J.D. Vance Knew What Republican Voters Wanted

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  john-russell  •  3 weeks ago  •  2 comments

By:   Charlie Sykes

J.D. Vance Knew What Republican Voters Wanted
It is a party comfortable with the racist "replacement theory," okay with poseurs and anti-anti-Putin isolationism, and willing to embrace the rawer forms of Trumpian authoritarianism. ...this is what I wrote for MSNBC Daily: "J.D. Vance's victory says a lot about Trump. But it says even more about GOP voters."

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



. . . and he gave it to them good and hard.


Yes, as the punditocracy has declared, Ohio's Republican primary demonstrates once again that this is Donald Trump's party.

But Tuesday's vote showed us something else, as well: The GOPcirca2022 is also the party of MTG and Matt Gaetz.

It is a party comfortable with the racist "replacement theory," okay with poseurs and anti-anti-Putin isolationism, and willing to embrace the rawer forms of Trumpian authoritarianism.

ICYMI, this is what I wrote for MSNBC Daily: "J.D. Vance's victory says a lot about Trump. But it says even more about GOP voters."


Vance made a judgment about what Republican voters wanted in 2022, and (with apologies to Mencken) he gave it to them good and hard. That's worth considering for a moment.

The former Marine, Ivy League law school grad and bestselling author had a strategy. "I'm not just a flip-flopper, I'm a flip-flop-flipper on Trump," he told Time's Molly Ball.

Bankrolled by billionaire Peter Thiel, Vance was willing to drink deeply from the cup of self-humiliation and demagoguery, because that is what Trump demands.

But even more important: This is what the GOP voting base wants.

For Vance, that meant not only abandoning many of his former principles (including his oft-stated distaste for Trump, whom he once compared to Hitler), but any pretense to a principled or intellectually coherent platform. Former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara previously described the transmogrified Vance as a "pathetic loser poser fake jerk."

But it worked.

Vance studied the Trumpified GOP electorate and figured that his transparent phoniness and opportunism wouldn't be held against him.

He was right.

He turned himself into a troll spewing cartoonish bigotry on demand. As my colleague Tim Miller wrote in The Bulwark last year, in a single week, Vance had "tweeted about how he's scared to go to New York because it might be dirty. Defended a Nazi from being kicked off of twitter. Shared a thread defending election fraud conspiracies. Fantastically claimed Google was 'hiding' his website. Mocked reporters for saying they were traumatized by the Capitol riot."

He tightly hugged the most extreme MAGA types, campaigning with Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., and eagerly accepting the endorsement of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., even defending her appearance at a white nationalist conference. "She is my friend, and she did nothing wrong," Vance said after the conspiracy-mongering representative appeared at an event organized by Holocaust denier Nick Fuentes. "She said nothing wrong, and I'm absolutely not going to throw her under the bus, or anybody else who's a friend of mine."

Vance figured that this refusal to apologize would win him the favor of the deplorable legions, or at least Trump.

Again, he was right.

Shortly before Ukrainians began to bravely resist a brutal Russian invasion, Vance embraced Trumpian anti-anti-Vladimir Putin isolationism: "I've got to be honest with you," he declared. "I don't really care what happens to Ukraine one way or another."

He figured that this would appeal to the America Firsters and the GOP's No. 1 Putin fan. He was right…

Nor did Vance shy away from racing to the bottom with rivals like Josh Mandel. Accurately reading the zeitgeist of the GOP's entertainment wing, Vance openly and repeatedly touted the "great replacement" theory to attack the Biden administration's border policies. This so-called theory — once confined to the far reaches of the white nationalist fever swamps — claims that elites are using migrants and other members of minority groups to "replace" white American voters.

Last month, Vance released an ad claiming that "Joe Biden's open border is killing Ohioans with more illegal drugs and more Democrat voters pouring into this country."

The month before he released the ad, Vance went on Tucker Carlson's Fox News show to press the attack: "We have an invasion in this country because very powerful people get richer and more powerful because of it. It's not bad policy, it's evil, and we need to call it that."

Indeed, Vance was unapologetic about charges that he was embracing racism.

"Are you a racist?" Vance asked in the TV ad. "Do you hate Mexicans?"

"Whatever they call us," he declared, "we will put America first."

As he bid furiously for Trump's support, Vance naturally minimized the former president's attempted power grab and the assault on the Capitol on Jan. 6. He praised Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., who had objected to certifying the election, and he said that "most of the people there were actually super peaceful." (Five people died, and more than 100 police officers were injured during the hourslong assault.)

Perhaps most importantly, Vance made it clear that he despised the same people the voters despised. And he didn't care how unfair or obnoxious he sounded. He attacked the "childless left" who, he said, have "no physical commitment to the future of this country." And he railed against the monied boogeymen of the "big lie," tweeting, "The simple truth is that in 2020 our oligarchs used their power money to do everything they could to steal an election."

It worked.

Writing in The Atlantic, Tom Nichols noted that "Vance has struck back at his many critics across the political spectrum by referring to them all as 'degenerate liberals,' which is exactly the kind of thing a smarmy and pretentious asshole would say."

But Vance knew that's what he had to say. He was right.


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JohnRussell
Professor Principal
1  seeder  JohnRussell    3 weeks ago
Indeed, Vance was unapologetic about charges that he was embracing racism.

"Are you a racist?" Vance asked in the TV ad. "Do you hate Mexicans?"

"Whatever they call us," he declared, "we will put America first."
 
 
 
gooseisback
Freshman Silent
1.1  gooseisback  replied to  JohnRussell @1    3 weeks ago

Spare me the details JR most of the Democrat Senators were in favor of keeping illegals out until they were for it, including our President. 

Video Shows Joe Biden Once Railed Against 'Illegals,' Called For 700-Mile Border Fence | HuffPost Latest News
 
 

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