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    Sunday, July 21, 2024

    MAGA attacks America’s sweetheart. Why not football, too?

    There's always some pre-game Super Bowl story. This year the MAGA Republicans have provided it. And they've gone way beyond their lunatic call of duty by accusing America's sweetheart, Taylor Swift, of diabolical cunning for urging her fans to vote. And for extra measure, they are attacking the National League Football, as well, for something to do with the Kansas City Chiefs' star tight end, Travis Kelce, being her guy.

    The campaign on the right is accusing Swift of underhanded conduct for supporting Joe Biden and Biden for letting her. Ah, so Biden is politicking? Guilty as charged.

    The usual suspects are trying to gussy up this cuckoo argument by calling it a "psyops" trick. Jesse Watters is not overburdened with intellectual integrity, but even he tiptoed around the psyops thing.

    The Fox News agitator took the weasel path by putting a question mark at the end of what's intended to be heard as a statement. "Is Swift a front for a political agenda?" he asked, adding "Primetime obviously has no evidence."

    Watters brings on former FBI agent Stuart Kaplan to provide authority, but he doesn't quite deliver. Kaplan explains that national security law prohibits deployment of psyops which involves using an operative for psychological warfare.

    That's not quite right. The military is banned from targeting U.S. citizens within U.S. borders. Psyops are done elsewhere all the time and save lives.

    "However," Kaplan adds, "if I was running Biden's management perception team, I would identify someone who would align themselves with my agenda, such as a Taylor Swift who has close to 600 million followers."

    No secret targeting here. Swift endorsed Biden in 2020. Publicly agreeing with his agenda happens to be legal. Trump, after all, has Roseanne Barr — famous for grabbing her crotch after singing the national anthem.

    Frankly, I wouldn't buy toothpaste based on a celebrity endorsement. I'd certainly never choose a candidate for that reason. It's nice that Swift's politics tend to coincide with mine but not a consideration.

    Swift undoubtedly has clout with her fans. She posted a call urging her 279 million Instagram followers to register to vote, linking the website Vote.org. That apparently prompted 35,000 followers to register.

    For the record, Vote.org is carefully nonpartisan. The site evenly balances its colors between red and blue. And it showcases quotes from both a Democrat, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and a Republican, Ronald Reagan.

    Swift's young female fan base can be expected to mostly vote for Biden. But their vote will also register discontent with Donald Trump -- who brags about having ended the right to an abortion and whom many women find repellant on numerous other counts.

    But voters in general are problematic for Trump. The MAGA right isn't crazy about elections either, witness its attempts to overturn the 2020 results.

    Another rap against the Kelce-Swift axis is that Travis does ads promoting Pfizer's Covid vaccine. Yes, and MAGA hero quarterback Aaron Rodgers rails against COVID vaccines. Is this a free country or what?

    The weirdest complaint of all is that a billionaire woman has brought new fame to a mere millionaire man, somehow upsetting the usual gender order of things. The man, according to this thinking, should have most money.

    And shouldn't these traditionalists be cheering on a decidedly boy-girl couple? No gender identifications here they would object to.

    Predictions that these "issues" are going to boost the audience for the Super Bowl will probably prove accurate. Curiosity will prompt this writer to forgo the Puppy Bowl in favor of an actual football game.

    As for MAGA's ability to make a coherent argument that Swift is part of some psyops operation, Froma Harrop has obviously found no evidence.

    Froma Harrop covers the waterfront of politics, economics and culture with an unconventional approach. She can be reached at fharrop@gmail.com.

    Comment threads are monitored for 48 hours after publication and then closed.