• Germany,  Israel,  The Right

    Vincent Harris, AfD and Netanyahu

    Would it surprise anyone that Vincent Harris, a Texas-based political consultant who helped the far-right Alternative für Deutschland party (AfD) achieve 12 percent of the vote and 94 seats in the Bundestag in the recent German election, has also consulted for the campaigns of US Senator Ted Cruz, (briefly) Donald Trump– and Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party in Israel. It really shouldn’t. Christopher Hooks writes at The Texas Observer: Like a lot of the new right movements, the AfD is sometimes able to present a face of respectability, and it maintains a certain level of plausible deniability regarding its connection to neo-Nazi groups and their ilk in Germany. The party’s main…

  • The Right,  Trump

    Anti-anti-Trumpism

    Among the New Left of the 1960s, there was a phenomenon called anti-anti-Communism. That is, many leftists of the era has no particular illusions about the “progressive” nature of the Soviet Union or the eastern European satellite nations (although some still romanticized Mao’s China and Castro’s Cuba). But they were more critical of those on the Left who denounced Communist regimes than they were of the repressive and undemocratic regimes themselves. Writing last month in The New York Times, Charles Sykes– a conservative former radio talk-show host in Wisconsin–identified a similar phenomenon among those on the Right: anti-anti-Trumpism. As Sykes notes, many conservatives freely concede that in a lot of…

  • The Right

    Weston and Waters lead PEGIDA’s UK launch

    It doesn’t seem too long since Tommy Robinson was inspiring some (including me) to hope his views had changed under the influence of Quilliam and Anne Marie Waters was making a bid to stand as a Labour PPC in Brighton.  But now both have apparently joined forces with Paul Weston in a British launch of PEGIDA. The group, whose name is a German acronym standing for Patriotic Europeans Against The Islamisation Of The West, has been accused in some quarters of being a far-right hate group. But Mr Robinson looked to distance it from both the British National Party and the EDL, retweeting a message from a supporter saying it…

  • Stateside,  The Left,  The Right

    Wisdom from the Left and the Right

    This is from the leftwing American academic Fredrik deBoer: I know men and women, people of every race, gay and straight, trans and cisgender, and of every other facet of human diversity, who have deep reservations about the current habits of the American left and are desperate for a realist left movement that cares about winning and does what it takes to make winning more likely. I would name some individual names, but then I’m associating them with me, and I have no interest in forcing others to answer for my position. It’s enough to say that every day, I encounter more people who are convinced that contemporary left practice…

  • Guns,  Stateside,  The Right

    Rightwinger gets really mad at New York Times

    Reacting to the first editorial to appear on the front page of The New York Times in 95 years (calling for outlawing certain kinds of combat weapons and ammunition for civilian use), here is what influential rightwing blogger and Fox News commentator Erick Erickson did. I shot holes in the NY Times editorial – This is what I think of the New York Times edito… https://t.co/XEJpuV05Kk pic.twitter.com/brh3KrODwS — Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) December 5, 2015 Nothing says "responsible gun owner" like shooting at a piece of paper because it disagrees with you. https://t.co/noAHloEMx5 — Russell Brandom (@russellbrandom) December 5, 2015 Gee. The only things I’ve ever shot at are aluminum cans…

  • Stateside,  The Right

    Republican craziness watch

    The latest fellow “Fellow Conservative” email to reach my inbox is an indication of how the hard righwing of the Republican party– having tasted blood with the announced resignation of House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner– is starting to lose its collective mind. An outfit called The Madison Project is looking to fund an effort to censure Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky for not opposing the Obama administration forcefully enough, or for insulting his fellow Republicans too much, or something. Now in principle I have nothing against bashing Mitch McConnell. I’m a Democrat and he’s about as partisan a Republican as it’s possible to be. On issues…

  • Stateside,  The Right

    “I boycotted the Pope, so send me money”

    I’ve received yet another “Fellow Conservative” email, this one from Republican Congressman Paul Gosar of Arizona. I wonder if he’s feeling a little foolish since the news came out that Pope Francis met privately with Kim Davis, the county clerk in Kentucky who was briefly jailed after she refused to comply with a federal court order to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples– a stance applauded by many on the Republican right. On Tuesday night, her lawyer, Mathew D. Staver, said that Ms. Davis and her husband, Joe, were sneaked into the Vatican Embassy by car on Thursday afternoon. Francis gave her rosaries and told her to “stay strong,” the…

  • Stateside,  The Right

    Ann Coulter on the “f—ing Jews”

    A reminder that when you press some people on the Right, their true colors can emerge– as happened with Ann Coulter during her live tweeting of the Republican presidential candidates’ debate Wednesday night. It’s interesting to see how much support she got from her fans for the “f—ing Jews” tweet. Update: Now #IStandWithAnn is trending on Twitter. Coulter has really succeeded in drawing the Jew-haters out of the woodwork– mostly, it seems, of the neo-Nazi variety.

  • History,  Stateside,  The Right

    Bill Kristol on expunging

    Bill Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard (a leading journal of mainstream conservatism in the US), thinks the Confederacy and the people who fought for it have been getting an unfair rap in recent days. The Left's 21st century agenda: expunging every trace of respect, recognition or acknowledgment of Americans who fought for the Confederacy. — Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) June 23, 2015 If that is “the Left’s” current agenda, I haven’t been informed– although I can think of worse ones. I’ll simply note that those who fought for the states which seceded from the United States of America and became the Confederacy no longer considered themselves Americans as we currently…

  • Anti Muslim Bigotry,  Stateside,  The Right

    Texas state rep to Muslims: pledge allegiance to America or stay out of my office

    There was a time not so long ago when Republicans actively sought the votes of American Muslims and won big majorities among them. In 2000 the American Muslim Political Coordinating Council endorsed George Bush over Al Gore and Ralph Nader. Shortly after Bush’s inauguration Kerri Houston of the American Conservative Union said that Muslim voters delivered Florida for President Bush. She wrote, “Muslim-Americans nationwide voted for Bush by an 80 percent margin–closer to 90 percent in Florida.Without their thousands of votes in the Sunshine State, a newly inaugurated Al Gore would currently be proposing a new slate of excuses for picking the American pocket.” Looking back at that election, Farid…