Sunday, March 31, 2024


The Bulwark's Jonathan Last thinks Chris Christie should endorse Joe Biden at the Democratic convention. He's even drafted a speech for Christie:
... for the first time in my life, I’m voting for a Democrat for president. I’m voting for Joe Biden. And it’s not because I agree with him about everything. Or even most things. But because he’s a good man and I trust him to defend our Constitution.

I’m still a Republican. I’m still going to vote for Republicans in the other races when I go to the polls in November. But the truth is, I’m not here to speak to you guys tonight. I’m here to speak to the millions of Republicans across the country who feel exactly the way I do. I’m here to tell them that they’re not alone. That they don’t have to be afraid of a Biden presidency. That in the long run they’ll actually be helping both the Republican party and America by helping to excise the cancer that is Donald Trump.

I’m here to tell my fellow Republicans that the only way to make our party something we don’t have to be ashamed of is to get rid of the lying conman who came in and took it over. As weird as it is to say this, it’s the truth: Joe Biden is the best friend the Republican party ever had, because he’s the guy who will help us Make Republicans Good Again.
This speech is either naive or dishonest -- I'll be generous and say naive. Another Trump loss will not "Make Republicans Good Again" -- if Trump loses, Republican voters will believe once again that the election was rigged against them, and even the ones who don't believe that will want an even nastier candidate to run in 2028. And if Last is right and Paul Ryan-style Republicans achieve dominance once again, that just replaces the proto-fascism and flagrant self-dealing of Trump with the same Reaganomic brutality that was ruining our country for the 35 years prior to Trump's 2015 escalator ride. Also, as long as Elon Musk, Chris Rufo, Chaya Raichik, Leonard Leo, and Lachlan Murdoch draw breath, the Republican Party will be a party of merciless scapegoating and demonization, Trump or no Trump. But Trump's ignorance, corruption, amorality, and fascist instincts make the party even worse. He is terrible in ways that even other Republicans aren't. He should never hold power again.

Yet I don't see what harm it would do to Biden to have a Christie endorsement, given the possibility that his endorsement -- or an endorsement from Liz Cheney or Susan Collins or Lisa Murkowski or Mitt Romney -- might win over a few voters without alienating others. I understand why many people want to take a "burn the lifeboats" approach to Republican anti-Trumpers, but what we're talking about is allying with these people temporarily, in a circumscribed way, without forgetting any of the ways they've infuriated us in the past. It's cooperation under a certain set of circumstances. It's not marriage.

On the other hand, I don't think it's all that important. This Jonathan Martin piece was absurd:
It has been well over two months since Christie dropped out of the Republican presidential primary. How has Biden not called Christie, whom he’s known since the former governor was in student government as a University of Delaware undergraduate, to ask for his support? Or, if he thought that too soon or too direct, he could at least have asked Christie to get together. But that ask has not been made....

It’s political malpractice....

You, dear reader, may be screaming at your phone or computer by now (or before now). I can hear it: these politicians should grasp the stakes in this election and not require any personal touch from the otherwise busy leader of the free world....

If you don’t think the personal matters in politics, well, you ought to talk to more politicians. Or pick up the published memoirs, letters or diaries of them. They tend to record slights. And solids. Both shape their actions.
So Biden should reach out to Christie, even though he might be rebuffed, and the rebuff might be leaked? Nahhh. The critic in Jonathan Martin head is saying the right thing: Anti-Trumpers should grasp the stakes in this election and not require any personal touch from Biden.

But they probably don't. I think it's quite possible that none of the people named above -- Christie, Cheney, Collins, Murkowski, Romney -- will actually endorse Biden. Two are sitting senators who probably plan to run for reelection in the next cycle. Christie and Cheney probably hold out hope that their careers as elected officials aren't over. And so they want to seem like Republicans in good standing. That means putting strict limits on their outreach to non-Republicans. I think it's quite possible that none of these people will endorse Biden, even though they all should, for the good of the country.

Biden shouldn't go begging. But if these people endorse him, that's a plus, even though, later on, they'll undoubtedly stab him in the back, or try to, if he wins a second term.

Saturday, March 30, 2024


I'm sure you know about this:
On Truth Social, Trump posted a video of Trump themed vehicles driving in New York. One of the trucks has an image of Joe Biden on the back bound with rope...

Some MAGA Republicans have been displaying this graphic depicting President Joe Biden bound with rope and laying in the bed of a pickup truck apparently kidnapped. Trump is now encouraging such imagery.

But why would tying up President Biden and tossing him in the trunk of your vehicle matter, if the right wing's standard Biden narrative is correct? Don't all right-wingers believe that Biden is a drooling dementia case who can't possibly do anything on his own?

Junior's father has repeatedly said that Barack Obama is actually president, and while one of Trump Senior's top surrogates won't go quite that far, she certainly doesn't believe Biden is in charge:
"Obama is running the country," Georgia's delusional lawmaker told Steve Bannon. "Obama is having his third term ... and everyone's always known that."

Greene then goes on to explain what she's really getting at. "Of course he's coming out as the leader of the Democrat party, because he always has been the leader of the Democrat party. Joe Biden is just a puppet, dangling on the strings, doing what Obama wants him to do."
But, of course, there's always a Schrödinger's quality to Democrats as described by Republicans. Obama, when he actually was in power, was both a powerful nation-destroying autocrat and a feeble-minded diversity hire who couldn't utter a sentence without reading it off a Teleprompter. Biden is both the powerful Godfather of a depraved crime family and an addled imbecile.

And even the right-wingers who think Biden isn't running the country presumably like the idea of stuffing him in a car trunk because, well, they just like the idea of hurting their enemies. The cruelty is the point. They want to be cruel, but they want to seem morally justified in their cruelty. That's why they have so many fantasy scenarios -- non-white or "Antifa" rioters burning down entire cities, a Democratic administration going house to house to confiscate firearms, terrorists slipping across the "open" border -- that seem to justify righteous violence (in self-defense, of course!). They've decided Biden's presidency is that level of evil (no matter who's really in charge of the country), so, sure, tie Biden up and dump him in the trunk. It's fun, but it's patriotic fun, y'know?

Friday, March 29, 2024


The mainstream media regularly tells us that the Democratic Party is now the party of upscale voters, while the GOP is the party of the working class. Is this true? Exit polling in 2020 found that Joe Biden won voters with incomes under $100,000 a year by double digits, while Donald Trump won $100,000-plus voters by double digits. On the other hand, Biden won among voters with college degrees, while Trump won among voters without them.

Whatever the numbers show, Republicans certainly complain about "elites" quite a bit. Look at Marjorie Taylor Greene's Twitter accounts, for instance, and you'll see her making pronouncements like this:
We are on a sinking ship and the elites are drinking and eating and dancing to the music on the top deck refusing to acknowledge that we are on the verge of sinking to the abyss.
Elsewhere, she complains that Congress is "putting globalist elites first and hard working tax paying Americans last."

