If you thought this story about the Massachusetts librarian who turned down a donation of Dr. Seuss books from first lady Melania Trump couldn't possibly be any dumber, you haven't followed the normal downward trajectory of these culture war battles.
Librarian Liz Phipps Soeiro drew attention to herself this week when she penned a remarkably ungracious response to the White House's gift, which was given in promotion of National Read a Book Day.
Soeiro, who works as a library media specialist at Cambridgeport Elementary School in Cambridge, Mass., wrote that her school had no need for the first lady's hand-picked selection of children's books.
More importantly, she added, she didn't want the donation because the Trumps, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Dr. Seuss are all problematic.
You see, she explained, Dr. Seuss is a racist.
"You may not be aware of this, but Dr. Seuss is a bit of a cliché, a tired and worn ambassador for children's literature," she wrote. "Dr. Seuss's illustrations are steeped in racist propaganda, caricatures, and harmful stereotypes. Open one of his books (If I Ran a Zoo or And to Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street, for example), and you'll see the racist mockery in his art."
This is where an already stupid story becomes even stupider. The elementary school librarian, it seems, wasn't always so opposed to the famous children's author.
Soeiro published her open letter to the first lady this week on the Horn Book's Family Reading blog. She even included a photo of herself looking unimpressed as she holds a copy of Seuss' The Cat in the Hat and the signed note from the first lady that came with the donation.
Also, on the page where Soeiro's letter was published, her author's bio notes she tweets from the accounts "@Cport_Special" and "@ReflectLibrary."
If you peruse through the "@Cport_Special" Twitter account, you'll eventually come across a note that reads, "Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss! K and 1 celebrated with a green egg breakfast!"
That tweet, which is dated March 3, 2015, includes two photos: One shows a display of breakfast foods, and one shows what appears to be Soeiro dressed as Dr. Seuss' famous Cat in the Hat. The glasses, the hair – it's all there!
Photos of the March 2015 Read Across America/Dr. Seuss Day event were also posted that year to the Cambridge public school district's official Facebook page. The above photo appeared with the caption: "The Cat in the Hat librarian at Cambridgeport School poses for the camera."
Huh. Happily dressed as a character created by an author whose work is supposedly "steeped in racist propaganda." Imagine that.
We reached out to Cambridgeport Elementary School to verify that the person in the 2015 photo is indeed Soeiro. They did not respond to our request for comment.
We told you this librarian story had the potential to be dumber than it already was. Everything is terrible, these culture war battles are absurd and things only get worse the deeper you go.