Patterico's Pontifications


Cory Booker … Sigh

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:57 pm

I was going to write a post about what a clown that guy is, but frankly I didn’t get a lot of sleep last night and even contemplating mustering the energy to talk about it is exhausting.

He’s desperate to have people think he BROKE THE RULES!!!1! to reveal emails that make Kavanaugh look good.

These people are pathetic. Truly. The kabuki theater has rarely been sillier.

Nice to know a good judge is well on his way to confirmation.

Not so good to know that we have to contend with the likes of Cory Booker and Kamala Harris in 2020.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

Former Kavanaugh Clerk Zina Bash Flashes Alt Right Symbol, Twice, to Own the Libs or Something [UPDATED: I Was Wrong]

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:59 am

[UPDATE: This post is, as to Zina Bash, completely wrong. See UPDATES below. My apologies to Zina Bash and her husband. — P]

So a couple of days ago, a former Kavanaugh clerk named Zina Bash was attending his confirmation hearing, and had her hand resting on her arm in a way that suggested to the Resistance that she was throwing a white power sign. (It’s more like an alt right symbol than a pure white power sign. See discussion at the end of this post.)

Zina Bash 1

The Resistance went nuts, accusing her of being the female Richard Spencer. Her husband angrily refuted the allegation on Twitter:

Pretty convincing. That seemed like it was that. Most of us were willing to chalk up the “controversy” to #ResistanceMania.

Then she did it again, the next day. Quite deliberately:

This is being touted by many as a masterful example of trolling. Why, they falsely accused her yesterday, and look what she did to them today! Ha ha!

I have a different take. First, this raises the question of whether the initial use of the symbol was “trolling” as well. After all, trolling is part of the symbol’s history (see discussion below). Someone came up with video of the first time she made her hand do that, and it seems to happen after she is looking at her phone, seemingly quite deliberately. It’s not proof that she did it right after someone suggested it, but watch the video. It does not look accidental to me:

But here’s the thing. Regardless of whether it was an accident the first time or not, and regardless of whether she was unfairly attacked on Day One, doing this on Day Two is absurd.

It is, at a minimum, extraordinarily immature, and disrespectful to Kavanaugh — who is, by all accounts, a decent man and a great judge, and who does not deserve this distraction. By Day Two she knows that much of the country sees this symbol, in this context, as an alt right symbol at a minimum, if not a white power symbol. So she sits behind her former employer and deliberately flashes the symbol … to troll the libs??

If I were Kavanaugh, I would be appalled. And I would ask her not to come back on Day Three.

POSTSCRIPT RE THE OK SYMBOL: In the past couple of days, a lot of media folks have straightforwardly described this as a “white power” symbol. They discredit themselves by presenting it that starkly, just as they discredit themselves by describing Steve Bannon as a “white nationalist.” Bannon is a major alt right figure, and much of the alt right is white nationalist. But Bannon is not, in my judgment, a white nationalist. He coddles them, but he is not one of them. Similarly, with the OK symbol, it’s not quite as simple as “OK sign = white power” — and any such contention it makes it easy for people to seem to refute the argument by citing stories of its origins in 4chan threads where idiots talked about trolling people.

But the truth is that the sign, like Pepe the frog, has become a symbol of the alt right, and thus at least flirts with white nationalism. Yes, it’s still a prank of sorts, but its constant use by actual white nationalists and neo-Nazis tends to undercut the arguments that “it’s just an OK sign!” or “it’s just a prank!” I wrote about this extensively after that yutz Jim Hoft was seen throwing the sign at the White House podium, but a couple of images make the connection between the sign, Pepe the frog, white nationalism, and neo-Nazis clearer than 1000 words could.

Hoft Pepe Retweet

Pepe at Dachau

And Trump’s most crazed fans on the alt right use it all the time.

Cernovich OK 1

Milo OK 1

Milo OK 2

Roger Stone OK

If you argue it’s just an OK symbol, you’re either being dishonest or a dupe.

And I know there is going to be a heaping helping of “why are we talking so much about this woman and her hand signs?” The Trump superfans asking the question will never understand, but to the normals it’s pretty obvious: it’s news when a former law clerk of a Supreme Court nominee, sitting behind him at a Supreme Court confirmation hearing, deliberately flashes a hand sign symbolic of the alt right with overtones of white supremacy. Even if she’s doing it to own the libs, she’s still doing it.

UPDATE: Allahpundit says that, a day after a nationwide controversy over her making the OK symbol on national TV, she absentmindedly and innocently made the OK symbol on national TV. Again.

Um, OK. I guess it’s possible. But then, as readers of my previous post about Hoft throwing the sign, deniability is part of the troll. I don’t buy it.

UPDATE x2: OK, it was innocent after all. I feel like an idiot. I’ll explain in a new post and link that post in an update.

UPDATE x3: Here is the post explaining what really happened and admitting error.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

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