I've seen a lot of praise for this Kevin Williamson piece on Trump and the GOP. I obviously agree with the "Trump is bad" sentiment, which accounts for its popularity among Never Trumpers. However.... nationalreview.com/the-tuesday/th…
There are a couple massive flaws worth highlighting, because they're characteristic of the poisons that inhabit even many species of anti-Trump conservatism.
The first his Williamson's whitewashing of William F. Buckley's support for white supremacy:
Williamson justifies Buckley's support for disenfranchising blacks on the grounds that Buckley also wanted to disenfranchise "unqualified" whites.

But that was not on the table. What was on the table was measures to equalize voting for blacks and whites. Buckley opposed them.
And while his view "evolved," that means that he gave up on restoring de jure segregation after he lost his fight to preserve it.

His principle didn't change.
How do we know? When faced with the same question in South Africa two decades later, Buckley made the same choice! nymag.com/intelligencer/…
Buckley's reasons for supporting Aparthied in South Africa in the 80s were identical to his reasons for supporting it in the South in the 60s: black people were inferior, white people therefore entitled to rule.
The second tic worth noting is Williamson's contempt for democracy:
This is a very NR belief. The NR version of it lionizes elites, who are entitled to rule by dint of their superior intelligence and cultivation.

It's a creepy Buckley view his heirs still cling to.
One can believe in the need for elites to supply expertise, and also for elected representatives to use independent judgment. But when you're to the point of using democracy as a hate term, you've crossed into a disturbing place -- as evidenced by the uses Buckley put that notion
and the Buckleyite contempt for democracy helped open the door for Trump's attacks on democracy. They're difficult to disentangle in practice: both forms of belief that certain kinds of white people are entitled to minority rule.

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More from @jonathanchait

18 Nov 20
1/ A few months ago, I had an online run-in with @EoinHiggins_, a left-wing writer. It has since taken a rather bizarre turn. Thread:
@EoinHiggins_ 2/ It began in August, when I wrote a column arguing that Trump’s authoritarianism is an outgrowth of a deeper trend within his party. It’s a theme I’ve been making over and over throughout the Trump era: nymag.com/intelligencer/…
@EoinHiggins_ 3/ Higgins wrote a piece citing it, claiming I argued Trump “is an aberration within the Republican party--a bug, not a feature.” newrepublic.com/article/159158…
Read 20 tweets
6 Nov 20
[thread] One progressive tic that I'd like to see go away is "X constituency won the election." We’ve seen this in a lot of elections, most memorably (for me) the Jones special election in Alabama.
If the point is to give a gold star to people who voted for your candidate, then the gold stars go to… everybody who voted for your candidate. You don’t deserve less credit for voting Democratic simply because fewer members of your demographic also voted Democratic.
One of the problems with this habit is that it reduces people to their race, or sometimes race+gender. Most voters are cross-pressured by multiple factors: education, religion, geography, etc. Seeing voters as undifferentiated ethnic blocs is terrible politics.
Read 5 tweets
24 Sep 20
A note on my coverage. My goal in writing about Trump has been to write about him like he was any other president. That standard is practically impossible to keep, because his offenses are at a scale and frequency so far beyond the historic norm.
The standard of "Would this story merit dropping everything and writing about immediately?" is one normal presidents meet every few weeks, or less. For Trump it's several times a day.
Yesterday @gregpmiller reported Trump making one of the most anti-Semitic comments any modern president has uttered. A normal pol would be facing calls to resign over this: nymag.com/intelligencer/…
Read 6 tweets
12 Sep 20
The freest of freebies would be for Biden or (better still!) Harris to denounce Robin DiAngelo. That would get media attention. nytimes.com/2020/09/12/us/… Image
I wrote about DiAngelo's theories this summer. They're really awful. nymag.com/intelligencer/…
Obviously few voters could identify DiAngelo. The point would be to drive coverage by the media.
Read 4 tweets
1 Sep 20
I've encountered some pretty dense people, but I'm not sure I've ever seen as brutally illiterate a misreading as @EoinHiggins_ does here: newrepublic.com/article/159158… Image
@EoinHiggins_ The entire point of my article is that the problem with the GOP is sysmetatically ideological and NOT an aberration! nymag.com/intelligencer/… Image
@EoinHiggins_ Writers do a bad job of understanding words all the time, but it's rare to see yourself represented as making the exact 100% opposite of your actual point.
Read 4 tweets
31 Jul 20
Karen Bass is highly-regarded by members of both parties, but her long history in the Venceremos Brigade would become a huge issue if she is nominated theatlantic.com/politics/archi…
I'm seeing her being described as a quiet, do-no-harm pick:
Here's Ed Rendell saying the same: cnn.com/2020/07/31/pol…
Read 4 tweets

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