Sunday, January 17, 2021

Danger On The (Non-Insurrectionist) Right

In this excerpt from the portion (below) of an interview Friday evening on Bill Maher's Real Time, former Trump adviser Kelly Ann Conway contends

You know, the people who believed in Donald Trump, the forgotten man or forgotten woman, they appreciate an expansion of school choice and charter schools. Why should all- why should just the rich kids have all the opportunities?

You probably missed the "Support Charter Schools" banners amidst the Capitol Hill rioters with Stop the Steal signs, Confederate flags, "MAGA Civil War" and a Camp Auschwitz t-shirt. The weakened public school system, aided and abetted by President Obama's Administration, fortunately was another failure of the Trump Administration, which was unable to muster the financial and public support sought by Education secretary DeVos. Their loss but our gain as students, parents of students, teachers, and taxpayers.

Maher didn't take the bait, instead continuing his line of questioning. At one point, Conway claimed

... I think it's important to recognize you have dead terrorists named Soleimani al-Baghdad. You have whole judiciary, the dead terrorist, you have- well, that doesn't happen by accident.

Soleimani wasn't the only prominent individual killed in the Middle East. We recall that Jamal Khashoggi, a journalist and Saudi national resident in the USA who wrote for The Washington Post, was dismembered by bone saw, almost certainly by people close to the Saudi regime.

Prince Mohammed bin Salman bore major responsibility for the assassination, a situation which never once discomfited presidential senior adviser Jared Kushner, "the prince's most important defender inside the White House."

Conway neglected to mention Khashoggi, though she did applaud

policy gains, where you do have de-regulation and taxes lowered for people where it matters. I think his legacy on the policy stuff will survive a lot of this. Other people will be just fine, okay. Last week was horrible. I made that very clear. Last week was inexcusable, it's disgraceful.

The passive voice, "last week," does a lot of work there as substitute for supporters of Donald Trump, who did all he could to incite a riot and overthrow the government of the United States of America.

Nevertheless, the references to charter schools, judges, taxes, and de-regulation were most telling and significant.  Though omitting "far-right authoritarian" and "would-be monarch," David Frum recognizes a growing danger:

There is a legend building among the non-deadend Trumpers, that Trump had a decent record before some arbitrary date: before the election, before the pandemic. It needs to be stressed that Trump was a crook, charlatan, bigot, thug, and incompetent from the start to the end.

What Kellyanne Conway calls "legacy" is a false narrative building among non-dead end Trumpers, but also likely to generate support among a wide range of conservatives, including Jeff Flake, Joe Scarborough, maybe Conway's husband George, and many others. They tend to be media darlings because they dislike Donald Trump but long for a Republican Party which promoted the policies which led us down the road to a President Donald Trump. The light is blinking red and spelling danger.


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