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Why Richard Cohen Is The Perfect Metaphor For The GOP: It’s Not Me, It’s You



By far, the top story today, discussed on every cable news show, reported on several times by every major news organization is Richard Cohen’s racist opinion column in the Washington Post.

LOOK: Washington Post Writer: Interracial Couples Make ‘People With Conventional Views’ Vomit

For the sake of the few who might not have read it yet, allow us to present the relevant paragraph at issue. The bolding is ours:

Today’s GOP is not racist, as Harry Belafonte alleged about the tea party, but it is deeply troubled — about the expansion of government, about immigration, about secularism, about the mainstreaming of what used to be the avant-garde. People with conventional views must repress a gag reflex when considering the mayor-elect of New York — a white man married to a black woman and with two biracial children. (Should I mention that Bill de Blasio’s wife, Chirlane McCray, used to be a lesbian?) This family represents the cultural changes that have enveloped parts — but not all — of America. To cultural conservatives, this doesn’t look like their country at all.

The Atlantic’s Ta-Nehisi Coates explains exactly why this is “horse-shit.”

“The problem here isn’t that we think Richard Cohen gags at the site of an interracial couple and their children. The problem is that Richard Cohen thinks being repulsed isn’t actually racist, but  ‘conventional’ or ‘culturally conservative.’ Obstructing the right of black humans and white humans to form families is a central feature of American racism. If retching at the thought of that right being exercised isn’t racism, then there is no racism.”

Richard Cohen is the perfect metaphor for today’s GOP. He just cannot grasp that America no longer thinks like he does. And even if you buy his argument that he was merely giving voice to those in the Tea Party who do think like that, his previous works really eviscerate that claim.

Which makes it all the more troubling that Cohen’s bosses at the Washington Post not only defended his column once it was clear it was being attacked in seemingly every major news outlet across the nation, but extolled it before the backlash began, as “brilliant.”

Here’s a tweet from the Publisher of the Washington Post, late last night:


The Post’s editorial page editor, Fred Hiatt, offered to take the heat.

“Anyone reading Richard’s entire column will see he is just saying that some Americans still have a hard time dealing with interracial marriage. I erred in not editing that one sentence more carefully to make sure it could not be misinterpreted.”

Well, that’s false. Let’s look at that again.

“Anyone reading Richard’s entire column will see he is just saying that some Americans still have a hard time dealing with interracial marriage.”

No, what he said was, “People with conventional views” want to vomit when thinking about interracial couples.

And then, there’s the comment that Chirlane McCray “used to be a lesbian.”

Did Hiatt err in not editing that one sentence more carefully, also, to make sure it could not be misinterpreted?

No, I’m pretty sure the Washington Post erred by not firing Cohen by now, and I’m pretty sure that if they opened their eyes and realized that it’s not 1950, they would see just how wrong Cohen is.

Because the fact is that biracial, or interracial couples, today are the norm. President Barack Obama, by the way, is the offspring of a biracial couple.

The dated idea that any of us is “Black” or “white” at this point is a joke — with the punchline being the news yesterday that a white supremacist found out — on TV — that his DNA proves he is fourteen percent African.

“People with conventional views,” Richard Cohen claims, “must repress a gag reflex when considering the mayor-elect of New York — a white man married to a black woman and with two biracial children.”

No, actually, people with unconventional views may — but people with conventional views surpassed racists and bigots many years ago.

Apparently, Richard Cohen doesn’t understand this — and thinks that — at least what seems like — the vast majority of Americans who today are calling him a racist, are mean.

“The word racist is truly hurtful,” Cohen told the Huffington Post. “It’s not who I am. It’s not who I ever was. It’s just not fair. It’s just not right.”

“I didn’t write one line, I wrote a column,” he added. “The column is about Tea Party extremism and I was not expressing my views, I was expressing the views of what I think some people in the Tea Party held.”

“I don’t think everybody in the Tea Party is like that, because I know there are blacks in the Tea Party,” he said. “So they’re not all racist, unless I’m going to start doing mind reading about why those black people are there.”

Are you thinking what I’m thinking?

Regardless, let’s look again at that.

“I was not expressing my views, I was expressing the views of what I think some people in the Tea Party held.”

The only world in which that statement might make sense is if Cohen admits he himself has “unconventional views.”

So while all this “it’s not me, it’s you” excuse-making is swirling in your head, let me share something else with you.

