When the Dog Whistle Is Silver-Plated & Hand-Chased: Conservative Thinking At Its “Best”

It’s all over political twitter, but the only mainstream-media pushback against Hawley I could find so far was from his hometown paper, the Kansas City Star:

The Anti-Defamation League in Missouri is calling on U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley to apologize for a speech he delivered this week slamming the “cosmopolitan elite” who “look down on the common affections that once bound this nation together—things like place and national feeling and religious faith.”

Hawley, during a keynote address at the National Conservatism Conference on Tuesday, said the “cosmopolitan agenda” drives politics on both the left and right.

“The left champions multiculturalism and degrades our common identity,” he said. “The right celebrates hyper-globalization and promises that the market will make everything right in the end, eventually … perhaps.”

He decried the “cosmopolitan consensus,” “cosmopolitan elite,” “cosmopolitan class,” and “cosmopolitan economy,” and argued that the “cosmopolitan agenda” has broken America’s national solidarity.

Karen Aroesty, regional director of the Anti-Defamation League in St. Louis, said Hawley may not have intended to offend anyone with his speech. But terms like “cosmopolitan” and “globalist” have a sinister history as anti-Semitic dog whistles, and she said Hawley should apologize.

Hawley’s speech, “raised real concern for members of the Jewish community who are and should be acutely sensitive with increased incidents of antisemitism in the US and beyond,” Aroesty said. “We have asked the Senator for an apology for even unintended harm caused by the speech. For the Senator and all who have a public platform that comes with power, context matters. Words matter.”…

From the NY Review of Books, “Retrofitting Trump’s GOP with a Veneer of Ideas”:

Perhaps the most evocative and conclusive sign of Trump’s sway over the conservative movement came this week, however, when the recently established Edmund Burke Foundation in Washington held a meeting titled “National Conservatism” at the Ritz-Carlton. The conference aroused a good deal of controversy before it took place, but attracted a formidable array of conservative figureheads, including Peter Thiel, Tucker Carlson, John Bolton, and Senator Josh Hawley. The panelists included Rich Lowry, the editor of National Review, Chris Buskirk, the publisher and editor of American Greatness, J.D. Vance, the author of Hillbilly Elegy, Michael Anton, a former Trump administration National Security Council official who has inveighed against “birthright citizenship,” and Chris DeMuth, a former president of the American Enterprise Institute and now a distinguished fellow at the Trump-friendly Hudson Institute. The latter has recently extolled Trumpian nationalism in a lengthy essay in the Claremont Review of Books. “Harnessing today’s nationalist impulses,” DeMuth wrote, “is a task for conservatives and libertarians, who stand in the shoes of the liberal reformers of the middle and late nineteenth century.”

The event tried to do that. A July 14 invitation letter signed by David Brog, the president of the Burke Foundation and the former executive director of Christians United for Israel, noted that the conference was intended to help bring about the “revival of the unique national traditions that alone have the power to bind a people together and bring about their flourishing.” It was supposed to provide, Brog went on, “an intellectually serious alternative to the excesses of purist libertarianism, and in stark opposition to political theories grounded in race.” If nothing else, a consanguinity of thought quickly emerged.

This was a Trump-inspired counter-revolution, a conservative colloquy that aimed at creating a catechism purged of the verities of the Reagan era: a crusading foreign policy and an idolatry of free-market economics. Usually, intellectual movements precede the rise of political ones, but in this case, Trump’s camp followers are reverse-engineering an intellectual doctrine to match Trump’s basic instincts. The new national-conservatives want to form what Burke called “little platoons” to ground conservatism in what they referred to as Anglo-American traditions…
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Acosta out

Open Thread








Open Thread: Trumpocalypse, Naw

… “They started this too late and everyone has plans already,” said Dan Eberhart, a Republican donor and CEO of the drilling services company Canary, LLC. “Everyone will be there in spirit, but in reality, people planned their July 4th activities weeks ago.”

Less than 36 hours before the event, White House aides were crafting Trump’s speech, while administration and RNC officials finalized the guest lists.

A White House official declined to explain the system for handing out tickets or the various tiers of VIP access, except to say the reserved seating area — extending from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to the middle the reflecting pool — will feature veterans, Trump family and friends and special guests. The first lady, vice president and second lady, and a number of Cabinet officials are expected to attend, as well as several senior White House officials — though the aide stressed this, too, was still coming together.