Even Republicans who are the "elites" denounce the "elites." Elon Musk, on Twitter, argues that there is an "immense ideological gap between the effete elite and the people" and that "indoctrination" takes place in "elite high schools & colleges." Donald Trump Jr. proclaimed that his father won the 2016 election because he "did not spend time raising $ from the billionaire elite. Instead he spent time talking to the American people!" More recently, he tweeted, "There is no level of depravity the elites will not go to to force their agenda upon you."

But somehow, when the elites actually kill people, these great haters of elitism work tirelessly to shift the blame elsewhere.

Why has Boeing has a terrible safety record recently? It seems clear that elitist bosses at Boeing have pressured the workforce to cut corners on safety. That's what we're learning from a very good story by Maureen Tkacik at The American Prospect:
CEO Jim McNerney ... repeatedly invoked a slur for longtime engineers and skilled machinists in the obligatory vanity “leadership” book he co-wrote. Those who cared too much about the integrity of the planes and not enough about the stock price were “phenomenally talented assholes,” and he encouraged his deputies to ostracize them into leaving the company. He initially refused to let nearly any of these talented assholes work on the 787 Dreamliner, instead outsourcing the vast majority of the development and engineering design of the brand-new, revolutionary wide-body jet to suppliers, many of which lacked engineering departments. The plan would save money while busting unions, a win-win, he promised investors. Instead, McNerney’s plan burned some $50 billion in excess of its budget and went three and a half years behind schedule.
Conscientious employees were driven out of the company, and it was only a matter of time before two Boeing 737 Max 8 planes suffered fatal crashes and a panel was torn off a Max 9 plane flown by Alaska Airlines during a flight.

After that Alaska Airlines incident, did members of the self-styled anti-elitist party blame the elite management of Boeing? Of course not:
... Elon Musk ... took to his platform X after the Alaska Airlines incident to ask, “Do you want to fly in an airplane where they prioritized DEI hiring over your safety? That is actually happening.”

He added, “People will die due to DEI.”

... Donald Trump Jr. posted, “I’m sure this has nothing to do with mandated Diversity Equity and Inclusion practices in the airline industry!!!” Other users questioned whether Delta has “DEI quotas for their mechanics” and stated that “DEI practices are going to cause disasters” and that “DEI actually means DIE.”
A Republican congressman, state legislator, Phil Lyman of Utah, posted "DEI = DIE" this week after a cargo ship collided with and destroyed Baltimore's Francis Scott Key Bridge. He didn't blame "elites," even though he's campaigning for governor and his messaging includes anti-"elite" rhetoric.

And gosh, what do you know -- the "elites" involved in this disaster appear to be corner-cutters on safety, too:
The company that chartered the cargo ship that destroyed the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore was recently sanctioned by regulators for blocking its employees from directly reporting safety concerns to the US Coast Guard — in violation of a seaman whistleblower protection law, according to regulatory filings....

Eight months before a Maersk Line Limited–chartered cargo ship crashed into the Baltimore bridge, likely killing six people and injuring others, the Labor Department sanctioned the shipping conglomerate for retaliating against an employee who reported unsafe working conditions aboard a Maersk-operated boat. In its order, the department found that Maersk had “a policy that requires employees to first report their concerns to [Maersk] ... prior to reporting it to the [Coast Guard] or other authorities.”

Federal regulators at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which operates under the Labor Department, called the policy “repugnant” and a “reprehensible and an egregious violation of the rights of employees,” which “chills them from contacting the [Coast Guard] or other authorities without contacting the company first.”
But our "anti-elite" Republican Party always circles the wagons around elites when there are more satisfying scapegoats, especially if they have darker skin. The GOP's anti-elite posture is an out-and-out fraud.

Thursday, March 28, 2024


Commentators frequently tell us that right-wingers in the era of Donald Trump have abandoned internationalism and interventionism in favor of "America first" isolationism. The Trump-era right, we're told, hates "globalists" -- which is sometimes a euphemism for "Jews" and sometimes just a reference to whoever gets America into wars (for instance, George W. Bush and Dick Cheney).

We know this, and we also know that Trump-era right-wingers are extremely rude, in imitation of the master. We know that they won't be polite when Joe Biden dies, or the Clintons, or Nancy Pelosi, or Jimmy Carter. They hate these people and won't be shy about saying so. They won't decide that's it's wrong to speak ill of the dead.

So why is the allegedly anti-interventionist pro-Trump right being so nice in the aftermath of Joe Lieberman's death? Why is no one denouncing him as an evil Democrat globalist?

I guess I understand why Roger Stone is being nice: Lieberman first won his Senate seat by defeating Lowell Weicker, an antagonist of Stone's beloved Richard Nixon.

Stone supported Lieberman back then, but that doesn't fully explain the kind words -- Stone did political work for George W. Bush and now despises him.

The rest of MAGA Nation seems to have nothing at all to say about Lieberman, good or bad. There's nothing new about Lieberman at the Infowars site, or at Alex Jones's Twitter. Marjorie Taylor Greene's two Twitter accounts say nothing about Lieberman. (The person she's mourning right now is a New York City cop who was killed on Monday, because denouncing crime in "Democrat" cities is consistent with her brand.) There's nothing about Lieberman in Donald Trump's Truth Social feed or Donald Trump Jr.'s Twitter feed. Meanwhile, random pro-Trump right-wingers are posting the kinds of comments and memes you'd have expected to see if Lieberman had died in the pre-Trump era:

Gosh, if I didn't know any better, I'd guess that opposition to interventionism and globalism doesn't really mean all that much to Trumpists, except to the extent that it's a useful stick to beat Democrats (and anti-Trump Republicans) with. They don't really care that Lieberman supported an interventionist foreign policy -- to them, he's a guy who drove Democrats nuts, so he shouldn't be criticized.

Trump and his high-profile backers know that they might look a bit hypocritical if they actually said nice things about Lieberman. But anti-interventionism is clearly not very important to anyone in MAGA Nation. What's most important is whether you're an enemy of MAGA Nation's #1 enemy, which is the Democratic Party. Joe Lieberman passed that test easily.

Wednesday, March 27, 2024


Noah Berlatsky tells us about the depraved response of the onlight right to the Baltimore bridge disaster:
During a Newsmax hit ... American Conservative Union Chairman Matt Schlapp suggested the container ship failure was somehow caused by “drug-addled” employees and covid lockdowns. Fox host Maria Bartiromo, meanwhile, linked the disaster to “the wide open border.”

... the platform formerly known as twitter was absolutely overrun with racism. A number of users with significant platforms linked the bridge collapse to DEI [and] spread bigoted tropes about Baltimore’s mayor....
DEI? Yup, they blame everything on DEI now.

Berlatsky sees this as strategic:
Conspiracy theories undermine faith in a shared truth or a shared community. MAGA isn’t really trying to get people to believe any one story. They’re just trying to sow doubt. If nobody can be trusted, if everyone is corrupt, then Trump and his ilk are no worse than anyone else....

