We've Hit the Phase of the Trump Presidency Where People Are Suing Over Dishwashers

President Donald Trump in front of washing machines at Whirlpool facility in Clyde, Ohio.
President Donald Trump in front of washing machines at Whirlpool facility in Clyde, Ohio.
Photo: Scott Olson (Getty Images)

President Donald Trump’s bitter feud with various household appliances has landed his administration in court.

In what I hope will be one of the last stories I must ever write about this cursed topic, environmental, consumer protection, and tenant rights’ groups have banded together to sue the Trump administration over its plan to make dishwashers more inefficient. The new suit filed by Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, the Consumer Federation of America, and the Massachusetts Union of Public Housing Tenants is asking the federal judiciary to set aside the Trump rule finalized in October to create a dishwasher category to be less water and energy-efficient as long as the wash and dry cycle finished in an hour.

This is exceedingly dumb since efficiency is a prime way to reduce carbon emissions, water usage, and also save people money, all at a minimal (if any!) inconvenience. As someone who does not own a dishwasher but once did a decade ago, I have fond memories of just setting it at the end of the night and waking to clean dishes. Or when I needed dishes done faster, using the quick wash cycle. Others may have different dishwashing habits where they want their dishes ASAP while paying more for the privilege, which you do you. But on the whole, the dishwasher rule seems exceedingly petty and dumb, a perfect distillation of “own the libs” energy.

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“Far from benefiting consumers, the new category of products serves one purpose: reckless dismantling of standards at any cost,” Joe Vukovich, energy efficiency advocate at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), said in a release. “It’s a sad parting gift from the Trump administration that would lead to steeper household utility bills and more planet-warming pollution.”

Trump’s endless war on efficient appliances has run the gamut. Light bulbs? They make him look orange. Showerheads? Not enough water for him to get his hair right. Toilets? Moving on!

The venality of it all stops at dishwashers, though. Of all the appliances Trump has doggedly done battle with during his presidency, a dishwasher is easily the one he’s least likely to have come in direct contact with. Seriously, the image of Trump operating a dishwasher is as incongruous as Mark Zuckerberg regulating hate speech, conspiracy theories, and fake news. Indeed, Trump appears to have been tipped off to the threat water and energy-efficient dishwashers posed to Western civilization by, uh, women. Here’s how he led into the toilet bit at a rally last year with the dishwasher bit:

“Uh, dishwashers. You did the dishwasher, right? You press it. Remember the dishwasher, you press it? Boom, there’d be like an explosion, five minutes later, you open it, the steam pours out, the dishes. Now you press it 12 times. Women tell me. Again. You know, they give you four drops of water. And they’re in places where there’s so much water they don’t know what to do with it. So we just came out with a reg on dishwashers. We’re going back to you.”

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More recently, Trump reiterated that he was just throwing the ladies a bone, trying to give them back the explosive dishwashers they so crave. At a Nevada rally in October, he made the leap between inefficient dishwashers and lowering crime as only a commander-in-chief could:

“The women come up to me, the women who they say don’t like me—they actually do like me a lot. Suburban women, please vote for me. I’m saving your house. I’m saving your community. I’m keeping your crime way down.”

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How this man lost to President-elect Joe Biden by 8 million votes will forever be a mystery. Anyways, here’s hoping the groups either win their case against the dishwasher-inefficiency rule or lock it up in court long enough that Biden can simply overturn it. And then let this chapter of our national appliance nightmare be over, never to be spoken of again. Except for the toilet bit, long live the toilet bit.

Managing editor, Earther

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DISCUSSION

pocrow
Parliamentarian of Crows

Every time a conservative raises the question of Biden’s mental fitness, I think about Trump complaining that we “all” need to flush toilets four or five times to get them to work properly and that shower heads just don’t get us wet like they used to.