October 30, 2019

QUAINT TO BELIEVE THEY WON'T GO LOWER:

In Praise of Sean Duffy: No, really. (CHARLES SYKES, OCTOBER 30, 2019, The Bulwark)

The former reality television star, turned congressman, turned CNN contributor has inadvertently and quite unintentionally performed a public service: He has exposed (at least for now) the limits of Trumpian indecency. [...]

Even before he resigned from Congress to assume his duties as a private sector Trumpian mouthpiece, Duffy had burrowed deep into a political culture primed to denounce the smallest signs of anything perceived as disloyalty to the dear leader. Military service, medals, decades of patriotic duty--none of these things count for anything unless you are down the Trump program, all of it, full-stop, for life.

The Vindman attacks are just the latest in a long line: Trump and his supporters have attacked Gold Star parents, POWs such John McCain, veterans such as Robert Mueller and William Taylor, even generals such as his former chief of Staff John Kelly and secretary of Defense Jim Mattis. And, with vanishingly few exceptions, the GOP has gone along with it.

So when the CNN camera went live, Duffy was in his comfort zone and rather than refuting Vindman's testimony, Duffy focused on the man's ethnic heritage, and suggested that the Jewish immigrant might have had dual loyalties:

It seems very clear that he is incredibly concerned about Ukrainian defense. I don't know that he's concerned about American policy. . . . We all have an affinity to our homeland where we came from . . . he has an affinity for the Ukraine.

But then--amazingly--something snapped. The attack on Vindman seemed to cross some sort of invisible line and he blowback was quick, intense, and brutal.

Duffy's CNN colleagues were the first to throw him under the bus. Anchor Brianna Keillor denounced what she called Duffy's "anti-immigrant bigotry," and noted pointedly that "it's an odd questioning of patriotism coming from Sean Duffy, the guy who spent part of his 20s on MTV's The Real World . . . while Alexander Vindman spent his on foreign deployments."



Posted by at October 30, 2019 12:00 AM

  

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