Earlier this year, when the GOP gubernatorial field was taking shape here in Michigan, four or five of them met for an event at the Mackinac Policy Conference, the thing up north where the legislature and the big swingin’ dicks of the business and nonprofit world meet to drink and jaw and plan the future.
(I attended once. Those plans? They never work out.)
Anyway, one of them, Kevin Rinke, who inherited his family’s vast auto-dealership empire, responded to an abortion question by claiming that “some states” were considering bills that would “legalize abortion up to 28 days after birth. Twenty-eight days!”
Later in the summer-long campaign, Rinke would emerge as the “reasonable one” on abortion, advocating for rape and incest exceptions. No one else did. Shows you where we are right now.
Of course, that is bullshit. But I was interested in where a seemingly sane, functional adult might have gotten that idea. Google a little, and you find it was all around the crazier corners of the right-wing internet. The AP explains, if that’s the right word, the confusion:
“To everyone saying it’s fake because it was posted on 4/1 just do some research. 99% of y’all don’t stay in Cali. It’s called The infanticide bill,” claimed a Facebook post sharing a screenshot of the headline on April 1 with over 11,000 reshares.
But the posts misrepresent the purpose of the bill and its potential impact. The bill eliminates a requirement that a coroner must investigate deaths related to suspected self-induced or criminal abortion. Coroner statements on certificates for a fetal death could not be used to pursue a criminal case against the mother.
The aim of the bill, introduced Assemblywoman Buffy Wicks, a Democrat representing the East Bay, is to protect women who end a pregnancy or have a miscarriage from being investigated, persecuted or incarcerated. Erin Ivie, a spokesperson for Wicks told The Associated Press in an email. “The bill is specific to pregnancy and pregnancy-related outcomes, and does not decriminalize the ‘murder of babies’ in the weeks after birth,” Ivie said.
So what that tells me is…well, there are several conclusions I can think of. One, that Rinke gets his news from the Gateway Pundit, et al. Two, that whoever prepped Rinke for the debate gets their news from those places. Or, far more likely, both the candidate and his aides know it’s bullshit, but figure hey, red meat for the base, who gives a shit.
Rinke didn’t get the nomination. This woman did:
The Republican gubernatorial nominee in Michigan invoked a conspiracy that the Covid-19 pandemic and protests in the summer of 2020 after the killing of George Floyd were part of a decades-long plan by the Democratic Party to “topple” the United States as retaliation for losing the US Civil War, adding that the party wanted to enslave people “again.”
Tudor Dixon, a former TV news anchor, made the remarks on the far-right streaming news network Real America’s Voice, which hosts former Trump adviser Steve Bannon’s show, in late June 2020.
In a six-minute monologue at the beginning of the show, Dixon said that after the “attempted creation of the Black House Autonomous Zone outside of the White House,” referring to a cordoned off area near the White House erected by activists, that Democrats were using this moment to “topple” the US.
“The country today is divided, and this was the plan. It’s been in the works for years. The idea that you can topple the greatest country in the world. But to topple a country like the United States of America, you must be planning this for decades,” said Dixon. “Why wouldn’t that come from the party that lost the Civil War? The party that wanted to own people because they viewed them as less than human? Do you think that the Democrats are over losing to the north?”
Most polls have shown the incumbent governor with a Secretariat-size lead, but the race is tightening, as they usually do as the election draws closer. When the gap was 17 points, many Republicans grumbled that they missed their chance when they failed to nominate Rinke. He could have faced Gretchen Whitmer and backed her down, they say, because He Is A Business Success. (JFC, am I tired of that argument. The last business success we had as governor bean-counted an entire city into lead poisoning.) Dixon claims to be a business success too, if you count working for her daddy’s steel firm (which failed) and being a commentator on a right-wing network so obscure I have to look it up, every time. She was also an actor in some B vampire pictures and…I forget. Also, a mom. (She says it that way, in italics.) I call her Brunette Ivanka for a reason.
So that was our choice in 2022, or at least, Republicans’ choice. Don’t get me started on the AG and SOS candidates, who make Tudor Dixon look like Winston Churchill.
Ah, well. My vote is cast. Let’s change the subject. I was going to talk about Kanye West, but realized I don’t care. Seldom has a celebrity interested me less. So I’ll just recommend this interesting essay on “The Raft of the Medusa,” art and politics, in New York magazine.
Here’s a Van Gogh from the DIA show, from an angle, and enjoy the rest of the weekend.