Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Read: what the right is saying right now, a roundup.

It's important to listen to everyone -- even (maybe especially) people who think differently than yourself.  Here are what four different sites have to say in a general snapshot.  If you're interested, you can click through on any story.

National Review is the old-school conservative rag that tries to speak for the whole movement.  It virulently opposed Trump, even to the point of dedicating an entire issue during the primary campaign to "Against Trump" essays from dozens of conservative leaders.  Unfortunately, Trump won the election.  Now it's very hard to face up to the fact that they should -- according to everything they've said they believed for the past forty years -- still oppose him.

In the aftermath, they have tended to simply avoid commentary on the presidency, as astonishing as that might seem.  Other topics are more pressing, such as introspection of the movement and the wacky liberals who are still doing wacky things.  They have written about: the current flush of self-congratulation in a media that had abrogated its duty, the potential for primary challenges to devastate Democrats, how you shouldn't let hatred dictate your support, applause for the new immigration pro-deport guidelines, why so many corporations are acting so liberal, how Trump's seemingly irrational outbursts are in fact cleverly designed to achieve his ends, and the Trump Organization's "unnecessary" entanglements with the Emoluments Clause.

Further to the right, RedState is a fiery conservative site that has often called for primary challenges to help push the GOP further right. Once dominated by discussions about the presidency -- overwhelming criticism of Obama, of course -- it has shifted its focus.  During the campaign, the most prominent leaders of the site, particularly Erik Erickson and Ben Howe, were disgusted by Trump, but tribalism has taken hold.  Just like with NR, it's very uncomfortable for RedState to criticize a president who might repeal Obamacare, deliver tax cuts, and hurt LGBT rights. Alas, they're not making as good a show of it.

Accordingly, much of the commentary has switched to focus on the lower-level people they support or to attack Democrats and the media.  They have written about: a gutless Republican party that isn't willing to live up to its promises on repealing Obamacare, a heroic Nikki Haley defending Israel at the UN, a "loony left" that needs to get a job instead of constantly protesting, a corrupt Democratic Party that pretends to care about Russian interference in the election while taking money from foreign interests, the clever put-down that bloodless Mitch McConnell used at a recent town hall, a common-sense new immigration enforcement policy for "illegals" that liberals are being silly about, and how the partisan leftist media is going nuts and should have covered Obama more.

Even further to the right, there's the alt-right Breitbart.  Their former publisher, Stephen Bannon, is now a top adviser in the White House.  As you'd expect, they are enraptured with a glorious administration that has already been the most effective, masculine, powerful, throbbing presidency in the history of the universe.  They have written about: how most people support Trump and his immigration policies, how Sweden really is a terrifying hellscape of Muslims just like Trump said, how Ivanka Trump supports Jewish people and none of the Trumps are racist, heterosexual women are being persecuted by WNBA players, and "terrorists are being killed, locked up, and running scared now that a Commander-in-Chief has replaced an Apologizer-in-Chief."

And at the utmost extremity of Trump-worship, subreddit The_Donald, it's just one continuous paroxysm of praise and joy and mockery.  They have written about: how even Bernie Sanders is praising Trump for withdrawing from the TPP, how one of the people who claims he was hurt by the Muslim ban was caught lying, how a Trump supporter was attacked at Berkeley, how a Syrian refugee stabbed and killed a Swedish boy, and of how awesome it is that Trump threatened to defund Berkeley if the university didn't let Milo Yiannapoulis speak there (ok, that one hasn't aged well).

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