Pelosi has lost the plot

Plus: More fun with Substack white supremacists

First, some business: As most of you know, I recently moved this newsletter off its old, embarrassing platform — a move I get happier with by the day (see section below). It’s a move that comes with costs, though. In short, we’re back to the old days of getting the word out (tougher than the old days even, since I left Twitter as well). So I’m turning to you, my wonderful readers. Here are a few ways you can help:

  1. Forward this email to someone you think would enjoy The Racket with a note to subscribe.

  2. Share it on social media:

  1. Collect referrals and earn your way toward a premium subscription (email edition only):

  1. Or better yet, if you haven’t, just upgrade to premium now:

Speaking of Substack, my former platform is in the news again. The Guardian reports that Christopher Rufo — the pro-censorship, pro-authoritarian opponent of academic freedom who literally bragged about having “SCALPED” Harvard’s first Black and Haitian-American president, Claudine Gay — has “links to a self-styled ‘sociobiology magazine’ that … experts have characterized as an outlet for scientific racism.”

That “sociobiology magazine,” Aporia, it will surprise no one to know, is hosted on Substack, where it claims over 9,000 subscribers and sports a Substack bestseller badge. The Guardian notes:

In a 3 January article on the site titled “Yes, we should talk about race differences”, [executive editor] Bo Winegard wrote: “Thus, we must be honest about race. And that means we begin by noting that in the United States (and elsewhere in the world), different races have different average levels of intelligence as measured by IQ tests (and other measures of cognitive ability).”

As proof of this claim, Winegard cites researchers including the late Richard Lynn – a white nationalist, according to the [Southern Poverty Law Center] – and the late Arthur Jensen, whom the SPLC calls “arguably the father of modern academic racism”.

Some other Aporia headlines: “If racism is so bad, why is diversity so good?” “The Goldilocks Zone between inbreeding and outbreeding.” (A quote from that one: “The sweet spot for having healthy children seems to be marriage between third or fourth cousins.”) “Who are the most right-wing Americans?: A look at ethnic origins.” And: “Does IQ alone explain Jewish success?: A look at other socio-psychological traits.”

Rufo is a Substacker too. He officially recommends the shit above using Substack’s internal function — meaning that many of the over 80,000 people who have signed up for Rufo’s self-titled newsletter, as well as future sign-ups, are given the option to automatically sign up for Aporia as well. Rufo himself appeared on that newsletter’s paywalled podcast in August, in an episode titled “Get into the trenches,” in which he discussed the moral panic he ginned up against Critical Race Theory, and answered the question: “Should we control state professors?”

The Guardian reached out to Rufo for comment, and, well—

The Guardian emailed Rufo with questions on his apparent endorsement of Aporia, and how he reconciled that with his professed “colorblindness”. He did not respond directly to any questions put to him but instead made a crude sexual insult to a Guardian reporter.

OK! And don’t forget: Substack loves Rufo, going out of their way to recommend him as one of their leading “political writers” whom “millions of readers trust” — a position that, given that his entire political project is built around silencing his ideological opponents, somewhat belies their supposed commitment to free speech.

None of this is surprising. Rufo dresses up his activism as opposing “CRT” or “DEI,” but what he and his co-ideologues have always very obviously been against is diversity itself. Or, more precisely: Having nonwhite people in positions of power and influence, in ways that threaten his ideal vision of racial hierarchy — i.e., the one with white people on top. He and his fellow shitbags at places like Aporia like to pretend this is about “merit” or “scientific inquiry,” but as the good folks at If Books Could Kill recently argued, it’s the opposite: It’s a) notoriously bad science and b) all about denying racial and other minorities a place where they’d have a chance to prove their merit; about dialing back the clock to a time when mediocrities like Rufo were assured a glide path to the upper rungs of society based on how easily they suntan alone.

Rufo’s alliance with a eugenics blog — on a newletter platform that has declared its openness to hosting and profiting from literal Nazis — is just further evidence for that point. And further evidence that I was right to leave.

Switching to the other side of the proverbial aisle, meanwhile, former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has taken a hard look at coalition politics ahead of the 2024 election and decided screw that. On CNN this week, Dana Bash asked the senior congresswoman how Democrats might soothe their base’s anger over Joe Biden’s support for (and escalation of) Israel’s war in Gaza. (Or, as Bash put it, “Joe Biden's support for Israel in its war against Hamas terrorists.”)

Pelosi responded:

PELOSI: Well, let me just say this, because I have been the recipient of their, shall we say, exuberances, and it's as recently as in Seattle on Thursday, unfortunately wanted to disrupt our very exciting Democratic meeting there.

They're in front of my house all the time. So I have a feeling for what feelings they have. But we have to think about what we're doing. And what we have to do is try to stop the suffering and gossip. This is women and children. People don't have a place to go. So let's address that.

But for them to call for a cease-fire is Mr. Putin's message, Mr. Putin's message. Make no mistake, this is directly connected to what he would like to see. Same thing with Ukraine. It's about Putin's message. I think some of these — some of these protesters are spontaneous and organic and sincere.

Some, I think, are connected to Russia. And I say that having looked at this for a long time now, as you know.

Pelosi followed up by calling for an FBI investigation.

OK, and excuse my Anglo-Saxon here, but what the fuck. A Morning Consult poll taken last month showed that two-thirds of all voters — including 68% of Democrats — support calls for a ceasefire in Gaza. That was up

Subscribe to The Racket to read the rest.

Become a paying subscriber of The Racket to get access to this post and other subscriber-only content.

Already a paying subscriber? Sign In

A subscription gets you:
Get exclusive posts available only to premium subscribers
Access the full Racket archive going back to 2019
Special access and behind-the-scenes insights
Keep independent journalism alive. Don't let the bastards get us down.

Join the conversation

or to participate.