Category Archives: Politics

The Republican desire that we die

Okay, not entirely fair. I think they’d be perfectly happy if we all just gave up masking and distancing and fighting the Trump Virus and accepted that horrific and needless deaths are just a fact of life. That’s how they approach gun deaths, after all. And it’s not just The Former Guy: the entire party is liable.

Republicans in Congress are willing to shut down the government to fight President Biden’s vaccine mandates. As noted at the link, the Democrats have worked out a tentative agreement to keep going until February, but it’s not guaranteed. And shutdowns are bad for Americans in multiple ways, including public health.

In Tennessee they’ve banned medical boards from disciplining doctors who lie about covid (I assume they’re liars rather than just wrong, given how many medical professionals profit from being anti-vaxxers). A federal Trump appointee has blocked the mandate for healthcare workers using brilliant insights such as if the vaccine was any good, it wouldn’t need booster shots! Like his master The Former Guy this judge is a very stable genius (Roy Edroso vents entertainingly as always about this). So is Rep. Ronny Jackson who claims Omicron is a Democratic plot to rig the 2022 election. And isn’t it suspicious it’s all right-wing anti-vaxxers who die of covid, not Democrats?

While Republicans were outraged over generous unemployment benefits supposedly inspiring Americans to stay home and not work, four states so far have expanded benefits for anyone who loses their job for refusing a vaccine mandate.

And despite their denial that covid is a serious threat, anti-vax conservatives keep dying. Too bad The Former Guy, who took no precautions after testing positive (Scott Lemieux suggests he’d have been delighted if debating Biden infected Biden), got the best healthcare on Earth.

Organ transplant candidates who refuse to get vaccinated are also risking their lives for bullshit (“Breen also expressed skepticism over the public campaign for vaccination, saying she questioned the reasoning ‘behind pushing it so hard.'”).

At the nutjob end of the lying right-winger spectrum, Jew-hating preacher Rick Wiles claims covid vaccine changes our DNA.

“Typhoid Ron” DeSatis is a more accepted figure than Wiles, but he does just as much damage.

Marjorie Taylor Greene goes back to the old “traffic accidents have killed more people than Covid” meme by arguing we don’t close schools for cancer. Which, of course, is non-contagious. I seriously wonder why Greene’s even in Congress as she doesn’t do anything but babble bullshit — is the right-wing celebrity an end in itself or does she anticipate a Fox News show down the road?

To end on an up-note, a reminder the pandemic will end, eventually.

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Death and death threats

So as you’ve undoubtedly heard, Kyle Rittenhouse got off on gunning down two men at a BLM protest. Which partly reflects the insanity of gun fetishiazation. As Farhad Manjoo says in WaPo, Rittenhoue’s gun made things worse, not safer: “Rittenhouse says he carried a rifle in order to guarantee his safety during a violent protest. He was forced to shoot at four people when his life and the lives of other people were threatened, he says. What was he protecting everyone from? The gun strapped to his own body, the one he’d brought to keep everyone safe.”

Or as the family of one of the victims put it, “It sends the unacceptable message that armed civilians can show up in any town, incite violence, and then use the danger they have created to justify shooting people in the street.” Dahlia Lithwick ponders whether having everyone armed encourages everyone to shoot in “self defense.”

But it also reflects that he’s doing what a depressing number of Republicans want to do or want other people to do for them: kill all the liberals. Marjorie Taylor Greene proposes giving him the Congressional gold medal. Matt Gaetz says he’s introducing a national Stand Your Ground bill so that even if you can retreat without hurting anyone, it’s okay to kill them. Rep. Madison Cawthorne, as usual, is enthusiastically pro-violence. In online discussion, some Republican voters want more Rittenhouses killing more people. Misogynist Matt Walsh argues there’s no law against shooting people. Despite being a Christian pundit, he doesn’t find any moral objections to Rittenhouse either.

Which is disturbing given the growing rise in death threats as acceptable public discourse. Anti-American Rep. Paul Gosar made an anime video showing him murdering Alexandria Ocasia-Cortez. Gosar says it’s symbolic about policy differences and therefore not a threat. Republicans aren’t criticizing him. Never mind that they freaked out about an adaptation of Julius Caesar that made Caesar a Trump figure and shrieked outrage at comedienne Kathy Griffin for showing Trump’s head on a pike. When they make death threats it’s totally forgivable! Criticizing them is like the blood libel against Jews. In the same vein, Molly Jong-Fast joking about calling the FBI on your family over Thanksgiving is monstrously fascist; giving Jong-Fast death threats over it is apparently cool.

