Wednesday, April 21, 2021


I have some observations on the Derek Chauvin/George Floyd verdict reaction at Roy Edroso Breaks It Down, opened to non-subscribers today as a public service. As more rightwing reaction rolls in, it becomes even clearer that the official conservative position is that Chauvin was, if technically guilty in some trivial murdered-a-black-guy sense, nonetheless a lamb sacrificed to the Woke Mob of Ooga Booga. The only conservatives who seem satisfied with the verdict are the never-Trumpy outcasts, while all the official poobahs like Tucker Carlson are convinced a terrible injustice has been done. 

The reliably awful Andrew C. McCarthy at National Review, for example, obviously had a column all written about how Maxine Watters and Joe Biden scared the jury into a guilty verdict (notwithstanding McCarthy finds their judgment "defensible" -- keep that ass covered, Andy). But, rushed by the "stunningly quick verdict," he had no time to smooth it out and just jammed that material into the middle of what National Review published, resulting in a "Chauvin Guilty" bulletin python-bellied with what McCarthy considers evidence that "there is a serious question about whether Derek Chauvin got a fair trial":

As [defense counsel Eric] Nelson predicted, the judge’s denial of sequestration meant the jurors would be marinated for the crucial days right before deliberations in intense publicity, street violence, and unhinged demands that Chauvin be convicted of murder, no matter what.

That was the powder keg into which Waters and, hours before the verdict, President Biden lobbed their rhetorical bombs — though the president’s remarks were made after the jury already began deliberating behind closed doors, unlike Waters’s.

It's a wonder those poor people didn't merely proffer their verdict through a cracked jury-room door with a trembling hand and a white flag! McCarthy is also sore the case wasn't routed out of Hennepin County, where "the defendant plausibly argued from the start that he could not get a fair trial" because, well, you know [pushes in nose].

It's like they know about Jim Crow days and trials rigged against black folks, and think of that, not as a cautionary tale, but as a propaganda template, and are using it to portray Chauvin as their own, white Scottsboro Boy.  I believe among their rabble there are plenty of white supremacists who will go for it -- the same ones for whom Ashli Bobbitt is Horst Wessel. Whether it's enough by itself to sustain the conservative movement as currently constituted is an open question.

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