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Closing the barn door when the horse is four counties over


Apparently Tucker’s “1/6 was a false flag” documentary was too much for the author of “Liberal Fascism”:

It is fitting that two Fox News contributors have severed their ties with the network over Tucker Carlson’s glorification of Jan. 6 at exactly the moment when more than 150 scholars are sounding a loud, clanging alarm about the future of our democracy.

Because these two stories are unsettlingly related. Both should rivet our attention on the increasing flirtation among large swaths of the right with political violence, and on the role that the right’s campaign to delegitimize our political system is playing in it.

The two contributors — conservative writers Stephen Hayes and Jonah Goldberg — quit Fox to protest Carlson’s online special “Patriot Purge.” As Ben Smith of the New York Times reports, they objected to its depiction of an alternate history of Jan. 6 as a “false flag” designed to create a pretext to persecute conservatives.

This is being widely seen as the latest sign that the right’s institutions are purging themselves of the few remaining conservatives who are hostile to Donald Trump and his movement, and what this says about how much the Trump era has transformed the conservative firmament.

Good for them, really. But the more relevant fact is that the vast majority of Republicans will view Tucker’s 1/6 apologia as either a positive good or not worth worrying about. The marriage between Fox News, MAGA, and the Republican Party is complete. (The amazing scene in last night’s Succession in which Jeryd Mencken — a character who splits the already modest differences between Josh Hawley and Josh Mandel — convinces Roman that the network needs to get behind him because they need his younger alt-right audience as much as he needs them captures the dynamic perfectly.) You can go along or leave, and you’re equally implicated even if you won’t stand right next to Trump in the picture.

And, of course, if you have a brand to build and marks to fleece going along is what you’re going to go with:

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