It’s not just Gosar. We have death threats against Rep. Ihlan Omar. There have been multiple bomb threats in Washington since 1/6. Violent threats against congress-members who don’t tow the Stalinist party line enough, including death threats. The Threats please Greene. Threats against school boards and other officials over everything from race issues to mask mandates. Against election officials — alarmingly with law-enforcement doing very little. And right-wing celebrities like The Former Guy Jr. are happy to wonder why we don’t see more anti-mandate riots. Not that he’ll ever risk his own neck in one, but he’s happy to pose for right-wing media by pretending to be a badass.

And this shit spreads downwards, making death threats look normal, something routinely flung against doctors and nurses for not seeing someone fast enough. And that’s horrifying because there’s no way for anyone to know whether the threat-maker is just venting or seriously psycho.

Even if another member of the Anti-American Party never takes the White House, they’ve still done irreparable damage with this shit. I’m not sure what the solution is, but making them face consequences is a good start. So is exposing their identities.

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It is fortunate that I do not have Wolverine’s claws

For it is a certainty people would provoke me slice and dice them. Particularly if I had his healing factor so I couldn’t be stopped.

The ass-hat who provoked this was Seventh-Day Adventist pastor Burnett Robinson who said in a recent sermon that ““In this matter of submission, I want you to know upfront ladies, that once you get married, you are no longer your own. You are your husband’s.” By which he means it’s moral to rape your wife.

No, no, it’s not.

It’s true that Paul’s letter to the Ephesians says wives should submit to their husbands. But a)it does not therefore follow that she must do anything her husband asks. Even misogynist Southern Baptist preacher John Piper thinks there are limits; unfortunately his dealbreakers are if the husband wants to engage group sex (or roleplaying or bondage, even consensually), not if he’s abusing her. That she has to submit to “for a season” or for one night of physical abuse. Then she can turn to the church and ask for help. Not, apparently civil authorities.

Keep in mind that (as Beth Moore has discussed), Ephesians also sets rules for husbands, who are required to love and cherish their wives. Rape is not loving. Abuse is not loving. Yet for men such as Piper and Robinson, demanding husbands do what’s right isn’t half as important as ensuring the wife never challenge patriarchal authority.

When people such as this present themselves as moral voices, my contempt is limitless.


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Shouldn’t women’s roles have improved by 1996?

Rewatching The Thing From Another World (1951) as I worked on the Monsters chapter of Alien Visitors gave me fresh appreciation for Margaret Sheridan as Nikki, the female lead opposite Kenneth Tobey’s Hendry. It’s not that she plays a role in fighting the Thing, but there’s no question she could do it if she had to.

Producer Howard Hawks liked stories about tough guys, and Hendry and his crew are plenty tough.  It’s not emphasized, just taken as a given that they’re willing to go up against this alien menace and fight to the last man to save the world. Scotty, the reporter (Douglas Spencer) establishes his bona fides easily: when Hendry says he should be away from the front lines, Scotty replies he shouldn’t have been at El Alamein or Okinawa during WW II, but he was there. ’nuff said.

The thing is, Hawks liked his women tough too. Contrary to the poster, Nikki never screams, never faints, never needs more protection than anyone else. She never stays behind when they’re going up against the Thing. We learn that on her last date with Hendry she drunk him under the table, a measure of toughness back in those days.

Fast-forward to 1988’s Predator. We have one woman in the cast (Elpidia Carrillo) and her role is a headscratcher. She’s working with a Russian special-forces team fomenting unrest in the region. We never learn what he role is: interpreter? Guide? Marxist guerilla? It comes off as if she’s there solely to provide exposition and avoid criticism the film’s a 100 percent sausage fest.

While Dutch (Arnold Schwarzenegger) and his crew are tough, there’s more self-consciousness about it. One of the team (Jesse Ventura) carries a massive gun way too big to lug for jungle fighting; there’s the early scene where we watch Carl Weathers and Ah-nuld arm-wrestle with an emphasis on their muscles.

And then there’s Independence Day (1996) where as I’ve mentioned before, there’s a lot more worry that the male characters aren’t man enough. Jeff Goldblum lost his wife because he wasn’t ambitious enough for her; as a president, war hero Whitmore (Bill Pullman) is dismissed as a wimp because he compromises and negotiates. Both, of course, prove they’re Real Men.

