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Whistling Anti-Semitism in the Lone Star State

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To echo Erik from yesterday, “There‚Äôs never good news when we are talking Texas politics.”

Texas governor Gregg Abbott has published an alarmist opinion piece about redistricting, which, as we all know, is a desperate and diabolical power-grab by the Democrats. I’ll leave it to y’all to get into the nuts and bolts of Abbott’s argument–because what really got to me was the dog-whistle headline:

How George Soros Is Helping Obama Democrats Buy Their Way Back To Power

Since I happen to spend a fair bit of time in Budapest, this invocation of Soros as a political enemy is rather unsettling. A few months back, I laid out my concerns about Lex CEU (a Hungarian law passed as an attempt to shutter Central European University, which was founded by Soros). Since then, the Hungarian Parliament has also passed a law requiring NGOs that receive non-Hungarian funding to register as “foreign-supported organizations” and include that designation on all public materials and communications (a policy strongly opposed by Amnesty International and the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, among others).

And, just in case, Prime Minister Viktor Orban and his Fidesz party supporters had left any doubt about their real target, they launched this massive poster campaign last month, warning Hungarians not to “let Soros have the last laugh.”

 

 

Those for whom the consistent linking of Soros (a Hungarian Jew), “cosmopolitanism,” wealth, and secret power manipulation was too subtle in its anti-Semitism took to defacing the posters with racial slurs (“dirty Jew” is scrawled across Soros’s forehead in the example above). Conveniently, the posters all disappeared by the time Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrived for his state visit (plus, Orban apologized for Hungary’s WWII Nazi collaboration and promised to be nice to Jews in Hungary from now on).

So, how does Abbott’s anti-Soros-ism stack up? A few highlights:

The Soros network has their sights set on re-drawing congressional districts in the Lone Star State to push their progressive agenda and turn the Texas dream into a California nightmare.
Invoking a shady network run by Soros and an outside power (California, gasp!) easily echoes the recent Hungarian policies.
The GOP needs to take the Soros network and the Holder, Obama, and Pelosi alliance seriously.
It’s hard not to notice that that particular list adds a woman and two black men to the dangerous cabal threatening traditional America. Moreover, Abbott’s rousing conclusion…
Complacency at the state and local level in 2018 will threaten the integrity of our elections and the future of our nation for generations to come.

…doubles down on the implication that not only elections (our political process and institutions), but generations (bloodlines?) are endangered by Soros and his shadowy network.

Abbott is taking a page straight from Orban’s playbook–and embracing ethno-nationalist rhetoric deep in the heart of Texas.

For years, checking in on Hungarian politics was the one sure way I had to feel better about our own. More and more, it strikes too close to home.

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  • sigaba

    It seems like Netanyahu and Israeli conservatives generally have a certain alignment of interests with antisemites. The antisemites want Jews excluded and persecuted, Netanyahu wants Jews to believe they will never be welcome outside Israel and the Jews have to rely on themselves and their own institutions to attain justice and peace.

    • Monty

      On the upside, Soros Jews working with Obama Muslims gives me new hope for peace in the Middle East.

    • mattmcirvin

      Alt-right antisemites are often quite fond of Israel; they think of it as the kind of segregated “ethno-state” they want everyone to live in, and they want all Jews to go there instead of staying here being all rootless and cosmopolitan.

    • WeWantPie

      Exactly – this is the same alignment of interests that Islamic extremists have with rightwing demagogues in Europe and the US. Radical Islamists are on record as wanting to destroy what they call the “Gray Areas” – that is, societies that are neither all black nor all white, where Muslims live together with people of other/no religions and different traditions/cultures in harmony and peace – so as to convince all Muslims, including the most moderate, secular and noncommittal, that they are unwelcome everywhere in the world except for their dreamed-of Caliphate.

      • Yes tidy-mindedness is strong with the crazies and their logical solutions to such problems are inherent with that worldview

        • sigaba

          It’s like the three year old playing with his peas and carrots, except it’s human beings.

      • Paul Thomas

        Also reminiscent of the occasional alliances of convenience between the 1920s edition of the KKK and the Garveyites.

        • Hob

          Or later dalliances between Louis Farrakhan and neo-Nazis. Of course they also had a common interest in antisemitism, but besides that, they had a mutual need to believe that coexistence was impossible and a willingness to provide a devil-figure for each other.

