Sunday’s Forum

Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. Sleeping Dog says:


    At their ideological core, these groups view the world — and the events taking place within it — through the lens of their political aspirations for the creation of a white ethno-state and the destruction of Western liberal societies. This violent cornerstone is a good starting point for understanding the narratives shaping the American far right’s online discourse around Ukraine.

    When it comes to high-profile national and international events, these actors are inherently opportunistic and they look to the conflict in Ukraine from the perspective of how the crisis can serve and reinforce their own localized interests and aspirations for political violence at home, respectively. Many far-right extremist actors support Russia, some support Ukraine, and others are entirely agnostic to the outcome of the conflict, but root for bloodshed and anomie. For analysts watching their online activities right now, there are interesting observations from their narratives that can inform policymakers and security practitioners as they continue to grapple with an emboldened and increasingly transnational far-right — to which Moscow and its agents have given financial and other support since long before the war on Ukraine.

  2. Modulo Myself says:

    This is a really interesting twitter thread on Lia Thomas.

    Just a quick summary–Before transitioning she was 12 seconds off the men’s record for 500 free. She started transitioning but swam against men, and was struggling. Now she has transitioned, and she’s 12 seconds off the women’s record for the 500.

    I admit that I’m slightly surprised. I guess, deep down, I believed some of the transphobic propaganda. I know a bit about competitive swimming, and unless these numbers are wrong there’s absolutely no controversy here. Lia was an elite swimmer before transitioning. She just happened to be in the wrong body.

  3. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    And don’t forget that Putin is a good Christian man as well.

  4. CSK says:

    A guy on a bicycle managed to screw up the truckers’ convoy nicely:

  5. steve says:

    Not just the people normally thought of as far right. Dreher has been almost unreadable with his hysteria for a long time, but his writings about Putin demonstrate how much he loves and admires Putin. You get 2 or 3 lines about Putin started the war and that is bad. They you get paragraphs explaining why he is admired. This pretty much consists of Putin will suppress gays and other freaks and Putin is a man of God. All true Christians steal billions of dollars from Shri people and order thousands of people murdered doncha know? Dreher and much of the religious right are willing to give away all of our freedoms and support people like Putin/Trump because these people cater to them and convince them they are also true believers. This plays into the hysteria about Christian persecution they have been championing.


  6. CSK says:

    Yep. I’ve been saying this for a long time. Putin’s revered because he’s a “Christian” strongman who hates gays and, allegedly, promotes family values.

  7. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @JohnSF (from yesterday): I was raised Baptist. We never left iconoclasm behind. The church I grew up in didn’t even have the famous picture of Jesus in our Sunday School room. 😉

  8. Michael Reynolds says:

    Weak men love strongmen.

  9. CSK says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    Just ask Donald Trump.

  10. Bob@Youngstown says:

    Re-watched Hunt for Red October last night.
    The political officer that Sean Connery murdered: Putin

  11. gVOR08 says:

    @steve: Yeah. Dreher’s more than a little conflicted right now. He did a long ‘Yes, invading Ukraine is bad, but…’ post praising Patriarch Kirill for seeing through all the noise and realizing this is all about gay pride parades. He got toasted pretty good in comments and the next day his praise of Kirill went down his memory hole.

  12. CSK says:

    Ukraine got invaded because of gay pride parades?????? Son of a gun; I didn’t know that.

  13. gVOR08 says:

    Yesterday I remarked that IMHO part of why NYT can’t understand MAGAts is that as the self appointed house organ of the elite they can’t see how badly our elites have screwed us over. I hate to argue from anecdote, but we’re an immensely wealthy country. Nobody should have to live like this.

  14. Jay L Gischer says:

    Over my life, I have seen so many people taken in by someone who is willing to use quotes from the Bible. Usually this is more on a smaller scale, but it’s the same kind of thing. They will patronize the “Christian” business, even if it’s kind of a ripoff. It has Bible verses.

    Bear in mind, In And Out has Bible verses, it also has really good burgers. I don’t mind that.

    But, for instance, a small county Water District (serving an unincorporated area) had 1.5 million embezzeled from it over the course of some years. Hiring of the individual who did it was done through a church connection. People will think “He must be honest, he goes to church”.

    Bear in mind I say nothing about the value of belief, per se, just that there’s an inference there that is deeply held, and not warranted.

    That belief will die only slowly and painfully, even though when done, the former holder will be better for its death.

  15. gVOR08 says:

    @Jay L Gischer: Businesses try to find a mix of characteristics that will draw customers, to some extent trading off price, quality, service, etc. If they push religion into the mix I assume they’re shorting something that actually matters to me.

    Bernie Madoff did infinity fraud, scamming money from Jews like himself. As far as I can see, much of organized religion is affinity fraud. As is the white nationalist appeal of the GOPs.

  16. Mister Bluster says:

    @Jay L Gischer:..the former holder will be better for its death.

    When the truth is found to be lies
    and all the joy within you dies…

    This tune got me through some pain 55 years ago. I never looked back.

  17. Kathy says:

    @Jay L Gischer:

    People will think “He must be honest, he goes to church”.

    I don’t know. My take would be “what sins does he go to church to be forgiven for?”

  18. CSK says:

    Once I asked a southern acquaintance of mine why people (southerners in particular) were so eager to know a politician’s religious inclinations, and particular whether he or she attended church, and she responded that they took it as a sign the politician was a good, virtuous person.

  19. grumpy realist says:

    @gVOR08: I think spellcheck has been playing games again. Isn’t it “affinity fraud”?

    (I love “infinity fraud”, however. Chortle.)

  20. gVOR08 says:

    @grumpy realist: Facepalm. I swear it was affinity when I typed it. Note to self, must proof read more.

    ETA: While I added “Facepalm” spellcheck did it again.

  21. CSK says:

    Rudy Giuliani told Newsmax, the only place that will interview him now, that Donald Trump told Putin that if Putin invaded Ukraine, Trump would “blow up those big gold bubble things in Moscow.”

    By “big gold bubble things” Giuliani, or Trump, meant “churches.”

    I suspect this is a direct quote from Trump.

  22. Kathy says:


    That’s okay, because they’re not Christian churches, but Easter Ort-whatever, even if Putin is a Christian in an Eastern Orto-whatever fashion…. Can’t you just doublethink like a normal person? it’s okay!

    What I would like to know is how he keeps Putin from escalating the conflict afterwards, when it turns out real life is not like an action movie.

  23. Jay L Gischer says:

    @Kathy: In the interest of fairness, in my churchgoing days I knew people who thought like that, too. People in the church. I learned from them.

  24. Gustopher says:

    @Jay L Gischer:

    People will think “He must be honest, he goes to church”.

    The traditional depiction of the Italian mafia is very church going. You would think that would sink in a little.

    I mean, Godfather, Part III was all about the Catholic Church.

    (Disappointed it wasn’t The Godfather, Part 3-D with extraneous special effects and hand gestures towards the camera. “Every time I get out, they pull me back in” would have rewritten to end with an outward gesture, of course)

  25. gVOR08 says:

    @CSK: Gawd I hope someone tells Rod Dreher Trump wants to bomb Orthodox churches.

  26. Barry says:

    @gVOR08: He’d be OK because that would mean that they were woke churches.

  27. CSK says:

    But they’re Putin’s churches!

  28. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: Not if they’re woke, no.