The flip side of that is that the women have to be Real Woman, which is to say letting the men have all the glory. As the first lady, Mary McDonnell dies because she didn’t listen to her husband; Margaret Colin’s role as Goldblum’s ex is to see how awesome her husband really was; Viveca J. Fox gets to be a little heroic because she’s protecting her son, plus she’s doing what her boyfriend Will Smith told her to, in contrast to McDonnell.

It’s really annoying that Sheridan’s tougher and probably more capable than any of these later films. It should be the other way around, shouldn’t it? Similarly, the female lead in I Married a Monster (1997) doesn’t get to do more than in 1958’s I Married a Monster From Outer Space. All she can do is warn the town doctor and have him do the fighting. The 1995 Village of the Damned is marginally better than the classic 1960s film, but not much (I discussed this about a year ago).

Not that it’s startling news Hollywood is sexist, but it’s still annoying.

#SFWApro. All rights to images remain with current holders.

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They’re better at this than we are

Starting in the 1980s, the right-wing has been screaming “political correctness” every time they got criticized. It’s fine for them to tell gays and trans people they’re disgusting but it’s PC thought policing to punch back up at them. More recently it’s cancel culture — never mind that very few people are actually canceled over saying something politically incorrect, it’s an effective rallying cry.

It works for pouty right-wingers who feel they should be able to scream racist insults without any blowback, but it also works with a lot of mainstream people. Somehow the fact that the right-wing are the ones currently banning books doesn’t register. I don’t know why. Is it that, as Ta-Nehisi Coates once said, white grievance is automatically assumed to be valid? Or that the left are supposed to be tolerant so it disturbs people more when we do it? But either way it’s annoying as hell that we can’t seem to rouse the same reaction against the right.

Bari Weiss has built her brand on fighting cancel culture. She coined the phrase intellectual dark web to pretend that unremarkable right-wing ideas — identity politics are bad, men and women are fundamentally different — as stuff nobody can say in the mainstream without getting canceled. Of course people say that stuff all the time, but apparently the shtick works well for her. She signed the briefly notorious Harper’s letter and complaining that people are being terrified into self-censorship. Which even if true, is meaningless without context. If they’re terrified of saying the N-word or discussing how Biden’s cabinet has too many Jews, I’m fine with them not wanting to say that crap aloud.

Now Weiss has found a new angle, trying to launch a new university because academic freedom! Except as noted at the link, she’s recruiting founders who oppose academic freedom (more discussion here). One of them is a conservative Catholic who specifically says freedom of speech and freedom of inquiry are the highest goals of  college education. Weiss’s response is that she knows — that’s why she wants him on board! I presume the point is, unlike liberals she embraces FREEDOM so much, she even supports people who oppose FREEDOM! Except when they’re liberals; she’s not making any attempt to find anyone on the left who doesn’t like free speech (admiteddly there’s a lot fewer) just as their mission statement doesn’t discuss Republican attacks on said freedom.Weiss is, as usual, full of shit. Here’s more about one of the grift organizers.


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Time to check in on the grifters

As I’ve said before, while Republicans are sincerely committed to white supremacy and misogyny, they’re also shameless about scamming the marks. It may be unfair but that’s my default assumption. For instance, Rep. Lauren Bobert insists nobody needs maternity leave — she gave birth in a truck, then got back to work! The possibility that not giving birth in a truck and going back to work might be a good option doesn’t come up. But like pretty much every Republican politician, she has to oppose all things liberal and love Trump to have a future.

I assume QAnon cult leader Brian Protzman is sincere about his raving anti-Semitism. However he’s also pushing a financial scam in which you invest in dinars or other low-value currency, then become rich when they’re revalued to be worth $1 per dinar (currently it’s like $.00069). And he also claims Covid testing swabs are designed to track down the descendants of Jesus so the Jews can kill them. As Fred Clark says, to fleece the suckers, “the only lie you’ll ever have to tell them is the lie they were already telling themselves.”

“Donald Trump won Arizona by a quarter million votes,” according to Mike Lindell. He’s been consistently wrong about overturning the election, but he’s still selling the same snake oil.

Trump-lovin’ preacher Shane Vaughn now claims the Founding Fathers were descended from the tribes of Israel. It appears the dude has a history of fraud before he become a MAGA grifter. Though Vaughn’s penny ante compared to billionaires such as Kenneth Copeland (more here).

