They Really Are Deplorable

Mocking the blue

Do yourself a favor, pour yourself a stiff drink, and watch this short video:

I’ll wait.

We’ve long since established that there is no bottom, and that Dinesh D’Souza is a bottom-feeding charlatan. But this strikes me as revealing in more fundamental ways.

In a rational world, D’Souza’s puerile mockery of injured cops would be a career-ending episode — a moment when voices across the political spectrum would ask of the convicted felon: “Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?”

Instead it is just another data point in the cultivated crassness, crudity, and cruelty of the Trumpist right.

Our friend Olivia Troye asks: “Mocking the officers, the trauma they lived, and downplaying Jan 6... How do these people sleep at night?” The real answer: it’s not just their business model, it’s become a way of life.

On one level D’Souza’s mockery of police officers injured in the line of duty is just another example of performative assholery, but it also fits a pattern worth noting: Charlie Kirk mocks Simone Biles for “weakness,” Tucker Carlson cackles about critics, and Laura Ingraham ridicules victims of the January 6 riots.

None of this has any relationship to the fight for freedom, limited government, or national greatness, or anything like a coherent set of ideas. But there is a through-line here: a strutting posture of faux toughness, and the celebration of the “strong” as opposed to the weak.

We’ve seen this play before.

“What is good?” asked Friedrich Nietzsche. “Whatever augments the feeling of power, the will to power, power itself, in man.”

What is evil? “Whatever springs from weakness.” (If the German philosopher were alive, he’d almost certainly have a show on Fox News.)….

ICYMI, here’s what I wrote yesterday in Politico:

This is also the new ethos on the right. Adam Serwer has famously noted that in Trump’s America, ‘the cruelty is the point.”

But in late-stage Trumpism, it is not just the cruelty: The lack of empathy is also the point. Insensitivity is cultivated; compassion is derided as weakness.

So, we are left with this moment of high absurdity, in which a symbol of human excellence and American greatness is being mocked by bloated white man-children for being “weak.”

They have decided that Simone Biles represents everything they oppose.

How revealing is that?

You can read the whole thing here.

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BONUS: Via McSweeney’s: "Are You Allowed to Criticize Simone Biles?: A Decision Tree"


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More deplorables… Read this account from St. Louis:

Editor's note: Dr. Faisal Khan, acting director of the St. Louis County Department of Public Health, spoke in favor of a mask mandate on Tuesday night during a county council meeting. On Wednesday, he wrote a letter to Council Chair Rita Heard Days describing his experience during and after his comments…

After my presentation was completed, I tried to leave the chamber but was confronted by several people who were in the aisle. On more than one occasion, I was shoulder-bumped and pushed. As I approached the exit and immediately outside the chambers, I became surrounded by the crowd in close quarters, where members of the crowd yelled at me, calling me a “fat brown cunt” and a “brown bastard.” After being physically assaulted, called racist slurs, and surrounded by an angry mob, I expressed my displeasure by using my middle finger toward an individual who had physically threatened me and called me racist slurs.

Make sure you also read Jim Swift’s longer piece about the covidiocy in Missouri: “No, We Didn’t Get the Vaccine… We’re Republicans.”

Meanwhile…

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The delta variant is no joke. Via the Wapo:

The delta variant of the coronavirus appears to cause more severe illness than earlier variants and spreads as easily as chickenpox, according to an internal federal health document that argues officials must “acknowledge the war has changed.”

The document is an internal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention slide presentation, shared within the CDC and obtained by The Washington Post. It captures the struggle of the nation’s top public health agency to persuade the public to embrace vaccination and prevention measures, including mask-wearing, as cases surge across the United States and new research suggests vaccinated people can spread the virus.


Childish petulance as a governing philosophy.

Bonus:

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The MyPillow Guy Really Could Destroy Democracy.

Must read piece by Anne Applebaum who actually sat down with Mike Lindell and tried to listen to his insanity.

When you contemplate the end of democracy in America, what kind of person do you think will bring it about? Maybe you picture a sinister billionaire in a bespoke suit, slipping brown envelopes to politicians. Maybe your nightmare is a rogue general, hijacking the nuclear football. Maybe you think of a jackbooted thug leading a horde of men in white sheets, all carrying burning crosses.

Here is what you probably don’t imagine: an affable, self-made midwesterner, one of those goofy businessmen who makes his own infomercials. A recovered crack addict, no less, who laughs good-naturedly when jokes are made at his expense. A man who will talk to anyone willing to listen (and to many who aren’t). A philanthropist. A good boss. A patriot—or so he says—who may well be doing more damage to American democracy than anyone since Jefferson Davis.

Bonus:

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Not seeing a lot of centrism on abortion.

Quick Hits

1. Is QAnon Finished?

In today’s Bulwark, Daniel Gullotta writes:

Mike Rothschild’s The Storm Is Upon Us is among the first serious books about QAnon to be published since the storming of the Capitol, with more and more following, not to mention HBO’s recent documentary Q: Into the Storm and the popular podcast QAnon Anonymous. For those who have not closely followed news coverage concerning QAnon or who are puzzled by its bizarre claims, Rothschild’s book serves as a helpful primer, covering QAnon’s mysterious origins, rapid evolution, and basic tenets.


2. House Republicans’ Cynical, Empty Threats Against Big Tech

David Opderbeck writes in today’s Bulwark:

The actual antitrust proposals in the Jordan agenda range from limp (expedited trial court procedures) to inane (direct appeal of antitrust cases to the Supreme Court). But all the proposed changes to “antitrust” law are superficial. The truth is that Reps. McCarthy, Jordan, and other Republicans who remain “conservative” about antitrust don’t really want to change the antitrust laws. Instead, they’re making empty gestures about changing antitrust law so they can look like they’re doing something against tech companies perceived to be hostile to conservatives.

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Cheap Shots

Meanwhile, in Wisconsin:


Marco: Let us pray.