Saturday afternoon: "Look at the new New Republic cover, smearing Scott Walker for his 'toxic strain of racial politics.'" This post displays the cover, with what I read as a strangely sexualized headline "Scott Walker Is So Hot Right Now"* and the puzzling sub-head "Too bad he owes his success to a toxic strain of racial politics." I noted that headline inside at the article itself (which is also the headline on the TNR website now) was "The Unelectable Whiteness of Scott Walker." Sub-head: "A Journey Through the Poisonous World That Produced a Republican Star." I read the article and opined that TNR had nothing racial to say about Walker himself. Walker built his political career in the Milwaukee area, and the article is mostly about the racial demographics of the place and 2 talk radio hosts who are popular there.
Saturday evening: "... I almost feel as though I am bullying The New Republic at this point." The article was still not up, and I took that as a digital-age failure for TNR's editor and publisher, Chris Hughes (who, as the co-founder of Facebook, had seemed as though he was going to make TNR very digitally sharp, which was why I subscribed, and why I got early access via iPad).
Sunday morning: "When is it considered acceptable, in polite company, to refer to the excessive 'whiteness' of a public figure?"
Why did the editors of The New Republic — that venerable journal — think it was acceptable to title an article "The Unelectable Whiteness of Scott Walker"?I did not give the typical conservative answer, which would be: Because it's liberal, and liberals can and will do to conservatives what conservatives can't get away with doing to liberals. That old rule of thumb is reasonably apt, but I don't think it is generally acceptable among liberals to use "whiteness" as the key word in an attack. I have a different answer, which you can read at the link.
Also, the Sunday morning post ends with a clipped out passage that I believe is intended to float the rumor that Scott Walker is a closeted homosexual:
Walker had an easy smile and impressive 1980s mullet, and he played on the football team, but his friends would apologize if they swore in his presence, and he wasn’t much for chasing girls. “He was a very nice-looking young man, always very neat in appearance,” says Neill Flood, the town’s fire chief, whose daughter was a year ahead of Walker in school. “He was the kind of guy who liked everyone, and everyone liked him. There was never any physical attraction for Scott, girls being all over him.” On Scott’s prom night, his mother recalls, he, his date, and some friends stayed up very late talking politics.The girls hung "all over him," but "There was never any physical attraction for Scott"? He was "very neat in appearance" and not "much for chasing girls"? He spent prom night — a classic time for sexual adventures — talking about politics? I'm going to write a separate post on this topic, because I remember when the NYT tried a move like this when John Roberts was nominated to the Supreme Court.
* I'm told "so hot right now" may be an allusion to the movie "Zoolander."