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    Why are M&M’s caving to rightwing anti-woke pressure? | Tayo Bero

    Corporate cowardice: M&M cave to the right with pause on their ‘woke’ spokescandiesTayo BeroThe brand made a vague symbolic gesture – and rightwing pundits twisted it into a devious agenda. Now they’re retreating They were inciting a communist takeover. They were promoting radical wokeness. Worst of all, they weren’t hot any more.A year after it first began, one of the most ridiculous back-and-forths between a large corporation and the media I’ve witnessed in my lifetime is finally over. The M&M’s have pulled their beloved spokescandies.It all started early last year when Mars Wrigley, the company that owns M&M’s, began making a number of changes to their colorful signature characters. In January, the green M&M traded in her signature go-go boots for more comfortable-looking pumps with lower, block heels, as did the brown one.Unfortunately for Fox News pundit Tucker Carlson, this new version of the lady M&M’s without heels simply weren’t hot enough. The woke mob wouldn’t be satisfied until all cartoon characters were completely unattractive, he moaned to an audience of millions of other adults.“When you’re totally turned off, we’ve achieved equity,” Carlson said. And, as if picturing yourself on a date with a button-shaped chocolate isn’t bad enough, the pundit Kat Timpf added that Ms Green was “an opportunistic, evil bitch” and warned that people “run from women like the green M&M”.And so it continued. M&M’s made some kind of symbolic stand on a pressing social issue, and conservative pundits twisted it into a devious agenda.In December, the company released a new all-female packaging to commemorate International Women’s Day. In response, Fox News personality Martha MacCallum suggested that the all-girl packaging was a distraction that left the US vulnerable to its communist enemies.No, actually. Here’s the quote if you don’t believe me: “I think this is the kind of thing that makes China say, ‘Oh good, keep focusing on that, keep focusing on giving people their own color M&M’s while we take over all the mineral deposits in the entire world.’”You can probably imagine what happened next – M&M’s completely ignored the naysayers, doubled down on their efforts and will now be releasing a new line of genderfluid spokescandies who reject societal convention and actually don’t wear shoes at all.Just kidding. That would require creativity and some actual guts.In reality, after months of this very legitimate, completely serious, totally-needed-a-response pressure from the right, M&M’s announced this week that the brand has decided to take “an indefinite pause from the spokescandies”.If you think this kind of outrage over anthropomorphized sweets is an aberration, then you clearly haven’t been paying attention. The M&M’s debacle is both a clear sign of our political times, and an elaborate distraction.Conservatives are carefully picking away at seemingly irrelevant parts of our everyday culture while they wreak havoc on the civil liberties of marginalized people. Teachers in Florida’s Manatee county are being forced to remove or cover up books in their classrooms unless approved by a librarian or “certified media specialist”. Mass shootings continue unabated, and drag queen book readings across the country are now regularly besieged by gun-toting bigots.Why M&M’s, in the midst of real problems in America, conceded to this conservative foolishness we’ll probably never know. And the brand’s statement doesn’t clarify matters much, either.“In [the spokescandies’] place,” the statement said, “we are proud to introduce a spokesperson America can agree on: the beloved Maya Rudolph. We are confident Ms Rudolph will champion the power of fun to create a world where everyone feels they belong.”Give me a break. Are we still talking about candy here? And what is it about a woman in sneakers, or campaigning for women’s rights, that is hard to relate to? Why are we giving legitimacy to this nonsensical posturing?Don’t get me wrong, Ms Green, Ms Blue and Ms Purple were never the answer to female oppression. And in the grand scheme of things, gestures like this can feel flat and meaningless.But still: so what if M&M’s was engaging in mindless corporate virtue signalling? Their unnecessary reaction to the pushback has shown that even their meaningless show of “inclusivity” apparently wasn’t worth fighting for – even when the fight is simply ignoring conservative trolls who are worried about losing their attraction to a sassy chocolate.
    Tayo Bero is a Guardian US columnist
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    Victor Navasky, the New York Times and a key moment in gay history

    Victor Navasky, the New York Times and a key moment in gay historyThe great editor, who died this week, prompted one of the most important pieces ever published about homosexuality Victor Navasky, who died this week aged 90, was famous for his books about the McCarthy period in the 1950s and Robert Kennedy’s justice department in the 1960s, his longtime editorship of the Nation magazine, and positions at Columbia University including chairing the Columbia Journalism Review.What almost no one remembers is how his homophobic reaction to a famously homophobic article in Harper’s magazine led him to commission the most pro-gay piece the New York Times had published up to that time – a foundational document which appeared in 1971, at the dawn of the movement for gay liberation.In September 1970, Harper’s, a famously liberal magazine, published a notorious article by Joseph Epstein: Homo/hetero: the struggle for sexual identity.Victor Navasky, award-winning author and editor of the Nation, dies at 90Read moreThe earliest long-form reaction to the budding gay movement in a liberal magazine, the article appeared 14 months after police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York’s Greenwich Village, sparking famous riots.Epstein wrote that homosexuals were “cursed … quite literally, in the medieval sense of having been struck by an unexplained injury, an extreme piece of evil luck”. He added that nothing any of his sons could do “would make me sadder than if any of them were to become homosexual. For then I should know them condemned”.Gay activists were horrified and soon staged a sit-in at the Harper’s office. As each employee arrived, a protester greeted them: “Good morning, I’m a homosexual. Would you like some coffee?”Merle Miller, a prominent novelist and magazine writer, was a regular contributor to both Harper’s and the New York Times Magazine. He had never told another straight person about his orientation.The week after Epstein’s article appeared, Miller lunched at Chambertin, a French restaurant that was a favorite Times hangout, with his two editors at the Times Magazine: Gerald Walker and Victor Navasky.Twelve years later, the Columbia Journalism Review (not then edited by Navasky) reported what happened.This was an era when the Harris Poll reported that 63% of Americans considered homosexuals “harmful” to society, and the official manual of the American Psychiatric Association stated that all homosexuals were mentally ill.Miller asked Navasky and Walker what they thought about Epstein’s diatribe. Both editors told him they thought it was a great article.Miller exploded: “Damn it, I’m a homosexual!”He then explained why the article was actually an abomination.Navasky responded to Miller’s outburst with an openness of which almost none of his heterosexual colleagues were capable.“Since you hated the piece so much,” Navasky told Miller, “you should write the response to it.”Miller did so. When his piece, What It Means To Be a Homosexual, appeared in January 1971, James Baldwin and Allen Ginsberg were two of the only openly gay writers in America. But Miller was the first ever to come out in the pages of the New York Times.His piece had all the knowledge, nuance and humanity Epstein’s lacked. The only things the two writers agreed about were that “nobody seems to know why homosexuality happens” and, surprisingly, 50 years later, the great fear that a son will turn out to be homosexual.But Miller added: “Not all mothers are afraid that their sons will be homosexuals. Everywhere among us are those dominant ladies who welcome homosexuality in their sons. That way the mothers know the won’t lose them to another woman.”For a 20-year-old gay man like myself, who had never read anything positive about gay people in the New York Times, Miller’s article was a gigantic source of hope.Forty one years later, Miller’s piece was republished as a Penguin Classic paperback, On Being Different: What It Means to Be a Homosexual. I wrote an afterword. I also invited Navasky to appear at a bookstore, for a panel discussion of his role in the gestation of Miller’s piece. He was delighted to participate. It was the first time he publicly described his momentous lunch with Miller.