In addition to undermining trust in the political process, conspiracy theories also undermine our trust in each other. This is especially important for MAGA during disasters because, as Rebecca Solnit has pointed out, disasters are often a moment when people demonstrate a great capacity for self-sacrifice, community, and solidarity. Solnit’s 2009 book “A Paradise Built in Hell” discusses how during disasters — such as the great 1906 San Francisco earthquake — people risk their lives for one another, care for each other, cook for each other....

MAGA, in particular, is a movement built on stoking divisions and cultivating paranoid fear of Black people, immigrants, LGBT people, Muslims, Jews, and other marginalized people. Spreading conspiracy theories following disasters is a way to prevent the formation of solidarity, community, and trust.
I agree, but I'd add that the reduction of every major news event to hateful memes is a way of saying to fellow right-wingers (and potential right-wingers): Yes, even in this moment, you and I are the people everyone should care about. We're straight white people. We are the center of the universe. All other people -- non-whites, LGBT people, the Democratic politicians we hate -- are inferior. Even in this moment of tragedy, we are still the world's main characters. If we can only drive all liberals and queers and feminists and dark-skinned people from politics, we will rule, as we're meant to. So don't develop feelings for the people who've been hurt. Remain narcissistic and self-focused. It's not only acceptable, it's patriotic -- after all, everyone who's not like us is subhuman and undeserving and ridiculous.

So we have this:

And some attacks on the politicians and policies right-wingers hate, collected here:

Many people ask why Trump voters -- and Republican voters in general -- vote against what would seem to be their own economic intrerests. This is why. Trump and other Republicans tell them they have value and other people don't. They say those other people deserve to suffer, while members of the right-wing tribe don't. They give voters permission to hate, and to reject empathy. That may not win every election for the GOP, but it wins the party more elections than it deserves to win.

Tuesday, March 26, 2024


Ronna Romney McDaniel is out at NBC:

You might think McDaniel is going through a difficult time, what with the many attacks on her credibility from major on-air figures at NBC and MSNBC. But think about it: McDaniel was ditched by Donald Trump and was no longer seen as sufficiently loyal to MAGA, yet now she's a right-wing martyr. That's very, very good for her post-RNC career.

Republican propagandists are deliberately lying about the anger over her hiring. Mick Mulvaney, for instance:
“This has nothing to do with Ronna McDaniel’s behavior during Jan. 6 or the 2020 election,” Mulvaney said Monday during an appearance on cable news channel NewsNation. “NBC just cannot stand having somebody from the right on their sacred airwaves. If it wasn’t so sad, it would be hysterically funny.”
And Fox News:
NBC's Ronna McDaniel meltdown marks latest news outlet to face revolt from liberal staff for GOP platforming

... Notably, none of NBC's on-air talent expressed any outrage when the network in 2022 not only hired President Biden's press secretary Jen Psaki after having discussions as she was serving in the White House but also gave Psaki her own show.
And RedState:
Pathetic Delusion - the Democrat Operatives at NBC News Wail When a Republican Joins the Roster

... When its stable of former Democrat operatives find it intolerable when a lone Republican operative is brought on, it speaks clearly to the slanted foundation at NBC News. It becomes pathetic when the people who want to lecture us about how things are corrupt cannot even see how they blatantly appear to the general public.
A week ago, MAGA Nation considered McDaniel an insufficiently loyal has-been. Now she's seen as a victim of the all-powerful liberal mob. After all this, she can get more money from (I assume) Fox News than she was ever going to get from NBC -- and she'll get to keep the NBC money ... and maybe she'll sue NBC anyway.

She's a walking, talking bloody shirt now, like Donald Trump. This will turbocharge her career the way indictments turbocharged Trump's post-presidency. Thanks a lot, NBC, for giving her this boost.

Monday, March 25, 2024


Maureen Dowd appears to be charmed by a squirm-inducing story James Carville told her about a celebration in one of the classes he used to teach:
A few years ago, when James Carville was teaching at Louisiana State University, he heard that one of his students had gotten into the school of her dreams to work on an advanced degree. He wanted to toast her.

“I get a $25 champagne and four plastic flutes,” he recalled, “and I said to the students: ‘All right. You are not going to get out of James Carville’s class unless you know how to properly open a bottle of champagne.’

“I said: ‘Here’s what you’re going to do. You don’t pop it like you see in the movies or you’re going to poke somebody’s eye out. You take the foil off. Now you’re going to take a dishcloth, and you’re going to execute the classic counterclockwise movement. The bottle is going to go one way; the cork is going to go the other way. You just ease it out, and the sound that you are looking for is the sigh of a satisfied woman.’

“The next Tuesday, the dean comes into my office and he said: ‘I’m closing the door. We need to have a talk.’”

A female student had complained about the sighing line.

He wanted to mutter to the dean, “Her boyfriend has never heard that sound,” but he simply said, “OK, I’ll endeavor to do better.”
Carville is 79. It's creepy for an old man to say this to a class full of people young enough to be his grandchildren, or even great-grandchildren.

Also -- and yes, I know I'm compounding the cringe -- what Carville said is wrong.

I use this method to open champagne bottles, and the corks always (quietly) pop, which is ... um, probably not a sound you want to hear in the boudoir. This sommelier knows how to avoid the pop altogether, but this isn't the sound of ecstasy either:

"A nice gentle sigh of happiness," the sommelier says. For a bottle of champagne, maybe. Not for a person.

Later in Dowd's column, she reminds us of Carville's anti-"elitist" posturing. You know how this goes:
Carville has been sounding an alarm about progressives getting too censorious since he advised Hillary Clinton in 2016. He disparaged liberals’ snooty, elitist “faculty lounge” attitudes long before he blew off the faculty lounge himself. He complained that “woke stuff is killing us,” that the left was talking in a language that ordinary Americans did not understand, using terms like “Latinx” and “communities of color,” and with a tone many Americans found sneering, as in Hillary’s infamous phrase “basket of deplorables.”
In Dowd's column, Carville compounds this by gendering it. Even if you don't think the champagne story is misogynist, this is:
Lately, he has been obsessed with Biden bleeding Black male voters.

“A suspicion of mine is that there are too many preachy females” dominating the culture of his party. “‘Don’t drink beer. Don’t watch football. Don’t eat hamburgers. This is not good for you.’ The message is too feminine: ‘Everything you’re doing is destroying the planet. You’ve got to eat your peas.’ ..."
But none of this ever shows up in the polls. Last month, Gallup asked voters to name "the most important problem facing this country today." Here's a list of every problem mentioned:

I don't see "woke stuff" on that list.

A Harvard CAPS/Harris poll released earlier this month asked respondents to name "the most important issues facing the country today." Respondents could name more than one issue. "Political correctness/cancel culture" was tied for 16th place, well behind immigration (36%), price increases/inflation (33%), the economy and jobs (24%), crime and drugs (17%), guns (17%), and a host of other issues.

