Tuesday, May 25, 2021


Jonathan Chait directs our attention to an absolutely bonkers essay by Lee Smith, a self-styled investigative journalist and Devin Nunes hagiographer, in Tablet. In the essay, as Chait notes,
Smith posits that the anti-Semitic violence that has appeared in a handful of American cities is actually a false-flag operation, orchestrated by the the “oligarchs” who run the Democratic Party to terrorize their own voters under the pretext of anti-Semitism.
Smith believes that those responsible for the violence are not really activists who oppose Israel. He writes:
Who knows how many of the activists waving the Palestinian flag as they beat Jews and detonate fireworks in front of Jewish-owned businesses are genuinely Palestinian Americans? Maybe some aren’t even Arab or Muslim, but that’s irrelevant — they are staking their claim to recruit, promote, and represent Arabs and Muslims as an interest group. And so the flag they’re really flying isn’t for the Palestinians but rather for the Democratic Party.
So why are they engaging in anti-Semitic violence?
The answer is because that’s their job — not to confront their alleged red state enemies, but to remind their neighbors and fellow Joe Biden voters that their security, indeed even their lives, depend on them keeping the faith, no matter how much the party’s pet projects might hurt or offend them personally.
As Chait correctly notes,
it seems more intuitive that getting beaten up by left-wing Israel-haters — or paid thugs pretending to be left-wing Israel-haters — would make Jewish people less likely to support the Democrats.
But to Smith, there must be some reason Jews -- or really, any voters at all, except for a few sickos -- vote Democratic that doesn't involve, y'know, preferring Democratic politicians or policies. As far as Smith is concerned, liking the Democrats is categorically impossible for sane, decent people. He writes:
The Democratic Party has had a problem. It’s a small, incoherent, and privileged clique funded by billionaire oligarchs to push policies that even mainstream Democratic voters oppose....

The current-day Democratic Party is a top-down structure paid for by the corporate establishment, led by Big Tech and finance, that appeals to a small class of managers, technocrats, and educators who for a variety of reasons, from self-pity to psychopathy, really do back the party’s most sinister policies—like open borders, designed to impoverish America’s working middle class. The party has lots of money and owns virtually all of the country’s major institutions, from the press to the Department of Justice. What it lacks, however, is voters....

Obviously many of the programs the Democratic Party is pushing are not popular with the people who belong to the interest groups they’re trying to motivate....

Why would the bulk of American Jews continue to vote for a presidential administration like Joe Biden’s that funds Palestinian terror, or whose up-and-coming leadership, like Rashida Tlaib and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, promote organizations that celebrate the murder of Jews? Given a choice, no rational person would defend any of these policies.

Thus the need for street violence, to take decision-making out of the realm of the rational. It’s about fear: Mouth off and you won’t like what happens to your business, your home, your wife, your children.
This is a highly specific bit of conspiracy craziness, but it jibes with a belief that's widespread on the right: that nobody likes the Democratic Party and all of its votes are fake.

You can see this every few days at Gateway Pundit, where Joe Biden's total of 81 million votes in 2020 is sneeringly cited as a number no rational person could possibly believe. (Sample headlines: "No Supporters Greet 81 Million Vote Recipient Joe Biden as He Arrives in Lake Charles, Louisiana"; "Biden Joint Session of Congress Ratings Are In: 22.6M Viewers Compared to Trump’s 48 Million Viewers — But Joe TOTALLY Had 81 Million Votes"; "81 Million Vote Getter Joe Biden Greeted by Two Dozen Supporters in Columbus for Ohio State Speech.")

Republicans, from the fringe to the mainstream, have argued for years that Democrats are out of touch and un-American, while simultaneously arguing that their vote totals are routinely padded by massive voter fraud. The notion that no real American votes Democratic is part of the Republican mainstream.

We've seen a lot of polls and focus groups of Trump voters. We seem to know everything they believe -- but I'd like a pollster to ask some Trump voters this question: According to official results, Joe Biden won approximately 81 million votes in 2020. How many votes do you think he really won? I'd also like them to be asked about Donald Trump's 74 million votes.

I want to know how impermeable their bubble is. I think many of them would say that Biden didn't even win a million real votes. Some of them would probably say his actual total was zero. And I'm sure they believe Trump won at least 100 or 150 million votes.

And I don't think they'd be saying this merely as a way to express their resentment. I think they'd mean it. After all, they've been told for years that our vote totals are fake -- so why should there be any limits to how fake they think those numbers are?

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