What are we to make of the unflinching support of Republican leaders for Herschel Walker? To a one they lined up behind him in the wake of news that Walker, who is the party’s Senate candidate in Geogia, paid for an abortion for his former wife. Nearly all of the many critics of the GOP say that it is one more example of its overweening desire to regain control of Congress in the coming elections. In this interpretation, the practical desire for power – to win at any cost – eclipses everything else.

That’s one way to look at it. But there’s another way to understand their reflexive support for Walker – and it isn’t at war with the first explanation. It is this: a deep patriarchy in all of its ugliness was a core feature of right wing extremist and fascist movements in the 20th century and the present day Republican Party (and MAGA movement) are a continuation of this phenomenon.