Then we have not only the bullshit about Critical Race Theory but the pretense it’s a grass-roots movement. Roy Edroso’s pointing out it’s costing teachers their jobs. And now we have a Texas politician whose criticizing school districts with books that make (white, straight, probably male) students uncomfortable. Or TX Governor Greg Abbott claiming there are pornographic books in school libraries. Ah, remember the days when they sneered at safe spaces  for snowflake liberals? I’m sure Republicans are sincere about wanting to ban books that discuss race or gay rights, but they’re playing to the bigots in their voting bloc too.

In a sense, the entire GOP is now a scam. They’re presenting themselves as a party that didn’t support violently overthrowing the election and they’re getting away with it. Partly because the media keep assuring us the system worked. A mob attacked Congress but they didn’t succeed so clearly Republicans aren’t that bad.

Speaking of the media while this story about how milk used to be just $1.99 a gallon before Biden took over isn’t grift per se, but it is a lie, one the reporters should have caught. Even the cheapest milk hasn’t been that cheap in a while.

In our current environment there’s very little consequence for the people who spew this crap. But there are exceptions:

James O’Keefe has a history of incompetent scam operations against liberals, but that hasn’t killed his career. We’ll see what this FBI investigation does.

NewsMax correspondent Emerald Robinson warned that the covid vaccines are evil because “the vaccines contain a bioluminescent marker called LUCIFERASE so that you can be tracked.” Luciferase is indeed a component of fireflies’ cold light, but it’s not in the vaccine (it was used in research) and despite the name it’s not Satanic (Lucifer in Latin is “light-bringer”). Newsmax contradicted her and temporarily benched her, while Twitter has suspended her, apparently permanently.

Jenna Ryan, the seditionist who bragged that a pretty white woman would never do jail time, has received 60 days. She’s milking her martyrdom, but I’ll take the slight win.

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Josh Hawley is so very, very alpha male!

At a recent conservative conference, Sen. Josh Hawley declared that liberals have evil plans for those of us with a Y-chromosome: ” the deconstruction of America begins with and depends on the deconstruction of American men … The Left want to define traditional masculinity as toxic. They want to define the traditional masculine virtues—things like courage, and independence, and assertiveness—as a danger to society.”

Does Hawley provide any examples? Of course not. Nor do I recall anyone saying that courage, independence and assertiveness are bad things. I assume this is the usual religious conservative bilge defining aggression and male dominance as assertiveness and courage. Of course he also works in anti-vax material — vaccine mandates are an attack on American men! And these attacks are making men retreat into videogames.

Lord, even though I don’t game, I find “men play too many videogames!” an incredibly stupid critique. It’s not just a male activity or a young person’s activity — lots of people, including people with professional careers, play games. It’s just a convenient shorthand for laziness, like “watching too much TV” when I was a kid (the Literary Dissection Tray has more).

Plus, of course the usual bogeymen such as critical race theory, feminism and quoting college professors and obscure 20th century liberals as PROOF of Joe Biden’s agenda! Nevertheless right-wing pundit Josh Hammer hails his fellow Josh’s speech as very alpha. As LGM says at the link, if you have to tell people something or someone is alpha, it ain’t alpha.

Meanwhile, accused sexual assailant Madison Cawthorn complains that “the left” wants to make America “sexless, genderless and Godless.” Sexless? Oh, right, I keep forgetting that while we’re libertines whose sexual revolution made predators like Harvey Weinstein possible (because nobody ever raped or harassed people before Free Love!), we’re also anti-sex prudes — after all, we criticized Cawthorn about sexual harassment, didn’t we?

Like so many right-wingers, Hawley is also worried we’re not breeding enough. Right-wingers are obsessed with that shit, like Tom Cotton declaring non-parents are not qualified to be teachers. My default assumption is that the real issue is women controlling their fertility instead of staying home and becoming mothers. Because it always is.

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Dark times ahead

We know Claremont Institute ‘s pro-dictatorship scholar John Eastman urged Pence to cheat and steal the election. He also blamed the 1/6 coup mob’s anger on Pence not giving them what they wanted (Steve Bannon’s in the same camp). Eastman isn’t an outlier at the institute and far from the only intellectual ready to support right-wing authoritarianism. Not that these thinkers are anything new, but they’re working with a Republican Party much more likely to grant their wish.

