A Very Special Conversation with JVL
Step right up and ask me anything.
1. Ask Me Anything
Something different for today: How about we do an AMA in the comments? It’s been a while since we’ve done one of these.
So: You ask me anything. I’ll answer questions throughout the day.
Some ground rules:
I won’t answer every single question (probably).
I’ll skip questions that are duplicative.
After I answer, I’m going to ask YOU a question. And you will be honor-bound to answer in return.
Anyone who asks me a question, but then doesn’t answer my question will be . . . I don’t know what the punishment will be. But it’ll be plenty bad. Believe me.
So go ahead into the comments and ask me anything. Watches, wrestling, baseball, politics, COVID, 2024, midterms, Fetterman, almost-doctor, whatever.
I’ll be down there taking batting practice all day long.
2. The GOP Is an Authoritarian Regime
Charlie’s rundown on the Cheney/Kinzinger censure from the RNC is excellent.
But there are two small points I want to add.
(1) This unanimously-approved censure document has to be viewed in conjunction with the RNC’s 2020 platform.
You will recall that in 2020, the RNC declined to create a platform.
Instead, the RNC passed a 1-page resolution which concluded that the party stood for . . . literally whatever Donald Trump wanted:
RESOLVED, That the Republican Party has and will continue to enthusiastically support the President’s America-first agenda.
That was the party platform.
This inverted the traditional relationship between a president and his party. Historically, the party had a bunch of ideas and the president was their elected champion, the guy who would support the party and carry its banner forth.
Trump switched it so that the president was his own state and the party existed purely to support him in the perpetuation of his power.
Now put the RNC platform’s pledge of fealty to Trump next to the unanimous censure of Cheney and Kinzinger and what you see looks more like juche than anything we’re used to in the history of American political institutions.
(2) Buried in the censure of Cheney and Kinzinger is a revealing phrase:
. . . they are both using their past professed political affiliation . . .
This isn’t a stray word. It’s an assertion that Cheney and Kinzinger were never real Republicans—that they were impostors the whole time, whose actions over the past year represented not a break in behavior but a revelation of their true selves.
This is Stalinist. Like, literally. There’s simply no other way to read it.
And it is extraordinary in American politics.
It is nice that a handful of elected Republicans are pushing back against this censure document. But I do not understand—and I mean this, genuinely—how someone could remain in the GOP. It is not a political party in any meaningful sense. It is authoritarian machine.