    • And the true-believer Christianists are seriously anticipating the building of the Third Temple (happy Tish ab’Av, everybody!) which will bring on Armageddon, making friends with the Israeli government to hasten the day when King Jesus will toss all the Jews into the Lake of Fire.

      • Deborah Bender

        Back at you. I was brought up Reform, and I usually forget the secondary fast days.

        • We were totally secular (my mom was of the Anglo persuasion). I usually have no idea, but heard it on the radio this morning.

    • Abigail Nussbaum

      Netanyahu certainly has no aversion to (certain types of) antisemites, but it’s important to note the importance of authoritarianism in the leaders he cozies up to. He’s one of the most Putin-friendly leaders in the world; he’s trying very, very hard to make Trump happen; and he’d probably be Erdogan’s best friend if the latter hadn’t chosen to ride anti-Israel sentiment into his own populist takeover. Orban is just being a little more upfront about how that tendency dovetails with antisemitism.

      But the thing is, as much as we tend to see this as a matter of political preference, it’s also a geopolitical policy. There was an article on this topic a few days ago (in Hebrew, or I’d link), kicking off from the (faint, but insistent) criticism in the media of an Israeli high tech company that makes spyware for cellphones which it sells to governments, ostensibly as a tool to help fight terrorism and crime. The accusation has been that after the murder of the 43 students, the Mexican government used this software to spy on journalists and protesters, and there’s been some discussion of why the ministry of defense doesn’t impede the sale of such products (since they’re defined as strategic assets and subject to its approval).

      The article’s argument was that far from wanting to discourage such sales, it’s actually in Israel’s interests to encourage them, and other defense/counter-terrorism sales to repressive and undemocratic regimes. The argument is, there’s a cycle. The right-wing government is uninterested in pursuing a diplomatic solution with the Palestinians, so they have to come up with technocratic solutions that keep the effects of the occupation away from their voters, from missile shields to crowd dispersal devices to spyware. So they encourage the weapons/cybersecurity industry (much of which is government-supported, both directly and in terms of the training and experience that many of their employees get in the army). And since Israel is a small market, those companies have to export their products, and usually the governments looking to buy such items are on the wobbly end of democracy (not entirely – Mexico and India, for example, are democratic even if they implement that democracy in a flawed way, and then of course there’s the US, which is certainly no stranger to spying on its citizens). Which also tends to translate to international support, for example in the UN. So there are practical reasons for Netanyahu to cozy up to wannabe-despots, including anti-semitic ones, even if the calculation he’s making is an odious one.

    • Not to defend Israel and the occupied territories (to coin a phrase), but it’s nothing compared to what the US and the Saudis have done and are doing throughout the Mid East.
      I know, pretty much apples and oranges. But it’d be helpful to bring the anti-Israel passions to the other crap going on throughout the region.

  • ohsopolite

    Alex Jones is going to be mad that he got scooped by Greg Abbott.

  • brad

    I was going to post Ali G’s “Throw the Jew down the well”, but turns out it was filmed in Arizona, not Texas.
    I'm sure Abbott is just trying to defend states' rights from this internationalist banker.

  • ColBatGuano

    Abbott needs to work on the salute. All fingers should be extended.

  • encephalopath

    “And our women, let’s not forget those ladies, y’all. Looking to us for protection! “

    • Bizarro Mike

      In Texas? I think the women in Texas are mainly looking for basic reproductive healthcare now that most of the clinics are closed.

    • drdick52

      Actually, the women of Texas are looking for protection from them.

      • twbb

        A majority of Texan women voted for Abbott, so for more than half of them they apparently have no problem with him.

        • so-in-so

          Most white women voted for the pussy-grabber in office, so looking for solidarity gets you nowhere. Of course, most of those white, middle class, “Christian” women will not have a problem getting any reproductive care they need out of state or from their usual doctors either.

  • Murc

    Enh.

    While it’s true that some of the shit aimed at Soros is going to be virulently anti-Semitic (seriously, Hungary, right the fuck?) it seems like Abbott is just engaging in basic “the other sides rich activist donors and high-profile politicians are up to no good” propagandizing. Soros has been a target for years.

    I mean. I’m not trying to soft-pedal anti-Semitism. But to flip it around… when I say something like, say, “Henry Kissinger and the acolytes of his policy have been a perniciously evil blight on our country” I’m not dog-whistling “cabal of Jews is controlling everything.”

