to the congressional swearing-in ceremony in January. He gushes about a moment when Rep. Ilhan Omar, a Minnesota Democrat, held the baby, who we learn is named Cricket.
“One of my favorite pictures of that whole day was Ilhan Omar holding Cricket because it, I think, showed two things,” he says. “Young woman wearing a hijab holding a white male’s baby. That was a scene that you had not seen before in Congress.”
At least people like Eric Swalwell’s wife
It’s not just conservatives who are cringing at Swalwell’s awkward deference to woke culture.
— Carpe Donktum🔹 (@CarpeDonktum) June 23, 2019
On Saturday, Swalwell warned Hispanics that President Donald Trump will stop at nothing to “break up your family, cage your children, or erase your existence with a weaponized existence.”
If you’re Hispanic, there’s nothing @realDonaldTrump wont do to break up your family, cage your children, or erase your existence with a weaponized census. And there’s nothing we won’t do in the streets, courts, and at the ballot box to stop him. #FamiliesBelongTogether
— Eric Swalwell (@ericswalwell) June 22, 2019
Amid a deluge of pro-Trump replies, even critics of the president pointed out that his crackdown on undocumented immigrants only applies to, well, undocumented immigrants. A number of commenters accused Swalwell of lumping all Hispanics into that category.
A similar objection could be made to Swalwell’s latest videos, in which he arguably violates liberal orthodoxy by conflating women with mothers and reducing Omar to an ethnic token.