    Charles Kaiser is the author of The Gay Metropolis: The Landmark History of Gay Life in America
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    ‘We may have lost the south’: what LBJ really said about Democrats in 1964

    ‘We may have lost the south’: what LBJ really said about Democrats in 1964Bill Moyers was there when Lyndon Johnson made his memorable assessment of the Civil Rights Act’s effects The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was one of the most consequential pieces of legislation in American history, giving protections and rights long denied to Black Americans. Like the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and Medicare for senior citizens, it was a pillar of Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society.LBJ OK? Historian Mark Lawrence on a president resurgentRead moreThe Civil Rights Act also had a profound effect on the American political landscape, triggering a reshaping that still influences the fortunes of Democrats and Republicans, particularly in the south.A brilliant political analyst, Johnson foresaw the consequences of his civil rights legislation on the day he signed it into law. He is said to have remarked: “We’ve lost the south for a generation.”Indeed, the south has become steadily more Republican since then, the victories of Joe Biden and two Democratic senators in Georgia in 2020 and 2022 rare blue successes in a Republican stronghold.But did Johnson really say it? He didn’t mention it in his memoir – and he died 50 years ago on Sunday, aged just 64. In his absence, historians debate and write.So the Guardian went to the source: the legendary journalist Bill Moyers. Now 88, he was Johnson’s special assistant when the Civil Rights Act passed.Moyers responded with a detailed e-mail.On 2 July 1964, “the president signed the Civil Rights Act around 6.45pm. Before he went into a meeting in his office with some civil rights leaders and [the deputy attorney general] Nick Katzenbach, he pulled me aside and said, sotto voce, ‘Bird [Johnson’s wife] and I are going down to the Ranch. I’d like you to come with us … I practically ran to my office to pack.’”Moyers made it to the airport in time.“When I boarded the Jet Star, the president was reading the latest edition of the Washington Post. We took off around around 11pm … I sat down across from him. Lady Bird was in the other seat by him … the papers were celebrating what they described as a great event.“I said, ‘Quite a day, Mr President.’ As he reached a sheaf of the wire copy he tilted his head slightly back and held the copy up close to him so that he could read it, and said: ‘Well, I think we may have lost the south for your lifetime – and mine.’“It was lightly said. Not sarcastic. Not even dramatically. It was like a throwaway sidebar.”To Moyers, “all these years later”, Johnson’s remark seems “maybe … merely a jest, lightly uttered and soon forgotten”. But after Moyers “repeated it publicly just once, it took on a life of its own.“Unfortunately, various versions appeared: ‘for a generation’, ‘once and for all’. I couldn’t keep up. I finally stopped commenting.”And so a legend grew.As Moyers pointed out, in summer 1964, Johnson’s “immediate concern was to carry the south in his own election for president”, against the Republican candidate, Barry Goldwater, a hard-right senator from Arizona.“He briefly threatened not to go to the Democratic national convention in Atlantic City, because he was very tense and uneasy about the fight over seating the Mississippi delegation, and especially the role of Fannie Lou Hamer.”Hamer was a legendary civil rights activist, beaten and shot at for registering Black voters in Mississippi. At the convention, she mesmerized a national audience when she testified in an unsuccessful effort to get the new Freedom Democratic Party seated as the official delegation from Mississippi.“As we all know,” Moyers wrote, “Johnson went on to the convention and lapped his nomination … Now he seemed fully in the game and determined to carry the south.“He called meetings with his campaign team, over and again. He talked often to our people on the ground, from Louisiana to North Carolina. He made the campaign south of the Mason-Dixon Line his personal battlefield. He wanted to win there. And he did – in five states.”Johnson won in a landslide. In the south, he took Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.Moyers remembered that “on election night, as the results rolled in, [Johnson] was elated. His dreaded private vision of losing the south … would have cost [him] the election.“I think he had doubled down on not handing Republicans the south. That would come with [Richard] Nixon’s southern strategy, four years later. For now, [Johnson] was spared what would have humiliated him.”TopicsBooksCivil rights movementUS politicsUS domestic policyRaceDemocratsRepublicansfeaturesReuse this content More

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    George Santos denies reports that he competed as drag queen in Brazil

    George Santos denies reports that he competed as drag queen in BrazilNew York Republican under pressure over fabrications about his career, past and alleged criminal behaviour George Santos on Thursday tweeted an angry denial that he competed as a drag queen in Brazilian beauty pageants 15 years ago, claims made by acquaintances that have highlighted the contrast between the Republican congressman’s past actions and now staunchly conservative views.Republicans defend George Santos as report details alleged sick dog fraudRead moreThe New Yorker, who says he is gay, dismissed the story as an “obsession” by the media, which he insisted, without irony, “continues to make outrageous claims about my life”.Santos is facing calls from Democrats and his fellow New York Republicans to step down over fabrications about his career and history and amid reports of investigations at local, state and federal level in the US and in Brazil over the use of a stolen checkbook.In another contradiction exposed on Wednesday by a New York Times analysis of immigration records, Santos’s insistence that his mother was in the World Trade Center during the 9/11 terrorist attacks was found to be false.Santos has admitted “embellishing” his résumé but otherwise denied wrongdoing and said he will not resign.The claim that Santos was a drag performer came from a 58-year-old Brazilian who uses the drag name Eula Rochard, Reuters reported.Rochard said she befriended Santos when he was cross-dressing in 2005 at the first Pride parade in Niterói, a suburb of Rio de Janeiro. Three years later, Santos competed in a drag beauty pageant in Rio, she added.Another person from Niterói who knew Santos, but asked not to be named, said he participated in drag queen beauty pageants under the name Kitara Ravache, and aspired to be Miss Gay Rio de Janeiro.Santos is now a hardline conservative on numerous social issues, especially those targeting non-binary communities. Republicans have taken aim at drag shows and performers in several states, claiming they are harmful to children.In Texas, one proposal would brand venues that host such shows as “sexually oriented” businesses.Santos, the first out gay Republican to win a House seat in Congress as a non-incumbent, has supported Florida’s “don’t say gay” law, which marginalizes the LGBTQ+ community and prohibits discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity in classrooms.Responding in October to criticism of his support for the Florida bill, Santos told USA Today: “I am openly gay, have never had an issue with my sexual identity in the past decade, and I can tell you and assure you, I will always be an advocate for LGBTQ+ folks.”Republican leaders have so far stood by Santos. He supported the new speaker, Kevin McCarthy, through 15 rounds of voting for that position, and was rewarded with seats on two House committees in a slim Republican majority.But despite McCarthy’s