Politics & Government

The Atlantic Calls Beth Van Duyne ‘New Face of Trumpism in Texas’

As far as faces go, this seems like an upgrade.

Over the weekend, The Atlantic published an interesting story about Beth Van Duyne, the former Irving mayor who was elected in November to Congress by a district that went for Biden. As the magazine says:

The outcome complicates the narrative about Texas that liberals like to tell: that the state is slowly but surely “turning blue”; that one day soon Texans will wake up, come to their senses, and become Democrats. Van Duyne’s victory suggests that her 2015 strategy of stoking fears of foreigners didn’t make her unelectable in a diverse, growing suburb—and may have even aided her. Trump may be gone, but Trumpism is very much alive.

To D Magazine readers, much of the Van Duyne narrative isn’t new. Perhaps you’ll recall this 2013 story that Eric Celeste wrote about her. A lot of the Atlantic story rehashes the “clock boy” controversy and Van Duyne’s opposition to a supposed Sharia law court in Irving, which was nothing but a bogeyman for xenophobic right-wingers. The new stuff here (for me at least) was from Avi Selk, the former Morning News reporter who covered Irving (he’s now at the Washington Post). I never knew that Van Duyne’s talking points at speeches included jokes about how Selk’s reporting on her was influenced by his supposed romantic interest in her. That’s rich.

The Atlantic piece closes by explaining why Van Duyne will be tough to be beat in coming elections. And that, indeed, seems on the nose.

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