Links and Comments: Space Lasers. Being Played. Bizarro.

Nicholas Kristof’s letter to his conservative friends; Paul Krugman on the party of bizarro; CNN on the post-Trump era; The Week’s Ryan Cooper on GOP extremity; Slate’s Jeremy Stahl asks House Republicans if they believe in Jewish Space Lasers.

Here’s the most important essay, in that it tries to address both sides, in the past couple days.

NYT, Nicholas Kristof: A Letter to My Conservative Friends, subtitled “Hold us accountable, but please do the same for the charlatans who deceive you, use you and cheat you.”

Dear friends and neighbors,

Relax! We liberals aren’t plotting to round you up in “re-education camps.”

I was horrified when a couple of old friends here asked if they were in danger for having supported Donald Trump. I gently told them that they were in no peril — and I was stung that they felt greatly relieved to hear it.

Yes, I know that Fox News is peddling nonsense about Democrats setting up re-education camps, and that a Wall Street Journal column asked, “If you were an enthusiastic Donald Trump supporter, are you ready to enter a re-education program?”

Folks, you’re being played. Again.

Closing lines:

So, conservative friends, fear not: We’re not plotting to lock you up in detention camps. We need you to keep us honest. But you’ve been scammed in ways that have hurt the country we all love. Hold us accountable, but please do the same for the charlatans who deceive you, use you and cheat you.


Yet there’s also this, from Paul Krugman:

NYT: The G.O.P. Is in a Doom Loop of Bizarro, subtitled “But will it doom the rest of us, too?”

Here’s what we know about American politics: The Republican Party is stuck, probably irreversibly, in a doom loop of bizarro. If the Trump-incited Capitol insurrection didn’t snap the party back to sanity — and it didn’t — nothing will.

What isn’t clear yet is who, exactly, will end up facing doom. Will it be the G.O.P. as a significant political force? Or will it be America as we know it? Unfortunately, we don’t know the answer. It depends a lot on how successful Republicans will be in suppressing votes.

About the bizarro: Even I had some lingering hope that the Republican establishment might try to end Trumpism. But such hopes died this week.


CNN: In the Republican Party, the post-Trump era lasted a week

The GOP has chosen to be aligned with Trump and QAnon.


The Week, Ryan Cooper: The Capitol insurrection isn’t moderating the GOP. It’s making them more extreme.

Perhaps the clearest evidence comes in the form of freshman Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), best known as a believer in the lunatic QAnon conspiracy theory. It turns out that before she ran for office, she posted likes and comments on Facebook indicating support for murdering several Democratic politicians, including Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. She also endorsed yet more conspiracy theories: one that Clinton had cut off the face of a baby, worn it, and drank its blood as part of a Satanic ritual, another that the 2018 California wildfires were started by a space laser, and another that the Parkland mass shooting was a false flag hoax. Video emerged of her chasing down one of the survivors of the attack, David Hogg, on Capitol Hill in 2019, yelling at him that she was carrying a gun and pelting him with crackpot accusations as he walks away.

Slate: How Many House Republicans Believe the Jews Attacked California With a Space Laser?, subtitled, “We asked party leaders about Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s theory.”

Basically the Republicans who were asked ducked the question or did not respond at all.

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