support, increasing numbers of senior party officials have pleaded with Republican leadership to cut him loose. They include several of Santos’s fellow New York congressmen.The Daily Beast reported on Thursday that a “shadow” race was under way in Democratic and Republican circles to replace Santos in New York’s third district, in the expectation that he will eventually be forced out. Republicans, the Beast said, are looking for “a candidate with an immaculate, bulletproof résumé who can patch up the Long Island GOP’s scarred reputation”.Democrats are seeking somebody who can turn the district blue again after Santos’s surprise win in November.As for Santos’s alleged drag show exploits, Rochard said the congressman was a “poor” drag queen in 2005, with a simple black dress, but in 2008 “he came back to Niterói with a lot of money” and a flamboyant pink dress to show for it.Santos competed in a drag beauty pageant that year but lost, Rochard said, adding: “He’s changed a lot but he was always a liar. He was always such a dreamer.”Santos’s tweet on Thursday was his second denial in two days concerning a claim about his past. On Wednesday, he was embroiled in allegations he took money from an online fundraiser intended to help save the life of a sick dog owned by a military veteran.“The media continues to make outrageous claims about my life while I am working to deliver results,” Santos said. “I will not be distracted or fazed by this.”On Thursday, Santos called “reports that I would let a dog die … shocking and insane”.But the veteran told CNN Santos should “go to hell”.Richard Osthoff added that if he spoke to Santos now, he would ask: “Do you have a heart? Do you have a soul?’“He’d probably lie about that.”TopicsGeorge SantosHouse of RepresentativesUS CongressUS politicsDragBrazilAmericasnewsReuse this content More

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    ‘Our democratic process’: Truman, Eisenhower and the peaceful transfer of power

    ‘Our democratic process’: Truman, Eisenhower and the peaceful transfer of power Seventy years ago today, 20 years of Democrats in the White House ended with simple formality. In the shadow of Trump and 6 January 2021, we would do well to heed the exampleDonald Trump has often waxed nostalgic about 1950s America, but he probably never had 15 January 1953 in mind.Uniting America review: how FDR and the GOP beat fascism home and away Read moreOn that night, 70 years ago today, an outgoing Democratic president, Harry Truman, used his farewell speech to talk about the peaceful transfer of power to a Republican, Dwight D Eisenhower. Truman’s message was the antithesis of Trump’s plot to subvert the 2020 presidential election.“Inauguration day will be a great demonstration of our democratic process,” Truman said in a broadcast on TV and radio from the White House at 10.30pm.“I am glad to be a part of it – glad to wish Gen Eisenhower all possible success, as he begins his term – glad the whole world will have a chance to see how simply and how peacefully our American system transfers the vast power of the presidency from my hands to his. It is a good object lesson in democracy. I am very proud of it. And I know you are, too.”It was the first such transfer in 20 years. Democrats had held the White House since 1933, covering Franklin D Roosevelt’s 12 years in office and nearly eight under Truman. The last Republican president before Ike was Herbert Hoover.“During the last two months I have done my best to make this transfer an orderly one,” said Truman, who is now recognized as one of America’s best presidents but who left office with low approval ratings.“I have talked with my successor on the affairs of the country, both foreign and domestic, and my cabinet officers have talked with their successors. I want to say that Gen Eisenhower and his associates have cooperated fully in this effort. Such an orderly transfer from one party to another has never taken place before in our history. I think a real precedent has been set.”Trump shattered that precedent, egging on his supporters to storm the Capitol on 6 January 2021.Despite Truman’s talk of unprecedented cooperation with Eisenhower, the two men had a strained relationship. Their only meeting during the transition took place on 18 November 1952. An Eisenhower biographer, Stephen E Ambrose, described the exchange as “stiff, formal, embarrassing, and unrewarding”. Truman offered advice on organizing staff but Eisenhower wrote in his memoirs that the 20-minute meeting “added little to my knowledge, nor did it affect my planning for the new administration”.As Jeffrey Frank recounts in his new book, The Trials of Harry S Truman: The Extraordinary Presidency of an Ordinary Man, 1945-1953, Truman met cabinet members and their wives in the Red Room on the day of Ike’s inaugural.“There, he noted, pointedly, in his diary, ‘we have a most pleasant visit until the general and his entourage arrive.’ After that, it went downhill, speedily.”Truman wanted Ike’s son, Maj John Eisenhower, to return from Korea for the inaugural. For some reason, this peeved Eisenhower. As the two men rode to the Capitol, Eisenhower asked: “I wonder what SOB ordered my son back, just to embarrass me.” According to Frank, citing Truman’s military aide, Robert Dennison, Truman replied: “I did.”Still, such minor irritants didn’t distract from the transfer of power.In his farewell speech, Truman recounted becoming president after FDR’s death in April 1945, as the US fought Germany and Japan. Truman had been vice-president less than three months, and hadn’t been briefed on the atomic bomb.“When Franklin Roosevelt died, I felt there must be a million men better qualified than I to take up the presidential task,” Truman said. “But the work was mine to do, and I had to do it. And I have tried to give it everything that was in me.”Truman recounted his first decision, moving forward with a conference in San Francisco to organize the United Nations; his decision to drop atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki; and other important actions.“All these things happened within just a little over four months – from April to August 1945. I tell you this to illustrate the tremendous scope of the work your president has to do. And all these emergencies and all the developments to meet them have required the president to put in long hours – usually 17 hours a day, with no payment for overtime … I want all of you to realize how big a job, how hard a job, it is – not for my sake, because I am stepping out of it – but for the sake of my successor. He needs the understanding and the help of every citizen.”Surprisingly, Truman didn’t list dropping the bomb as his most important decision, citing instead ordering troops to South Korea in 1950.“As I have thought about our worldwide struggle with the communists these past eight years – day in and day out – I have never once doubted that you, the people of our country, have the will to do what is necessary to win this terrible fight against communism.”Wings of War review: how the P-51 Mustang gave the Allies the skiesRead moreBut Truman also rejected suggestions from what he called “impatient” letter-writers, to “get it over with” and drop the atomic bomb to win the cold war.“For most Americans, the answer is quite simple: We are not made that way. We are a moral people. Peace is our goal, with justice and freedom. We cannot, of our own free will, violate the very principles that we are striving to defend. The whole purpose of what we are doing is to prevent world war III. Starting a war is no way to make peace.”And he invoked the sentiment of what would become known as mutually assured destruction: “We are not the only nation that is learning to unleash the power of the atom. A third world war might dig the grave not only of our communist opponents but also of our own society, our world as well as theirs. Starting an atomic war is totally unthinkable for rational men.”
