Calling Crenshaw a “stalwart conservative” is actually fine - because the type of disdain for democracy Crenshaw has displayed is well in line with the long-standing anti-democratic impulses and tendencies that have always defined modern U.S. conservatism.
This Politico piece is, of course, not at all interested in informing the audience about these anti-democratic traditions, and how Trump fits right in, and why Crenshaw doesn’t have to be a “Trump loyalist” to be on board with the authoritarian onslaught on democracy.
It does the exact opposite: Politico wants to cling to the myth of “respectable” conservatism so bad that they are happy to legitimize the sort of anti-democratic tendencies Crenshaw embodies. This kind of constant normalization in centrist media is a massive problem.
Presenting Crenshaw in this way enables them to stick with the established dogmata of political journalism. If Crenshaw embodies the supposedly good, respectable conservative tradition, and there is still a place for him in the Republican Party, then how bad could it possibly be?
This is the preferred center-right (re-) definition of the “respectable” spectrum of American politics: Trump is bad - but anyone who is not blatantly Trumpist in attitude and demeanor, regardless of substance, is fine. That way, you can still pretend the GOP is a “normal” party.

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More from @tzimmer_history

26 Dec
This is utter nonsense, of course, if you read it as an empirical claim about America’s past or present.

But as an ideological statement of Christian nationalism and white supremacy, it is perfect. And absolutely terrifying. Image
Just ignoring this won’t work, because it’s not coming from some rightwing troll, but a Republican elected official - and it’s impossible to adequately understand American politics without grappling in earnest with why her radicalism is widely seen as justified on the Right.
No use making fun of it either. This should be read as a statement of intent: “America belongs to us white Christians, we have a right to dominate this country, and we are determined to keep it that way by whatever means necessary.” Nothing funny about that.
Read 10 tweets
25 Dec
Completely agree - but due to the pervasive pathologies of journalistic and political culture, when they do take a look in the mirror, they’re likely to tell themselves “You are doing a great job by not giving in to ‘partisanship,’ and by staying ‘neutral’ and above the fray!”
…and considering the existing incentive structures in journalism and politics, they’re also likely looking at someone who - strictly in terms of advancing their own careers - is doing everything right. That needs to change.
The “neutrality” dogma demands this kind of coverage: As defined by too many journalists and political observers, it means keeping equidistance from #BothSides. But with the GOP rapidly radicalizing, the “neutral” position provides cover for extremism and leads to distortions.
Read 7 tweets
22 Dec
As 2021 comes to an end, what is the state of American democracy?

The reactionary counter-mobilization against democracy has accelerated. It’s happening on so many fronts simultaneously that it’s easy to lose sight of how things are connected. Thoughts on the big picture: 1/
So many things are happening at the federal, state, and local levels all around the country that are directly tied to the broader struggle over whether or not America should finally realize the promise of multiracial, pluralistic democracy. That’s the defining conflict. 2/
In Washington, Republicans have adopted a position of total obstruction (what else is new?), very much including the obstruction of any attempt to investigate a violent attack on the Capitol. But it’s the state level where the reactionary project has accelerated most. 3/
Read 22 tweets
20 Dec
Unfortunately, we have to talk about Joe Manchin. Again. Still.

I wrote this a few months ago – my attempt to unpack Manchin’s core political project of status quo fundamentalism and what animates a man who seems all too willing to let democracy perish. Still relevant, sadly:
I think approaches that focus entirely on a mixture of opportunism and corruption must fall short. These are obviously important pieces of this puzzle. But ideology always circumscribes and defines the realm of opportunity – which makes Manchin *more*, not less of a problem.
“The world should be run by wealthy white (Christian) men” has always been the reactionary credo, shaping the American project from the start. And it has always extended well beyond the American Right, and extends beyond today’s Republican Party. It is also Joe Manchin’s credo.
Read 5 tweets
18 Dec
“This strange mixture of normalcy and emergency”

I wrote this 21 months ago, at the start of the #Covid pandemic. I would slightly amend it now: It’s the bizarre mixture of (en)forced normalcy and (yet again escalating) emergency that is utterly disorienting and exhausting.
Almost two years in and all the professional demands have long ago ramped back up to “normal.” But we’ve lived through a world-historic emergency, are still suffering through it - no time, though, society says: You have to function normally through the emergency!
I live in DC, where the incidence is rising rapidly and more new infections are detected than ever before. But the mayor ended the indoors mask mandate just a few weeks ago, so when I go to the grocery story, I’m breathing the same air as people who can’t be bothered to mask up.
Read 6 tweets
14 Dec
I agree that whether or not Republicans “actually believe” the election was stolen is not all that important. We must understand, however, that they absolutely believe the outcome of the election was *illegitimate* in a fundamental way.

Some thoughts on an important debate: 1/
There’s a lot more than just semantics at stake in the debate over how to frame and conceptualize Republican attempts to delegitimize the 2020 election and what’s actually animating the initiatives to subvert future elections. 2/
I think @ThePlumLineGS is making some important points here: Saying Republicans “actually believe” the election was stolen could be taken to suggest they’re all good-faith actors who just have sincere doubts (and maybe have a right to have their questions heard and examined?). 3/
Read 36 tweets

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