Putting a fork in it: There is nothing left to stop the Orbánization of Amerikkka.

Gilead

Donald Trump

Coup attempt

You’ve undoubtedly seen the doubts cast on Cassidy Hutchinson’s testimony that she had heard that Donald Trump, in his rage and his determination to go to the Capitol for the January 6 coup attempt, had lunged for the steering wheel of the presidential limousine.[1] But it turns out that Secret Service agent in question, who now denies the account, is a Trump lackey. Folks are saying he needs to be made to testify under oath.[2]

Carol D. Leonnig, “Jan. 6 showed two identities of Secret Service: Gutsy heroes vs. Trump yes-men,” Washington Post, July 2, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/07/02/jan6-select-committee-cassidy-hutchinson-testimony-secret-service/

Gilead autocracy project

Andrew Marantz’ article on the relationship between U.S. conservatives and Viktor Orbán,[3] nearly all of them white Christian nationalists, is a long read and I am very late getting to it. Its retread of Ishaan Tharoor’s work[4] is minimal and it is much less focused, meandering through descriptions of Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) conventions and a history of the rise of Orbán’s “competitive authoritarian” regime, vaguely warning,[5] as Tharoor does much more specifically,[6] that a similar project is underway here.[7]

For all its faults, Marantz’ article[8] covers a lot of ground and I do think it is worth reading, more, perhaps, as the work of someone who I don’t think quite believes what he is seeing, juxtaposed with precisely what he is seeing, and who I don’t think quite believes that a white Christian nationalist autocracy can really happen here in the U.S., even as all the evidence points in that direction,[9] even as it is apparent we have no meaningful institutional opposition to the rise of this regime,[10] and even as it is apparent that popular opposition to it flails wildly[11] in an almost certainly vain hope that voters will remain focused on the overturning of Roe v. Wade and the threat of “competitive authoritarianism,” the white Christian nationalist autocracy, and when the “four months [between the issuance of the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision overturning Roe and the midterm elections] is a painfully long time to occupy the American psyche,” when “the underlying fundamentals that typically predict election outcomes—an unpopular president, high gas prices, pendular backlash to the party in power—remain unchanged.”[12]

I warned against my 2024 forecast even as I offered it, I thought at the time, wildly prematurely.[13] But there is still nothing to stop its fruition: Gilead.[14]

Andrew Marantz, “Does Hungary Offer a Glimpse of Our Authoritarian Future?” New Yorker, June 27, 2022, https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2022/07/04/does-hungary-offer-a-glimpse-of-our-authoritarian-future


  1. [1]Amber Phillips, “All the bombshells Cassidy Hutchinson dropped about Trump and Jan. 6,” Washington Post, June 28, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/06/28/cassidy-hutchinson-jan-6-testimony-takeaways/
  2. [2]Carol D. Leonnig, “Jan. 6 showed two identities of Secret Service: Gutsy heroes vs. Trump yes-men,” Washington Post, July 2, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/07/02/jan6-select-committee-cassidy-hutchinson-testimony-secret-service/
  3. [3]Andrew Marantz, “Does Hungary Offer a Glimpse of Our Authoritarian Future?” New Yorker, June 27, 2022, https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2022/07/04/does-hungary-offer-a-glimpse-of-our-authoritarian-future
  4. [4]Ishaan Tharoor, “The Orbanization of America: The U.S. right walks in Hungary’s path,” Washington Post, May 17, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/05/17/viktor-orban-american-right-illiberal-orbanization/; Ishaan Tharoor, “The Orbanization of America: Florida shadows Hungary’s war on LGBTQ rights,” Washington Post, May 18, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/05/18/cpac-hungary-lgbtq-orban-florida-desantis/; Ishaan Tharoor, “The Orbanization of America: How to capture a democracy,” Washington Post, May 18, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/05/18/orban-democracy-trump-united-states-elections-hungary/
  5. [5]Andrew Marantz, “Does Hungary Offer a Glimpse of Our Authoritarian Future?” New Yorker, June 27, 2022, https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2022/07/04/does-hungary-offer-a-glimpse-of-our-authoritarian-future
  6. [6]Ishaan Tharoor, “The Orbanization of America: How to capture a democracy,” Washington Post, May 18, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/05/18/orban-democracy-trump-united-states-elections-hungary/
  7. [7]Andrew Marantz, “Does Hungary Offer a Glimpse of Our Authoritarian Future?” New Yorker, June 27, 2022, https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2022/07/04/does-hungary-offer-a-glimpse-of-our-authoritarian-future
  8. [8]Andrew Marantz, “Does Hungary Offer a Glimpse of Our Authoritarian Future?” New Yorker, June 27, 2022, https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2022/07/04/does-hungary-offer-a-glimpse-of-our-authoritarian-future
  9. [9]David Benfell, “Start changing the border signs: ‘Welcome to Gilead,’” Not Housebroken, June 24, 2022, https://disunitedstates.org/2022/06/18/start-changing-the-border-signs-welcome-to-gilead/
  10. [10]David Benfell, “Democrats and contradiction,” Not Housebroken, July 2, 2022,
  11. [11]David Benfell, “Swimming against a stronger tide,” Not Housebroken, July 3, 2022, https://disunitedstates.org/2022/06/27/swimming-against-a-stronger-tide/
  12. [12]Tara Palmeri, “D.C. Insiders Grapple with the Politics of Roe,” Puck News, June 27, 2022, https://puck.news/d-c-insiders-grapple-with-the-politics-of-roe/
  13. [13]David Benfell, “My 2024 forecast,” Not Housebroken, June 21, 2022, https://disunitedstates.org/2022/03/10/my-2024-forecast/
  14. [14]David Benfell, “Start changing the border signs: ‘Welcome to Gilead,’” Not Housebroken, June 24, 2022, https://disunitedstates.org/2022/06/18/start-changing-the-border-signs-welcome-to-gilead/

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