    This isn’t to say that Abbott’s criticisms of Soros are at all substantively correct, of course. There’s little substance here at all; when you boil it down it basically amounts to “our political foes are attempting to use politics to defeat us politically. What scumbags, am I right?”

    • rewenzo

      A complicating factor here is that Abbott probably gets a lot of literature on the subject from the global right wing which is obsessed with demographics and the survival of (hint hint) western civilization. The Hungarians absolutely intend their Soros hatred to be antisemitic.

      The other element is that Abbott is essentially opposing efforts to allow Hispanics and other undesirables to vote. So he’s adopting a racist bogeyman in advance of an agenda designed to keep minorities from exercising their political rights. I’m not inclined to be charitable.

      • Hogan

        Fafblog: Oh no! But I thought gay people were good and deserved marriage licenses!
        James Dobson: That’s probably because of your treacherous liberal education. It’s
        brainwashed you into thinking that there is no right and wrong, that everyone deserves equal rights, and that the fossil record accurately represents the geological and biological history of the earth. If our society continues to slide down this slippery slope of moral relativism, it will mean the end of Western Civilization.
        FB: Oh no! Not Western Civilization! That’s where all my friends live!
        JD: And without Western Civilization, the dark forces of Satanism, terrorism, feminism, and internationalism will devour all that’s good in the world and allow the Antichrist to set up his one-world kingdom.
        FB: Wow. This is pretty devastating stuff Dr. Dobson. And it can’t be wrong or crazy ’cause you’re a doctor!
        JD: That’s right, Fafnir. I am a doctor.

    • rm

      The “Soros funds everything” messages are usually anti-Semitic. Additionally, Abbot is talking about “integrity of our elections,” meaning “elections must remain white, and not be ruined by one-person-one-vote communism promoted by outside agitators.” I think the subtext is there in this case.

      Edit: in other words, what rewenzo said and I didn’t read before commenting.

    • Dan

      In a better world there’s a logic to that, but Abbott’s obviously aiming for style over substance to begin with and if not specifically implying a “cabal” he’s appealing to Soros’ otherness that extends beyond just being a rich Democrat. This might be anecdotal, but I’ve had at least a few conversations with folks with a novel’s worth of conspiracy theories about Soros relating to his being Jewish, his childhood in Nazi-occupied Hungary, involvement with the illuminati, being a globalist etc. and they always seemed to devolve into a more general anti-semitic rant.

      *der… better said by rewenzo e rm

    • brad

      Thing is, invoking Soros is both a floor wax and a dessert topping. That’s what makes for an effective dog whistle. There’s a reason Soros has been singled out among Democratic money men.

      • drdick52

        As someone who grew up in Oklahoma, I have to agree with this. Antisemitism is pretty strong among Southern conservatives. Bundling him together with Obama and Holder is pretty telling in this regard. I think there is also an element of anti-immigrant sentiment and foreign intervention.

      • Murc

        There’s a reason Soros has been singled out among Democratic money men.

        I’m not saying this doesn’t happen, because of course it does, but to an extent Soros’ prominence is our own “fault.” I remember when he first rose to prominence in left/liberal circles, people couldn’t wait to wax rhapsodic about how one of the money was actually a good guy and going to use his fortune in a noble way to help better progressive politics and on and on and suchly.

        That said, I think the right thinks he’s much more popular and well-known on the left than he actually is.

        • brad

          I don’t think it’s a bad thing that big money political actors are public figures, but my point is while he does like putting his name on things, he’s hardly alone in spending money for the left. But on the right think of how many families and names we know, the Kochs, the Mercers, Sheldon Adelson is just one among many, and he hasn’t, to my awareness, been particularly singled out or focused on, compared to his peers.

          That said, I think the right thinks he’s much more popular and well-known on the left than he actually is.

          Isn’t that another way of saying the right fixates on him much more than his activities would dictate?

        • Hogan

          Call me when Warren Buffett gets the same level of attention.

          • DAS

            Wouldn’t prove anything if he does get that kind of attention. Warren Buffett has strong ties to the Jewish community. Save for an appearance before a Bet Din and going to the mikvah, he might as well be one of us.

        • They don’t think he’s “popular”, they think he’s a secret master only they know about, ruling the world from behind a screen, with his trusty aide Victoria Nuland.

