Meanwhile, in Conservativeland...

What are those rascals worried about now?

You may recall that the original tagline of this newsletter was “What are the conservatives up to today?” Almost instantly, the actual theme devolved into “What do I feel like writing about today?” No plans to change that, by the way, but I thought it would be fun to do an actual article about, you know. What they’re up to.

These days I’m trying to listen to the Fox News Rundown and Ben Shapiro (please kill me but he’s the most popular conservative podcast by numbers) every day. Not succeeding, but trying. It’s like working out, or developing immunity to arsenic. You’ve gotta go slow.

(I’m also trying to listen to Dan Bongino but truly he is unlistenable. One of the stupidest people to ever flail his way in front of a microphone. Just awful)

Anyway, here’s what Conservativeland is most worried about these days:

1. Mayorkas Impeachment

Obviously the GOP is still frothing at the mouth about the border, but you already knew that. You also probably know that Speaker of the House Mike Johnson finally got his party’s shit together enough to impeach the United States Secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas, by a single vote. It is now up to the Senate to convict him if they so choose, which they will not, because it requires a 2/3rds Senate majority, which we will never again see in our lifetimes.

Idiots like Bongino have elaborate explanations for why Mayorkas executing the law in ways that Congress doesn’t like constitutes high crimes and misdemeanors: mostly that it’s an invasion. Mayorkas is sitting back and allowing hordes of filthy unwashed immigrants to surge across the border and rape/murder their way into the heartland. Studies show that violent crime actually decreases when the undocumented immigrant population increases, but Bongino’s feelings don’t care about your facts.

B-Shap is divorced from reality in a far more honest way. Mayorkas did not commit high crimes or misdemeanors, he admits. But the meaning of impeachment has changed, because Trump was impeached over nonsense, so the doors are open. Doing dumb shit like impeaching Mayorkas for executing United States law in a way they don’t like instead of, say, legislating, is the only way to send a message to the Democrats and get them to not use impeachment as a weapon any more. It is, in his words, “mutually assured destruction.”

Shapiro mostly refuses to debate anyone old enough to legally drink, but surely even college students know that mutually assured destruction doesn’t work that way. Does he think that, when the US built up its nuclear arsenal, it convinced the USSR to build fewer nukes?

Speaking of refusing to do any research whatsoever: “High Crimes and Misdemeanors” is not synonymous with “broke the law.” The Atlantic has an exhaustive breakdown of the history behind the phrase, and points out that none of the arguments around the phrase are new: we have this argument every time we try to impeach an official going back to 1797. Looking back now, it seems almost cute that we impeached Trump over a phone call when he did so much worse, but Trump tried to strong-arm Zelensky into helping his reelection campaign by withholding taxpayer-funded foreign aid, and that, to me, feels like a high crime and/or misdemeanor in the constitutional sense.

Regardless, it’s refreshing to hear someone on the conservative end of the spectrum admit that the Mayorkas impeachment is fueled purely by spite.

2. The Bobulinski Bombshell

Mayorkas should feel honored that the House carved time out of their busy schedule to impeach him when they are so profoundly busy exposing the “Biden Crime Family.” Exposing the Biden Crime Family is a full-time job, because it has proved very difficult to find evidence of its existence. Honestly, if they ever find convincing proof of a Biden crime family, I’ll mostly feel embarrassed for the Bidens, because they’re clearly terrible at it. The President’s net wealth is $10 million, which is $10 million more than I have but hardly a kingpin’s fortune. Someone should give them nepotism lessons. Someone experienced. Maybe the Trumps, who are true virtuosos of the art. And yet, no impeachment effort from the Democrats in response to their blatant, naked profiteering off of daddy’s office. Who’s using impeachment as a political tool again?

For the record, I have no trouble imagining Hunter Biden using his father’s name to gain positions he had no business holding. Also, that seems like a Hunter problem, and also something that’s happened since the dawn of time. It’s like rats and NYC. Would it be better if there weren’t rats literally everywhere? Of course. Is that ever going to happen? Not a chance. NYC has way bigger problems. Let’s concentrate on those.

Whatever. For months, Bongino has bombed my inbox with declarations of EXPLOSIVE TESTIMONY that SPLITS THE CASE WIDE OPEN. The latest nail in the Biden family coffin: Tony Bobulinski, who apparently dropped bombs in a closed-door hearing on Tuesday. This is it, folks. It’s Joever.

Except, we already know what Bobulinski said in that closed-door hearing. He’s been saying it since 2020. He told the Wall Street Journal about his bombshell evidence, and the Journal was very interested, until they saw the actual evidence, at which point they were like no thank you, this proves nothing.

Doesn’t matter. The conservative media is screaming itself silly about the Bobulinski Revelations. A full transcript will eventually be released, it will show the same evidence-free claims the Journal turned down, but it won’t matter, because the news cycle will have moved on and everyone who listens to these hacks will believe it. As always, feelings don’t care about your facts.

3. Suozzi: The Conservative Liberal

People like to run down George Santos. “He’s not a gay icon!” they insist. “He’s a monster. Stop valorizing him. It’s disgusting.” Wrong. This American hero reduced the GOP’s slim House majority from 220-212 to 219-213 by taking money from Republican donors and using it to pay sex workers for their labor. A Ferragamo-clad Robin Hood, slaying the house down boots every single day. It’s about time chaos bisexuals had some representation around here.

Anyway, Long Island had their special election a couple days ago and Suozzi, the Democrat who lost to George Santos, won against Mazi Pilip by 8 points. This would appear, on the surface, to be bad for Republicans, but the punditry seems happy, and it’s not hard to see why. Suozzi won his race by taking the Republican ground. He challenged the Squad. He went hard on immigration (He also went hard on abortion rights, but no one on Fox is going to mention that). The important thing, they claim, is that it shows the power of immigration as an issue. Democrats will be forced to tack right if they want to win elections. The electorate agrees with the conservative position on immigration, even if this particular race didn’t go their way.

Fox News is probably right that the Democrats will tack right on immigration. Biden’s already doing it, and this race appears to confirm that the strategy is a good one. “Democrats showed they can defend themselves on immigration,” NPR declared. The New York Times’ subheading for their article about the election reads: “George Santos, snow and old-fashioned experience were factors in the special election in New York, but none was bigger than how Tom Suozzi responded to the migrant crisis.”

Citation Needed. As Marisa Kabas of The Handbasket points out, Pilip was a uniquely terrible candidate. “She had virtually no experience, no name recognition, and above all, zero political skill,” she writes. “The local GOP party that chose Santos somehow managed to pick someone who was, in some ways, worse, as far as ability to campaign.” Oh, and also Pilip is a registered Democrat. What? Read Kabas’ article for more on why we shouldn’t extrapolate anything from this weird special election.

Back to the conservative media, though: there’s a reason they’re so chipper in the aftermath of this loss. The Democrats moving towards them on immigration bodes exceedingly well for them. By accepting the Republican framing of the immigration issue, the Democrats turn 2024 into a race to see which party is more anti-immigration, and guess which party will always, always win that race? That’s right: the party that believes in the Great Replacement.

In the words of the kingpin of the Biden Crime Family: "C’mon, man.”

4. Woke Kindergarten

When Ben Shapiro first brought up Woke Kindergarten a few days ago I rolled my eyes and said, out loud, to no one, “That’s not real.” I say things out loud to no one a lot while listening to Shapiro specifically, which is why I can never leave New York City. I usually walk while listening to podcasts, and in a lot of cities saying “that’s not real” to no one would be a problem. Not in the city of dreams, baby.

all power to the little people! woke kindergarten is a global, abolitionist early childhood ecosystem & visionary creative portal supporting children, families, educators and organizations in their commitment to abolitionist early education and pro-black and queer and trans liberation.

Here’s the story: the Woke Kindergarten website popped up exactly when you would expect it to: August 2020, possibly the most lucrative moment for anything Woke-coded there has ever been. Sometime in early 2022, the Hayward Unified School District, located in the San Francisco suburbs, paid Woke Kindergarten $250,000 to train teachers in the art of wokeness. A few weeks ago, a teacher complained to the San Francisco Chronicle (paywalled, sorry) that, despite all this money, test scores in the district went down. As you can imagine, when conservative pundits saw the words “Woke Kindergarten” and “lower scores” in a San Francisco paper they screamed like schoolgirls and ran to their desks/studios. Major national story on the right, minor local story on the left. All hail the bubble.

First of all: test scores are down everywhere. Also, Woke Kindergarten was paid to teach teachers, not kids, though they provide free teaching materials on their website. The rule of threes suggests I should come up with a third lukewarm defense of Woke Kindergarten to round off the paragraph but I’ve got nothing.

