Republicans may not be interested in looking at the positive aspects of Biden's plan to "build back better," but they are always open to seeing certain things from both sides-- like slavery. Conservatives are still defending their horrific support for the institution of men owning other men. Unless you're from Louisiana, you probably never heard of state Rep. Ray Garofalo of Meraux, a rabidly homophobic extremist who represents a politically backward district in the St Bernard parish suburbs of New Orleans.
Garofalo, who is widely considered a vehement enemy of public education, and was once subjected to an unsuccessful recall by professional educators in his district, is chair of the Education Committee. He used that perch this week to introduce a bill to force schools to teach that there was a good side to slavery, claiming that it was "divisive" for school to just teach one side of the issue! "Garofalo," reported The Advocate, "said changes are needed because classrooms are being filled with ideologies promoted by teachers, including critical race theory that he said stems from Marxism and a view that 'furthers racism and fuels hate. Critical theory weakens the family, the education community and the work environment,' he said."
"This bill does not say anything about teaching facts," Garofalo said.
"You can teach the good, the bad, the ugly," he said. "But you cannot say that theories are facts. You can teach facts as facts. You can teach theories as theories."
In one exchange, Garofalo said there could be a classroom discussion of slavery, for instance.
"You can talk about everything dealing with slavery. The good. The bad. The ugly."
Obviously Garofalo is a Trump supporter. I'm waiting to see if Trump comes to his defense, now that he's being attacked for his outlandish claims.
Garofalo's bill was backed by two witnesses from the Heritage Foundation, both GOP politicians and Garofalo himself said his bill is based on legislation he dug up in Florida and Iowa."
And speaking about Republican extremists and racists, failed Kansas politician Kris Kobach is making another attempt at a comeback, this time running for Kansas Attorney General.
Trump, though, isn't the only high-profile Republican giving the right the bright green light on racism. Let's not forget the very popular KKK nightly TV show on Fox News, hosted by Tucker Carlson. David Graham wrote yesterday that "Whether he’s disingenuous or delusional, many people will hear what he says and take it seriously and literally. We have several recent examples of the Fox audience being misled into believing falsehoods, including denying the reality of COVID-19 and subscribing to bogus claims about fraud in the 2020 election... American conservatism has transformed, especially in the Trump era, from a movement that (at least putatively) believes in limited government to one that primarily prizes marshaling the power of the state to punish those who disagree with it. With Trump in eclipse, Carlson is the most visible face of the new conservative movement."
Carlson doesn’t object to the state harassing people or exercising undue power. He delights in it, as long as the state is harassing the people he hates. The cruelty, as my colleague Adam Serwer has said, is the point. This is the lodestar of the Trump and post-Trump GOP, which values owning the libs above all-- not merely rhetorically, but with the fist of government. Thus Trump asserted that he had the authority to override state and local coronavirus shutdowns (before hastily backtracking when it became clear that he had no such power). He sought to involve the federal government in decisions of colleges and universities in order to muzzle speech. And he celebrated police violence, even as he moaned that he was the victim of overzealous law enforcement.