    Frederic J Frommer’s books include You Gotta Have Heart: Washington Baseball from Walter Johnson to the 2019 World Series Champion Nationals
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    Racism rebranded: how far-right ideology feeds off identity politics

    Racism rebranded: how far-right ideology feeds off identity politics In an extract from his new book, the Observer columnist describes how substituting ethnic superiority with ‘cultural difference’ has allowed traditional racism to seep back into the mainstream. How can we get out of the box of racial thinking?‘The Negro is not. Any more than the white man.” So wrote Frantz Fanon, the Martinique-born revolutionary and intellectual, in his 1952 masterpiece, Black Skin, White Masks. He was making an argument about the illusory character of racial categorisation. And, yet, more than 70 years after Fanon wrote those lines, they still feel unsettling, as if they are a challenge not just to racialisation but also to our identity, our very being. That they should do so exposes the deeply conflicted relationship we still possess with race.We live in an age in which in most societies there is a moral abhorrence of racism, albeit that in most, bigotry and discrimination still disfigure the lives of many. We also live in an age saturated with identitarian thinking and obsessed with placing people into racial boxes. The more we despise racial thinking, the more we seem to cling to it.This paradox is at the heart of my new book. Not So Black and White is a retelling of the history both of the idea of race and of the struggles to confront racism and to transcend racial categorisation, a retelling that challenges many of the ways in which we think both of race and of antiracism.Most people assume that racism emerges when members of one race begin discriminating against members of another. In fact, the opposite is the case: intellectuals and elites began dividing the world into distinct races to explain and justify the differential treatment of certain peoples. The ancestors of today’s African Americans were not enslaved because they were black. They were deemed to be racially distinct, as black people, to justify their enslavement.We think of race today primarily in terms of skin colour. But that was not how 19th-century thinkers imagined race. It was, for them, a description of social inequality, not just of skin colour. It may be difficult to comprehend now, but 19th-century thinkers looked upon the working class as a distinct racial group in much the same way as many now view black people as racially dissimilar to white people. Only in the 20th century, as the working class was drawn into the democratic process, and as the new imperialism redrew the “colour line”, did the contemporary understanding of race emerge.Many today imagine, too, that identity politics is a new phenomenon, and one that is associated with the left. I show that its origins lie, in fact, on the reactionary right and its primary expression, long before it was called “identity politics”, was in the concept of race, the belief that one’s being – one’s identity – determined one’s moral and social place in the world.If much of the history of race has been obscured, so, too, has much of the history of the challenge to racism. Until recently, those confronting inequality and oppression did so in the name not of particular identities but of a universalism that fuelled the great radical movements that have shaped the modern world, from anticolonial struggles to campaigns for women’s suffrage.These struggles expanded the meaning of equality and universality. There has developed in recent years an impassioned debate about the Enlightenment, which both supporters and critics present as a peculiarly European phenomenon. For the one, it is a demonstration of the greatness of Europe; for the other, a reminder that its ideals are tainted by racism and colonialism. Both miss the importance of the non-European world in shaping many of the ideas we associate with the Enlightenment. It was through the struggles of those denied equality and liberty by the elites in Europe and America that ideas of universalism were invested with meaning. It is the demise of that radical universalist tradition that has shaped the emergence of contemporary identity politics.There have always been identitarian strands among antiracists, from 19th-century “Back to Africa” movements to Négritude in the 20th century. Only in the postwar world, however, have they come to dominate and to be seen as progressive. The reasons lie in a myriad of social and political developments, from the erosion of class politics, to the emergence of culture as the primary lens through which to understand social differences, to the growth of social pessimism, that have helped marginalise the universalist perspective.ProfileKenan MalikShowKenan Malik is a writer, lecturer and Observer columnist. His previous books include The Quest for a Moral Compass and From Fatwa to Jihad, which was shortlisted for the Orwell prize.The embrace of identity politics by the left has ironically opened the door for the reactionary right to reclaim its original inheritance, allowing racism to be rebranded as white identity politics. We have come full circle: the politics of identity that began as reactionary claims about a racial hierarchy has been regrasped by the reactionary right in the name of cultural difference.The following edited extract from my new book shows how the far right remade itself in the postwar world and how it has exploited the language of identity to pursue its aims. It shows, too, how mainstream conservatives have allowed far-right tropes to seep into our culture.As reactionary organisations, which had enjoyed the limelight in the prewar years, were pushed into the shadows in the post-Holocaust world, many on the far right were forced to rethink their views of race, identity and difference. Alain de Benoist became a key figure in this rethinking, the founder of the Nouvelle Droite in France, and a philosophical mentor of the contemporary far right.Benoist cut his political teeth within the traditional fascist milieu, most notably through the far-right opposition to Algerian independence. In the 1960s, after the French defeat in Algeria, he recognised the need to move beyond discredited arguments rooted in biological racism, and to engage in a cultural war to reclaim intellectual ground. In 1968, Benoist helped found GRECE, the Research and Study Group for European Civilisation, a thinktank to school the far right.The Nouvelle Droite drew in part from traditional themes and sources. It proclaimed its hostility to the Enlightenment, modernity, equality, democracy and liberalism, and insisted on the importance of tradition and hierarchy. It found sustenance in the French reactionary tradition from Joseph de Maistre to Charles Maurras, and from German rightwing thinkers, especially the interwar “conservative revolutionaries”, such as Ernst Jünger and Carl Schmitt.It drew, too, upon a very different tradition: that of the New Left that emerged in the late 1950s. From the New Left, the French