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The Right Goes All-in on Cancel Culture
A reminder that the cruelty is the point. Via the Daily Beast:
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) did not miss an opportunity to label the victims of his state’s most recent high-profile shooting “illegal immigrants,” making the tone-deaf characterization in a statement on Sunday.
Abbott also referred to the suspected gunman in the case, Francisco Oropesa, as someone “who is in the country illegally” as he announced a reward for information leading to his capture.
Oropesa, 38, is believed to have gunned down five people, including an eight-year-old boy, after he was asked to stop firing a weapon in his front yard last week
As I said on Morning Joe today, the murder of five people cried out for a little bit of compassion and for some leadership. We got neither of those.
Micki Larson-Olson, a QAnon supporter who said she considers Trump the "real president," was convicted last year of unlawful entry on Capitol grounds. On Thursday night, she met Trump for the first time at the Red Arrow Diner in Manchester…
Larson-Olson said she believes that the members of Congress who voted to certify Biden's presidential election should be executed.
“The punishment for treason is death, per the Constitution,” Larson-Olson said. “I believe every single person, every single person that stole a voice from our collective voice of 'We the people, of the people, for the people, by the people,' deserves death, and no less than that.”
Larson-Olson added that she “would like a front seat of Mike Pence being executed" and that he should be the "No. 1" person on her list of those who committed treason.
Noah Rothman comments: “It should go without saying that the president’s conduct is not just morally obtuse but irredeemably stupid.”
The GOP, circa 2023 says: Yeah, this is fine. let’s do this again.
The Right Embraces Cancel Culture
As Ron reminds us, it’s getting hard to keep up with the list of all the folks the MAGA right wants to cancel.
Some of you students of history may remember way back in 2021, when the right insisted that it was waging war against what it called “cancel culture.” That year the entire theme of CPAC was “America Uncanceled,” as “pro-Trump conservatives tried to turn ‘cancel culture’ into their new ‘fake news’.”
The lineup of CPAC speakers over the weekend showed how thoroughly a new pair of catchphrases — “cancel culture” and the “woke mob” — are animating a Republican Party that, beyond supporting Mr. Trump, appears increasingly centered on defining itself in opposition to the left.
“Didn’t anybody tell you?” Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri began his CPAC speech. “You’re supposed to be canceled.”
The crowd cheered as “cancel culture” served throughout the weekend as shorthand for bashing the news media, railing against the tech industry (in particular, Twitter’s and Facebook’s decisions to bar Mr. Trump from their platforms), and spreading fear about the decline of conservative and religious values in American popular culture.
Of course, the right’s sensitivity to cancellation was more than a little ironic, given conservatives’ long history of embracing boycotts, censorship, and other forms of cancel culture. So it is perhaps not surprising that MAGA has moved on to focusing on “wokeness,” which they now very definitely want to cancel.
This new right cancel culture is nothing if not eclectic, targeting candy companies, theme parks, beers, books, movies, airlines, shoe companies, tampons, cartoon characters, and even law enforcement.
Targets include (in no particular order):
The makers of Aunt Jemima. Via Townhall: “A Lesson in Corporate Wokeness: The Disaster After Making Aunt Jemima a Pariah.”
Online critics are making calls to boycott Hershey after a trans woman was included on the chocolate bar’s wrappers for its International Women’s Day campaign in Canada.
The backlash is the most recent attack by conservative social media users against brands who they say are “too woke”….
#BoycottHersheys was the top trending topic on Twitter…
Make sure you read David French’s latest piece: “Disney v. DeSantis: How Strong Is the Company’s Lawsuit?”
DeSantis himself mused at how the state and the new board might wield its power to punish Disney: “People are like, ‘Well, there’s what should we do with this land?’ So you know, it’s like, OK. People have said, you know, maybe create a state park, maybe try to do more amusement parks. Someone even said, like, maybe you need another state prison. Who knows? I mean, I just think the possibilities are endless.”
The motivations could not be clearer: The State of Florida is targeting Disney because of the company’s constitutionally protected expression. Or, as Representative Randy Fine, a Republican, stated: “You got me on one thing — this bill does target one company. It targets the Walt Disney Company.”
Disney’s latest live-action remake, The Little Mermaid, has been engulfed in controversy ever since the casting of singer Halle Bailey was announced.
While Disney’s tepid remakes always receive criticism from nostalgic fans, this time, the backlash is transparently racist, with all of the negativity aimed at the casting of a non-white actress to play the titular mermaid.
The film’s trailer has been flooded with 1.5 million dislikes from angry “fans” - despite YouTube removing the dislike counter, the numbers are still available through an extension.
A social media influencer has joined in the boycott of Bud Light by shooting at cases of the beer while claiming companies that “go woke, go broke.”
Bri Teresi, a model and social media influencer, shared a video of her shooting a table full of Bud Light cans and Tampax Tampons lined up in front of Honey Birdette lingerie in a display of protest against the three companies.
“Go woke, go broke,” Teresi shouted before unleashing her frustration at the products on a makeshift table on top of two barrels.
“I’m shooting at Honey Birdette lingerie, Tampax tampons & Budlight. These companies have all gone woke!” Teresi said in a reply to her original video. “Tampax tampons used a biological male to promote their tampons. Honey Birdette used a biological male to model their lingerie. & y’all know about Bud Light.”