“In a second Trump presidency, however, the burglars will arrive already knowing how to bypass the alarms and disable the locks.” — a discussion of why a second Trump term will be much worse than round one. Trump knows better what he can get away with (pretty much everything) and he’ll waste no time putting loyal fascists in every important position. Some of them are already there.

And when Republicans get a lock on government, I imagine this anti-Semite will probably want them to Do Something about Jews, just as the Qanonites expect to see lots of people locked up for non-existent child molestation (like one QAnon influencer who hides his own child-molestation conviction). And court prophets like gay-hating Franklin Graham will assure their flock that Trump and the Republicans are doing God’s work fighting the gays. And decent Republican officials who admit Biden won continue to face death threats. Which is domestic terrorism but we don’t seem to be doing much about it.

Over in Florida, where wanna-be Trump successor “Typhoid Ron” DeSantis is joining in the Republican voting-suppression efforts, several University of Florida professors were going to testify as expert witnesses in a case challenging the new voting laws. The university won’t allow it. It’s not that DeSantis necessarily ordered it, it may be they simply want to obey before he asks.

Miami PD Captain Javier Ortiz has a long history of “citizen complaints for beatings, false arrests and bullying.” The city has spent sizable amounts settling lawsuits involving Ortiz but it can’t get rid of him and nobody in office wants to risk their career by holding cops accountable. It’s the same in many states.

Then there’s the idea sheriffs have an authority to interpret the laws that overrides the president. Given the conservative stance of some of the sheriffs profiled (not all), I suspect that like a lot of right-wingers ranting about government overreach they don’t apply that to repressive rules passed by Republicans.

It seems like Ross Douthat, who’s never been sex-positive, is also science-negative, and thinks Lyme Disease might be a bioweapon just like Covid! And this is a guy with a regular column in the NYT.

I wrote recently about how the Federalist published a column supporting Roy Moore hitting on teenagers and followed that up by whining they didn’t necessarily agree so don’t yell at them! The Wall Street Journal, in printing a letter from Trump on how he won in 2020, pulls the same crap (The WaPo dissects the bullshit)

Fox is now pushing Tucker Carlson’s new documentary claiming 1/6 was a liberal false flag. I don’t doubt lots of Republican voters will make the choice to believe it. Marjorie Taylor Greene compares the coup squad to the Founding Fathers. Of course Republicans have been comparing it to violence at BLM protests, but the two are not comparable

“You know, Satan’s agenda is behind all of this … right now there are classrooms in the United States that are teaching cannibalism.” — another Totally Rational anti-vaxxer

Then there’s the third of Republican voters who think violence may be necessary to save the U.S. Which I think is more of a rationalization — some of them have been yearning to crack down on The Other for years.

Paul Campos suggests Tuesday’s election results show too many people still don’t accept (or worse, support) that Republicans are American fascists. Brian Klaas says we need to protect democracy now, because it’s a lot easier than rebuilding it later.

One 1/6 coup member bragged that being blonde and white she’d never go to jail. Prosecutors say with an attitude like that she’ll break the law again unless she does see jail time. Sentencing is this morning — it won’t solve our problems if she does jail time but it would be nice to see she’s wrong about her immunity. I’m less optimistic about Kyle Rittenhouse.

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Undead Sexist Cliches: Arm candy

There’s an annoying undead sexist cliche (though not one of the big ones I run into everywhere) that no matter what a woman accomplishes with her life, it’s real significance is how it affects her value in the marriage market/sexual marketplace.

That was the point of the Forbes story some 30 years back or so that coined the concept “trophy wife.” While the term eventually came to mean the young, hot, probably airheaded wife of an older dude, that wasn’t the typeo f woman the article focused on. They were college educated professionals, often with their own careers and businesses, but they were just as determined to make their marriage work as their profession.

A later article (in Ms., I think, but I can’t swear to it), said the wives hadn’t been told  Forbes’ trophy-wife slant. Instead the interviewer gave them the impression it was about high-powered executives’ second marriages. Several of the women were PO’d at learning the finished piece implied they’d accomplished was only important because it made them better arm candy for their spouse.

Or consider screenwriter David Goyer’s take on Marvel’s She-Hulk. The character was nothing but a marketing ploy when she debuted in 1980, a way to cash in on the Hulk TV show’s success. But John Byrne, Steve Gerber and Dan Slott all did interesting things with the character in a couple of later revival series. She’s strong, heroic, a lawyer and often a lot of fun (like the story where she battle’s Dr. Doom’s fifth cousin, Bob Doom, DDS).