        • Shalimar

          They think that because their propaganda network blames Soros for funding everything Democrats do. He is name-checked constantly on talk radio shows across the country. And they are well aware that he is Jewish. Abbott’s rhetoric isn’t accidental, even if he personally doesn’t know the background and is just repeating what works with his audience.

    • mattmcirvin

      But when, say, Lyndon LaRouche says it, he really is dog-whistling that.

      • It has been (thank goodness) many years since I read anything by Lyndon LaRouche, but I don’t remember him being much of a one for dog-whistles. I mean, unless I’ve enhanced my actual memories (always a possibility…), didn’t he used to explicitly—in his mad writings about fusion—condemn relativity as “Jewish science”? Or was I just translating his dog-whistles on the fly, and remembering the plaintext?

        • Paul Thomas

          My recollection is similar– I thought LaRouche was more or less an explicit Third Positionist.

    • Dinesh D’Souza and the Daily Caller were trotting out the “Soros was a Nazi collaborator” shtik just yesterday https://twitter.com/DineshDSouza/status/892111675830226946
      It’s a concerted effort, and it’s anti-Semitism all the time.

      • Hitler was a premature antisemite.

      • Wojciech

        a Jewish collaborator with the Nazis? do these idiots even LISTEN to themselves?!?

        • Sadly, there were such. But 14-year-old George (you can read a Wikipedia version of the story here wasn’t one of them.

          • CP

            Claiming that the victims of Nazism were actually its allies (and vice versa) has been the right’s attempt to claim the WW2 narrative for themselves forever at this point.

            (Jonah Goldberg’s “Liberal Fascism” is another example, one of the more blatant ones).

            • D’Souza has just emitted a kind of remake of Goldberg’s bpok under the title “The Big Lie”. They never quit.

      • ToddTheVP

        Jeez! I’d never really heard about Soros until maybe the 2008 elections but either the comments on that thread are Nazibots or the deranged right wing raises its children on horror stories of what George Soros will do to them if they don’t eat their vegetables or go to bed on time.

    • Hogan

      The larger context matters. Abbot is tossing this out into a media/social media ecosystem already saturated with “Jewy McNaziboy Soros is paying thugs to break up Trump rallies” messages.

      And if you’re going back to “Henry Kissinger and the acolytes of his policy” as your villains in the absence of any specific stimulus, you’re getting all the side-eye I have in me.

    • King Goat

      This seems right to me. When the left complained about Sheldon Adelson’s interference there were these charges of anti-Semitism leveled. I think there has to be a bit more than that.

      • DAS

        Adelson is another beast entirely (part of what he’s after is to try and get more Jews to vote GOP), but I’ve long felt that singling out Henry Kissinger as a bogey man has a whiff of antisemitism to it.

        • Philip

          Nixon’s already dead, so Hank was just next on my list.

  • NewishLawyer

    And Texas is the state where Democrats in the State Assembly help support a conservative but largely country club Jewish-Republican named Joe Strauss to be the Speaker of the House in order to prevent a really crazy wingnut from getting the seat.

    Far righties have tried to use anti-Semitism against Joe Strauss but it never sticks.

    There was a New Yorker article a few weeks ago theorizing that the future of American politics is Texas politics with all its craziness and passions.

    • rewenzo

      Looks like we read the same article.

    • Thom

      “a New Yorker article a few weeks ago theorizing that the future of American politics is Texas politics with all its craziness and passions”

      The title said that, but the article never made the case, though it did paint an interesting picture of current politics in Texas.

      • Ithaqua

        Current? I grew up there, with a friend of my father’s in the “state legislature”, and it was crazy back then, and for a hundred years before then too, which takes us to pre-Civil War days.

        • so-in-so

          “If I owned both hell and Texas, I’d live in hell and rent out Texas.”

  • rewenzo

    There was an article in the New Yorker in July about Texas politics and Texas republicans apparently have this morbid fascination with what they call the “California nightmare.” They keep tabs on how many Californians move to Texas and cite those statistics as proving that people in California prefer Texas. They are afraid Texas will be taken over by liberals and Hispanics and that everything that makes Texas great (no taxes, social services, or laws designed to improve human welfare plus an abiding hatred of gay people) will be taken away.

    They’re afraid of this happening because they can see the demographic change already underway.

    • EthanS

      Political cleavages become more salient as they approach 50%. America is becoming a majority minority nation. Guess we should get used to white political nationalism because it’s not going away any time soon.

      • Alesis

        I mean did it ever go away?

