In normal times, you could bank the bet that a man who was a Russian stooge, gave comfort to neo-Nazis and spent his first year in office trying to take health care from 22 million Americans was going to get destroyed when voters finally had a chance to send him a message.
Add to that an approval rating that hit 34 percent this week, and a poll from swing states showing one in five of people who voted for Donald Trump are now embarrassed by his presidency, and you’d think Democrats were in great shape for next year’s midterm elections.
.. But they obscure a dark doctrine from Bannon the Barbarian.
“The longer they talk about identity politics, I got ’em,” he said of Democrats. “I want them to talk about racism every day. If the left is focused on race and identity, and we go with economic nationalism, we can crush the Democrats.”
.. It turns out that racial resentment was the strongest predictor of whether a voter would flip from supporting a thoughtful, intelligent Democrat to a boorish, mentally unstable Republican. When you say Black Lives Matter, these white voters hear Kill a Cop. When you say diversity in the workplace, they hear special privileges for minorities at the expense of whites.
So, if you still wonder why Trump would give comfort to racists and Hitlerites, look at the reaction of his base this week. While the civilized world was appalled at his remarks after the hate parade in Charlottesville, Va., a majority of Republicans approved of Trump’s response. Approved.
.. Yes, there’s a genuine hate-cohort in the Republican Party — neo-Nazis, or “clowns and losers,” in Bannon’s terms — of about 10 percent, which is horrifyingly high... Trump has said demonstrably racist things many a time, from his birther obsession to his taco bowl tweet. He still won, “on a straightforward platform of economic nationalism,” as Bannon noted... Democrats could grab the economic nationalism argument from Bannon, refine it along Bernie Sanders lines, and run with it. Health care for all is pro-American. Raising wages across the country is pro-worker. A moonshot infrastructure program would lift every community.
The leaders of the Women’s March, arguably the most prominent feminists in the country, have some chilling ideas and associations. Far from erecting the big tent so many had hoped for, the movement they lead has embraced decidedly illiberal causes and cultivated a radical tenor that seems determined to alienate all but the most woke.
.. She has dismissed the anti-Islamist feminist Ayaan Hirsi Ali in the most crude and cruel terms, insisting she is “not a real woman” and confessing that she wishes she could take away Ms. Ali’s vagina — this about a woman who suffered genital mutilation as a girl in Somalia.
.. Plus, they’ve argued, many of these tweets were written five years ago! Ancient history.
.. “Happy birthday to the revolutionary #AssataShakur!” read the tweet, which featured a “#SignOfResistance, in Assata’s honor” — a pink and purple Pop Art-style portrait of Ms. Shakur, better known as Joanne Chesimard, a convicted killer who is on the F.B.I.’s list of most wanted terrorists.
.. Like many others, CNN’s Jake Tapper noticed the outrageous tweet. “Shakur is a cop-killer fugitive in Cuba,” he tweeted, going on to mention Ms. Sarsour’s troubling past statements. “Any progressives out there condemning this?” he asked.
.. There’s no doubt that Ms. Sarsour is a regular target of far-right groups, but her experience of that onslaught is what makes her smear all the more troubling. Indeed, the idea that Jake Tapper is a member of the alt-right is the kind of delirious, fact-free madness that fuels Donald Trump and his supporters. Troublingly, it is exactly the sentiment echoed by the Women’s March: “Our power — your power — scares the far right. They continue to try to divide us. Today’s attacks on #AssataShakur are the latest example.”
.. What’s more distressing is that Ms. Sarsour is not the only leader of the women’s movement who harbors such alarming ideas. Largely overlooked have been the similarly outrageous statements of the march’s other organizers... Ms. Perez also expressed her admiration for a Black Panther convictedof trying to kill six police officers.. But the public figure both women regularly fawn over is Louis Farrakhan... Ms. Mallory posted a photo with her arm around Mr. Farrakhan, the 84-year-old Nation of Islam leader notorious for his anti-Semitic comments.. “And don’t you forget, when it’s God who puts you in the ovens, it’s forever!” he warned Jews in a speech at a Nation of Islam gathering in Madison Square Garden in 1985. Five years later, he remained unreformed: “The Jews, a small handful, control the movement of this great nation, like a radar controls the movement of a great ship in the waters.” Or this metaphor, directed at Jews: “You have wrapped your tentacles around the U.S. government, and you are deceiving and sending this nation to hell.” He called Hitler “a very great man” on national television. Judaism, he insists, is a “gutter religion.”.. Mr. Farrakhan is also an unapologetic racist. He insists that whites are a “race of devils” and that “white people deserve to die.”.. Feminists will find little to cheer in his 1950s views of gender: “Your professional lives can’t satisfy your soul like a good, loving man.”.. But the nightmare of the Trump administration is the proof text for why all of this matters. We just saw what happens to legitimate political parties when they fall prey to movements that are, at base, anti-American. That is true of the populist, racist alt-right that helped deliver Mr. Trump the White House and are now hollowing out the Republican Party. And it can be true of the progressive “resistance” — regardless of how chic, Instagrammable and celebrity-laden the movement may seem... Will progressives have more spine than conservatives in policing hate in their ranks?.. what I stand against is
- embracing terrorists,
- disdaining independent feminist voices,
- hating on democracies and
- celebrating dictatorships.If that puts me beyond the pale of the progressive feminist movement in America right now, so be it.