Abbreviated Pundit Roundup: The culture wars, home and abroad

NY Times: In Hungary, Cheap Russian Oil Fuels Right-Wing Culture Wars Prime Minister Viktor Orban has resisted a proposed E.U. embargo of Russian oil, saying it would devastate his country’s economy, but it would also cut off a source of funds for his political allies. Prime Minister Viktor Orban of Hungary has fiercely resisted a proposed European embargo of Russian oil, saying it would devastate his country’s economy. Other potential casualties of such a ban would be things close to his heart: his populist campaign promises, and a financial gravy train for culture warriors in Europe and in the United States. Both have been fueled by Hungary’s profits from Russian crude. Gorged with cash thanks to cheap supplies of Russian oil and gas, the Hungarian energy conglomerate MOL — one of the Central European nation’s biggest and most profitable companies — last month announced it would pay dividends of $652 million to its shareholders. More than $65 million of that will go to a privately managed education foundation that last year hosted the Fox News host Tucker Carlson at a festival of right-wing pundits in Hungary.  NEW: The House has passed a bill to crack down on price gouging at gas stations by a vote of 217-207. Every single republican voted NO.— Brian Tyler Cohen (@briantylercohen) May 19, 2022 Michael Gerson/WaPo: GOP leaders ought to banish officials who embrace ‘replacement theory’ The memorial dedicated by the White townspeople of Colfax, La., in 1921 was at least direct. Many Southern monuments to Confederate heroes erected in this era are made up only of an image and a name. But on the white marble obelisk in Colfax was engraved: “Erected to the memory of the heroes, Stephen Decatur Parish, James West Hadnot, Sidney Harris, who fell in the Colfax riot fighting for white supremacy.” Holy crap that is a big stimulus!! ???????????? https://t.co/P2xJvX6mEQ— Noah Smith ???????????? (@Noahpinion) May 20, 2022 Charlie Sykes/Bulwark: The Revenge of Dark MAGA? “The time for gentile politics as usual has come to an end,” writes Representative Madison Cawthorn who was defeated for re-election earlier this week. The typo (presumably he meant “gentle”) was interesting, because it’s unlikely that the 26-year-old-soon-to-be ex-Congressman meant to call for a more robust Jewish politics. He had something very different in mind: The Rise of DARK MAGA. Nota bene: Dark MAGA is not to be confused with Original MAGA, which is, evidently, not sufficiently “DARK” and must now be purified by Cawthorn and his allies. … But who precisely are the shadow warriors of this Dark MAGA? Cawthorn helpfully provides a list; and it is everything you’d hope it would be. Lunatics, grifters, conspiracy theorists, white nationalists, crackpots — all the usual suspects, including Steve Bannon, Tucker Carlson, “the great” Charlie Kirk, Marjorie Taylor Greene, and, of course, the former president of the United States this guy is one seriously disturbed little fuck https://t.co/1EDkT2RDHi via @TPM— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) May 20, 2022 Rachel Roubein/WaPo: Can states outright ban abortion pills? It's unclear. The short answer comes down to this: The issue isn’t settled law and will likely be litigated in the courts. Some argue states may be hard-pressed to ban the federally approved medication, though antiabortion advocates disagree. Here’s what our FDA reporter Laurie McGinley and I learned after posing this question to multiple experts and advocates over the past week. Trump Ceases Support of David Perdue as Former Senator Gets Clobbered In Polls: Report https://t.co/QXCGKLviGi— Mediaite (@Mediaite) May 20, 2022 The GA primary is this Tuesday. Catherine Rampell/WaPo: Psst: Republicans don’t have a plan to fight inflation, either Some people have, quite reasonably, asked: What then do you think of Republicans’ plans for reducing prices? Unfortunately, hard to say. Because they don’t exist. Republicans have expended lots of energy and ad buys blaming Democrats for inflation. And it’s true that fiscal (and monetary) policy has helped run the economy “hot.” There have been some happy consequences from these choices: President Biden’s stimulus bill in March 2021 likely helped reduce unemployment much faster than predicted, which prevented some of the long-term “scarring” workers experienced after the Great Recession. But there have been trade-offs. By juicing demand at a time when supply chains remained snarled by covid-19, government stimulus likely pushed inflation a little higher. Watch how center-right conservatives launder far-right ideas into the mainstream. The Republican Party is utterly beholden to Trumpism and openly promotes the Great Replacement Theory. Here's how Brooks describes it. pic.twitter.com/fUAUgA4bjM— Michael Hobbes (@RottenInDenmark) May 20, 2022 David Leonhardt/NY Times: The Right’s Violence Problem The Buffalo ki

Abbreviated Pundit Roundup: The culture wars, home and abroad

NY Times:

In Hungary, Cheap Russian Oil Fuels Right-Wing Culture Wars

Prime Minister Viktor Orban has resisted a proposed E.U. embargo of Russian oil, saying it would devastate his country’s economy, but it would also cut off a source of funds for his political allies.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban of Hungary has fiercely resisted a proposed European embargo of Russian oil, saying it would devastate his country’s economy. Other potential casualties of such a ban would be things close to his heart: his populist campaign promises, and a financial gravy train for culture warriors in Europe and in the United States.

Both have been fueled by Hungary’s profits from Russian crude. Gorged with cash thanks to cheap supplies of Russian oil and gas, the Hungarian energy conglomerate MOL — one of the Central European nation’s biggest and most profitable companies — last month announced it would pay dividends of $652 million to its shareholders.

