It’s Time for Another Round of… Stupid? Or Cynical?

  • Stupid or Cynical: Republican/Christian conservatives respond to the coincidence of Easter and Trans Recognition Day;
  • Some MAGA claims are just delusional, example from Steve Bannon;
  • Robert Reich on Trump’s 5-step fascist plan;
  • And how conservatives reject the idea of lab-grown meat.

NY Times, 1 Apr 2024: A Transgender Holiday Fell on Easter. Republicans Lashed Out at Biden., subtitled “President Biden, in acknowledging both days, drew the ire of many on the right, who attacked him as besmirching Christianity.”

The Republican outrage machine kicked into gear over Easter weekend after President Biden noted that Sunday was being celebrated for more than one reason.

International Transgender Day of Visibility is observed every year on March 31. Easter is observed on the first Sunday after the first full moon on or after the spring equinox.

This year, for the second time since Transgender Day of Visibility was established 15 years ago, and the last time until 2086, the two happened to coincide. President Biden publicly honored both of them, as he has done every year since he took office in 2021.

Republicans responded with a flurry of statements declaring that Mr. Biden had besmirched Christianity — the latest manifestation of anger that, over the past few years, has often flared up after public acknowledgments of transgender people.

Many Republicans said falsely that Mr. Biden had declared Sunday as the transgender holiday, though the day has been observed for years.

Other examples:

But this is amazing:

Joe comments:

Don’t expect similar retractions from the Family Research Council or the dozens of MAGA World figures who have spewed the same lies. Notably, the above-linked retraction has not appeared on the Daily Caller X account.

Are these people stupid, or cynical? On this one, I’m going for cynical. (On the other hand, Trump is stupid.) I think these politicians and religious leaders know — or must have quickly found out — that this was all a coincidence. But the MAGA faithful hasn’t paid any attention to any “International Transgender Day of Visibility” — indeed, I haven’t paid any attention to it either — and so can be stoked into outrage against Biden and Democrats by this made-up slight against Christianity by the coincidence of two different things on Biden’s Sunday calendar. (And Biden surely has many things on every day’s calendar.)

Of course, why they think Christianity should be given such “special” treatment in a nominally secular nation is another matter. More about the MAGA mindset. Twitter/X post by Speaker Mike Johnson:

The Biden White House has betrayed the central tenet of Easter — which is the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Banning sacred truth and tradition—while at the same time proclaiming Easter Sunday as “Transgender Day”—is outrageous and abhorrent. The American people are taking note.

Ya know what? The US is not a Christian nation, and those of us who are *not* Christians are offended by the presumptions of those who are. Why do they think themselves so special, so privileged?

There was a sub-theme in this controversy about the rules children had to follow when decorating Easter Eggs for the White House egg roll, e.g. no explicit religious icons or quotes. Again, these rules have been in place for something like 40 years. They’re not some nefarious plot by the Biden administration.


On the other hand, some of the MAGA folk are just delusional.

Joe.My.God, quoting Steven Bannon’s podcast: Steve Bannon: There Is “Empirical Evidence” Proving Trump Is “An Instrument Of Divine Providence” [VIDEO]

Of that [that Trump is an instrument of divine providence] there’s no doubt. There’s empirical evidence of that.

OK, show us your empirical evidence. I think these people do not understand what empirical evidence means.


Stepping out to objective observations about Trump, and conservatives in general.

Robert Reich, 1 Apr 2024: Trump’s 5-Step Fascist Plan, subtitled “He’s already laid each step out”

On Friday, Trump posted a video featuring an image of President Biden hog-tied —with hands and feet bound together.

Trump has previously posted doctored photos and videos depicting him physically attacking Biden, such as hitting Mr. Biden with golf balls.

It’s all part of Trump’s 5-step fascist plan.

In a previous post, I laid out the defining traits of fascism and how MAGA Republicans embody them, and I suggested that Trump and his lackeys shouldn’t be seen as simply “authoritarian.” They need to be understood as fascist.

But how could Trump actually turn America into a fascist state?

In five steps, which he’s already signaled he plans to take. Here they are:

I’ll summarize in bullet points. For each, Reich gives many examples.

  • Step 1: Use threats of violence to gain power.
  • Step 2: Consolidate power.
  • Step 3: Demonize a group of people and establish a police state to round them up into detention camps.
  • Step 4: Jail the opposition.
  • Step 5: Undermine the free press.


Stepping further out, a piece about the conservative mindset.

Washington Post, Catherine Rampell, 2 Apr 2024: Opinion | The GOP is freaking out about an industry that doesn’t even exist yet

The only way you’re allowed to eat a burger is if a live animal first had to burp and die for it. That, apparently, is the battle cry of red-state Republicans, who are working to ban the fledgling “lab-grown meat” industry.

Scientists and entrepreneurs are developing new technologies to create meat from animal tissue cultivated in labs. This is different from Beyond Meat, tofu or any other meat substitute made from vegetarian ingredients. These are cells harvested from actual animals and then grown into edible flesh with the help of nutrients such as amino acids. The idea is to replicate the texture, taste and nutritional content of the delicious meats consumers already know and love.

This has been an idea for decades; Arthur C. Clarke wrote a story about artificial meat, back in the 1960s. (“The Food of the Gods,” here at ISFDb.)

This is another issue in which humans’ base instincts are in conflict with their more advanced moral stances; humans evolved as carnivores, and didn’t think about the implications for thousands of years, until modern society and scientific understanding has made us realize that the animals we kill to eat are not necessarily (the jury is out) mindless meat machines. Wouldn’t it be better to avoid the slaughter of so many animals, which seem to have rudimentary consciousness, if we could? If scientists could recreate, in a lab, the same kind of protein as animal meat?

But no, conservatives reflexively, knee-jerkingly, reject the idea. As they do all new ideas.

Republican politicians in Alabama, Arizona, Tennessee and Florida are considering legislation that would ban the sale, distribution or import of any “cell-cultured food product” intended for human consumption. Depending on the state, penalties could include everything from a $1 million fine to prison time.

“Some folks probably like to eat bugs with Bill Gates, but not me,” said Tennessee state Rep. Bud Hulsey (R), referring to the billionaire entrepreneur and philanthropist who has invested in some of these technologies.

No one is forcing anything on you, Rep. Hulsey. But conservatives, it seems to me, reflexively react to anything they disapprove of by trying to ban it for *everybody*.

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