New Right borrowed arguments about the significance of culture, its hostility to globalisation, its anti-Americanism and its embrace of the Italian Marxist philosopher Antonio Gramsci. Benoist took from Gramsci the belief that conquest of power comes only after conquest of culture. Liberalism was so entrenched that its values survived irrespective of who was in power. Anti-liberals, Benoist argued, had to fight battles not on the streets but in people’s minds, at the level of ideas, and of “metapolitics”. This he called the tactic of “rightwing Gramscianism”.At the heart of Benoist’s philosophy was the abandonment of racial superiority in favour of cultural difference, and the reworking of the relationship between community, identity and diversity. “The true wealth of the world”, he insisted, “is first and foremost the diversity of its cultures and peoples.” It is in being different that a people finds its meaning and identity, both of which are drawn, indeed in certain senses are inseparable, from its culture and heritage. “Different cultures provide different responses to essential questions”; hence “all attempts to unify them end up destroying them”. It was a völkisch vision: “Everyone inherits a ‘constituent community’ which precedes him and which will constitute the root of his values and norms.” The individual “discovers his goals rather than choosing them”, and builds his identity through that discovery. So, “to find out who I am, I first have to know where I am”.Such “ethnopluralism” seemed not to possess the taint of biological racism; but by fixing cultures to specific geographic locations and by insisting that to belong to a culture one had to be descended from the original inhabitants of that location, the Nouvelle Droite found in “culture” the synonym for “race”; a find later borrowed by many conservatives and “postliberals”.Immigrants, Benoist insisted, must always remain outsiders because they were carriers of distinct cultures and histories, and so could never be absorbed into those of the host nation. Citizenship should be reserved for those who are “one of us”. Immigrants could – or, at least, should – never be citizens. Democracy only works where “demos and ethnos coincide”.“We are Generation Identity… We have stopped believing that Khader is our brother, the planet our village and humanity our family. We have discovered that we have roots and ancestors – and thus a future. Our only inheritance is our blood, our soil, and our identity… This is not a mere manifesto, it’s a declaration of war.”It was a declaration of war on a YouTube video. But for all its comically dramatic music and overheated rhetoric, the launch in 2012 of Génération Identitaire, or Generation Identity, marked an important point in the development of modern reactionary identitarianism. Ten years earlier, a group of French far-right activists, many linked to the Nouvelle Droite, had formed the Bloc Identitaire, which became the heart of a network of far-right identitarian groups and of which Génération Identitaire was the youth wing. The movement was banned by the French government in March 2021 for “incitement of discrimination, hatred and violence”. By then it had spawned a dozen other groups across Europe, and its influence had crossed the Atlantic, too.The Bloc Identitaire drew on the Nouvelle Droite for both individuals and themes. Its key leitmotifs are familiar: opposition to globalisation, defence of ethnopluralism and white identity, hostility to immigration and Islam. The Identitarians feared that demographic change would sweep away white Europeans. “The cradle”, writes Adriano Scianca, a leading figure in the Italian identitarian movement, is “the most powerful weapon” and when “the baby cots are empty, civilisation dies”, an echo of future US president Theodore Roosevelt’s claim at the end of the 19th century that “competition between the races” reduced itself “to the warfare of the cradle”. For late-19th-century white supremacists, the declining birth rate of Anglo-Saxons created the alarming possibility of the only “true white race” in America being overrun by “the immigrant European horde”. A century later, the fear is of Europeans being swamped by hordes from beyond the continent – and in particular by Islam.Gisèle Littman, an Egyptian-born Jewish woman who wrote under the name of Bat Ye’or (Hebrew for “Daughter of the Nile”), coined the term “Eurabia”. It described a grand conspiracy theory in which the EU, led by French elites, implemented a secret plan to sell Europe to Muslims in exchange for oil. Europe, Ye’or told the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, “will become a political satellite of the Arab and Muslim world”. Europeans would be reduced to the condition of “dhimmitude” – the permanent status of second-class subjects of Islamic rule. The Israeli historian Robert Wistrich dismissed Ye’or’s fantasies as “the protocols of the elders of Brussels”. In the wake of 9/11, however, the fantasies took flight, and not just on the fringes of politics. The mainstream British writer Melanie Phillips has become an advocate of the “dhimmitude” thesis, as have influential figures such as Niall Ferguson and Bruce Bawer in the US.Generation Identity is no mass movement; membership of its various groups is tiny. Nevertheless, it has helped shape public debate, promoting an aggressive form of reactionary identitarianism that has percolated far beyond the far right. “Europe is committing suicide… by the end of the lifespans of most people currently alive, Europe will not be Europe and the peoples of Europe will have lost the only place in the world we had to call home.” That could be Alain de Benoist or Guillaume Faye or any number of Nouvelle Droite or Génération Identitaire polemicists. In fact, it is Douglas Murray, in the opening to his 2017 bestseller The Strange Death of Europe. Murray is a leading figure in British conservative circles, associate editor of the Spectator magazine and author of a string of popular books. He writes of “the replacement of large parts of the European populations by other people” and worries that “London has become a foreign country” because “in 23 of London’s 33 boroughs ‘white Britons’ are now in a minority”, again echoing Generation Identity.The main themes in Murray’s argument were steeped in traditional racial thinking. The term “race suicide” was coined in the late 19th century by the American sociologist Edward Ross, and popularised by Theodore Roosevelt, to express their fears that Anglo-Saxons were being out-bred by inferior immigrants from southern and eastern Europe. The white supremacist Theodore Lothrop Stoddard warned in the early 20th century that the white ancestral “homeland” of the Caucasus had become a “racially brown man’s land in which white blood survives only as vestigial traces of vanishing significance”. The same was happening in Europe, too. “What assurance”, he wondered, could there be “that the present world order may not swiftly and utterly pass away?” These ideas were for much of the postwar era pushed to the racist fringes. Sustained by the Nouvelle Droite and Génération