The Angle

The Angle: The Straightforward Edition

Slate’s daily newsletter on Trump’s racism, Meryl Streep on Big Little Lies, and The Bachelorette.

Erasing the line: This week, Donald Trump’s attacks on Ilhan Omar elicited a vicious crowd response at one of his rallies, as his supporters chanted, “Send her back!” Republicans did all sorts of rhetorical gymnastics to distance the chants from Trump’s rhetoric, and even Trump claimed not to have endorsed the remarks. This shows he knows he went too far, Dahlia Lithwick writes—but it also shows he means what he says, and all you need as evidence is to see how the fringe is reacting to these incidents.

Name-calling: Sen. Lindsey Graham recently referred to four Democratic congresswomen of color as “a bunch of communists,” touching on a long history of smearing activists of color—especially black activists—in order to justify persecution of social movements. Rebecca Onion dives into this history, recounting examples of this troubling trend from the “First Red Scare” to attacks on Martin Luther King Jr.—and explains why Graham’s wording shows that he knows precisely what he’s doing.

I’m the villain: Isaac Butler writes an ode to Meryl Streep’s performance on Big Little Lies, noting how Streep’s embodiment of the character Mary Louise shows her, for the first time, fully embracing a role of unredeemable nastiness: “We are finally seeing what happens when Meryl Streep turns off the charm and unleashes the darkness.”

Change the picture: Willa Paskin writes on a fundamental transformation that swept The Bachelorette this past week, as the show skewered a common trope of the franchise—the fantasy suite—and displayed the righteous vigor of the bachelorette herself, Hannah Brown, against the slut-shaming tendencies of some of the contestants.

For fun: An Australian comedy about the American moon landing.

You know there’s a bloody moon up there,
Nitish