More than $65 million of that will go to a privately managed education foundation that last year hosted the Fox News host Tucker Carlson at a festival of right-wing pundits in Hungary. 

NEW: The House has passed a bill to crack down on price gouging at gas stations by a vote of 217-207. Every single republican voted NO.

— Brian Tyler Cohen (@briantylercohen) May 19, 2022

Michael Gerson/WaPo:

GOP leaders ought to banish officials who embrace ‘replacement theory’

The memorial dedicated by the White townspeople of Colfax, La., in 1921 was at least direct. Many Southern monuments to Confederate heroes erected in this era are made up only of an image and a name. But on the white marble obelisk in Colfax was engraved: “Erected to the memory of the heroes, Stephen Decatur Parish, James West Hadnot, Sidney Harris, who fell in the Colfax riot fighting for white supremacy.”

Holy crap that is a big stimulus!! ???????????? https://t.co/P2xJvX6mEQ

— Noah Smith ???????????? (@Noahpinion) May 20, 2022

Charlie Sykes/Bulwark:

The Revenge of Dark MAGA?

“The time for gentile politics as usual has come to an end,” writes Representative Madison Cawthorn who was defeated for re-election earlier this week.

The typo (presumably he meant “gentle”) was interesting, because it’s unlikely that the 26-year-old-soon-to-be ex-Congressman meant to call for a more robust Jewish politics.

He had something very different in mind: The Rise of DARK MAGA.

Nota bene: Dark MAGA is not to be confused with Original MAGA, which is, evidently, not sufficiently “DARK” and must now be purified by Cawthorn and his allies.

But who precisely are the shadow warriors of this Dark MAGA?

Cawthorn helpfully provides a list; and it is everything you’d hope it would be. Lunatics, grifters, conspiracy theorists, white nationalists, crackpots — all the usual suspects, including Steve Bannon, Tucker Carlson, “the great” Charlie Kirk, Marjorie Taylor Greene, and, of course, the former president of the United States

this guy is one seriously disturbed little fuck https://t.co/1EDkT2RDHi via @TPM

— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) May 20, 2022

Rachel Roubein/WaPo:

Can states outright ban abortion pills? It's unclear.

The short answer comes down to this: The issue isn’t settled law and will likely be litigated in the courts. Some argue states may be hard-pressed to ban the federally approved medication, though antiabortion advocates disagree.

Here’s what our FDA reporter Laurie McGinley and I learned after posing this question to multiple experts and advocates over the past week.

Trump Ceases Support of David Perdue as Former Senator Gets Clobbered In Polls: Report https://t.co/QXCGKLviGi

— Mediaite (@Mediaite) May 20, 2022

The GA primary is this Tuesday.

Catherine Rampell/WaPo:

Psst: Republicans don’t have a plan to fight inflation, either

Some people have, quite reasonably, asked: What then do you think of Republicans’ plans for reducing prices?

Unfortunately, hard to say. Because they don’t exist.

Republicans have expended lots of energy and ad buys blaming Democrats for inflation. And it’s true that fiscal (and monetary) policy has helped run the economy “hot.” There have been some happy consequences from these choices: President Biden’s stimulus bill in March 2021 likely helped reduce unemployment much faster than predicted, which prevented some of the long-term “scarring” workers experienced after the Great Recession.

But there have been trade-offs. By juicing demand at a time when supply chains remained snarled by covid-19, government stimulus likely pushed inflation a little higher.

Watch how center-right conservatives launder far-right ideas into the mainstream. The Republican Party is utterly beholden to Trumpism and openly promotes the Great Replacement Theory. Here's how Brooks describes it. pic.twitter.com/fUAUgA4bjM

— Michael Hobbes (@RottenInDenmark) May 20, 2022

David Leonhardt/NY Times:

The Right’s Violence Problem

The Buffalo killings are part of a pattern: Most extremist violence in the U.S. comes from the political right.

As this data shows, the American political right has a violence problem that has no equivalent on the left. And the 10 victims in Buffalo this past weekend are now part of this toll. “Right-wing extremist violence is our biggest threat,” Jonathan Greenblatt, the head of the ADL, has written. “The numbers don’t lie.”

What a heartbreaking story. The anti-LGBTQ moral panic is enabling so much cruelty https://t.co/iiLmwAHrrU

— Gady Epstein (@gadyepstein) May 20, 2022

Greg Sargent/WaPo:

 A woman who takes on neo-Nazis sees ominous signs in mass shooting

Greg Sargent: When you first took on the organizers of the Charlottesville march, what was your sense of this movement? Did you expect it to continue growing and metastasizing the way it has?

Amy Spitalnick: Many Americans were perplexed by this idea of “Jews will not replace us” or the “great replacement” that we heard in Charlottesville. It felt like a fringe conspiracy theory.

What has become clear is that “Unite the Right” really was a harbinger of the extremism that’s followed, and that’s become wholly mainstreamed in our politics and society in many ways.

Sargent: There’s a tendency in the culture and in the media to see these mass shootings as isolated events. But in many of these cases — and particularly Jan. 6 — organizers and shooters see them as part of a much larger struggle. They fully intend for them to be galvanizing of more such events later.

Spitalnick: That’s exactly right. They’re not lone wolves. They’re part of a broader extremist network in which each attack is used to inspire the next one.

Not the main point of the story, but also of note that this Miami public school had a culture of a hostile work environment even before the law passed: https://t.co/egQiAGPrPn pic.twitter.com/R08w7WpHLH

— Sopan Deb (@SopanDeb) May 20, 2022