Open thread for night owls. Serwer: 'What Americans do now will define us forever'

Adam Serwer at The Atlantic writes—What Americans Do Now Will Define Us Forever: If multiracial democracy cannot be defended in America, it will not be defended elsewhere:

The conservative intelligentsia flocked to the Ritz-Carlton in Washington, D.C., this week for the National Conservatism Conference, an opportunity for people who may never have punched a time clock to declare their eternal enmity toward elites and to attempt to offer contemporary conservative nationalism the intellectual framework that has so far proved elusive.

Yoram Hazony, the Israeli scholar who organized the conference, explicitly rejected white nationalism, barring several well-known adherents from attending, my colleague Emma Green reported. But despite Hazony’s efforts, the insistence that “nationalism” is, at its core, about defending borders, eschewing military interventions, and promoting a shared American identity did not prevent attendees from explicitly declaring that American laws should favor white immigrants.

Some other attendees, such as National Review’s Rich Lowry, took pains to distance themselves from the president’s brand of nationalism. “We have to push back against Donald Trump when he does things to increase that breach between the right and African Americans,” Lowry said. But in the fall of 2017, when Trump attempted to silence black athletes protesting police brutality, Lowry praised his “gut-level political savvy,” writing, “This kind of thing is why he’s president.”

The conference stood solidly within the conservative intellectual tradition, as a retroactive attempt by the right-wing intelligentsia to provide cover for what the great mass of Republican voters actually want. Barry Goldwater did not break the Solid South in 1964 because the once Democratic voters of the Jim Crow states had suddenly become principled small-government libertarians; voters who backed Donald Trump in 2016 did not do so because they believed a nonracial civic nationalism had been eroded by liberal cosmopolitanism.

The consensus that American civic nationalism recognizes all citizens regardless of race, creed, color, or religion was already fragile before Trump took office. That principle has been lauded, with varying degrees of sincerity, by presidents from both parties, and in particular by the first black president, who reveled in reminding audiences that “in no other country in the world is my story even possible.” The nationalism that conservatives say they wish to build in fact already existed, but it was championed by a president whose persona was so deformed by right-wing caricature that they could not perceive it. Instead, they embraced the nationalism that emerged as a backlash to his very existence and all it represented. […]

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In 2000 George Bush sent robocalls accusing John McCain of fathering an “illegitimate black child.” In 2004, George Bush sent mailers accusing gay people of wanting to ban the Bible. https://t.co/Rj7ZgXiLri

— Steve Morris (@stevemorris__) July 18, 2019


On this date at Daily Kos in 2007—Huzzah for Harry Reid:

The Brown Derby closed several years ago, but if I could lay my hands on that house-sized hat, I’d give it a tip for Harry Reid.

Let me start with the confessions.  First, I have not always held tight to my pom-poms.  More than once in the last six months, I’ve said some… not all that supportive things about Senator Reid and his ability to move things through the “collegial” axle grease of the Senate. A big part of this was frustration at seeing all that “first hundred hours” legislation come rocketing through the House, only to enter a Senatorial time warp. A bigger part of that was the failure to keep popping that same vetoed Iraq bill back onto Bush’s desk until either sweet reason prevailed or Bush’s fingers got too tired to scrawl his ‘X.’ The biggest reason of all was a deep personal need to see Mitch McConnell face down in the mud while Senator Reid does a Riverdance clog on his back (Oh, and Bill O? That there is one of them met-a-phors).

Forget that. My past criticisms arguably makes me little more than a fair weather friend, but I see a lot of blue skies today, and I see one tough senator standing out in the sunshine. I’m damned impressed with Senator Reid.

On today’s Kagro in the Morning show: SDNY unseals Cohen search warrant documents, and we find Trump all over the hush money deals. (Duh.) There’s an alternate theory about that, by the way. Hey, what is it with right-wing pedophilia projection? Will Epstein take even more big names under?

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