Also, Carville's obsession with terms like "Latinx" proves that he's just as much of an elitist as the people he criticizes. For most Americans, this term is a non-issue -- polling in 2020 suggested that only about a quarter of Hispanics were aware the term existed. No one seems to have polled the rest of us, but I'd bet that the percentages of white and Black voters who recognize the term are minuscule. Yet we've had story after story after story about the Democrats' alleged Latinx problem, always in the elite media. Being concerned about this is "faculty lounge" thinking.

I won't deny that Donald Trump's macho bluster appeals to some voters, of all ethnic groups, precisely because he's perceived as more masculine than Joe Biden (and, obviously, Hillary Clinton in 2016). But Democrats won the "Who is more manly?" war in 1992 and 1996, and again in 2008 and 2012 -- and Democrats also won the popular vote with a female candidate in 2016 and a candidate Maureen Dowd (and others) incessantly tried to feminize in 2000. And Democrats are winning a lot of races in which Trump isn't on the ballot.

Trump's chest-thumping has its appeal, but he's just one Republican, and I can't see anyone else like him on the horizon for the GOP. (His son and namesake, who could easily be the party's 2028 nominee, can't pull it off.) So while I think the Democratic Party has some long-term problems, I don't think this is one of them.

Sunday, March 24, 2024


Last week, The New York Times published a piece by Ruth Graham headlined "Piety and Profanity: The Raunchy Christians Are Here." Graham wrote about a recently published right-wing calendar:

The “Conservative Dad’s Real Women of America” 2024 pinup calendar features old-school images of sexiness — bikinis, a red sports car, a bubble bath....

In [one] image, a crucifix hangs prominently on the kitchen wall behind a woman in a tiny skirt, apron and platform heels. On the platform X, the model — Josie Glabach, who goes by “The Redheaded Libertarian” — said she was working to provide for her family, and defended her conservative bona fides in part by referring to her family’s Catholic faith. Using vividly vulgar language, she wrote that she doesn’t care “if the fact that I look hot doing any of it offends your senses.”
This calendar is controversial in Evangelical circles:
Allie Beth Stuckey, an evangelical commentator and podcaster, condemned the calendar as “soft porn” marketed to married men, and saw it as proof of growing polarization between Christian and secular conservatism. Other prominent Christian conservatives joined her in expressing their disgust.

But the calendar itself suggested that Christian and secular conservatism are not exactly as distinct as Ms. Stuckey and others might wish. The calendar’s cover model, Riley Gaines, a former college swimmer and activist against transgender women’s participation in women’s sports, frequently speaks at church events and evangelical conferences, and frames her cause as a “spiritual battle.”
Graham, of course, blames the increased raunchification of Evangelicals on Donald Trump:
... a raunchy, outsider, boobs-and-booze ethos has elbowed its way into the conservative power class, accelerated by the rise of Donald J. Trump, the declining influence of traditional religious institutions and a shifting media landscape increasingly dominated by the looser standards of online culture.
At Threads, David French recommends a despairing essay on the same subject by Russell Moore, a prominent Southern Baptist theologian and critic of the edgiest right-wingers. In the essay, titled "Why Character Doesn’t Matter Anymore," Moore spreads the blame around:
Yes, part of the vulgarization of the Right is due to the Barstool Sports / Joe Rogan secularization of the base, in which Kid Rock is an avatar more than Lee Greenwood or Michael W. Smith. But much more alarmingly, the coarsening and character-debasing is happening among politicized professing Christians. The member of Congress joking at a prayer breakfast about turning her fiancé down for sex to get there was there to talk about her faith and the importance of religious faith and values for America. The member of Congress telling a reporter to “f— off” is a self-described “Christian nationalist.” We’ve seen “Let’s Go Brandon”—a euphemism for a profanity that once would have resulted in church discipline—chanted in churches.

Pastor and aspiring theocrat Douglas Wilson publicly used a slur against women that not only will I not repeat here but that almost no secular media outlet would quote—and that’s without even referencing Wilson’s creepily coarse novel about a sex robot.
(The congresswoman who joked about postponing sex with her fiancé in a National Prayer Breakfast speech was Nancy Mace. The "fuck off" member of Congress was Marjorie Taylor Greene. And Pastor Wilson described women whose interpretation of Scripture differed from his as "a couple of cunts." Glad I could clear all that up.)

This seems like a relatively new development, but some Evangelicals have wanted to be like this for quite a while. Back in 2006, I wrote about this Newsweek story:
Last Saturday morning, 200 Christian men gathered in a downtown warehouse in Nashville for a daylong spiritual extravaganza. Inside, strobe lights flashed, and tracks by the Killers thumped from speakers stacked on either side of a stage. Four large video screens showed clips of karate fights, car chases and "Jackass"-style stunts. Then the music lowered and Christian comedian Brad Stine appeared. With his rat-a-tat delivery and aggressive style, Stine quickly whipped the crowd into a chorus of “Amens!” “A lot of guys out there wouldn’t have the balls to be here,” he shouted. “Are you ready to be a man? Are you ready to kick ass? Are you ready to grab your sword and say, ‘OK family, I’m going to lead you?’ Buckle up. This is GodMen!”

The event was the first of what Stine and other organizers hope will be a series of testosterone-fueled Christian men’s gatherings across the country. Their purpose: to reassert masculinity within a church structure that they say has been weakened by feminization.
The tunes at this event weren't exactly "Amazing Grace."
The GodMen also reject typical Christian music. It “doesn’t usher me into the presence of God,” says Smith, Stine’s manager. “It just ushered me into boredom.” Not so with the GodMen band that played on Saturday. On stage, as a series of words flashed on screens—BOSS, BOLD, BRASH, BULLY, BLUNT—the band ripped into their first tune, “Testosterone High”: “Forget the ying and the yang/ I’ll take the boom and the bang/ Give me another dose of testosterone.” ...

When the GodMen band seized the stage again, they tore into an anthem called “Grow A Pair!”: “We’ve been beaten down/ Feminized by the culture crowd,” they sang. “No more nice guy, timid and ashamed/ We’ve had enough, cowboy up/ In the power of Jesus name/ Welcome to the battle/ A million men have got your back/ Jump up in the saddle/ Grab a sword, don’t be scared/ Be a man, grow a pair!”
This was around the same time that many right-wingers were claiming to be "South Park Republicans." In 2005, an essayist for the Manhattan Institute gleefully described one South Park episode:
Consider season nine's hilarious - and disturbing - opening episode. The boys' gay teacher, Mr. Garrison, decides to get a sex change. The procedure is shown, graphically, to be a horrific self-mutilation, which is already a brave bit of truth-telling in an era of "transgender rights." But you've never seen anything on television like what follows.

