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Tag: ohio senate race

Hilarious Video Takes Down J.D. Vance, ‘Race-Baiting Culture War It Boy'

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

On July 1, right-wing "Hillbilly Elegy" author J.D. Vance announced that he is seeking the GOP nomination for Ohio's 2022 U.S. Senate race, and some pundits have mentioned him as a possible presidential candidate for 2024. When it came out in 2016, "Hillbilly Elegy" was widely read — even by liberals and progressives, who wanted to hear what Vance had to say about social and economic problems in rural Appalachia. But recently, the 36-year-old Vance has been sounding more and more like a Trumpian culture warrior, and Never Trump conservative Tim Miller notes how much of a "culture war it boy" Vance has become in a hilarious but scathing video posted on YouTube and The Bulwark on July 1.

Although Miller is conservative, he isn't far-right and has been a blistering critic of former President Donald Trump. In 2020, Miller left the Republican Party after many years and endorsed now-President Joe Biden in the presidential election. And his Vance video slams the "Hillbilly Elegy" author right away, with Miller asking, "Did Hollywood help propel a new race-baiting, culture-war 'it boy' to political stardom?"

"This is J.D. Vance," Miller explains in the video. "He looks like a cross between Elmer Fudd and three babies in a trench coat. And he's running for Senate in Ohio, with his eyes on a future presidential bid."

2016 was not only the year "Hillbilly Elegy" was released — it was also the year in which Trump defeated former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in that year's presidential election, losing the popular vote but picking up more electoral votes. Miller recalls that Vance was anti-Trump in 2016 but has since flip-flopped and become very Trumpian rhetorically.

"You may have seen his Netflix movie 'Hillbilly Elegy,' which was based on his critically acclaimed book," Miller observes with biting sarcasm. "It was lauded as a nuanced portrait of the Trump-supporting White working class that was all too often tarnished as racist or backwards. And back then, J.D. played reviewers like a fiddle. He texted his agent saying that Trump winning would be terrible for the country, but good for book sales. Everyone from Seth Meyers to Bill Gates used J.D.'s story to help them understand this crazy species that they'd never encountered in the wild: the Trump voter."

Miller slams Vance as a shameless opportunist, saying, "Now, Vance is parlaying that media success into politics, and the former Trump skeptic has taken a dark turn. These days, he's a Trumpstan, and he's relying on racial resentment to reach the very voters that he was supposedly shining a more empathetic and nuanced light on. His Twitter feed has turned into kind of a Trumpian cosplay, but without any of the former tweeter-in-chief's je ne sais quoi."

Vance recently resorted to fake outrage after Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mark Milley, during a congressional hearing, said he "wanted to understand White rage."

"In response," Miller observes in his video, "J.D. rage-tweeted, 'The conservative [American]s you trash are disproportionately bleeding for this country.' Ah, so only angry White men serve in the military. Boy, that's some subtle stuff there, bro. I wonder if the audience picked up on the dog whistle."

But as much as Miller lambasts Vance in his video, he also expresses regret — pointing out that instead of pandering to White racists, he could be genuinely shedding light on the economic problems of White rural America.

Indeed, a major void was left after the death of journalist/author Joe Bageant, the self-described "redneck leftist" who specialized in liberal commentary on economic pain among rural Whites. Bageant, who died of cancer in 2011, is best remembered for his book Deer Hunting with Jesus: Dispatches from America's Class War.

Miller, with frustration, explains, "Here's the worst part about J.D.'s new shtick: The points he's made over the years about liberal elites looking down on and ignoring the forgotten hillbillies were right. They do do that! J.D. could have been a model for a new, more empowering kind of politics. But instead of changing the way politicians address White working-class problems, he's using the same demagogic bullshit about race and crime and gays that every populist asshole has been employing since the AIDS crisis and Jim Crow. And instead of telling them the truth, he's going with his dad to Trump's conspiracy-election-fraud jamboree and going along with Big Lie BS."

Watch the video below:

Tim Miller's NOT MY PARTY | Will JD Vance Find Political Stardom? www.youtube.com

Trump Makes Ohio Senate Hopefuls Perform ‘Apprentice’ Audition At Mar-a-Lago

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Former President Donald Trump is already working behind the scenes to set the stage for the 2022 primary election. He may not be making a return to the White House in 2022 but he is reportedly working to make sure he manages Republican lawmakers who seek higher office in 2022.

According to a report published by Politico, the former president recently met with four Republican Senate candidates in Ohio who are launching political campaigns in hopes of replacing Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) who is set to retire at the end of his term. The publication reports that on Wednesday, March 24, an Apprentice-style meeting took place at Trump's luxurious Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida.

The publication reports that the four Senate seat contenders—including former Ohio state Treasurer Josh Mandel, former Ohio Republican Party Chair Jane Timken, tech executive Bernie Moreno, and Mike Gibbons, the investment banker who co-chaired Trump's Ohio fundraising group—traveled to the luxury golf club to attend a fundraiser for Trump's former White House aide Max Miller, who has entered the Senate race to unseat Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH).

The meeting scene that played out behind closed doors at Mar-a-Lago is being similar to the boardroom scenes highlighted on Trump's former TV show The Apprentice. The Senate candidates spent their time competing for the former president's support. In addition to being compared to the boardroom-style game show, one person familiar with the media also insisted that it was more akin to "The Hunger Games."

According to Talking Points Memo, one person present noted that "the Ohio Republican Senate hopefuls were thrown into an unexpected and awkward showdown for Trump's support ahead of next year's midterm elections." The meeting began with Trump asking each candidate about the status of their campaigns. Each candidate had the opportunity to highlight the strong points of their campaigns.

At one point, former Ohio State Treasurer Josh Mandel bragged about "crushing" Timken in the preliminary polls while Gibbons highlighted the support she has received due to serving as Ohio's Republican Party chair.

Mandel responded: "Mr. President I only know two ways to do things: either not at all, or balls to the wall. I hired a bunch of killers on my team. I'm a killer, and we're going to win the primary and then the general."

Gibbons pointed out his history of contributing to the fundraising efforts for Trump's presidential campaign while Moreno noted that his daughter previously worked with the former president's re-election campaign. The latest report underscores the extent of Trump's efforts to take down the Republican lawmakers who voted in favor of his impeachment.