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This Week in Schadenfreude: I See Your True Colors... Shining Through

Maya Angelou once observed: "When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time." This week, there have been numerous stories about not very nice people showing us who they really are. And guess what? People are believing them.

Let's start with Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL). As an arch-conservative white fellow who was born in the Deep South when segregation was still the law of the land, well, if you had to bet, you'd want to place your chips on "less-than-progressive racial views." And the Senator has been paying off that bet recently. We had an item about the interview a few weeks ago in which he implied that there's nothing wrong with white supremacists, and declared that while some people might call them white nationalists, "I call them Americans." Last week, Tuberville showed off his true colors (well, his true color) again, responding to a question about inner-city teachers with the observation that "I don't know whether they can read and write." Whenever he sniffs at the educational attainments of others, do keep in mind that Tuberville is the same "scholar" who thinks the Nazis were communists.

Every time that the Senator says something racist, he then tries to explain how it wasn't actually racist. In the case of the inner-city comment, for example, he later said that he wasn't talking about all inner-city schools, just the ones in Baltimore. That's a city that is 62.3% Black, so his clarification makes things much better, right?

Given Tuberville's political base, he's not going to pay any real price for his retrograde attitudes, no matter how many time he lets them show. However, he does have one high-profile critic who came out this week and said he's had enough. Proving that one can certainly overcome the context into which one was born, the Senator's younger brother, Charles Tuberville, announced that:

Due to recent statements by him promoting racial stereotypes, white nationalism and other various controversial topics, I feel compelled to distance myself from his ignorant, hateful rants. What I'm trying to say is that, I DO NOT agree with any of the vile rhetoric coming out of his mouth. Please don't confuse my brother with me.

Again, it won't change Tommy's political fortunes, but one could imagine Charles showing up in a commercial or two, the same way that Rep. Paul Gosar's (R-AZ) siblings did.

Moving on, albeit still on the subject of Nazis, it's not too much of a secret that many/most of these activist groups that are taking over school board meetings are not so much interested in keeping their children's education "fair and balanced" as much as they are keeping it white friendly. One of the most obvious advocates for teaching things the way they were taught back in 1955 is Moms for Liberty; if a name like that doesn't set off your "right-wing propagandists" alarm, we don't know what name would.

A big part of the way that Moms for Liberty groups share their ideas and plans with each other is through newsletters, which certainly has a very 1955 vibe to it. Earlier this week, one chapter, located in Indiana, included an... instructive (?) quote in the latest edition of its newsletter: "He alone, who OWNS the youth, GAINS the future."

We suspect that many readers will know the origin of that quote, or will be able to figure it out based on the general tone and tenor of the idea being put forward. It's from Adolf Hitler, who first used the line at a Nazi rally in 1935. Now, people sometimes deploy this quote without knowing where it came from, and end up red-faced when the source is pointed out. It's not a great sign when you unknowingly stumble on one of Hitler's ideas and say: "Hey, that sounds pretty good!" but at least you can say it was a mistake. In the case of the Moms for Liberty chapter, however, they knew full well who said it because... they properly cited the Führer of the Third Reich:

The quote is at the top of 
the newsletter and is very clearly attributed to Hitler

Note also that they spelled his name correctly (as opposed to the common misspelling, "Adolph"). That (and, for that matter, knowing the correct direction that the arms on a swastika are supposed to point) certainly does nothing to argue against the notion that a person or group is just a little too familiar with Nazism. At very least, these were the giveaways when (Z) was in high school, where there was most definitely a population of white supremacists.

Moms for Liberty has since added an explainer that they weren't embracing Hitler, they were pointing out the dangers of the current system. Here is the explainer, should you care to evaluate for yourself:

Context: The quote from a horrific leader should put parents on alert. If the government has control over our children today, they control our country's future. We the People must be vigilant and protect children from an overreaching government.

Doesn't pass the smell test for us, but your mileage may vary. In any event, the majority of Google searches for Moms for Liberty now produce results that include the word "Nazis." Which is a fair outcome, we'd say.

And finally a story that doesn't directly involve Nazi stuff, although... well, everyone knows about Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and her conspiratorial views on Jewish people (and their space lasers). Something we've written a number of times is that the endgame for extremism is, more often than not, that the extremists turn on each other, either for not being sufficiently extreme, or for not being extreme in the correct way.

An example of this is playing out in real time in the House of Representatives. Greene and Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) were once thick as thieves, and liked to partner together in such valuable legislative activities as shouting during the State of the Union address and introducing resolutions to impeach anyone and everyone they can think of. However, while they are both still Looney Tunes, Greene is now something of an insider, having become buddy-buddy with Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA). Boebert is still an outsider, as one of the leading members of the group of Freedom Caucusers that is constantly trying to drag the Speaker to the right.

During Wednesday's censuring of Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the tensions between the two Representatives spilled over in open view, on the House floor. It would seem that Greene feels that Boebert is stealing her playbook—who knew you could copyright crazy? So, Greene shouted (and we're not going to censor, since it was on live TV): "I've donated to you, I've defended you, but you've been nothing but a little bitch to me." The Georgian also said that while Boebert tried to re-engage, their relationship is done for, and there will be no rapprochement.

Greene can be as whackadoodle and/or as obnoxious as she wants, and it won't matter because her district is deep red. On the other hand, Boebert held on by the skin of her teeth in 2022, presidential years tend to be better for Democrats than midterm years, and her opponent is back for another (better-funded) showdown. So, bad PR like this could play a role in costing the Coloradan her job.

In any event, there is now a lot of attention on how some not very nice people are, indeed, not very nice people. And we certainly think it's a good thing that the unpleasant side of these people and groups is getting some significant oxygen. (Z)

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