When Trump tells you he’s an authoritarian, believe him
He’s talking like a fascist. He’s planning fascist policies. He’s staffing up with fascists.
Perhaps the clearest sign came in a speech on Veterans Day where he vowed to “root out the communists, Marxists, fascists, and the radical left thugs that live like vermin within the confines of our country that lie and steal and cheat on elections.” Calling one’s opponents subhuman and vowing aggressive action against them is a hallmark of classical fascist rhetoric, so much so that the Washington Post’s headline — on a news article, not an opinion piece — described it as “echoing dictators Hitler [and] Mussolini.”
They’re not wrong: Anyone familiar with Nazi propaganda can tell you that it commonly dehumanized Jews by describing us as rats or diseases. Trump has used such language more than once: Just last month, he claimed immigrants were “poisoning the blood of our country.”
Did last week’s elections mark the end of the anti-woke ‘parents’ rights’ movement?
The American Federation of Teachers claimed that 80 percent of the candidates it endorsed in 250 races were elected. AFT president Randi Weingarten praised the results as a victory for opponents of “banning books or censoring honest history or undermining who kids are.” Liberal and moderate school board candidates did especially well in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia and Iowa.
Jon Valant, an education expert at the Brookings Institution, suggested that the results might cause candidates to “seriously question” whether affiliating with “far-right groups,” including Moms For Liberty and the 1776 Project, “is good for their chances of getting elected.”
Perhaps. It is not at all clear, however, that the setback to the parents’ rights movement constitutes a knock-out blow.
Trump ‘increasingly sour’ on RNC chair Ronna McDaniel, as GOP grapples with recent losses
- Former President Donald Trump has grown “increasingly sour” on Republican National Committee chair Ronna McDaniel and the overall leadership of the RNC.
- After a string of GOP losses last week in Virginia, Kentucky and Ohio, some Trump allies believe McDaniel’s leadership at the RNC is to blame for the party’s struggles.
- “I’m nervous that we have someone that is either ineffective, or actively working against us. And it could sink us in 2024,” said one conservative commentator.
Marc Jacob/Stop the Presses:
Don’t let the media blame Democrats for the looming shutdown
Media pundits demand that Democratic grownups rescue GOP children to make government work
The Washington news media have a tendency to treat Democrats as grown-ups and Republicans as misbehaving children.
That’s understandable when the Republicans in Congress include mischief makers like George Santos and Lauren Boebert and the Democratic side features policy wonks like Elizabeth Warren and Sheldon Whitehouse.
But when the news media raise the bar for Democrats and lower it for Republicans, it’s only natural for them to take the next step and blame Democrats for not preventing the House’s Republican majority from driving the government into a ditch.
It’s not just legislation. See also:
And see also:
If anyone’s going to fight, shouldn’t it be Markwayne Mullin and Kevin McCarthy?
Alex Burness/Bolts magazine:
After Ohioans Legalize Weed, GOP Leaders Already Want to Roll Back Key Reforms
Issue 2 has provisions to help people harmed by the war on drugs, but Republicans have called for reversing those and even redirecting new tax money to fund more jails and police.
Issue 2 is set to go into effect Dec. 7, with the first round of new business licenses to be announced by September. But the law comes with a crucial asterisk: it changes state statute, not the state constitution, so its approval at the ballot is essentially tantamount to Ohio voters passing a new piece of legislation just like Ohio lawmakers do. This means that those lawmakers can change the law back without voter consent. There is no limit on the extent to which the GOP-controlled state legislature can amend the 41-page initiative voters just supported; they could even outright repeal it.
Governor Mike DeWine and his fellow Republicans who run the legislature have stopped short of calling for total repeal, but even before Election Day, they had signaled their intent to make the law more restrictive if it passed. Now that it has, they’ve indicated they could make some changes as soon as in the next few weeks, ahead of the Dec. 7 effective date, while others may be a bit longer in the offing.
A short history of Democratic pre-election bed-wetting
"We are officially in the Democratic bedwetting era for the 2024 presidential election" wrote Barack Obama's 2012 presidential campaign manager Jim Messina in Politico yesterday, as he recounted the overheated panic regarding Obama's low job approval in late 2011.
This was when the economy was still sluggish, and some Democrats were frustrated by the bipartisan deal linking a debt limit hike to spending cuts. Take a trip back in time to August 2011 and read Jonathan Alter's Washington Monthly pushback on the criticism of Obama from the left.
(Today, the Monthly continues to champion the anti-bedwetting cause, with Michael Podhorzer and Robert J. Shapiro challenging the obsession with early polling, and yours truly exploring the history of ultimately successful presidents who didn't get quick credit for an improving economy and overcame ageist attacks.)
Isaac Chotiner/The New Yorker offers an important piece about West Bank settlers, under-discussed in the West:
The Extreme Ambitions of West Bank Settlers
A leader of the settlement movement on expanding into Gaza, and her vision for the Jewish state.
In a lot of these places where settlements have been developed, from 1967 to the present day, there have been Palestinian communities and Palestinian families. What is your feeling about where these people should go?
It’s the opposite. None of the communities in Judea and Samaria are founded on an Arab place or property, and whoever says this is a liar. I wonder why you said it. Why did you say that, since you have no idea about the real facts of history? That’s not true. The opposite is true. Who got this idea into your mind?
Palestinian communities have been removed from their land, kicked off their land by—
No, you never read things like that. No. There are no pictures. [According to a report by Btselem, an Israeli human-rights group, parts of Kedumim, where Weiss lives, were built on private Palestinian land; in 2006, Peace Now found that privately owned Palestinian land comprised nearly forty per cent of the territory of West Bank settlements and outposts.]
O.K. I’m a little surprised you are denying this. I thought you were going to say, “It’s O.K. to kick Palestinians off land because it belongs to the Jewish people.”
You did no homework before you interviewed me. Everything that you say is the opposite of my personality and my philosophy. You are interviewing a person, and you don’t know anything about them. It’s very strange. I’ve never encountered a situation like this.
I was trying to understand where Palestinians who live in the West Bank should go.
Why should they go? Why should they go?
They should stay where they are, you’re saying?
They should accept the fact that in the Land of Israel there is only one sovereign. This is the issue. So let’s not confuse things. We the Jews are the sovereigns in the state of Israel and in the Land of Israel. They have to accept it.
Tom Friedman/The New York Times:
The Most Revealing Moment From My Trip to Israel
Why is Netanyahu trying to destroy the Palestinian Authority as a governing option for a postwar Gaza? Because he is already campaigning to hold on to power after the Gaza war is over, and he knows there will be a huge surge of Israelis demanding he step down because of how he and his far-right cronies distracted and divided Israel and its military by pursuing a judicial coup that Israeli intelligence sources told Netanyahu was emboldening and tempting enemies such as Hamas and Hezbollah.
The only way Netanyahu can stay in power is if his far-right allies don’t abandon him, particularly Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich and National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir. So to hold the support of the Jewish supremacists in his cabinet — some of whom want Israel to erect settlements in Gaza as soon as possible — Netanyahu has to declare now that the Palestinians will have no legitimate, independent representation in Gaza or the West Bank.
Yes, I know it is hard to believe, but Netanyahu is campaigning in the middle of this war.
Tom Friedman is making a comeback of sorts as a columnist because of a combination of good sources in the White House and good sources in the Middle East.
Whatever you think of him, he’s being widely read on this topic.
Cliff Schecter on Trump’s violent language: