Wednesday, November 10, 2021


Paul Waldman is right about Kyle Rittenhouse:
From the moment Rittenhouse killed [Joseph] Rosenbaum and [Anthony] Huber, he has been embraced by the right as a hero.

The Trump administration immediately distributed talking points to federal law enforcement officials to use if asked about Rittenhouse, in which they were instructed to say that he “took his rifle to the scene of the rioting to help defend small business owners.”

Conservatives quickly raised much of the $2 million for his bail....

On Fox News and other conservative media, one personality after another rushed to his defense....

Rittenhouse “should walk away a free and rich man after suing for malicious prosecution. That would be true justice in this case,” said Matt Walsh of the Daily Wire. “Kyle Rittenhouse went to Kenosha to clean up the filth left by the rioting Biden voters,” said Tucker Carlson....

So try to imagine what will happen if Rittenhouse is acquitted. Trump will issue a statement somehow taking credit for it. Fox News will fly Rittenhouse to New York for triumphant interviews. Social media will erupt with joy, as millions of conservatives cry “Suck it, libs!” He’ll appear on T-shirts and bumper stickers; maybe he’ll speak at the next Conservative Political Action Conference. And don’t be surprised if Trumpist candidates start seeking Rittenhouse’s endorsement and asking him to appear on the campaign trail with them.

There will be some Republicans who will respond to questions about Rittenhouse by saying the whole thing was an unfortunate episode and we should just put it behind us. But they will be drowned out.
That last prediction is my one point of disagreement with Waldman, because I assume that most Republicans won't dare to say that this was an unfortunate episode. I think those who aren't triumphant will say, if asked, that they'd rather not comment because they haven't been following the story. They'll be afraid to suggest that what Rittenhouse did might have been in any way regrettable.

But we were just told that there's a new, post-Trump breed of Republican, a suburb-friendly guy in a fleece vest named Glenn Youngkin.

Here's a question I'd like a pollster to ask Republican voters:
Who represents Republican values better, Glenn Youngkin or Kyle Rittenhouse?
What do you think the results would be?

I think I know. But the press will continue to tell us that Republicans are calming down and moving beyond the politics of rage, even after the celebrations of Rittenhouse's almost inevitable acquittal begin.

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