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Mike Pence Sold His Soul for Nothing
Plus, the Yinzers vs. The Jagoff
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CHARLIE SYKES: Crackups, Proxy Wars, and Third Parties 🔐
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MONA CHAREN: Mike Pence Sold His Soul for Nothing.
Poor Mike Pence. You remember Mike Pence—he’s the guy who defeated a roomful of lickspittles to claim the obsequiousness grand prize at a 2017 cabinet meeting, praising the dear leader once every 12.5 seconds. Well, it seems that Mike Pence thinks he has a shot at the presidency. He’s building a campaign team, has made numerous trips to Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina, and is appearing at campaign events for candidates challenging Trump-supported nutters.
You can imagine how the conversation went with his political advisers: People are tired of Trump. They’re exhausted by all the drama. They want to move on. And you’re the perfect person to fill the void. You served him faithfully, but when it came to violating the Constitution, you stood your ground. Voters will recognize your courage. And you are the true conservative!
Marc Short, Pence’s vice-presidential chief of staff, offered that, “If he were to run, he may not be the biggest celebrity. But if we’re going to go back to a principled conservative who represents the things we stand for, then there’s no one better than Mike.”
“If we’re going to go back.” Not likely.
This is the text that some Western conservative intellectuals want us to see as nasty but uncannily prophetic. Let’s be clear: Whatever problems Europe may have with the integration of migrants—and the “facts” on this issue are often difficult to disentangle from far-right agitprop, disinformation and sensationalism—none of them either resembles or redeems this obscene fantasy. In Raspail’s dystopia, England is brought to its knees when the Queen is forced to marry her younger son to a Pakistani woman. In the real-life England of 2022, the Queen’s younger grandson is married of his own free will to a woman of mixed race, and the top contenders for Conservative party leadership and the prime ministership include Rishi Sunak, the son of Punjabi Hindu immigrants.
Given the expressions of complicated feelings by some of the book’s sympathetic American readers, it’s important not to lose sight of the fact that Orbán glowingly endorses The Camp of the Saints without any kind of “yes, it’s awful and racist, but…” disclaimer. Considered together with his comments about “race-mixing,” his unqualified praise for Raspail’s book looks very much like a mask-off moment.
Putin’s mission has failed — he controls only slightly more stolen Ukraine land than he did in 2014. And the war may be headed to a conclusion much like the end of the Korean War, a “frozen conflict.” Adm. James Stavridis joins Charlie Sykes on today’s podcast
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DANIEL MCGRAW: The Yinzers vs. The Jagoff.
In Pennsylvania, the contest between Democrat John Fetterman and Republican Mehmet Oz has become an exercise in shitposting.
Last week for example, Oz tweeted out a meme from Lost attacking Fetterman’s restricted campaign schedule. Fetterman had a stroke earlier this year and has yet to return to the trail, so maybe this wasn’t the best look.
But in fairness to Oz, Fetterman clearly started it. He had a banner attacking Oz flown over the beach at the Jersey Shore. He tweeted out a Cameo from Snooki mocking Oz. He started a petition to get Oz into the New Jersey Hall of Fame.
It’s been kind of a lot.
But beneath the trolling, there might be something real going on.
THOMAS LECAQUE: The Bullhorn and the Dog Whistle.
The pictures are striking: This past Saturday, on the second day of Turning Point USA’s pep rally in Tampa for right-wing college kids from across the country, neo-Nazis gathered outside the convention center in support of the organization, in support of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, and, most importantly, to spread hate. Some images show members of NatSoc Florida—as in “national socialism,” Nazism—posing on the convention center steps, their faces obscured by dark sunglasses and white neck gaiters. Their gaiters and red shirts say “NSF,” with the “S” written as Nazi SS lightning bolts, and they carry a Nazi swastika flag and a Black Sun flag. There are reportedly signs that say “Free the J6 Political Prisoners.”
Other images show a cluster of members of the “Goyim Defense League,” an antisemitic group, wearing black neck gaiters with skulls on them as they carry antisemitic posters—some showing the antisemitic “Happy Merchant” cartoon. Someone spewed slurs into a bullhorn that has “Infowars” stickers on it. This group carries Nazi flags, including the SS Bolts flag—as well as a flag that reads “DeSantis Country.”
The cruelty is the point. Republicans, mad about the Schumer/Manchin agreement, tanked a bill called the PACT Act, which is essentially a veteran’s bill, as it addresses the effects of toxic “burn pits.” You can read more about it here.
But the weird thing? The Senate had already passed a version of the bill. So had the House. If you think back to your School House Rock Days, they’re ironing out the differences not in the old fashioned way (conference), but by pinging different versions of the bill back and forth. A sort of legislative version of chicken.
Jon Stewart, the comedian, has been advocating for veterans organizations for months on this. Here’s his take on the why the Senate failed to get it to the 60 vote threshold this time, when it previously did.
Stewart even talked to Newsmax about the bill.
But now that the Schumer/Manchin agreement has a shot of passage, the Republicans are raising the specter of wasteful spending via what Sen. Toomey has identified as a budget gimmick.
The vote’s failure has activated Angry Jon Stewart, who, as legislators may remember, was a pretty effective advocate for the 9/11 survivors when Republicans dragged their feet on an aid package to help them. Back then, the GOP argument was that the program needn’t become “permanent.” But, in 2019, it did. In no small part due to the advocacy of Stewart. I predict some version will eventually pass, but the GOP wants to eat up all the Senate clock it can in time for the midterms.
The cruelty is the point, part 2: Susan Collings thinks the same sex bill might be in danger… because of Schumer/Manchin.
Look up. A Chinese booster rocket is coming back to earth in the next few days, but we don’t yet know where.
Over at WaPo, SONNY BUNCH argues: The Zelenskys are in Vogue. That makes them smart, not silly.
A trip down memory lane… Addison Del Mastro visits the D.C. trolley museum, which gave me fond memories of taking the RTA home from high school.
Midterms will reshape the Congressional Baseball Game rosters… A venerable tradition for charity started by Roll Call, a look at how retirements and primary losses will change the two squads for the next few years. I haven’t been to the game in a few years, but it’s for a good cause, and it’s one of the rare places where you can boo a politician knowing they’ll hear you.
The GOP and Q. I don’t like the cutesy shorthand like GQP, or RINO or other political nicknames. But the growth of QAnon belief among GOP candidates is frightening.
"What happened to you?" Patterico answers a question many of us get all the time.
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