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December 02, 2023 01:16 AM UTC

Weekend Open Thread

  • by: Colorado Pols

“We have a complex system of government. You have to teach it to every generation.”

–Sandra Day O’Connor


9 thoughts on “Weekend Open Thread

  1. I think today's GOP believes the way to reduce crime is to elect criminals into office.

    It’s not just his grift and vanity that made Santos such a perfect avatar of the MAGA ethos. Even more significant was the defiance he showed as his flagrant wrongdoing was revealed and the way that defiance endeared him to some of Trump’s most avid supporters. In December 2022, after Santos was elected but before he took office, The New York Times reported he had lied about his education, purported career in finance, family wealth and charitable endeavors and that he’d been charged in Brazil with using stolen checks. Santos’ response was, as Mark Chiusano reports in his excellently timed new book about Santos, “The Fabulist,” to “post through it,” making a great show of shamelessness online and in real life.

    Much of the MAGAverse loved it. Marjorie Taylor Greene became a loyal friend. As New York Magazine’s Shawn McCreesh reported in March, at a Manhattan birthday party for Breitbart editor Emma-Jo Morris, Santos was “the ‘It’ girl. His wrists are bedizened with bling from Hermès and Cartier, and fawning fans line up for selfies.”

    Rule-breaking is key to Trump’s transgressive appeal; it situates him as above the strictures that govern lesser men while creating a permission structure for his followers to release their own inhibitions. That’s a big part of the reason his multiple indictments appeared to only solidify his Republican support.

  2. WOTD: Malevolent Goober. Kate Riga at Talking Points Memo.

    It’s a bleak time, with the threat of our decaying democracy, citizen disengagement and the next critical, must-win election stalking our heels. We’re buffeted by violent wars and congressional dysfunction and an all-powerful, super-activist Supreme Court. The darkness comes early and the nights are long. 

    But in the tension and the worry, we could always turn to George Santos, the malevolent goober who always vacillated between the (allegedly) criminal and the ludicrous. The generational conman who never covered his tracks, allowing us to luxuriate in the spoils of his skullduggery: Botox, an OnlyFans subscription, the Baruch volleyball team, Ferragamo, the random baby.

    He was daily a headline generator, almost admirable in the sheer tonnage of misdeeds he accumulated by the tender age of 35. 

    On Thursday morning, his breath puffing white, he mounted a strange and strangely boring defense, careening from the conspiracy of it all to defending the Jan. 6 rioters. A garbage truck idled nearby, muffling his words. The sun broke over the House office buildings he’d soon be jettisoned from, giving the spectacle a holy light.

    Santos is done politically, and likely done, at least for a while, as a free man. But it was nice — dare I say, fun — to spend time with this Republican crook whose harm was somewhat limited and whose entertainment value never dipped. The man will fade from relevance, but the name, the legend, will live on.

    And for that, Mr. Santos — whoever you are — we salute you.

  3. Another right wing charlatan has the ear of the GOP and in particular House Speaker Mike Johnson.

    The Bogus Historians Who Teach Evangelicals They Live in a Theocracy

    It would be of little use to tell the folks around me — the people of my conservative hometown — that Barton wasn’t a real historian. They wouldn’t care that his lone academic credential was a bachelor’s degree in religious education from Oral Roberts University. It wouldn’t matter that Barton’s 2012 book on Thomas Jefferson was recalled by Thomas Nelson, the world’s largest Christian publisher, for its countless inaccuracies, or that a panel of 10 conservative Christian academics who reviewed Barton’s body of work in the aftermath ripped the entirety of his scholarship to shreds. It would not bother the congregants of FloodGate Church to learn that they were listening to a man whose work was found by one of America’s foremost conservative theologians to include “embarrassing factual errors, suspiciously selective quotes, and highly misleading claims.”


    All this would be irrelevant to the people around me because David Barton was one of them. He believed the separation of church and state was a myth. He believed the time had come for evangelicals to reclaim their rightful place atop the nation’s governmental and cultural institutions. Hence the hero’s welcome Barton received when he rolled into FloodGate with his “American Restoration Tour.”

    He is the living embodiment of an "American Taliban"

    Throughout his decades of public life — working for the Republican Party, becoming a darling of Fox News, advising politicians such as new House Speaker Mike Johnson, launching a small propaganda empire, carving out a niche as the American right’s chosen peddler of nostalgic alternative facts — Barton had never been shy about his ultimate aims. He is an avowed Christian nationalist who favors theocratic rule; moreover, he is a so-called Dominionist, someone who believes Christians should control not only the government but also the media, the education system, and other cultural institutions. Barton and his ilk are invested less in advancing individual policies than they are in reconceiving our system of self-government in its totality, claiming a historical mandate to rule society with biblical dogma just as the founders supposedly intended.

  4. I find it interesting that she is still playing the national stage when her district is close to dumping her to the same playground as Santos.  Never underestimate a maga party clown for self immolating.

    1. I seem to have recently noticed an increasing debate amongst the Christian community about whether or not they want to follow the Orange Destruction straight into Hell.
      As his rhetoric and his plans increasingly mirror those of fascists from past generations,his cult may start to fray around the edges. Let’s hope, and not forget about his lieutenants and enablers. They share the guilt of his treason.
      Funny how none of those who dismissed our references to 20th century fascists, have the cojones to look across the aisle and say, “We were warned…we were wrong.”

      1. "about whether or not they want to follow the Orange Destruction straight into Hell"

        I thought they already decided on that and the answer to the question was a resounding "YES!!!"  (A few of them broke away from Him but it was a very small minority. If they had any qualms about following Him, Tim Scott and Mike Pence would have gotten more traction in the GOP primary polling instead of registering as asterisks.)

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