“They are creating this thing from scratch, and I do not know if anyone knows how it will go off,” said another White House aide. “There are questions about the ticket distribution and who will show up. The weather might be bad. Heads are spinning.”…

The Trump event has caused tension throughout Washington during what is a typically a quiet vacation week. Congress is on recess and many D.C. residents typically use this stretch of time to escape D.C.’s humidity…


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Respite for the Rest of Us Open Thread: Drew Magary Is An Excellent Read

If you are a devout member of the Church of the Bleeding-Heart Liberal, it can sometimes be hard to stay single-minded in your choice of target. Maybe they had a difficult childhood! Maybe they’re just too dumb to understand what they’re saying! But then there are people like NYTimes opinionator Bret Stephens, who are richly compensated to say unforgivable things — and, bless him, people like Drew Magary who are (much less richly) compensated to respond:

Bret Stephens went ahead and ruined everyone else’s by scribbling out a bunch of racist bumper sticker slogans in the New York Times. And this time, ol’ Bret did so without the veneer of preciousness that he usually grants to everything he touches…

Nothing bad is gonna happen to Bret Stephens for this, of course. He lives in the same magical fairy-tale land other conservative dudes live in where they receive the largest bullhorn and grandest sum of money possible to cry out to the world that they’ve been sent to the guillotine for daring to speak their precious truths… The Times isn’t gonna fire Bret Stephens. That joint employs some genuinely excellent take havers, such as Charles Blow. But the people in charge over there know that what REALLY drives engagement is letting smug pricks like Stephens and Bari Weiss and four-eyed penis David Brooks scream DEMOCRATS DON’T UNDERSTAND HOW TO PLEASE ME from inside the battlements of a supposed fortress of impregnable liberalism…

Stephens should apologize for being who he is every fucking day of the week. He’s a repulsive slug of a man. That the Times would let Stephens indulge in the cycle of saying nasty shit and then arrogantly proclaiming that he expects people like Soledad O’Brien—who has had herself quite a week interacting with enormous alt-right shitbags—to apologize to him for daring to question him, is emblematic of the way the paper of record allows itself to get worked over by our least oppressed members of society positing that they are actually history’s greatest victims. Employing Bret Stephens means the Times gets to dodge criticism for being too liberal by going, “Look guys, we even let a shithead like Bret Stephens onto our pages!” Therefore, Stephens gets ample inches of column space to sort out who counts as a real American and who does not, and even makes sure to take an indirect jab at people who seek refuge here and end up dying because of the right wing’s institutional hatred and indifference toward them. And then… THEN… he gets to performatively wallow in the misery he’s sown…

And Stephens, of all people, has the predictable gall to say that everyone ELSE is the reason Trump is gonna win in 2020. It couldn’t possibly be because supposed guardians of democracy have foolishly offered STEPHENS asylum, helping disseminate his garbage into the mainstream and to act as sentry for the entrenched powers that be, and then paying him handsomely for the privilege. Nooooo… couldn’t be. I’d tell this pile of shit to take a look in the mirror. But I already know he’d gladly take me up on the offer, just for all the wrong reasons.

STAY STRONG, MR. MAGARY!








Slowly at First, and Then Suddenly: How the Trump Election Conspiracy Unraveled

This weekend, the New York Times published a stunning report about a plan floated by a longtime emissary for the Saudis and the UAE in early August 2016, when Trump had just grabbed the GOP nomination but faced an uphill campaign against Hillary Clinton. Donald Trump Jr., aide Stephen Miller and Erik Prince, founder of the notorious mercenary outfit once know as Blackwater, listened intently as the emissary offered Team Trump millions of dollars in assistance, including a covert social-media campaign, to help Trump win that would be run by a former Israeli spy who specializes in psychological warfare, or psywar.

“The emissary, George Nader, told Donald Trump Jr. that the princes who led Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were eager to help his father win election as president,” the Times reported. Some key elements — exactly who was behind the plan, and what parts, if any, were carried out — remain murky.

But like a lot of Trump scandals, the smoke from any alleged fire was clearly visible. Nader became a Trump ally who met frequently with key players like then-national security adviser (and future felon) Michael Flynn. He also, according to the Times, later made a large payment to the ex-spy Joel Zamel, as much as $2 million. After Trump was elected, Erik Prince attended a then-secret meeting in the Seychelles believed to have been brokered by UAE to cement ties with Vladimir Putin’s Russia. After Trump became president, American foreign policy has been almost unwaveringly consistent in fighting for the foreign policy goals of nations believed to have supported his 2016 election: Russia, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE — most notably with Trump’s rejection of the Iran nuclear deal that is seriously destabilizing the Middle East. These dealings increasingly appear to have benefited the Trumps and Kushners not just politically but financially — even as they are not helpful, and even counterproductive at times, to the American people whom Trump was allegedly elected to represent.
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