Every time AOC does anything, the entire right descends into intensely cringey hysterics. She taps directly into their every neurosis & hangup & they are helpless to hide it. It is embarrassing to watch, in a fremdschämen sort of way.
One enduring aspect of reactionary conservatism is that it's populated by people obsessed with those they perceive as the cool, popular kids. They always felt outside that circle, never get over it, & are gripped by alternating resentment & envy.
As in all things, Trump is the ultimate example. His entire life is built around his envy of the Manhattan inner circle that he could never seem to get inside, no matter how much money he accumulated. He "hates" the New York Times the way Magats "hate" AOC ...
... i.e., he allows it to set up shop in his head. He's obsessed with it, rages against it, wants desperately to be approved of by it, envies it, hates it for making him envy it, hates himself for envying it ... it's all out there on the surface, cringey as hell.
AOC is beautiful, young, smart as a whip, elegant but approachable, & beloved by young people. She's cool in a way that conservatives will never be and she does it without trying. It drives them absolutely insane, in the same way Obama used to. They hate what they envy.
This all brings to mind the strain of US conservatism in which awkward dweebs who have found their courage behind keyboards -- your Jonah Goldbergs & Ben Shapiros -- try to make "cool conservatism" a thing. "We can be cool too! We don't need them!" Good GOD it is cringey.
You youngs may not remember it, but Goldberg tried for *years* to convince people that the new generation of conservatives are cool because they like the Simpsons. (Seriously.) And then there was that time cons tried to make their own Daily Show ...
Wrapping this up: Chait has a good piece pointing out how surreal it is that we're once again having endless online arguments about symbolic class war when there's REAL class war unfolding in DC as we speak. nymag.com/intelligencer/…
In other words, AOC's populism isn't fake or symbolic -- she's working her ass off at this very moment to put into place policies that would massively transfer income downward, & her Republican opponents are working equally hard to protect the rich. Reality exists.

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More from @drvolts

15 Sep
Just took a short break from the depressing hellscape of national politics to talk with some Illinois folk about the amazing energy bill the state just passed.

Competent, forward-looking public policy is possible ... where, and only where, voters elect Dem supermajorities.
The process in Illinois is what you want from democracy: utilities, renewable energy developers, unions, EJ advocates, & greens got in a room together & hashed it out. It was long & painful & contentious. It took *3 years*. Everyone got stuff; everyone gave stuff up. But ...
...in the end, everyone got a bill they can live with & the state got a huge leap forward, for its economy, its health, & its most vulnerable.

But that whole process was only possible because Ds ran everything. They allowed small-d democracy to happen, interests to be balanced.
Read 7 tweets
12 Sep
My birthday cake: chocolate-zucchini-rosemary, with pecans, covered in tart lemon drizzle. 🎂
Thank you for your kind bday wishes. How am I doing on my birthday? Shitty! In the personal sphere, my aging body is falling apart, my naturally antisocial tendencies are making me into a hermit, & my beloved sons will be leaving the house soon, about which I am hopelessly sad.
In the public sphere, US democracy is descending into authoritarian shit & climate change is barely being restrained. All signs point to my kids inheriting a world that will grow ever meaner, nastier, & more inequitable.
Read 7 tweets
11 Sep
3,200 on Thursday. 2,400 yesterday. On average, Covid is killing around as many Americans as died on 9/11 every single day.
The very same people who were willing to send American children to war, spend trillions of dollars nation-building, commit war crimes, torture prisoners, & build a massive domestic-surveillance regime in response to 9/11 ... are unwilling to wear masks to stop a daily 9/11.
What's uncomfortable to talk about is that, especially for the loudest post-9/11 voices, it wasn't really about the lives lost. It was about ego injury, about being hurt by a group of brown people we'd been socialized to think of as primitive & weak.
Read 6 tweets
8 Sep
I know it's nobody's fault & probably couldn't have happened otherwise, but there are some real drawbacks to the fact that climate change entered the public consciousness via the hard sciences & has always been draped in scientism & festooned with scientific jargon.
Just want to say for the record that I did NOT pay this guy to come along & illustrate my point so perfectly.
Read 7 tweets
8 Sep
Fuck this. Progressives should make clear they won't vote for the BIF if this is all that's on the table. axios.com/scoop-manchin-…
Also, I know I keep ranting about this, but it's all so fucking arbitrary. WHY $1.5T rather than $3.5T? What reasoning or economic analysis supports this? Manchin just pulls these numbers out of the shallow puddle of his mind & is allowed to masquerade as "responsible." Uuuugh.
Here's an idea: let's stop talking about the headline spending number of the reconciliation bill & start talking about what it does. Manchin's dickheadery should not be framed as "spending less," but as "cutting back needed support for working parents & the elderly."
Read 5 tweets
8 Sep
Gonna do an on-camera thing tomorrow & just realized that my hair is historically awful & scheduled a panic haircut tonight at 8pm. What could go wrong.
And lo, because fate has a sense of humor, I just found out I'm doing an on-camera thing *tonight*, before my panic haircut. Here's hoping viewers can look past what looks like roadkill on top of my head.
My haircut this evening was interrupted by a baby (adolescent? v. smol) bunny, which hopped in the front door of Rudy's, brazen as you please, and just sat in the middle of the room, stock still, no apparent fright, as the staff gathered around him squeee-ing & 'gramming.
Read 4 tweets

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