      • drdick52

        As someone who grew up in the South, I would argue that it is only going to get worse.

    • uykhvasdrvtjyku

      Per capita GDP Texas: $53,795

      Per capita GDP California: $58,619

      Yeah, real nightmare. Are conservatives even aware that California is a rich state with a high standard of living?

      • Deborah Bender

        Higher housing costs in the parts of CA where many of the jobs are totally offset that difference. On the whole, people in California don’t prefer Texas, but they will move for economic reasons.

        • chethardy

          Texas has probably the highest property tax as a percentage of the price of the median house of any state in the union. Higher than average sales tax, lots of toll roads which are effectively the same as taxes for the people who have to use them.

          • Deborah Bender

            I didn’t know that. Property taxes in CA typically start from a base of one percent of assessed value, with added on fees that vary from place to place and can be substantial. When the assessed value rises above the most recent sale price, the increase in the base tax is capped at two percent a year, so similar houses in the same block can have property taxes that differ by several hundred percent depending on how recently they changed hands.

            Toll roads are rare and controversial but in the Bay Area the direct route to many places you want to go involves crossing one or even two toll bridges. Sales tax in the various SFBA counties averages about nine percent. I don’t know about the rest of the state. California has an income tax.

          • Paul Thomas

            Not to mention the other roads where Texas state officials act as literal highwaymen preying on anyone foolish enough to transport certain valuable items in interstate commerce…

      • sigaba

        You’re ignoring Berzerkeley-LaRaza-Hollyweird-South Central-People’s Republic of Pelosi.

        • chethardy

          To be fair, Texas supports her universities big time and always has.

          Lay the “Defund higher education” idea that is so popular elsewhere in Red states on your average Aggie and see how far you get.

          I don’t think that they quite appreciate how much if their success us attributable to that, though.

          • Deborah Bender

            That was true in CA when I was a college student back in the Renaissance, but not for decades and it gets worse all the time, under red governors and blue.

      • John F

        New York: $64,579

        but hey, they’ve got Oklahoma beat: $ 44,623

    • Thom

      It is true that a lot of people are moving to Texas, from all over, with California being well represented because (a) there are a lot of people in California and (b) the tech sector connection. But it is not clear that this particular movement of people (again, from all over) is making the state more liberal. A lot of people go to Texas because there are jobs, housing is relatively cheap, and, piquing the interest of those making a lot of money, there is no income tax. It is really other demographic changes, especially the growth of the Latino population, that is making the state likely to move in a purplish direction.

      • Paul Thomas

        I feel like there’s a demographic joke in here somewhere about how most people who move from California to Texas make both states smarter.

        • Thom

          Yeah, that was an old joke about Max Rafferty, the former state head of public education in California, in the 1960s, when he moved to Alabama.

        • Richard Gadsden

          They probably make both states more leftwing

    • MikeG

      People move to Texas because housing is cheap. That’s about the only reason.
      It’s hot, humid, ugly landcapes and uglier dehumanizing sprawl, with awful labor laws, full of trigger-happy rednecks and repulsively idiotic right-wing politics. I endured two years there before moving back to the west coast.

      Parochial, xenophobic right-wingers have to scare their pants-wetting peasants with boogeyman stories about how bad other places are so they won’t realize what suckful corrupt corporatist exploitation they live under. So Europe is a “socialist hellhole” and California is a “nightmare”, and their rubes are too scared and ignorant to know otherwise.

      • CP

        What’s replacing “socialism” right now is “Eurabia” and especially the ever-present myth of “government/police no-go zones” that are supposedly under Sharia Law.

    • They have the same fascination with Detroit for some reason.

      I fly Detroit a lot because it’s close to home.

      Invariably some Captain from Texas or North Carolina will be surprised it’s not the post-apocalyptic Mad Max hellscape that the local news down there assures them that it its.

      • Thirtyish

        They also still think (wish?) that New York is the crime-infested hellhole it was forty years ago.

        • John F

          Yeah, NYC has been safe to walk around in for pretty much the whole 25 years I’ve been working here…

          15-20 years ago you used to hear Yankee fans complain ALL THE TIME that they couldn’t see the Yankees- because Yankee Stadium was in the South Bronx and everyone knew that a white-bread suburbanite couldn’t travel there and expect to come out alive…

          Haven’t heard a Yankee fan complain about the South Bronx that way in years.