Identitaire, these fringe arguments have now become appropriated by many strands of mainstream conservatism.The 2010s saw a series of books warning of Europe “committing suicide”, such as Thilo Sarrazin’s Germany Abolishes Itself and Éric Zemmour’s The French Suicide. Sarrazin, former SPD finance minister for the state of Berlin, and executive board member of Germany’s central bank, bemoaned the declining white population and the high level of immigrant fertility, the combination leading to Germany being both less intelligent, less moral and no longer Germany. For Zemmour, a television journalist who became a candidate in the 2022 presidential elections, Europe was committing “premeditated suicide”, the left having “betrayed the people in the name of minorities”.The “Great Replacement” conspiracy theory, a staple of the far right, has also gained a foothold in mainstream conservatism. In 2011, the novelist and white nationalist conspiracy theorist Renaud Camus published Le Grand Remplacement in which he claimed that globalists had created the “replaceable human, without any national, ethnic or cultural specificity”, allowing “the replacing elites” to swap white Europeans for non-Europeans. He described non-Europeans in Europe as “colonists”, the “replacing elites” as “collaborationists”, and the process of replacement as “genocide by substitution”. Camus dedicated his book to the two “prophets” that had shaped his thinking, the British anti-immigration politician Enoch Powell and the French writer Jean Raspail, whose 1973 dystopian novel The Camp of the Saints tells of a fleet of immigrants from India overwhelming France, and its white population, and has become a cult hit for identitarians across the globe.In Britain, too, similar fears have become part of the conservative conversation. Like Douglas Murray, the London-based American novelist Lionel Shriver fears the de-whitening of London and projects her version of replacement theory. “The lineages of white Britons in their homeland commonly go back hundreds of years,” she writes, and yet they have to “submissively accept” the “ethnic transformation” of the UK “without a peep of protest”. Westerners, she adds, are being forced “to passively accept and even abet incursions by foreigners so massive that the native-born are effectively surrendering their territory without a shot fired”. The distinguished economist Paul Collier is another figure apprehensive about “the indigenous British” becoming “a minority in their own capital”. Political scientist Eric Kaufmann thinks it legitimate to promote white “racial self-interest” and to use such racial self-interest to limit immigration, so that in a majority white country, immigrants should be mainly white to enable “assimilation”.Identitarian arguments have become even more entrenched on the other side of the Atlantic, from the far right to mainstream Republicanism. The white nationalist and neo-Nazi Richard Spencer, who claims to have invented the term “alt-right”, replays many of the themes of reactionary identitarianism: white people as victims of cultural “dispossession”, immigration as a “proxy war” against white people. He advocates “peaceful ethnic cleansing” and the creation of “an ethno-state that would be a gathering point of all Europeans”, one “based on very different ideals than… the Declaration of Independence”.The presidential victory of Donald Trump in 2016 provided new opportunities, as alt-right identitarians such Stephen Miller and Steve Bannon entered the White House. Even before the Trump ascendancy, conservatives were humming to many of the European refrains. In the question at the heart of Christopher Caldwell’s 2009 book, Reflections on the Revolution in Europe – “Can Europe be the same with different people in it?” – is embedded the idea that Europe was made by a particular group of people and that immigrants – different people – would undo it. He echoes, too, the claim that migration is a form of “colonisation” and that migrants come to “supplant” European culture. Caldwell hails Raspail’s The Camp of the Saints as capturing “the complexity of the modern world”.After 2016, the Great Replacement theory became commonplace in Republican circles. “We can’t restore our civilisation with somebody else’s babies”, Iowa congressman Steve King tweeted. Fox News’ Tucker Carlson has constantly charged the Democrats with trying “to change the racial mix of the country… a policy [that] is called ‘the great replacement’, the replacement of legacy Americans with more obedient people from faraway countries”. Polls show that one-third of Americans and nearly two-thirds of Trump supporters believe in the Great Replacement theory and that a secret cabal “is trying to replace native-born Americans with immigrants for electoral gains”.One of the ironies is that many of the conservatives who fret most about “white decline” are also among the most strident critics of identity politics. According to Douglas Murray, identity politics “atomises society into different interest groups”, and its “consequences… are deranged as well as dementing”. But not, apparently, when worrying that “Only 44.9% of London residents are now white British” or that Europeans are being driven out of their homeland. Taking part in a debate in defence of the proposition that “identity politics is tearing society apart”, Lionel Shriver argued that she had been a “fierce advocate” of the US civil rights movement because its goal was “to break down the artificial barriers between us” and “to release us into seeing each other not as black or white… but as individual people”. “The colour of my skin,” she added, “is an arbitrary accident” and “the boxes into which I have been born are confinements I have struggled to get out of and I would wish that liberation to everyone else.” Except, it seems, if you are a non-white immigrant. Then, the “arbitrary accident” of birth becomes an essential feature of one’s identity, the “artificial barriers between us” need to be recognised as insurmountable impediments to assimilation, the “confinements” of ethnic boxes maintained and people seen not as “individuals” but as “black or white”.The reactionary right – Nouvelle Droite, Generation Identity, the alt-right in America – uses the language of diversity and identity as a means of rebranding racism. Many on the mainstream right rehearse elements of this rebranding, even as they castigate the excesses of white nationalism. Murray “unequivocally” condemns the “racism exhibited by people pursuing white ethno-nationalism” while also giving a nod to the Great Replacement theory and to the importance of whiteness. It is occupying the grey zone in which one can claim attachment to the moral framework of postwar antiracism but also maintain the freedom to replay perniciously racist arguments, helping to normalise them.
    Not So Black and White by Kenan Malik is published by Hurst (£20). To support the Guardian and Observer order your copy at guardianbookshop.com. Delivery charges may apply
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    Will the January 6 report bring a second Christmas for US publishers?