My father was a Brooklyn-born Jew whose parents came from Poland and Lithuania — although we were always told Russia. I’m certain our last name was a lot longer before they landed here. I had relatives we’d see, rarely, on the Jewish holidays, who had numbers burned into their forearms. When I was young I asked why. And I was told we had other relatives who died in the Holocaust. My mother, who denounced the Roman Catholic church after moving to America to attend Columbia University — where my parents met — is from Central America. She has both Spanish and Mayan blood.

Frankly, I have no idea what I’m supposed to call myself.

My sister and I grew up in a household where we called our friends’ parents “Mr.” or “Mrs.” but our parents’ friends by their first names. It wasn’t until high school or college that I even understood that someone with the name Goldberg was probably Jewish. We just never were taught things like that.

I remember growing up, being told by my mother that a friend of hers, who was white, was forced to rent an apartment in her name because her husband was Black and no landlord in Connecticut would rent an apartment to an interracial couple. I didn’t understand how that was possible.

And I remember growing up just assuming that I could never marry because I’m gay.

Today, I’m happily married. My husband is of Irish and German ancestry.

Frankly, with all that “ancestry” sloshing around in our veins, I have no idea what we’re supposed to call ourselves. Bi-racial? Inter-racial? Metro-racial? Legally married will do just fine, thank you very much.

Today, Hawaii became the sixteenth state to extend marriage to same-sex couples. Last week, it was Illinois. Three other states also did this year. Top LGBT organizations promise marriage equality in all 50 states within five years. I suspect it will happen in less time.

Our neighbors down the hall are an interracial couple. I hesitate to use the term bi-racial because I have no idea what their DNA looks like. And I don’t care. They’re lovely people, probably two of the best parents I know.

What I’m certain of is that I don’t know a soul with conventional views who could look at them and their four-year old daughter — who is cute as a button — and be forced to “repress a gag reflex.”

I mention all this merely because, while I acknowledge that being a gay man of mixed ancestry married to a gay man of somewhat less-mixed ancestry, living in Manhattan, may make me, indeed, somewhat “unconventional,” I’m fairly certain there are more of “us” — people of mixed ancestry in interracial marriages and relationships — than “them” — people in monoracial (is that a word?) marriages or relationships.

This is an America that elected — twice — a Black president, an America in which for several years now, the majority has supported same-sex marriage. (“Should I mention that Bill de Blasio’s wife, Chirlane McCray, used to be a lesbian?”)

And this, dear friends, is why Richard Cohen is the perfect metaphor for today’s GOP. Today’s dying GOP.

Because they think being racist is when you call someone the “N” word. If you don’t, you’re not. Nuance eludes them.

They think everyone else thinks like they do, because so many on the right only watch Fox News, and so many on the right only read Tea Party columnists, and Breitbart, and Drudge, and listen to Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity.

And they haven’t a clue that it’s 2013 and they’re a dying breed.

Editorial note: A previous version of this article stated the Post had not reported on Cohen’s column, based on a search of the Post — which when checked after publication later turned up two pieces.

Image: Washington Post

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Trump Appears to Think Jeb Bush Was President: ‘He Got Us Into the Middle East’



During a rally in South Carolina on Monday, Donald Trump appeared to confuse former Florida GOP Governor Jeb Bush with his brother, former President George W. Bush, while bragging to supporters how he beat him.

Jeb Bush, who was largely considered to be the default Republican Party nominee for the 2016 presidential election when he launched his campaign, dropped out in February of 2016 after the South Carolina primary.

“When I come here, everyone thought Bush was going to win,” Trump said, before claiming he was “up by about 50 points” over Bush. “They thought Bush because Bush was supposedly a military person.”

“You know what he was…He got us into the Middle East,” Trump claimed, wrongly. “How did that work out?”

READ MORE: ‘Isn’t Glock a Good Gun?’ Trump Asks Before Saying He Is Buying One – Campaign Forced to Deny He Did

“But they also thought that Bush might win. Jeb. Remember Jeb? He used the word ‘Jeb,’ he didn’t use the word ‘Bush,’ I said, ‘You mean he’s ashamed of the last name?’ and then they immediately started using the name Bush,” Trump claimed.

The ex-president went on to continue denigrating Jeb Bush, accusing him of bringing his mother to campaign with him.

