The Left's Obsession With Labels: Nazi Edition
On Blake Masters, Jon Chait, Twitter, and Nazis.
Blake Masters, a hard-right whack job running for Senate in Arizona, was recently endorsed by an out-and-out Nazi named Andrew Anglin, the proprietor of the infamous hate site the Daily Stormer.
“I cannot give a more forceful endorsement," the white supremacist blogger wrote in June. "I demand that anyone in Arizona get in contact with his campaign and see what kind of help he needs."
Nazism has a bit of a toxic brand here in the ol’ US of A, so it wasn’t a great look for Mr. Masters. The Phoenix New Times called Masters’ campaign and said “hey, so do you have any comment about this Nazi who is urging his stormtroopers to support you?”
After a few hours that probably involved some heavy panting and help from Clippy in Microsoft Word "(“Looks like your drafting a denunciation of support. Can I help?”), Masters responded with an email:
“I’ve never heard of this guy and I reject his support.”
And that was that!
Just kidding. The email continued:
The reason I’ve never heard of him is because he’s a nobody, and nobody cares about him except the media. They’d like to build him up in order to smear anybody who believes in common sense border security as some kind of ‘Nazi.’ It’s a cheap tactic from Mark Kelly’s media allies and it’s not going to work.”
So far, this is all par for the course. Fringe candidate is endorsed by even more extreme figure, gets yelled at, rejects endorsement, but then pivots to blame the media. This happens all the time. It happens on the Left too with Farrakhan and Stalinists and everything else.
It’s the sort of thing that is minor news at the state level and minuscule news at the national level and at best will end up in a debate moment.
Jon Chait is a liberal writer at New York Mag. He’s pretty good at blogging, which is to say he’s pretty good at finding little news stories and using them as excuses to make some larger points.
Chait did a blog about this Masters fellow and his dumb response to being endorsed by a Nazi.
This is the kind of deflection one employs when your allies put you in an uncomfortable position — these statements are too extreme to be defended outright but too close to be denounced completely, so you change the subject and blame the people who want to make you take a clear stand on them. And Masters occupies an ideological position in the party where he can attract puffy coverage in mainstream conservative organs like National Review and also get rave reviews from people who wish to exterminate the Jews.
Masters is not a Nazi. But Nazis see him as a vehicle to advance their agenda and bring them closer to political respectability. And they are obviously correct to do so.
This is a great little blog post. It didn’t change my life. It didn’t change how I feel about anything, but it did tell me a little anecdote about this dip shit in Arizona and then weaved it into a larger context.
I don’t live in Arizona. I’m not a Republican. I’m not going to vote for this dude no matter what. But to the extent that I have feelings about the larger state of the Republican Party, I do agree that he is emblematic of dark forces within it.
Thank you, Jon Chait, for distracting me temporarily from anxieties in my personal life and filling a few minutes of my day.
If you are a liberal, surely you’re happy with this post, yes? Chait has said lots of mean things about Masters and the GOP. He has pointed out how even in rejecting the endorsement of a Nazi, Masters has tripped over his own dick.
The response to this post on Twitter is that Chait is a totally weak dumbs who basically wants to marry Masters.
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