Friday, January 11, 2019


See, I do so like new(ish) music.

I should like to extend my remarks on a subject I treated briefly in the newsletter, the sudden elevation of Tucker Carlson from rightwing TV rageclown to serious conservative intellectual. (Before I go on, PLUG FOR MY NEWSLETTER: It's called Roy Edroso Breaks It Down, it comes out five days a week, it's absurdly cheap and the money goes to support a good cause i.e. the continued shabby-genteel survival of me and the missus.) The Carlson speech over which many wingnut dummies have swooned is, to quote from myself,
...the usual Tucker Carlson bullshit, but with Big Ideas substituted for the usual dogwhistles. 
For example, Carlson wants to know, after people like him are gone, “What kind of country will be it be then? How do we want our grandchildren to live? These are the only questions that matter." Normally this is where he starts foaming about the dusky hordes, but on this occasion he lashes out instead at... materialism. “Does anyone still believe that cheaper iPhones, or more Amazon deliveries of plastic garbage from China are going to make us happy?” he cries. 
As longtime followers of conservative intelligentsia will have figured out, here Carlson is doing a Values thing; the bad conservatives only care about the market, but noble Tucker cares about the poor — now that authors like J.D. Vance have hipped him that a lot of those poor are white and living in red states...
Carlson’s yak is not any kind of an argument, it’s just shtick — leaning toward one group of rightwing intellectuals (the Values Klan) against another (the Free-Market Country Club). It may be very important to pencil-necks who imagine their debates and flame wars are deeply meaningful — like the “Reformicons” who pretended they had a hand in Republican policy just before Trump came in and blew them away with one of his farts — but to the conservative hoi polloi it means less than nothing...
If you're wondering why one of the leading conservative racists is trying to class up his act (and, say this for him, he sure knew how to get the suckers to bite), I suggest it's because he sees that, while white supremacy sells pretty good now, November's blue wave suggests limited growth opportunities for his franchise -- he's not going to break out of the Fox News ghetto into which Jon Stewart more or less shoved him by going on and on about dirty Messicans. Hence, the grand manner: He adopts an anti-crony-capitalist angle, and suddenly he's not just another shitbird, he's a Big Thinker, and when Trump implodes he'll be well-positioned to climb as a Voice of the Respectable Right.

Others among the brethren are sensing that a shift is necessary -- that's why they're all of a sudden running away from their old buddy Steve King, whose recent comments made his white nationalism too obvious to ignore. But they're not as smart about it as Carlson. At The Daily Beast, Matt Lewis tries to get "The Left" with a bank shot and winds up sending the cueball crashing through the poolroom window:
How Steve King’s Idiotic and Odious Words Help the Left Destroy Western Civilization
In his comments to the Times, King equated Western civilization, which belongs to all of us, with white people only. And that’s just what the hard left wants people to think.
Oh, you say authors don't write their own heds and subheds? Okay, from the body copy:
Men like Steve King see whiteness as a fundamental ingredient of Western civilization and, ultimately, of the United States of America. This is, by definition, a “racist” view. Moreover, it puts King is on the same level with radical leftists who agree that “Western civ” is a dog whistle for racism.
The racists and the people who notice they're racists -- both part of the same pathology!

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