We’re starting our commentary on a uniquely American phenomenon with reactions from a pair of Canadians, and why not? If a segment of our fellow citizens make asses of themselves in public, of course others are going to notice.
Frum manages to make the connection with the GOP’s attempt to turn everything into revenge for the attempts to impeach Trump. I even saw some GOP rep who proposed impeaching Hunter Biden, which raises the question “From what?” So why not impeach Taylor Swift?
Meanwhile, Dave Whamond‘s cartoon is riffing on a quote from Newsmax host Greg Kelly, who said “They’re elevating her to an idol. Idolatry. This is a little bit of what idolatry, I think, looks like. And you’re not supposed to do that. In fact, if you look it up in the Bible, it’s a sin!”
A warning: If I keep saying “I’m not making this up” today, I’ll run out of space. Just assume I’m not making any of this up.
The attacks on Swift/Kelce are even too much for conservatives. David Frum is an anti-Trump conservative, but Kirk Walters (KFS) is generally more in line with the GOP and even he was stunned by Ramaswamy’s declaration, which he more or less transcribed above.
It’s not just partisan: It’s nuts. If you’re joining us late, Philip Bump has a good compilation of the controversy and its madness. Among other things, he examines the bat guano theory that the NFL is fixing games in favor of the Chiefs:
What he finds in that second posting is that the MAGAts are withdrawing into a sort of cocoon because their delusions aren’t gaining purchase among people who really, honestly can recite “person, woman, man, camera, tv” without a stumble.
Though, as Bill Bramhall notes, it’s not exactly a quiet cocoon, what with the continual sounds of explosions.
Pat Bagley points out the major factors behind all this, because the couple does pretty much stand for everything MAGAts hate. Swift has encouraged young people to register and vote, while Kelce has done ads for Bud Light and public service announcements promoting vaccinations.
Which is probably part of why they like each other, but it’s surely a lot of why MAGAts hate them.
Plus, y’know …
Though the political part is real enough: Swift has used her astonishing level of fame to encourage young voters and, as reported here, endorsed Biden in 2020:
But, hey, it’s not like the conservatives don’t have their own stable of equally influential and beloved celebrity boosters:
There ya go. I’d be willing to bet that most Gen Z’s have never heard of Jon Voight, though they may have some vague idea of who Ted Nugent and Grandpa Rock are.
However, aside from Posobiec’s odd sense of who’s relevant to Today’s Youth, that previously linked article points out not only that Swift endorsed Biden, but that there really is a divide at work, that MAGAts made a hero of Aaron Rogers for his vaccine denial and hated Black players who took a knee against racism.
Plus, as this fellow points out, the raging Islamophobes of the rightwing didn’t seem to have a problem when Elon and Jared were palling around with Ay-Rabs in the skyboxes at the World Cup.
Bottom line is that they don’t need logic or consistency, much less compassion and social awareness, in order to believe what they need to believe.
As Garth German points out, what they need is a cause they can rally behind and be part of. The details are less important than the sense of manly solidarity.
The potential impact on the November Elections must not be overlooked, but this may be a bridge too far. Infuriating such a major segment of Gen Z and younger Millennials is a bad move to begin with, but the machismo overdose is reaching much farther up the ladder.
Rick McKee (Counterpoint) edges into the territory of parents and grandparents, in depicting little girls as annoying nitwits who are ruining their fathers’ enjoyment of a men’s-only activity.
Joe Heller did an anti-Swift cartoon this week and got serious pushback for it on social media. It was apparently a Groundhog Day joke riffing on the media blitz, but he chose a sensitive target and was stung for it, to which he reminded people that he’d earlier done this piece:
That’s more like it, and, as noted the other day, it’s not as hard to get little girls interested in sports as it was two generations ago, because they’re already interested and playing. If 25 seconds of reaction shots is enough to draw them to Sunday afternoons with Dad, that’s 25 seconds well invested.
It could be a reverse of when Mia Hamm & friends drew men to women’s soccer, which in itself didn’t create a male tidal wave for the women’s game but clearly helped boost American popularity of the sport overall.
In this case, I have no idea if Taylor knows a nickel defense from a dime, nor would I expect little girls to know it, because their fathers probably don’t either, unless they play Madden.
But just to get them sitting on the couch with Dad for a few hours 16 or 20 times a year is a major benefit all around.
The more time kids spend sitting on the couch talking to Dad, the less time they’ll spend later, lying on a couch talking about how they never got to know the guy.
As for Taylor Swift disappearing six weeks after the Super Bowl, somebody at Hogan’s Alley dug up what may be the first Swift reference in comics, the Nancy (AMS) strip from December 10, 2009, back when Guy Gilchrist was drawing it. A lot of today’s Swifties were not yet born, and she was already a phenom.
She had a pretty good year — those 2010 Grammys were for 2009 work — even though she had that brief encounter with Donald Trump’s favorite unbalanced recording artist.
Not only is Taylor Swift not going away, but she’s everywhere that little girls need a lift: