People are still looking for reasons to clap back at alt-righter Richard Spencer and, over the weekend, he set himself up for a great one.
Spencer, who leads a movement that mixes racism, white nationalism and populism, was engaged in a Twitter scrape with Talking Points Memo editor Josh Marshall, which itself had branched off from a brief Twitter spat with Bloomberg columnist Eli Lake.
Marshall slammed Spencer as “a Nazi and a stain on this country’s greatness.” Spencer responded with a snide reference to a bizarre tweet Marshall sent out in December, which criticized the incoming Trump administration with a tweet containing porn.
But Marshall was having none of it and shot back at Spencer calling him a “chump” and a “punk.”
Spencer’s reply cited and included a clip of the song “Tomorrow Belongs to Me” from the film version of Cabaret, a 1972 film (based on the Broadway musical of the same name) about a group of singers at a Berlin club in the early 1930s, just as the Nazis are beginning their rise to power.
Watch the video for “Tomorrow Belongs to Me,” which was so spot on it has been mistaken in the past for an actual Nazi anthem, per Uproxx, and you’ll understand why the song may be popular to people like Spencer. It’s even been covered by white power bands in the past.
Following the video tweet, one more person jumped in to clap back at Spencer. CNN contributor Jason Kander, whose uncle John Kander wrote the song for the original Broadway musical version of Cabaret, sent the burn to end all burns.
The hot fire exchange led to Jason Kander being on CNN on Monday morning, talking about the spat, his uncle, and the history of the song. “It’s not every day you get to tell off a neo-Nazi,” Kander said, “so it seemed like a fun thing to do over the weekend.”
For his part, Spencer moved on to other topics and Twitter beefs while we’re left figuring out how a song from a Liza Minnelli film became a cultural touchstone for the cultural battle with the alt-right.
Just another day in Trump’s America.