Mr. Garrison, now a "woman," mistakenly thinks he's pregnant - and that makes him very happy because he can rush off to get an abortion, and so prove that he's a real woman. Here's the key exchange, at a Planned Parenthood center:

Garrison: Hello, doctor. Looks like I need an abortion.

Doctor: An abortion?

Garrison: Yeah, I've got one growing inside of me. Now are you gonna scramble its brains or just vacuum it out?

The doctor then tells Mr. Garrison that he can't have an abortion because he can't get pregnant: His sex change is ultimately cosmetic. Mr. Garrison is crestfallen: "You mean I'll never know what it feels like to have a baby growing inside me and then scramble its brains and vacuum it out?" The doctor responds: "Nnn ... that's right."

[Matt] Stone and his fellow thirtysomething colleague, Trey Parker, portray both abortion and sex-change operations in ways Robert Bork would endorse wholeheartedly - but do so in one of the most offensively vulgar half-hours in television history. Now that's subversive.
All of this -- twenty years ago and today -- conforms to Cleek's Law: Today’s conservatism is the opposite of what liberals want today, updated daily. In the 1960s and immediately afterward, the left was identified with sexual liberation, and the right with its opposite. But in periods when feminism, respect for LGBTQ rights, and a focus on consent and mutual respect seemed to dominate on the left, the right decided to emphasize the opposite -- which was a good fit, as it turned out, because right-wingers hate LGBTQ people, hate feminism, and want heterosexual sex, but exclusively on straight men's terms.

Right-wingers talked less about all this in the Obama years, when liberals elected a straight male sex symbol as president. But since then, Democrats have run a feminist woman and an old codger as president, so Trump pretended to be the stud he may have been a few decades ago, and the right followed. But the tendencies were there all along.

And it's not just Trump. In seemingly non-political online spaces, "manosphere" influencers are encouraging young men to dominate women and be "pimps" while also expressing contempt for women who have active sex lives. Other influencers encourage women to be "tradwives" who marry young, stop working outside the home, cede decision-making to their husbands, and bear lots of children. This is the right hoping to remake the sexual zeitgeist, or at least persuade a significant number of young people that present-day sex and romance are a liberal plot against them. And that's the context for Elon Musk's recent online pronouncements that hormonal birth control is dangerous, a message that's also being spread to the young by junk-science influencers.

All this is consistent with the raunchy Evangelical movement, which I fear will outlive Trump.

Saturday, March 23, 2024


More than 100 people are dead in a terrorist attack on a concert hall at the outskirts of Moscow. ISIS claims responsibility, and U.S. officials agree with that assessment. Russia, not letting a crisis go to waste, says the attackers were trying to flee to Ukraine when they were captured.

And on the American right, the real culprit has been found: the CIA.

I don't think U.S. government contractor Elon Musk has blamed the CIA yet, but I'm sure it's only a matter of time.

I should note that there's no real distinction between blaming Ukraine for this attack and blaming the CIA -- to the modern right, it's all part of one big "globalist" "deep state" octopus, which includes NATO:

BONUS: This is from, the message board that used to be r/TheDonald on Reddit:

They hate America when they don't control it.

Friday, March 22, 2024


In a very good New York Times story about Merrick Garland's lack of urgency in bringing Donald Trump to justice -- the result of which will be, in all likelihood, that neither of Trump's federal trials will start before Election Day -- we're told that one reason Garland and his colleagues weren't aware of the time pressure on them is that they found it unimaginable that Trump might be the GOP presidential nominee again:
In trying to avoid even the smallest mistakes, Mr. Garland might have made one big one: not recognizing that he could end up racing the clock. Like much of the political world and official Washington, he and his team did not count on Mr. Trump’s political resurrection after Jan. 6, and his fast victory in the 2024 Republican presidential primary, which has complicated the prosecution and given the former president leverage in court.

In 2021 it was “simply inconceivable,” said one former Justice Department official, that Mr. Trump, rebuked by many in his own party and exiled at his Florida estate Mar-a-Lago, would regain the power to impose his timetable on the investigation.
I've always assumed that an excess of fastidiousness delayed these indictments. Some of you told me that I'm not a lawyer and therefore can't understand that the sauce has to simmer for the precise amount of time described in the recipe -- even a tiny compromise makes it inedible. Apparently, despite being an ignoramus, I had a point.

But I want to talk about the idea that in 2021 Nobody Could Have Foreseen a third presidential nomination for Trump. That's nonsense. Here's CNN's Harry Enten on January 30, 2021, ten days after Trump left office:
... make no mistake: This is still Trump’s Republican Party.

You see it in the actions of Republican state and local parties trying to punish those who went against Trump. You see this in a majority of congressional Republicans voting to uphold an objection to Pennsylvania’s electoral votes for President Joe Biden.

And more than that, you see it in the polling, which indicates that Trump’s in a historically strong primary position for an ex-president. Indeed, he’s polling tremendously well among Republicans in the context for any future presidential nominee....

After the US Capitol insurrection on January 6, Trump’s still cruising in a potential 2024 primary. A majority of Republicans (57%) said in an Ipsos KnowledgePanel poll that he should be the 2024 nominee.

Against named opponents, Trump easily leads the field. Among those who either voted for Trump in 2020 or are Republicans, Trump’s averaging about half the primary vote. No one else is even close.
At CPAC at the end of February 2021 -- a few days after Mitt Romney said that if Trump decided to run in 2024, he was "pretty sure he would win the nomination" -- Trump teased a third presidential run, then won the convention's 2024 presidential straw poll with a majority of the vote. At the next CPAC, in June 2021, the same thing happened:
Former President Donald Trump bathed in the adulation of an adoring crowd at the Conservative Political Action Conference Sunday as he easily won the informal straw poll of attendees when they were asked who they’d like to see run for the White House in 2024....

Trump once again teased a 2024 run on Sunday: “I could have a nice, beautiful life and here I am on a Sunday in Texas.” The crowd began to chant “Four more years! Four more years!”
(Between the two CPACs, Sean Hannity asked Trump about a third run and Trump said, "I am looking at it very seriously, beyond seriously.")

Trump's plans for 2024 were so obvious in the first year of his post-presidency that Politico could run a story in July 2021 with the headline "Trumpworld Is Already Weighing Veeps for 2024. Hint: It Ain’t Pence." In September, Chris Cillizza published a piece with the headline "Donald Trump Is ‘99, 100 percent’ Likely to Run for President in 2024."

An October 2021 Quinnipiac poll found that 79% of Republicans wanted Trump to run in 2024.

How could Garland and his associates not realize that Trump wanted to run, and would be the front-runner for the nomination if he did run?

At the time, I was aware of Trump's enduring popularity among the GOP electorate. In April 2021, in response to a Ross Douthat column about Ron DeSantis's presidential prospects, I wrote:
Douthat is suggesting that DeSantis could beat Trump in the 2024 Republican primaries. That's insane. No one will beat Trump if he runs. That will be true even if he's under indictment. (Being under indictment would make him even more popular among Republican voters -- he'll say "witch hunt" every day and the rubes will go wild.)
But Merrick Garland, a very smart man, had no idea.