    Will the January 6 report bring a second Christmas for US publishers? Major imprints are racing to sell the committee’s work to the reading public, with help from reporters, panel members, David Remnick and even a former speechwriter to TrumpThe release of the final report of the House January 6 committee has sparked a deluge of publishing activity: seven editions of the 200,000 word document from six imprints, featuring contributions from the New Yorker editor, David Remnick, the House intelligence chair, Adam Schiff, plus six other journalists, another committee member, a former congresswoman and a former speechwriter to Donald Trump.January 6 report review: 845 pages, countless crimes, one simple truth – Trump did itRead moreThere are two reasons for this hyperactivity: the belief that the completion of the report is a significant historical event, and the conviction that here is a big chance to do well by doing good.The Mueller report sold 475,000 copies in various editions, according to NPD BookScan, so the book business is hoping it can do at least that well with the latest copy provided for free by the federal government.Harper Perennial says it is printing 250,000 copies of its version, which features a powerful introduction by Ari Melber, an MSNBC host, that reads like a smart prosecutor’s multi-part indictment. It helps that Melber’s marketing power is at least as great as his brain power. Pushing it on his nightly show, he has already gotten the book to the top of one Amazon bestseller list, long before it has reached any store.The lawyer turned TV personality does the best job of delineating the eight plots Trump and his allies pursued to try to overthrow the election, seven of which were clearly illegal or unconstitutional.“They attempted a coup,” Melber declares. “That is the most important fact about what happened.”Remnick and Jamie Raskin, like Schiff a committee member, teamed up to write an introduction and an afterword for the version being published by an imprint of Macmillan.Remnick gets straight to the heart of the matter: “Trump does little to conceal his most distinctive characteristics: his racism, misogyny, dishonesty, narcissism, incompetence, cruelty, instability, and corruption. And yet what has kept Trump afloat for so long, what has helped him evade ruin and prosecution, is perhaps his most salient quality: he is shameless.”Because so many of us have nearly lost our “ability to experience outrage”, Remnick concedes that “the prospect of engaging with this congressional inquiry … is sometimes a challenge to the spirit … And yet a citizenry that can no longer bring itself to pay attention to such an investigation or to absorb its astonishing findings risks moving even farther toward a disturbing ‘new normal’: a post-truth, post-democratic America.”Raskin sees the assault on the Capitol as the latest in a series of “systematic threats” to US democracy, including “massive voter suppression, gerrymandering of state and federal legislative districts, the use of the filibuster to block protection of voting rights, and right-wing judicial activism to undermine the Voting Rights Act”.His biggest goal is the elimination of electoral college, without any amendment to the constitution. That can be done through “the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, an agreement among participating states that gives electoral votes to whichever presidential candidate wins the nationwide popular vote, and which has already been adopted by 15 states and the District of Columbia with 195 electoral votes, or 72% of the 270 votes needed” to put it into effect.Writing for Random House, Schiff excoriates Republicans for trying so hard to block certification of Biden’s victory even after the Capitol invasion – 147 Republicans including eight senators lodged objections early on the morning of January 7. But he is also careful to give credit to Republican witnesses who did so much to burnish the committee’s credibility.“These officials, Republicans all, not only held fast against enormous pressure from a president of their party but were willing to stand before the country and testify under oath,” Schiff writes.Schiff argues that the report is an undeniable brief for prosecution of Trump: “Bringing to justice a former president who, even now, advocates the suspension of our constitution is a perilous endeavor. Not doing so is far more dangerous.”For Skyhorse, the former congresswoman Elizabeth Holtzman, the only contributor old enough to have voted to impeach Richard Nixon, echoes Schiff on this point.“Having had to vote to impeach a president when I was in Congress, I am certain that [the January 6 committee] did not make its criminal referrals to the justice department lightly. In the same vein, the DoJ should not treat it lightly – and I hope and believe the American people will not let that happen.”The Hachette book has the largest amount of additional material, including a first-person account of the Capitol attack by a New York Times reporter, Luke Broadwater. After making it to a secure area, Broadwater found he was “much more angry” than “afraid”. So were other more conservative reporters, disgusted by senators who encouraged the myth of election theft. Broadwater recalls “one shouting to a Republican as he passed by, ‘Are you proud of yourself, Senator?’”All of these books are serious efforts to put the committee’s exhaustive findings in a larger political and historical context, including the one published by Skyhorse with an introduction by Holtzman. But Skyhorse also maintains its maverick reputation as a publisher famous for picking up books others have spurned (Woody Allen’s memoir, for example) by publishing two versions of the new report, one with Holtzman’s foreword and another featuring Darren Beattie, a former speechwriter for Trump and Steven Miller.Tony Lyons, the US publisher who picks up books ‘cancelled’ by other pressesRead moreBeattie was fired by the Trump White House after it was reported that he attended a conference with Peter Brimelow, founder of the anti-immigrant website VDare, a “white nationalist” who “regularly publishes works by white supremacists, antisemites, and others on the radical right”, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.Beattie is horrified that the January 6 committee describes the assault on the Capitol as an outgrowth of white supremacy.“Far from serving as an objective fact-finding body, the January 6 committee functioned as such an egregiously performative, partisan kangaroo display as to make propagandists in North Korea blush,” he writes – with characteristic understatement.Beattie provides more comic relief with his approach to the alleged election fraud which is one of the main subjects of the report.“It would take us too far afield to consider the election fraud allegations in detail on the merits,” Beattie writes.Then he gives a long explanation of why no one should think Trump really believed he lost the election, just because that’s what his attorney general and so many others told him.“For all of the committee’s fixation on the term ‘Big Lie’, the committee presents precious little if any evidence that Donald Trump didn’t genuinely believe that election fraud ultimately tipped the balance against him.“… The committee’s first televised hearing repeated ad nauseam a video clip of Trump’s former attorney general Bill Barr referring to Trump’s election fraud theories as ‘bullshit’.“Apart from Barr, the committee referenced numerous Trump associates who claim to have told the former president his election fraud theories were wrong. The simple fact that some of Trump’s senior staffers may have disagreed with Trump on the election issue is hardly proof that Trump was persuaded by them, and that therefore Trump’s efforts to ‘stop the steal’ amounted to a deliberate lie and malicious attempt to prevent the legitimate and peaceful transition of power.Republican senator called Giuliani ‘walking malpractice’, January 6 report saysRead more“Barr’s additional remark that Trump was ‘completely detached from reality’ when it came to the 2020 election unwittingly undermines the committee’s suggestion that Trump was lying about the matter.”Primetime hearings sometimes reached as many 18 million viewers, a number Remnick notes was “comparable to Sunday Night Football on NBC”. In the midterm elections, many exit polls found that the preservation of democracy was a key factor in the decision of many swing voters to vote against Republicans. It seems clear the investigation bolstered American democracy in more ways than one.While a hearty minority obviously remain as far down a rabbit hole as Trump’s former speechwriter, the results of the recent election bolster my conviction that sane Americans still constitute a small majority of American voters.So, like most of the contributors to these volumes, I think there is much to be grateful for in the work of the most successful congressional investigators since the Senate Watergate committee of 50 years ago. Or, as Remnick puts it, “If you are reaching for optimism – and despair is not an option – the existence and the depth of the committee’s project represents a kind of hope. It represents an insistence on truth and democratic principle.”TopicsBooksJanuary 6 hearingsUS Capitol attackUS politicsUS CongressHouse of RepresentativesPolitics booksfeaturesReuse this content More

