Today in manufactured right-wing outrage, conservatives are angry at a video game console.
Some of you may remember a post from earlier this month, when I wrote about Xbox announcing new settings on its latest game console designed to make it the “first carbon aware console."
Here's what I wrote at the time about the most significant change:
Essentially, the company is rolling out a power-saving feature that will allow a console linked to the internet to read local energy consumption data provided by the user’s nearest power grid. The console then uses that data to schedule Xbox updates and maintenance for times when the most renewable energy is available.
To Republicans, this anodyne change is actually a sinister plot to indoctrinate kids to become … environmentally conscious. Like clockwork, right-wingers rushed to somehow make Xbox's new settings into a cultural wedge issue. That’s the angle conservative media is running with. Just take a look at this inane exchange from Tuesday morning's episode of "Fox & Friends," in which one of their hosts claims the changes mean Xbox is “going after the children.”
Setting aside the fact that suggesting all Xbox users as "children" is laughably presumptuous, I don't think many actual children will mind a setting that has virtually no impact on gameplay. I would, however, suspect a bunch of grown men who behave like children to take exception to the new settings. And what do you know? Texas Sen. Ted Cruz — who’s more of a social media troll than a lawmaker these days — tweeted outrage over the setting. Texas Rep. Troy Nehls did, too. (This should tell you everything you need to know about Texas Republicans’ respect for their voters’ intelligence).
In a vacuum, a logical person might think conservatives would appreciate a feature that helps them lower their energy bill, which means doling out less money to large utility companies (some of which are publicly owned — oooh, socialism).
But c’mon now, you know better: These are delusional, hyper-emotional, cynical people we’re talking about. And there’s literally nothing they’re above politicizing: not M&Ms, not American Girl dolls, and not even Xbox.