Based on how long it’s been around, and the fact that it actually carried out teacher training, I’m pretty sure Woke Kindergarten isn’t actually a right-wing parody of wokeness. I could, however, instantly turn it into one by changing absolutely nothing about it. It has “woke wonderings” that appears to offer classroom discussion prompts: things kindergarteners are dying to talk about, things like "if we challenge the legitimacy of the Supreme Court, how might we transfer power back to the people?” There is a section entitled “teachable poems” about the Buffalo Mass Shooting. There is a section for “lil’ comrades” that has an online picture book about power (that’s picture, singular: it’s the same picture on every page).

Imagine, if you will, how a kindergartner might react if someone read them this paragraph:

What are some examples of External Power? Race, gender, having money, fame or being famous -- which is when lots of pepoleknow who you are, having weapons, being able to make the rule, or laws, having lots of friends that also have these things or can do tese things are all examples of external ower. Another really important example o external ower is having ower over he media -- what people are learning, where they get information and how that information is shared. When people are able to chooose who, when, where, why, how and whose stories are told, and which information is and isn't shared, they have lots of external powerr

This lil’ comrades lesson is apparently brought to you by “Ki’s Inner Child” but I am reasonably certain that the person who wrote this has never been a child and has never met a child. This is not how five-year-olds learn. This is not how five-year-olds think. The message is fine — basic even — but who the hell is this for?

I’m tipping my hand here, and I’m sorry if I sound like a reactionary, but there are plenty of far simpler ways to teach kindergartners how to do things like share and be tolerant and see everyone as human no matter what they look like or who they have a crush on, and it’s all very easy because they don’t ask a lot of complicated moral questions at this age. Every trans person I know has had the experience of explaining their gender identity to someone under 10 who asked about it and the reaction is almost always “Oh, ok!” and then on to the next thing. It’s not traumatizing and it’s not “grooming” and it sure as hell doesn’t require an insufferable sermon entitled “lil comrades.” I am begging for the sweet release of death. I am pleading with God to let me shuffle off this mortal coil.

I am irritated because the people behind Woke Kindergarten have essentially created the best conservative pornography ever made and conservatives are jerking themselves dry to it, saying that this is CRT and DEI and The Future Liberals Want when this is actually just a really good way to get $250,000 dollars from a school district that wants to look like they’re doing something about racism/sexism/inequality/whatever shit they personally feel guilty about.

Oh also the creator posted this on Instagram:

"I believe Israel has no right to exist. I believe the United States has no rights to exist. I believe every settler colony that has committed genocide against native peoples, against Indigenous people has no right to exist. Is this news to anybody? Y’all are the demons. Y’all are the villains. We’ve been trying to end y’all. Get free of y’all."

-Akiea Gross.

This is probably the thing that actually got Woke Kindergarten #cancelled by the district.

I just. Look. The weight of history hangs heavy on us all, and injustices of the past translate into injustices in the present. Slavery led to Jim Crow led to red-line districts led to the carceral system and the destruction of Black families; stolen indigenous land leads to privation and poverty today. We all have to deal with these things — have a moral obligation to address them and work for a more just future — but no one alive started this shit or asked for this shit, no one is a demon here and I think the USA is pretty cool actually despite all our horseshit, or it could be, and yes, you could argue that there’s something worth discussing under all the edgy language but no one who hasn’t spent a while around leftists is going to read it like that. “Y’all” is ambiguous on purpose. My goal is for everyone to have an equal chance at happiness someday and I think that’s better than whatever the hell this is supposed to be.

Anyway, it’s one stupid school district and one stupid website and now everyone who watches Fox News will remember it forever as What The Left Is Like. Splendid.

5. Credit Card Companies Are Going To Track Gun Purchases

Fox is big mad about this one. You know how, when you look at your credit card statement, there’s a little classification of what kind of purchase you made at what place? Like, groceries, or sporting goods, or whatever. I guess someone wants credit card companies to start labeling gun purchases separately? And then it will be easier to know who does and does not have a gun.

But where does it end?! Fox wants to know. Where does it end. What next, will people be flagged for buying conservative media?!! WILL PEOPLE BE INCARCERATED FOR BUYING A PINK CAMO MAGA HAT ON AMAZON.

Yes. That is our plan. First they came for the credit cards, and I said nothing, for I was not a credit card. And by the time they came for Banned In Your State subscriptions, there was no one left to speak for me.

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