America First Legal, the legal activist group founded by former Trump adviser Stephen Miller, on Wednesday filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) against Mars Inc., the maker of M&M’s. The pro-Trump nonprofit alleges Mars’ efforts to increase diversity and representation of minorities within its workforce constitutes discrimination and a violation of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
The move comes just days after Fox News fired its former prime-time host and sexy-M&M devotee Tucker Carlson. Carlson famously feuded with Mars after it swapped out the green M&M’s go-go boots for professional attire it called “current” and “representative of our consumer.” In a televised rant, the former Fox host moaned that the green candy is “no longer wearing sexy boots, now she’s wearing sensible sneakers,” and lamented that “when you’re totally turned off, we’ve achieved equity, they’ve won.”
Black Rock recently became a culture-war target after Florida governor and rumored presidential hopeful Ron DeSantis pulled billions of dollars of Florida state money out of the company over its policies that take into account the environmental, social, and governance impact of its investments.
According to a report out April 20, the nonprofit calculated 1,477 instances of individual books banned during the first half of the 2022-23 school year, involving 874 unique titles— about 100 books being banned a month—up from 1,149 instances of book banning from January to June 2022. … Since the organization started tracking book bans in July 2021, it has recorded more than 4,000 instances, involving 2,253 unique titles and affecting 182 school districts in 37 states and millions of students. Most of the bans are occurring in states including Texas, Florida, Missouri, Utah, and South Carolina.
All sorts of American businesses.
The Daily Wire helpfully provided its conservative fans a list of, “10 Woke Offenders: These Companies Push Radical Left Agenda, Fire Conservative Staff.”
A new database can help conservative consumers identify which companies actively work to promote leftist ideology and, in some cases, fire conservatives.
The 1792 Exchange, a nonprofit focused on the dangers of “woke capitalism” that urges companies to be neutral on ideological issues, last month released a database of over 1,000 companies.
Here’s just a few examples of companies deemed “high risk” by 1792 Exchange:
Alaska Airlines. The airline… had “created a new aircraft livery following the death of George Floyd to promote Black Lives Matter” and “issued pro-Black Lives Matter pins and T-shirts for employees.”
Allstate. The insurance company “suspended PAC donations to members of Congress who objected to the election certification, streamlined funds to Planned Parenthood, and created ads promoting LGBTQ values.” …
Comcast…. is “an advocate for the Equality Act and has issued statements opposing the Georgia election security bill,” the 1792 Exchange says. The company also “donated $100 million to various groups affiliated with the Black Lives Matter movement” and “announced that it would fund employees’ travel to get an abortion.”
CVS. “advocates for the Equality Act and transgender participation in girls’ sports” and “the company signed an open letter opposing a Florida bill that would prevent teaching gender identity and sexual orientation in schools to kids in K-3rd grade.” …
Ford. “has backed the Equality Act and spoken out against election integrity bills….”
Kohl’s. The department store chain has gone full woke internally, having its “recruiters attend an ‘Unconscious Bias, Influencing, Diversity Sourcing, and Diversity 101 training’” and in 2020, making “all employees … attend ‘unconscious bias’ training.” …
Kroger. [which] “enables community donations to Planned Parenthood” and will pay travel costs for employees to get an abortion.
Marriott. The hotel chain has embraced more leftist causes than a college student in Berkeley. It has supported the Equality Act, spoken out against religious freedom legislation in Arizona and Georgia, and opposed Florida’s bill banning teaching sexual orientation and gender identity to kids in kindergarten through third grade. …
Mattel. “has the dubious distinction of making the first gender-neutral doll, back in 2019. Last year, the company made a “trans-Barbie”….
Pfizer. “opposed the Florida Parental Rights in Education Act, which prohibits teaching gender identity and sexual orientation in schools to kids in K-3rd grade.” …
Cancel them all, amrite?
Trump Has Already Ball-Gagged Them in the Basement
On our weekend podcast Tim Miller and I discussed the pre-emptive surrender of the GOP: DeSantis has three bad weeks, and they’ve thrown in the towel—they’re not even trying to try to defeat Trump. Plus, Disney reminds conservatives they’re supposed to like smaller government, and Tucker is even worse in private.
1. You Do Not, Under Any Circumstances, “Gotta Hand It to Tucker Carlson”
It also seems to me that you should find Carlson especially objectionable if, like the anti-anti-Carlson crowd, you agree with some of his culture-war points. If you’re concerned about the excesses of “wokeness”—such as preoccupation with ferreting out real or imagined racism in every aspect of American society—it would seem to me that the last person you’d want amplifying your views is the guy who dabbles in actual white nationalist tropes. If you think the progressive left is too cavalier about street crime and riots, the guy who makes excuses for the far-right, mostly white January 6th rioters is not a great messenger. If you think we’re too cavalier about the dangers of escalation stemming from U.S. military aid to Ukraine in its war with Russia, you really want to avoid the ally who sounds like Vladimir Solovyov dubbed into English. And so on. Whatever your issues are, Carlson is the “Please don’t be on my side” guy.
2. Staying Clear-Eyed About Republican Radicalism on the Debt Ceiling
How radical is the proposal that House Republicans passed? You can read the bill for yourself here, but Washington Post columnist Catherine Rampell summarized it well: Under the plan, “most overall nondefense discretionary spending would be slashed by nearly one-third on average in 2024, after adjusting for inflation. The cuts would then expand to roughly 59 percent, on average, by 2033, according to estimates from both the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and the Center for American Progress.”