Thursday, March 21, 2024


Greg Sargent reports:
For much of the last week, Elon Musk’s mighty Twitter feed—sorry, his X feed—featured as its pinned tweet a video that purports to lay bare a vast conspiracy among Democrats to “flood” the country with “illegals” to lock in a “permanent voting majority.” Many people have picked apart the video’s numerous lies. It is a strikingly crafted piece of “great replacement theory” propaganda....
Is it really "strikingly crafted" propaganda? The video looks slick, in all the most obvious, clichéd ways, but if you believe what it's saying, you're as dumb as a rock.

The video purports to describe a "Democrat" plan to achieve "single-party rule":
... flood the country with untold millions of illegals by land, sea, and air from all over the world — enough to eclipse the populations of 36 individual U.S. states, so far.

... keep them in the country at all costs, even when they commit violent crime like murder and rape. Attack the language used to describe the criminals, as opposed to the criminals themselves. Slander critics as racist.

... count the non-citizens in the census that will determine congressional apportionment in the House of Representatives — as of now, that would equal thirteen extra congressional districts; a tremendous amount of electoral power.

... wage a massive, heavily funded lawfare campaign to change state voting laws that legalize mass mail-in ballots, no signature verification, and no proof of citizenship requirements — making it nearly impossible to prove voter fraud.

... lock in the permanent voting majority with campaign promises of lavish benefits and permanent privileges, enshrining generational fealty to the Democrat party.
Okay, let's discuss this.

You know how Republican conspiratorialists say, after every mass shooting, that it's a false flag designed to allow Democrats to go door to door and take everyone's guns? Notice how they've been saying that for years and years, and yet no Democratic president has taken everyone's guns? Not Bill Clinton, who had eight years to do it, or Barack Obama, who also had eight years, or Joe Biden, who's had three years and counting? And yet the nefarious scheme is always presented as something that's about to happen -- and the idiots who believe it never ask, Why hasn't it happened already?

The conspiracy theory Musk is promoting works pretty much the same way. Counting non-citizens in the census? That's been done in literally every census since the first one in 1790.
In the nation’s early history, a substantial share of the population had migrated from other countries, and for many decades thereafter, some states actively recruited foreigners to provide labor and boost political representation. The framers of the Constitution elected to exclude some people from being counted — specifying “Indians not taxed” and, most notoriously, deciding to count someone who was enslaved as three-fifths of a person — but left noncitizens intact. The drafters of the 14th Amendment debated whether to count all immigrants for apportionment purposes, and elected in the end to do so.
Sanctuary cities? They've been around since the 1980s. Mail and early voting? That's also been on the rise since the late twentieth century, though there was a decline in 2022 after a peak in 2020.

In other words, for quite a while the elements have been in place for the evil Democrat Party to achieve single-party rule -- and yet Republicans have won half the presidential elections in this century; Republicans have controlled the House for 16 of the 24 years in this century, and the Senate for the same amount of time; Republicans control 28 of 50 state legislatures; and there are 27 Republican governors. And, of course, the Supreme Court has a 6-3 Republican supermajority.

You'll say, But this is a new evil Democrat plan. Except that it's not so new, if we believe Donald Trump. In 2017 -- after he won the presidency the previous November -- Trump claimed that he'd actually won California (a state he lost by nearly 4 million votes) because non-citizens illegally threw the election to Hillary Clinton.

And even if you think the elements of the plot weren't fully in place until 2020, why did Democrats lose the House in 2022? Specifically, why did they lose two seats in California and four seats in New York (including one to George Santos!), despite the fact that California and New York are full of immigrants? Winning those seats would have given Democrats a House majority, but the scheme to ensure permanent single-party Democratic rule diddn't even work in these two liberal states.

But Republican propagandsists will use this conspiracy theory to explain every loss they have in a competitive election (and ignore it every time they win a close one). They'll always say that the ultimate deployment of the Democrats' immigrant voter army is in the future. They'll just pretend it doesn't matter that single-party Democratic rule never arrives, just the way they ignore the fact that mass gun confiscation never arrives. And Elon Musk and millions of others who've contracted brain worms from the right-wing media won't even notice that their day of doom never arrives.

Wednesday, March 20, 2024


Dan Pfeiffer, a former Obama press aide, thinks Donald Trump was demonstrating some campaign discipline a while back -- but not anymore. Pfeiffer writes:
There was a sense that Trump had become a better, more disciplined candidate than in his two prior campaigns. Trump did show up to big moments like that CNN town hall better prepared and with a semblance of a strategy. On the campaign trail, he followed the script a little more and didn’t step on his message of the day. In other words, he behaved more like a typical candidate and less like a raving lunatic driven by an underlying urge to sabotage himself....

However, since the General Election kicked off almost two weeks ago, Trump has returned to his old, chaotic, self-destructive ways. After securing the delegates as the presumptive nominee, Trump has made critical errors daily. He can’t seem to stop saying insane, deeply politically damaging stuff. In the last two weeks, Trump has said:

* He was open to cutting Social Security if elected;

* There would be a “bloodbath” if he lost the election;

* He would pardon the January 6th rioters on his first day in office;

* He doesn’t think immigrants are “people;” and

* “Any Jewish person that votes for Democrats hates their religion. They hate everything about Israel and they should be ashamed of themselves because Israel will be destroyed.”
(I would have also mentioned Trump's threat to deport Prince Harry because Harry has acknowledged using recreational drugs. This isn't a major issue, but if I were a public figure trying to get President Biden reelected, I'd be talking about this a lot. Trump wants to do what? Is this really the kind of thing he intends to focus on if he's elected again? And if so, isn't that ... deranged?)

Some of the items on Pfeiffer's list aren't new -- Trump has been promising to pardon January 6 prisoners since last spring, and he said similar things about Jews who vote Democratic during his presidency, in 2019. But Pfeiffer thinks it's a sign that "Trump is cracking under the intense scrutiny of the General Election."

Is he? Or does he just have a different theory about how to win in 2024 -- a theory we hope is utterly wrong?

David Frum thinks Trump is approaching the general election with a bad strategy. Frum writes:
Almost 30 years ago, I cited in The Atlantic some advice I’d heard dispensed by an old hand to a political novice in a congressional race. “There are only two issues when running against an incumbent,” the stager said. “[The incumbent’s] record, and I’m not a kook.” Beyond that, he went on, “if a subject can’t elect you to Congress, don’t talk about it.”

The same advice applies even more to presidential campaigns.