“Remember,” Trump said, “he brought his mother, his wonderful mother who’s 94 years old and it was pouring and they’re wheeling her around and it’s raining and horrible. I said, ‘Who would do that your mother, 94 years old. How desperate are you to win?”

Media Matters’ Craig Harrington, commenting on Trump’s latest gaffe, observed: “In the past two weeks, Donald Trump has:

– Warned that Joe Biden might start ‘World War 2’
– Confused his 2016 election opponent (Hillary Clinton) with former President Barack Obama
– Confused his 2016 primary opponent (Jeb Bush) with former President George W. Bush.”

Watch the video below or at this link.

READ MORE: ‘Careening’ Toward ‘Risk of Political Violence’: Experts Sound Alarm After Trump Floats Executing His Former General

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Fulton County Judge in Trump Case Orders Jurors’ Identities and Images Must Be Protected



The Fulton County Superior Court judge presiding over Georgia’s RICO, conspiracy, and election interference case against Donald Trump on Monday afternoon ordered the identities and images of all jurors and prospective jurors to remain secret, ordering they may only be referred to by a number.

“No person shall videotape, photograph, draw in a realistic or otherwise identifiable manner, or otherwise record images, statements, or conversations of jurors/prospective jurors in any manner” that would violate a Superior Court rule, Judge Scott McAfee ordered, “except that the jury foreperson’s announcement of the verdict or questions to the judge may be audio recorded.”

“Jurors or prospective jurors shall be identified by number only in court filings or in open court,” he added.

READ MORE: ‘Careening’ Toward ‘Risk of Political Violence’: Experts Sound Alarm After Trump Floats Executing His Former General

Judge McAfee also ordered no juror’s or prospective juror’s identity, “including names, addresses, telephone numbers, or identifying employment information” may be revealed.

MSNBC’s Katie Phang posted the order, and added: “Another important part of the Order: no responses from juror questionnaires or notes about jury selection shall be disclosed, unless permitted by the Court.”

Judge McAfee’s order comes after Donald Trump’s weekend of attacks on his former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley. Trump strongly suggested he should be executed for treason. Trump also strongly suggested he would target Comcast, NBC News, and MSNBC if he wins the 2024 presidential election.

Responding to the news, MSNBC’s Medhi Hasan observed, “We have just normalized the fact that the former president, and GOP presidential frontrunner, is basically a mob boss.”


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‘Isn’t Glock a Good Gun?’ Trump Asks Before Saying He Is Buying One – Campaign Forced to Deny He Did



During a photo shoot at a South Carolina gun shop, Donald Trump posed with and then said he wanted to buy a Glock, asking if it is “a good gun.”

Some say it might be illegal to sell a gun to anyone under criminal indictment, and if he took the gun with him that too might be illegal. It was not clear if, despite saying he would, he actually bought the firearm. The Trump campaign initially said he had, although later backtracked on its claim, and deleted the social media post saying he had.

In the photo op (video below,) Trump posed with several people, including the Republican Attorney General of South Carolina, Alan Wilson, who has held that elected position since 2011.

“Trump’s spokesman announced that Trump bought a Glock today in South Carolina. He even posted video,” wrote former Chicago Tribune editor Mark Jacob. “If Trump took the gun with him, that’s a federal crime since he’s under indictment. There’s also a law against selling a gun to someone under federal indictment like Trump.”

READ MORE: ‘Poof’: White House Mocks Stunned Fox News Host as GOP’s Impeachment Case Evaporates on Live Air

Reuters’ crime and justice reporter Brad Heath posted the federal laws that might apply, as well as Trump’s campaign spokesperson’s clip of the ex-president’s remarks, and his spokesperson saying, “President Trump purchases a @GLOCKInc in South Carolina!”

CNN analyst Stephen Gutowski, who writes about gun policy, added, “It would be a crime for him to actually buy this gun because he’s under felony indictment. Did he actually go through with this purchase?”

“People under felony indictments can’t ‘receive’ new firearms. That also means you can’t buy them,” he also wrote.

MSNBC anchor and legal contributor Katie Phang wrote, “I don’t know if he actually bought the gun. At least it didn’t happen in this video. Also, the Attorney General of South Carolina is in this video. Is he watching Trump commit a crime?”

But some pointed to a federal judge in Texas’ ruling from last year. Reuters reported, a “federal law prohibiting people under felony indictment from buying firearms is unconstitutional.”

Watch the video below or at this link.



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