Quick Takes: Identity Politics on the Right

A roundup of news that caught my eye today.

* The term “identity politics” is most often used as code for the fact that liberals tend to embrace policies that support women and people of color. But Eugene Scott suggests that conservatives are also prone to identity politics.

…multiple conservatives over the past week proved that they do value identity politics as long as people belong to the correct identity group: the Republican Party.

Lawmakers from both parties have deemed GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore of Alabama unfit for the office after his alleged sexual misconduct with teenage girls. But Trump and other supporters have responded to questions about the candidate’s qualifications by pointing to his identity group.

“We don’t need a liberal person in there — a Democrat,” the president told reporters Tuesday when asked about the allegations…

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey rose to office after replacing another Republican lawmaker accused of inappropriate sexual behavior. She told reporters that her support for Moore is rooted in his political identity group…

It’s hard to make a case that identity politics are unique to the left when the primary explanation for supporting a controversial candidate is his identity — which is how many Republicans are responding to the Alabama race.

* According to Quinnipiac, there are some pretty major differences between Republicans and Democrats on the topic whether or not they would support a candidate who has been accused of sexual harassment (thanks to Steve Benen for the graph).

* The Doug Jones campaign is out with a pretty powerful new ad.

* The news continues to be good for Obamacare sign-ups.

CMS announced another record week for people signing up for coverage during Open Enrollment at HealthCare.gov, with cumulative sign-ups up 34% overall and total daily sign-ups up 42% compared to the equivalent time period last year. Once again, there continues to be a significant improvement in early enrollment from previous years across the board — more new people enrolling, more people returning, more completed applications, more calls, and more website visits.

* Our friend Ed Kilgore has come up with “10 reasons for liberals to be thankful this year.”

1. The U.S. Constitution endures.
2. Obamacare lives.
3. Roe v. Wade and Obergefell v. Hodges are still the law of the land.
4. The 2017 elections represented a liberal comeback.
5. The 2018 elections represent liberal hope.
6. There’s a competitive Senate race in Alabama.
7. Robert Mueller.
8. The Reckoning.
9. William T. Barber II.
10. Memories of 2016 will eventually fade.

* Do you plan to talk politics during Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow? According to the Associated Press, most Americans would rather avoid the topic.

Pass the turkey — but maybe hold the politics. The already-fraught topic now includes allegations of sexual misconduct against politicians of various political stripes.

From GOP President Donald Trump to Democratic Sen. Al Franken, politicians past, present and aspiring stand accused of sexual misconduct and that could keep tensions high at the holiday table. More than a third of Americans dread the prospect of politics coming up over Thanksgiving, a new poll shows.

* On the other hand, Joe Berkowitz says that “It’s your civic duty to ruin Thanksgiving by bringing up Trump.”

Last year, Trump supporters could still make a case for impending change. Perhaps Donald would go through a molting phase, shedding his most intolerant and unstable parts like clumps of dead lizard skin. Instead, if anything, his reptilian hide got doused in nuclear waste and he has since Godzilla’d all over America’s purple mountain majesties. Anyone hoping for peace last Thanksgiving was rewarded with constant chaos, “very fine” Nazis marching in the streets, and a flame war with North Korea unfolding entirely over Twitter, which may or may not end in Armageddon.

This year, if you’re headed home to a household that still thinks a sex-offending game show host in rapid cognitive decline was the best choice for a president, it is your civic duty to filibuster Thanksgiving.

* Finally, I’m thankful that we once had a president who left us with prescient wisdom like this:

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly.