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The Washington Post’s resident “conservative blogger” Jennifer Rubin claimed in a Tuesday article that the MAGA slogan — “Make America Great Again” — was no different than the post-Civil War South’s battle cry: “The South will rise again.”
Rubin asserted in her opinion piece, titled “The GOP’s threat to the American idea is nothing new,” that “MAGA followers” were no different than 1860s Confederates — with the possible exception being that former President Donald Trump’s supporters had been more successful with regard to attacking the nation’s capital for their cause.
“It takes no imagination to draw the line between the South’s mythical Lost Cause and the chant to ‘Make America Great Again.’ Indeed, the MAGA movement venerates the Confederacy and managed to accomplish what the South never did: stage an assault on the U.S. Capitol bearing the Confederate flag and organize an effort to stave off the peaceful transfer of power,” Rubin explained.
“Both the old Confederacy and the MAGA movement pine for a fraudulent past and dress up base racism in a gauzy wrapping of honor, masculinity and military virtue,” she continued. “And the paranoia about an existential crisis that so many MAGA followers share tracks with the Confederacy’s fear that their way of life (slavery) was endangered by Northern forces.”
Rubin was far from the only one to leap to Civil War conclusions in the wake of President Joe Biden’s comments essentially dividing the country in half. Biden has repeatedly referred to “election deniers” as a threat to democracy and accused MAGA Republicans of embracing “semi-fascism.”
The White House has attempted to clarify in the days since that his remarks were aimed at GOP leadership and elected officials rather than Republican voters, but the answers coming from Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre seem to have done more to muddy the water than to clear the air.
“I mean, the president has been really clear about the leadership, right, the MAGA Republicans in leadership. They’re the ones who have the platform, they’re the ones who — again, the extremist part of the Republican Party,” Jean-Pierre told Real Clear Politics reporter Phillip Wegmann.
But just seconds later, she appeared to contradict her own position, adding, “Well, let me be very clear: it’s not just Republican leadership. It’s not just that blanket, right, he is talking about an extreme portion, an extreme part of the party. He’s been very, very clear about that.”