      • narciblog

        Also, Chicago, as if walking down the street is going to land you in the midst of a hail of gunfire from a gang war. I’m convinced there are big racial undertones to that stereotype, too.

        • farin

          And the incalculably stupid, “Obummer couldn’t even fix his own city and now he’s going to make us all like that.”

      • John F

        I visited Detroit once a few years ago, it was just another aging city, nothing like the way it was/is portrayed in the MSM.

    • John F

      “By Gov. Greg Abbott

      Runaway regulations by cities are already hitting your wallet and threaten to turn the Texas dream into a California nightmare…

      The cost of homeownership has increased rapidly as Texas home prices are at record highs, which is driven in part by demand but also by successive layers of regulations, land-use restrictions, impact fees and general micromanagement by permitting authorities. This hyperregulation adds costs and prices more families out of the home-buying market. The National Association of Homebuilders estimates that regulations imposed by government at all levels account for almost 25 percent of the final price of the average new single-family home.”

      And yet my brother in law continues to buy homes in Texas for FAR less than vacant lots go for here…

  • Mona Williams

    Just wanted to mention that Soros, born in Hungary, has been an American citizen since 1944.

    • Boring from within!!!

      • Hogan

        I find it fascinating, actually.

        • sigaba

          Thank you Elon Musk.

    • You can take the Jew out of the cosmopolis, but you can’t take the rootless cosmopolitanism out of the Jew.

  • Paul Thomas

    You may be right– and if this was directly connected to Trump, I’d be pretty sure you were right– but never underestimate how much can be explained by simple projection.

    Republicans know that THEY are seeking to contort American elections, through avalanches of foreign and dark money, gerrymandering, and plain old cheating, so as to make themselves immune to the electorate. These facts are indisputable. They thus accuse Democrats of doing the same so as to set up their usual “both sides do it but the Democrats are worse” defense.

    • DrS

      Plus Democrats did it first! JFK! Chicago Politics! More people who haven’t been in power in 3 or 6 decades!

      • Paul Thomas

        Technically, I believe Democratic-Republicans did it first…

        • It was just self-defense against the insidious Federalists.

          • Richard Gadsden

            I’m English. The actual first to do it were the court party, before Columbus ever sailed.

            • Or the Green team in the chariot races under Justinian.

  • AMK

    Antisemitism has been a core element of fundiegelical politics since forever, long before Soros became a right-wing boogeyman for giving millions to progressive groups. The exact same people have been beating the “War on Christmas” drum for 30 years. If you ask them who is actually the enemy in the war you’ll get an earful.

    • Deborah Bender

      i regard the Christian Right as my enemy for precisely this reason. Not all conservatives, certainly not all Christians, but the Christian Right is my enemy and that fact is the only thing we agree on.

      • DrS

        Re upping my rec of “The Evangelicals” by Frances FitzGerald ( https://www.amazon.com/Evangelicals-Struggle-Shape-America/dp/1439131333/ref=sr_1_1? ) even though I have not finished it yet. It’s been a great overview of the Christian Right and its history, and thus some excellent insight into its present.

      • chethardy

        “The Christian Right” basically means “the racists” in real life.

        They broke something like 5 to 1 for Trump in the election. Were they all really so confused about who the Bible-toting Methodist was?

        • CP

          “The Christian Right” basically means “the racists” in real life.

          This. The religious right was created as a safe haven and new home for unreconstructed segregationists. Fundamentally, that’s still what it is.

        • weirdnoise

          Unlike them, she doesn’t believe that The Sermon On The Mount only applies to other Evangelical Christians, and not Methodists or other “liberal” Christians.

          • DAS

            How many people really understand the point of the parable of the good Samaritan? I betcha if you ask even a sample of Christian Bible (t)humpers “who does the word Samaritan refer to? “, the majority would respond “a person who goes out of his way to be helpful”.

            • farin

              As a curious nonbeliever, I’ve always found the parable of “the parable of the good Samaritan” appealing: Jesus, through his teaching, has redeemed the entire nation of Samaria, using his original audience’s bigotry as the medium.

    • Thirtyish

      Same with the “coastal elitists/liberal establishment/liberal elite” slurs.

    • DAS

      The thing is that a lot of Jewish people in my neighborhood don’t hear the antisemitic dog whistles, but rather respond to right wing “support” of Israel.

  • nominal

    I’ve gotten to the point where this not only isn’t shocking, but fallen all the way to meh. Tinges of anti-semitism, racism and mysogyny? Meh.