According to Goyer her success isn’t because she’s an interesting character, or that female readers might like a super-strong woman hero but because she’s a sex fantasy for nerds. Nerds read comics to imagine being as powerful as Superman or the Hulk; the She-Hulk fantasy is being so strong and powerful you’re man enough to bang She-Hulk. She’s a trophy hookup.

Which ignores that She-Hulk has slept with a number of guys and “powerful enough to dominate her” isn’t something she looks for. But it’s an idea that I’ve seen elsewhere, a tough woman who’s desirable because she won’t be with a guy unless he’s more of a man than she is (I’ve heard at least one woman say that IRL, though not directed at me).

Marvel’s Red Sonja, for example, started out as simply a free-spirited mercenary. Then Marvel (I’m not sure who the writer was) saddled her with a rape backstory and a curse: she can never have sex with a man who isn’t stronger than she is. Which makes her a trophy of sorts again — it takes a hell of a man to tame a woman like that!

This is one of those posts where I don’t really have a conclusion, just sort of noting patterns. So there you are.

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Undead Sexist Cliches and Vladimir Putin

Lawyers, Guns and Money linked last week to an article from a couple of years ago discussing Russia’s use of “soft power.” This is the power of leading not through military force but shared values. The classic example being the United States using its liberal values — pro-immigration, democracy, equality — to build support in the rest of the world (yes, I’m perfectly aware how iffy these values often were in practice, even before Trump).

In Russia’s case, it’s Putin’s conservative values: anti-gay, ethno-nationalist. These have made him look cool to a number of Republicans (Franklin Graham and Pat Buchanan for instance) who’d sooner see homosexuality outlawed than tolerate a democracy that supports them (though they’re still willing to use democracy when they can: Christian bigot Rick Scarborough wants to elect right-wing Christians to school boards to choke off school support for gay kids).

Conversely, Putin’s perfectly happy to throw his supports behind like-minded politicians in America and elsewhere, which explains his successful meddling in 2016. As LGM notes, this leads to a fractured foreign policy in which Republicans won’t even give lip service to supporting democracy overseas: they’d rather cozy up to Putin or Hungary’s vicious Orban.

After reading the article, it occurred to me that another factor in Putin’s soft power is the way he presents as a virile, manly warrior. As Kristin Kobes Du Mez says in Jesus and John Wayne, the me of the religious right are obsessively afraid that they and America aren’t manly enough. They’re terrified that all that stuff Jesus said about love, compassion and forgiveness is castrating them, so they push back against it, and against women’s equality.

This leads to things like my odious state Rep. Madison Cawthorne saying parents should raise their sons to be monsters — because if they act like Real Men, that’s what the feminized secular culture will call them. Or right-wing, coup-supporting pastor Ken Peters explaining why other Christians don’t support overthrowing the government: “I think most preachers are weak and spineless and they should be leading the Girl Scouts and not being behind pulpits.”

In the same vein, right-winger Charlie Kirk claimed recently that if America tolerates drag queens, China will invade Taiwan because they’ll see us as weak and impotent. While it would be foolish to assume Kirk’s doing anything but spewing bullshit — what else to right-wing hacks do these days? — the choice of bullshit is nevertheless significant.

As Dave Futrelle points out, Trumpites love to portray him as a physical superman: “They desperately want him to be the confident, hyper-confident macho man he pretends to be. And so they are compelled to do their part in shoring up his masculinity, at least symbolically — for his sake and for their own.”

Putin presents himself as the kind of macho, dominant male they imagine Trump is and physically dominant as well. Their hearts swell for him. He’s a hard, ruthless dictator, completely unsoftened by that milk-and-water love-your-enemies bullshit in the Bible. He sneers at the West for its tolerance of  “genderless and infertile” culture trends (does he sound like a CPAC speaker or what?). So we end up with Ted Cruz freaking out because the Army spotlighted a woman soldier raised by two mothers in a recent ad. According to Cruz, our military are now “pansies” who can’t possibly fight against the virile ruthlessness of Putin’s military.

As with Kirk, I’m not sure if Cruz believes a word of what he says. Perhaps he just knows some of his voters will; perhaps he’s genuinely anxious about gender issues — after all, the woman in that ad could kick his ass. But either way, the bullshit he chooses to spout is telling. And what it tells is not good.


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