Hey all - JVL is out for the next two days on an important secret mission. I’ll be standing in today and we’ll have a different guest newsletter author tomorrow. (Spoiler: It won’t be Ben Shapiro.)
1. All In The Family
The New York Times published a letter from Rep. Adam Kinzinger’s (R-Reality) family that you probably saw floating around social media. In it, the congressman’s cousins tell him that since his support for impeachment he has become part of the “Devil’s Army” and that he had lost the respect of people like Lou Dobbs (this was not intended as the compliment that it is).
In the ensuing weeks after they sent the initial letter, Kinzinger continued doing the devil’s work, repeatedly warning about the dangerous election fraud lies being spread by Trump and declaring that he had to be held accountable for the deadly insurrection that he inspired.
This advocacy and his vote to impeach then-President Trump prompted a second letter from Kinzinger’s family which suggests his vote was treason and that he must have done it out of a desire to be invited to witch/devil Nancy Pelosi’s house for ice cream.
The entire letter was provided to us and really...you should just read the whole thing.
The handwriting is somewhat tough to decipher so we did our best to transcribe here:
January 19, 2021
Unfortunately, we felt another letter was warranted to defend our position and our opinion of you!
First, we saw on the TV News to your “personal family” claiming we had disowned you and claiming we are “being misled.” So you are also saying that 75 million people and all but 10 G.O.P. Representatives are “being misled” as well?? Seriously Adam, really! You are the one “being misled” (brainwashed) by the Democrats and the fake news media. Again, we thought you were “smart enough” to realize they were manipulating your mind. We have not disowned you, you have disowned yourself!
You had a lot of nerve disrespecting the prominent pastor (Pastor Robert Jeffress), accusing him of inciting violence. Shame on you! If anyone is inciting violence and dividing this Country, it is so you, the fake news media and the Democrats!! It is beyond our comprehension that you have submitted and conformed to the leftist Democrats’ ideals. The fact that you have done this is reprehensible!!
Also, we saw where you “demanded Pastor Jeffress to lead Pro-Trump Christians Out of Darkness.” As your “personal family” we find that most insulting!! To give up your Christian Principals for self gain is deplorable! What do you expect to gain after losing all respect from your colleagues and your constituents? With your disagreement and lack of respect of the majority of the G.O.P. House, you might as well join the Democrat Party! (Doesn’t it bother you at all that you have “lost the respect” of so many good people and believers?!)
You are allowing the leftist, social democrats to divide the Republican Party, which will ensure future Democratic political victories. Free speech is under assault, 2nd Amendment rights are in jeopardy, businesses are failing, schools closed, etc, etc.
Your Rino agenda uses a 7 hour impeachment (sham) proceeding to occur that wasted time and money! This farce was void of witnesses, factual evidence and representation of the accused!
As a member of the military, defying and disrespecting your Commander-in-Chief is an act of Treason! This President will go down in history as the greatest friend of the police and the military! He is the first President to be completely Pro-Life! The first to stand up to Russia and China! The first to protect our border! We could go on and on what he has done for the American people!
The lack of any relevant Congressional action during your tenure, is indicative of your priorities in representing your constituents and the American people!
Video evidence of 16 months of rioting in American cities and leftist comments, encouraging such actions, certainly supply ample evidence of disqualifying top officials from holding office, including Biden and Harris!
Your duty of military loyalty and congressional obligation to your constituents, is not supplemental to your personal gain!
We are so disappointed and saddened by the decision/choice you have made! We will be praying that the Lord will “lead you Out of Darkness!”
Perhaps the witch/devil, holding the gavel, will invite you to her house for ice cream!
[Signatures of family members]
2. We Could Use A Man Like Donald Trump Again
The Kinzinger family saga is tough for many of us to watch for a couple reasons.
Too many families have been split by politics over the last five years. My friend S.E. Cupp shared last night that it brought up painful memories of her falling out with her estranged late father. During the Republican Voters Against Trump campaign, feeling alienated from family was a common refrain from those who submitted videos and as I watched them I could feel their pain and confusion through the screen.
The estrangement was hard, but it wasn’t only that. Family members on both sides started to look at the other and not just see a political opponent or someone that they had come to disagree with or be disappointed by. They instead began to look at one another and see a profound wickedness, oftentimes in people that they had previously had deep admiration for or connection to. That type of deep moral judgment is hard to roll back or avoid. It changes how you interact. No matter how much people with good intentions want to say that you can’t let politics get in the way of a relationship, the divide over Donald Trump for many wasn’t about politics. It was about fundamental values. You could paper over it by talking about the weather or the local sports team but the avoidance carried with it these weightier interpersonal judgments.
Those of us at The Bulwark know about these conversations and are working to try to navigate them in good faith without having to be phony or tribal to get wins for our team. If you want to be part of those conversations, sign up for Bulwark+. We’d love to have you.
The Kinzinger family letter isn’t of consequence because of the family drama, though. It is an insight into a worldview that is dangerous and has infected tens of millions of people throughout the country.
The authors are not stupid. They have a deep knowledge of the alternative propaganda facts that have been put forth by Newsmax and Fox and conservative talk radio. They know about Nancy’s ice cream freezer, the deplorables, the mistakenly rounded up number of votes Trump got, and about Portland and Antifa. Some of the things in the letter are technically true. Or at least true-ish. There are values espoused that seem deeply held. But in making their judgment of Adam, they appear completely blind to all the death and destruction that Trump has wrought over the past few years and have come to think that anyone who is concerned about it is committing a sin against the country and Trump and God (the new Trinity).
This delusional political religiosity is extremely pernicious. And despite the fact that we all saw on 1/6 just what this mindset wrought, those who led us to this point, the people who “no longer respect” Rep. Kinzinger, people like Lou Dobbs and Sean Hannity and Robert Jeffress and Rush and Tucker etc… etc.. are all doing exactly the same shit that they were doing before the insurrection.
And so, the Kinzinger family and the millions of others like them are not having their delusions challenged in the least.
Which will lead us to a primary that looks like this.
And it will likely bring about another violent uprising...maybe one in which Mike Pence and Adam Kinzinger and Nancy Pelosi and the rest of the devil’s army won’t be so lucky.
3. Gee Our Old LaSalle Ran Great
I’ve been horrified hearing the anecdotes from Texas and if any of our readers are from there and suffering our hearts are with you and don’t hesitate to reach out.
But, as we learned last year from the response to COVID-19, death and suffering does not shake the cult of Conservatism, Inc. You will not be surprised to hear that while millions in his state are trying to survive freezing temperatures without heat or electricity, the governor of Texas Greg Abbott was on Sean Hannity’s show blaming the whole affair on the Green New Deal.
This is, of course, insulting and preposterous. But as I was wading through the BS to figure out what really happened in Texas, my technocratic soul was soothed by this anecdote about why El Paso, which is not on the same grid as the rest of the state, avoided blackouts this time. Here’s why:
El Paso Electric said they always try to prepare for the future and after a winter storm in 2011, the utility company worked towards replacing and upgrading their equipment. Many generators now have antifreeze protection.
"We went from plus-10 degrees which was what the original equipment was designed for to a minus-10, so currently everything we install or upgrade is done to a minus-10 degree sustained temperature," said Louie Guarderrama, director of operations for the utility company.
The company's plant in far east El Paso is also another addition that has become a vital part of their operations
"Some of the new units really came to save the day. But it's also all the hard working people that have worked behind the scenes to make this happen," Gutierrez said.
What a refreshing throwback! A story about having competent leaders who fixed a public good rather than spending all day shitposting about California.
Those were the days.