    • Thirtyish

      Thing is, it’s always been there. Conservative evangelicals have always been hostile to Jews/women with ambitions beyond kirche kinder kuche/LGBTQ individuals. It’s only that the last decade or so has seen a number of political phenomena (culminating, of course, in the election of the shitgibbon to high office) that have really emboldened them to air their true views, which in past decades was discouraged by polite conventions.

  • drdick52

    They have gone full Bircher.

    • Deborah Bender

      William F. Buckley, thou shouldst be living at this hour.

  • efgoldman

    If I thought about it (and I was pretty young – in grade school, so I didn’t) I’d have wondered why my family, particularly my Dad’s side, didn’t get more bothered by the Soviets putting down the uprising in the mid-1950s. Later I skimmed the history about collaborators during WW2.

  • BigHank53

    When I clicked on this link to look at the comments, the ad that got served up in the sidebar was from Freedomworks, imploring me to click on it and add my name to the petition demanding Justice Ginsberg recuse herself. From what case they didn’t say. The photo of Ginsberg in the ad had the entire lower half of her face in heavy shadow. I guess it’s not easy to make an elderly woman look menacing.

    • Hogan

      From what case they didn’t say.

      Just, you know, generally.

      Ginsburg . . . is that an American name?

    • Wojciech

      An elderly Jewish woman … who has a well-known habit of getting uppity to menfolk who get fresh with her.

  • Jay B.

    Abbot is one of the people in public life whom I really hate. It’s a list that has gotten larger over the years, but he’s a truly terrible human being in every possible way. A beneficiary of the ADA he opposes, he made millions suing the homeowner whose tree fell on him while supporting tort reform, he bought into Jade Helm, he bitches about fighting the redistricting Tom Delay forced into being the second he could. He’s a hypocrite and a weasel. He’s everything that Texas deserves.

    • farin

      The W.-Perry-Abbott trajectory predicts the next governor will be an actual balor, who will of course win thanks to his strong record on education.

  • gwen

    Just to be clear, the “Texas Miracle” died recently. Texas unemployment is higher than the national average.

    Abbott’s nonsense might be bearable if he were just a glibertarian business shill (the way that George W. Bush was, more or less). But in the past five years or so Texas has come to be dominated by the wackadoo reactionary authoritarian right.

    • Deborah Bender

      A state economy that is lightly regulated and partially dependent on resource extraction is going to have wider swings from boom to bust than an economy that is diversified and knowledge based. The latter requires higher taxes and more regulation, and this regime suppresses the peaks and cushions the lows. At least I would like to think so, since that is what I usually vote for.

  • Having lived in both Texas and California I think I’d take California even with the additional expense.

    All things being equal it wouldn’t even be close.

  • brad

    Off topic in good news, Gillibrand dropped her support of that hideous bill.
    http://observer.com/2017/07/kirsten-gillibrand-israel-boycott-legislation/

    • sigaba

      She reads her mail evidently.

      • twbb

        Or finally got around to reading the bill.

  • Heim Yankel

    First they came for (……….) but I wasn’t a (……..)

    • farin

      Modern Republicans do us the favor of coming for everyone all at once, so at least we won’t be left with regrets.

  • Perkniticky

    Serious question – how much foundation money is Soros spending in the US versus the Koch brothers. Considering Soros also spends money in Europe, while presumably the Kochs only spend in the US (?), I bet it’s not even close.

    • John F

      I had an argument with a Repub awhile back about that- he insisted that Soros out spends the Kochs tenfold, I said the opposite. Truth is neither of us actually knows, I’m fairly confident hat the Kochs spend a fair bit more, just don’t know how much.

      • Perkniticky

        There must be a way to find out – I would think foundation spending is public. Someone should do some digging (if they haven’t already).

        • Perkniticky

          Oops, a quick google search seems to indicate that the Koch’s spend a lot of dark money. So it might be harder to track down actual figures than I thought.

  • kaydenpat

    It always comes back to “the Jooze”.

  • cpinva

    this is very disturbing. i’m aware of Hungary’s wwII history, then being under the heel of the Soviet Union. you’d think after all that, they’d have learned that you can be proud of your country/heritage, without being an asshole about it. i guess not.

  • The ruling party is opposed to everything good about the nation, the opposition party wants to be like the ruling one.
    It’s working great, our democracy has never been greater, right?

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