Trump defies such advice. His two issues are his record and Yes, I am a kook. The subjects that won’t get him elected to anything are the subjects that he is most determined to talk about.
I hope Pfeiffer and Frum are right. It's clear that Trump thinks they're wrong. I'm reading this story in the New York Post, and I suspect that if it's true, it's part of Trump's strategy to be the most-discussed person in American life every day from now until November because he thinks it will lead to victory:
As Donald Trump faces a Monday deadline to post a $454 million bond in the civil fraud case against him in New York, insiders said he may be weighing a little-discussed option: Doing nothing....

A ... possibility ... is to let the deadline pass, leaving it to New York Attorney General Letitia James to seize Trump’s bank accounts or buildings — including Trump Tower....
Why would Trump want this to happen? The story says it's "partly because he believes the chances are good that he could recover the assets on appeal, even if he is forced to take his case to the US Supreme Court, according to friends." But if he takes this approach, I think it would mostly be because he thinks he benefits electorally from appearing to be persecuted -- even though that seems to work for him mostly among Republican voters, and not the larger electorate. He may also hope for another January 6 when and if the marshals come to seize Trump Tower.

I hope Trump is misreading the electorate -- like most old white people who binge-watch Fox News, he probably believes that all of America thinks the way consumers of right-wing media think. If that's a bad plan for the general election, I hope Trump pursues it from now until November.


ALSO: The Biden campaign's message seems to be Yes, he is a kook.

Tuesday, March 19, 2024


Donald Trump and his Republican friends, along with some people who aren't Republicans, insist that Trump's reference to a "bloodbath" in an Ohio speech over the weekend was merely a reference to the future of the U.S. auto industry if President Biden wins again and foreign-built electric vehicles make inroads in the U.S. car market. Here's Trump on Truth Social:

Here are some Trump surrogates:

Mediaite founder Dan Abrams said this on NewsNation:
He’s talking about it in the context of cars, right? Is it a great idea to be using phrases like “bloodbath” considering what happened on January 6th? No. But do I think he’s calling for another January 6th-type event there, as many in the media have been claiming? No. The context matters. Right out of the gate, the word “bloodbath” blew up in the media. The Trump campaign put out a statement repeating it was talking about the automobile industry in China, but the left-leaning media dug in.
Here's what Trump said while talking about electric vehicles built in Mexico by Chinese firms:
Now, we’re going to put a 100% tariff on every single car that comes across the line, and you’re not going to be able to sell those cars, if I get elected.

Now, if I don’t get elected, it’s going to be a bloodbath for the whole. That’s going to be the least of it. It’s going to be a bloodbath for the country. That’ll be the least of it.
Timothy Snyder says this isn't just about cars, and he's right about that:
Yes, Trump spoke for a moment about cars. He was saying that we should elect him so that he can put tariffs on Chinese cars. At this point he is presumably still on script. And then he starts to say that it will be bad for the auto industry if he is not elected. He never quite gets to that, since in the middle of the sentence he has another idea.

The auto industry, he says, is "the least of it." If he is not elected, "it's going to be a bloodbath for the whole" and "it's going to be a bloodbath for the country." He repeats that the auto industry is "the least of it." So, yes, the words about cars are part of the context, in the sense that if you pay attention to them you know that he does not mean an automotive bloodbath.

The auto industry is "the least of it." Trump is promising, as he says, a "bloodbath for the country."
But is Trump promising a bloodbath? Is he, as Snyder believes, promising to unleash more January 6-style violence?

I don't think so, even though, starting at the very beginning of the speech, he lavished praise on the January 6 rioters (whom he now invokes using the conservatively correct term "hostages"). I think Trump was predicting that a second Biden term will turn America into an unlivable hellscape, because sinister foreigners will make it one.

Here's some of what Trump said in the speech:
This is the worst border in the history of the world. There’s never been anything, millions and millions of people are pouring into our country, probably 15 or 16 million people. That’s almost larger than any state we have in the union.

... among my very first actions upon taking office will be to stop the invasion of our country and send Joe Biden’s illegal aliens back home. These are the roughest people you’ve ever seen. Now we have a new form of crime. I call it Biden migrant crime, but it’s too long. So let’s just call it migrant crime. We have a new category. You have vicious crimes, you have violent crimes, you have all these, now we have migrant crimes and they’re rough. They’re rough and it’s going to double up....

They’re sending from all over the world, not just South America, Latin America. They’re sending them from Asia. They’re sending them from Africa. The Congo, last night, 22 people arrived from the Congo. Now, the Congo is a very nice place I would imagine, but they arrived from the Congo and they came from prison. Where are you from in the Congo? What’s your address? Prison. Now these are rough people....

And these are tougher than anybody we’ve got in the country. These are hardened criminals and we’ve got hundreds of thousands of them and we’re not going to take it. We’re just not going to take it. They are destroying our country.

One week ago I met with a family of 22-year-old nursing student, incredible person, Laken Riley, who was brutally murdered in Georgia last month while out on a morning run. She was so badly beaten up, unrecognizable, can you believe it? Laken’s killer was set loose into the United States through Joe Biden’s program of releasing military-aged males into our communities after they’ve illegally crossed our southern border.

And that’s what happened, that this animal came in. Laken Riley would be alive today if Biden had not unleashed his savage attack on America, and that’s what he’s done....

I think they hate our country. So now they have a new term for people like this. They call them neighbors. Neighbors. They want to call them neighbors so that people coming into our country illegally, “Hi, neighbor. How you doing, neighbor? How’s everything?” Then they punch you in the face and whack you. What a group of idiots we have. This country has never seen anything like what’s happening to it now. And it’s true. We have never seen what’s happening to our country right now. They’re destroying our country. They’re ruining our country.

In the Republican party, we believe that Laken’s killer is an illegal alien criminal. He is an illegal monster. He should never have been in our country and he would’ve never been in our country, never ever would he have been in our country if the election weren’t rigged because we didn’t allow people like that into our country. We didn’t welcome them and they knew it....

Not one more American life should be lost to migrant crime. When I’m President of the United States, we will demand justice for Laken. On day one my administration will terminate every open border policy of the Biden administration.
If there's a throughline in this speech, it's this: Evil foreigners want to kill you, and Joe Biden is letting them do it. And these evildoers aren't just evil because they commit acts of physical violence. It's economic, too, according to Trump:
No one has been hurt by Joe Biden’s migrant invasion more than our great African American and Hispanic American communities. You know that, right? Because they’re taking your jobs and they’re creating lots of problems.

And you know who else it hurt? People on social security, because your social security will be destroyed by the people coming in. There’s too many of them, it’s not sustainable. Joe Biden is costing you Medicare and he’s costing you your social security as sure as you are sitting or standing....

With his open border policy Joe Biden has repeatedly stabbed African American voters in the back, including by granting millions and millions of work permits, taking their jobs. The African American community, the Hispanic community, are going to be the ones that suffer the most. And you know who else? Unions. Because unions are getting good, solid high pay. And guess what’s going to happen? Those unions are going to go out of business because people are owning trucking companies and carpenters and people that employ electricians. And a lot of trades, they’re not going to be able to do this. They’re not going to be able to do it. The unions are going to go out....

