Thursday, May 05, 2022


Like many other people, Charlie Warzel of The Atlantic believes that the GOP is trying to distract the public from an unpopular Supreme Court ruling on abortion by attempting to make the leak of the draft ruling into the primary story. But Warzel also sees the howling about the leak as an example of the Republican tendency to whine even in victory.
... the sore-winners tactic is ... an example of the sheer relentlessness of the far-right’s culture warring. Political wins are celebrated internally, but externally each victory is treated as an opportunity to double down on a victimization narrative and politics of grievance....

In this way, a massive, painstakingly architected legal win then becomes a sign that august American institutions are poisoned by partisan treachery. Victory for conservatives (the opinion itself) is recast as a symbol (the leak) of cultural rot and the persecution of conservatives....

We may have won, this paradigm suggests, but the way we won means we are at greater risk of losing. This is key to an apocalyptic view of politics that demands constant outrage and voter grievance.... what matters is that the idea of the persecution energizes the base.
Warzel cites many examples from the Trump years, particularly the complaining after Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed as a Supreme Court justice. Warzel also might have cited a more contemporary example: the right's continued whining about Anthony Fauci and mask wearers despite a near-total victory over those trying to use public health measures to prevent the spread of COVID.

Warzel writes:
There is no appeasing this type of politics. It is a politics that will manage to use its victories to stoke additional fears inside its voters.
This is true, and it's how you know that the right won't stop trying to take away rights once Roe v. Wade is gone. There must always be a liberal menace just over the horizon. Maybe the focus will be on a whole new set of crimes we're guilty of, but the draft abortion decision makes it awfully easy for the GOP to take aim at the sexual and marital liberties we've been taking for granted. They won't stop until they're stopped, and they won't stop whining no matter how many times they win.

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