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    January 6 report review: 845 pages, countless crimes, one simple truth – Trump did it

    ReviewJanuary 6 report review: 845 pages, countless crimes, one simple truth – Trump did it The House committee has done its work. The result is a riveting read, utterly damning of the former president and his followersWhether fomenting insurrection, standing accused of rape or stiffing the IRS, Donald Trump remains in the news. On Monday, the House select committee voted to issue its final report. Three days later, after releasing witness transcripts, the committee delivered the full monty. Bennie Thompson, Liz Cheney and the rest of committee name names and flash receipts. At 845 pages, the report is damning – and monumental.January 6 panel accuses Trump of ‘multi-part conspiracy’ in final reportRead moreTrumpworld is a crime scene, a tableau lifted from Goodfellas. Joshua Green of Bloomberg nailed that in The Devil’s Bargain, his 2017 take on Trump’s winning campaign. The gang was always transgressive, fear and violence part of its repertoire.Brian Sicknick, the Capitol police officer who died after the riot. E Jean Carroll, who alleges sexual assault. Shaye Moss, the Georgia elections worker targeted by Rudy Giuliani and other minions. Each bears witness.The January 6 report laments that “thuggish behavior from President Trump’s team, including efforts to intimidate described elsewhere … gave rise to many concerns about [Cassidy] Hutchinson’s security, both in advance of and since her public testimony”.Hutchinson is the former aide to Trump and his final chief of staff, Mark Meadows, whose testimony may have been the most dramatic and impactful.In the same vein, the committee chronicles Trump’s demand that Brad Raffensperger, the Republican secretary of state in Georgia, “find 11,780 votes”. Trump reminded Raffensperger of the possible consequences if his directive went unheeded: “That’s a criminal, that’s a criminal offense. That’s a big risk to you and to Ryan, your lawyer … I’m notifying you that you’re letting it happen.”Now, a Fulton county grand jury weighs Trump’s fate. Jack Smith, a federal prosecutor newly appointed special counsel, may prove Trump’s match too.Transcripts released by the committee show Stefan Passantino, Hutchinson’s initial lawyer, engaging in conduct that markedly resembles witness tampering.“Stefan said, ‘No, no, no, no, no. We don’t want to talk about that.’” According to Hutchinson, Passantino was talking about Trump’s fabled post-rally meltdown on January 6, when told he couldn’t go to the Capitol too.Hutchinson understood that disloyalty would mean repercussions. It took immense courage and conscience to speak as she did. Trump’s supporting cast was retribution-ready. She knew she would be “fucking nuked”.In a woeful prebuttal, Passantino claimed to have behaved “honorably” and “ethically”. He blamed Hutchinson. His advice, he said, was “fully consistent” with the “sole interests” of his client. He is now on leave from his law firm.To quote the final report, “certain witnesses from the Trump White House displayed a lack of full recollection of certain issues”. Meadows, for one, is shown to have an allergy to the truth. The committee singles out The Chief’s Chief, his memoir, as an exercise in fabulism. Trump gave Meadows a blurb for his cover: “We will have a big future together”. In so many ways, Donald. In so many ways.Trump tested positive for Covid few days before Biden debate, chief of staff says in new bookRead moreThe book “made the categorical claim that the president never intended to travel to the Capitol” on 6 January, the committee now says, adding that the “evidence demonstrates that Meadows’s claim is categorically false”.He had needlessly cast a spotlight on himself and others. The report: “Because the Meadows book conflicted sharply with information that was being received by the select committee, the committee became increasingly wary that other witnesses might intentionally conceal what happened.”Then again, no one ever accused Meadows, a former congressman, of being the sharpest knife in the drawer. Reptilian calculation is not prudence or prescience. Last year, Trump trashed Meadows as “fucking stupid”. He may have a point. After all, Meadows confessed to Trump of possibly putting Joe Biden’s life in jeopardy at the September 2020 debate, after positive and negative Covid tests that were covered up.Trump himself derided the Chief’s Chief as “fake news”. The committee referred Meadows to the justice department.“It’s easy to imagine Meadows has flipped and is cooperating with the justice department,” said Ryan Goodman, a New York University law professor and former Pentagon special counsel. The vicious cycle rolls on.The committee also gives Kayleigh McEnany, Trump’s final press secretary, her own moment in the sun. She too attempted to cover the tracks of her boss.“A segment of McEnany’s testimony seemed evasive,” the committee concludes. “In multiple instances, McEnany’s testimony did not seem nearly as forthright as that of her press office staff, who testified about what McEnany said.”We saw this movie before – when McEnany stood at the West Wing lectern.“McEnany disputed suggestions that President Trump was resistant to condemning the violence and urging the crowd at the Capitol to act peacefully when they crafted his tweet at 2.38pm on January 6,” the report says. “Yet one of her deputies, Sarah Matthews, told the select committee that McEnany informed her otherwise.”Last year, McEnany delivered a book of her own, namely For Such a Time as This. The title riffs off the Book of Esther. McEnany repeatedly thanks the deity, touts her academic credentials and vouches for her honesty. She claims she never lied to reporters. After all, her education at “Oxford, Harvard and Georgetown” meant she always relied on “truthful, well-sourced, well-researched information”.She lauds Trump for standing for “faith, conservatism and freedom” and delivers a bouquet to Meadows. “You were a constant reminder of faith. Thank you for being an inspiring leader for the entire West Wing.”Whether Trump retains the loyalty of evangelicals in 2024 remains to be seen.The January 6 report often kills with understatement. For example, it repeatedly mocks Giuliani and his posse. The committee notes: “On 7 November, Rudy Giuliani headlined a Philadelphia press conference in front of a landscaping business called Four Seasons Total Landscaping, near a crematorium and down the street from a sex shop.”Like Giuliani’s three ex-wives, the members of the committee loathe him.“Standing in front of former New York police commissioner and recently pardoned convicted felon Bernard Kerik, Giuliani gave opening remarks and handed the podium over to his first supposed eyewitness to election fraud, who turned out to be a convicted sex offender.”If the debacle surrounding George Santos, the newly-elected New York congressman, teaches us anything, it is that you can never do enough background-checking.Trump should be barred from holding office again, January 6 panel saysRead moreGiuliani’s law license is suspended, on account of “false claims” in post-election hearings. A panel of the DC bar has recommended disbarment.Nick Fuentes, Trump’s infamous neo-Nazi dinner guest, also appears in the January 6 report, regarding his part in the insurrection. He is quoted: “Capitol siege was fucking awesome.” Recently, Fuentes reaffirmed his admiration for Hitler. Trump still refuses to disavow him.Trumpworld is a tangled web. Ultimately, though, the January 6 report is chillingly clear about the spider at its center.“The central cause of January 6 was one man, former President Donald Trump. None of the events of January 6 would have happened without him.”True.
    The Final Report of the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the United States Capitol is available here.
    TopicsJanuary 6 hearingsUS Capitol attackUS politicsDonald TrumpTrump administrationUS CongressHouse of RepresentativesreviewsReuse this content More