Mexico has taken over a period of 30 years 34% of the automobile manufacturing business in our country. Think of it, it went to Mexico. China now is building a couple of massive plants where they’re going to build the cars in Mexico and think, they think that they’re going to sell those cars into the United States with no tax at the border. Let me tell you something to China, if you’re listening, President Xi, and you and I are friends, but he understands the way I deal, those big monster car manufacturing plants that you’re building in Mexico right now, and you think you’re going to get that, you’re going to not hire Americans and you’re going to sell the cars to us. Now, we’re going to put a 100% tariff on every single car that comes across the line, and you’re not going to be able to sell those cars, if I get elected. Now, if I don’t get elected, it’s going to be a bloodbath for the whole... That’s going to be the least of it. It’s going to be a bloodbath for the country. That’ll be the least of it. But they’re not going to sell those cars.
So that's the context for the word "bloodbath." Never mind the fact that migrants who live in this country are consumers as well as workers, and thus they help create jobs. Never mind the fact that it's good if migrant workers are paying into the Social Security trust fund. Trump thinks migrants are killing Americans literally, and foreign workers, here and in other countries, are killing Americans economically.

That's what he means by "bloodbath." He doesn't want America to find a way to thrive in a global marketplace. He doesn't want to build a rational immigration system. He just wants to wall us off from foreigners. Otherwise, he says, there will be blood.

Monday, March 18, 2024


A couple of weeks ago, North Carolina's sewer-mouthed lieutenant governor, Mark Robinson, won the state's Republican gubernatorial primary. As I told you just after Primary Day, The New York Times responded to Robinson's victory with two mealy-mouthed articles that offered only a faint glimpse of the candidate's character and ignorant opinions.

Today, the Times seems intent on making up for that oversight -- but the new Times story isn't much better than the two that preceded it.

I see what happened. A decision was made to answer the question "How would Robinson govern?" rather than "What kind of person is Mark Robinson and is he fit to be governor?" The story implies that those who care about Robinson's character and fondness for extremely online verbal bomb throwing are focusing on the wrong things:
Mr. Robinson’s long history of inflammatory statements has generated a torrent of headlines since he became the Republican standard-bearer in this year’s most closely watched race for governor. But underlying his combative proclamations on race, abortion, education and religion is an exceptionally right-wing worldview — with deep roots in modern evangelical Christianity — that would make him one of the most conservative governors in America if elected.
News readers should be given a sense of how Robinson would govern if elected. But part of knowing how he would govern is knowing how he responds to cultural phenomena he disapproves of, since responding to cultural phenomena loudly and publicly has been such a huge part of his life. Saying he'd be a very conservative governor makes him seem like a normal politician -- maybe a Greg Abbott -- rather than the unserious Internet rage monster he actually is.

This piece, like the two that preceded it, provides a small taste of Robinson's rage without ever revealing it in full -- as if reading the Times is like going to a Hamptons cocktail party and quoting Robinson at length would be rude to the guests.

We're told:
[Robinson] has made comments widely seen as antisemitic. He once quoted Adolf Hitler on Facebook. He described the Parkland school shooting survivors who pushed for gun control as “spoiled, angry, know it all children.”
Let's start with the last example. Robinson didn't just call the Parkland activists "spoiled, angry, know it all children." He also called them "media prosti-tots" and compared them unfavorably to crying babies -- in a Facebook message (which is still up) that he posted less than two weeks after the shooting. Allow me to quote it at some length:
Let me see if I have this correct. A spoiled, angry, disobedient CHILD shot and killed 17 of his classmates, and now spoiled, angry, know it all CHILDREN are trying to tell law abiding ADULTS that we must give up our Constitutional RIGHT to own certain weapons. Cue Rod Serling because this must be an episode of the Twilight Zone? David Hogg and the rest of these silly little immature "media prosti-tots" need to grab a passy [pacifier], have seat in time out, and shut up. The very ideology of conservatism that your liberal mollycoddling string pullers have taught you to despise is exactly what you and your schools have desperately needed to prevent these massacres as well as the multitude of FAILURES that exist in public education. The conservative principles of excellence, hard work, self respect, RESPECT FOR HUMAN LIFE, and DISCIPLINE are what your schools need. Instead you have the liberal syndrome of rectal cranial inversion mixed with a healthy dose of just plain evil and stupid permeating your hallways. If, two days before this shooting, a hard nosed nonsense conservative had walked into that school and put into place the ideals and principles that would have avoided that massacre, you spoiled little bastards would have kicked and screamed like babies in a crib. That's what you are doing now. In fact you're doing less than that. A baby's cries are useful and necessary. You are simply making irritating noise.
As for the anti-Semitism, it's remarkable that the Times has published three news stories on Robinson since his primary victory and still refuses to quote his most notorious Facebook post (also still up):
It is at once funny and sad how African Americans need Hollywood to VALIDATE them. I have been bitting my tongue about this silly Black Panther comic book movie, but I can't any longer. It is absolutely AMAZING to me that people who know so little about their true history and REFUSE to acknowledge the pure sorry state of their current condition can get so excited about a fictional "hero" created by an agnostic Jew and put to film by satanic marxist. How can this trash, that was only created to pull the shekels out of your Schvartze pockets, invoke any pride?
And yes, Robinson did quote Hitler, and that Facebook post is still up, too:
History who said it #1;
“Pride in one's own race - and that does not imply contempt for other races - is also a normal and healthy sentiment. I have never regarded the Chinese or the Japanese as being inferior to ourselves... They have the right to be proud of their past, just as we have the right to be proud of the civilization to which we belong.”
In the current Times story, we are told this:
Mr. Robinson has often appeared at evangelical churches, where he espouses some of his most conservative views.

“That baby in your womb ain’t no clump of cells, and if you kill that child, you’re guilty of murder,” he said in August 2021 at the Upper Room Church of God in Christ in Raleigh.

The same summer, he told congregants at Asbury Baptist Church in Seagrove, N.C., that “there’s no reason anybody anywhere in America should be telling any child about transgenderism, homosexuality or any of that filth. And yes, I called it filth.”
I sometimes think that the Times represents a sort of upmarket New York pseudo-liberalism -- pro-choice, in favor of rights for lesbians and gay men, but centrist or right-wing on most other issues (the Middle East, crime, taxes, the rights of trans people). What the Times has published on Robinson has done nothing to make me rethink that theory.

Is Robinson anti-Semitic? Who cares? He's not a pro-Palestinian college student. Is he a Trump-like ignoramus who gets all his ideas from Fox News and other right-wing meme factories? Maybe -- but he might win (the race is close), so he needs to seem as if he's within the pale or right-wing ref-workers will be angry at the Times.

To his credit, Frank Bruni, a North Carolina native, quoted Robinson's “created by an agnostic Jew and put to film by satanic marxist” remark in a January 2023 Times newsletter. But the politics desk is still pulling its punches.