Category Archives: Republican Dishonesty

What Was Obamacare Rage About?

Published / by stevec

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More Krugman stuff. Sorry but it is too good to pass up. Below are selected paragraphs:

So once again: What was Obamacare rage about?

Much of it was orchestrated by pressure groups like Freedom Works, and it’s a good guess that some of the “ordinary citizens” who appeared at town halls were actually right-wing activists. Still, there was plenty of genuine popular rage, stoked by misinformation and outright lies from the usual suspects: Fox News, talk radio and so on. For example, around 40 percent of the public believed that Obamacare would create “death panels” depriving senior citizens of care.

The question then becomes why so many people believed these lies. The answer, I believe, comes down to a combination of identity politics and affinity fraud.

Whenever I see someone castigating liberals for engaging in identity politics, I wonder what such people imagine the right has been doing all these years. For generations, conservatives have conditioned many Americans to believe that safety-net programs are all about taking things away from white people and giving stuff to minorities.

And those who stoked Obamacare rage were believed because they seemed to some Americans like their kind of people — that is, white people defending them against you-know-who.

So what’s the moral of this story? There’s bad news and good news.

It’s certainly not encouraging to realize how easily many Americans were duped by right-wing lies, pushed into screaming rage against a reform that would actually improve their lives.

On the other hand, the truth did eventually prevail, and Republicans’ inability to handle that truth is turning into a real political liability. And in the meantime, Obamacare has made America a better place.

 

All The President’s Men

Published / by stevec

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Graydon Carter: “When historians finally weigh in on Trump, they will wonder why so many powerful people continued to support his presidency.”

When the historians finally weigh in on the Trump presidency (and it’s never too early to start), they will have a troubling question to answer. It’s not why many good Americans, angered and disgusted by the dysfunction of Washington, were misled by Trump’s mendacious rhetoric. The real question is why powerful people who (like Janning) knew better—and who now know exactly what kind of man Trump is—continue to support him and make his presidency possible. These are the same men who have in the past publicly called Trump a racist, a xenophobe, a jackass, a man of sickening sexual crudeness, and unfit to serve as commander in chief. Trump in his characteristic way has called them things you wouldn’t say about your worst enemy.

In “The Enablers,” Sarah Ellison takes on six of these men—Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, Mike Pence, John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and Reince Priebus—all of whom have the political acumen, knowledge of government, and sufficient grip on reality to know firsthand that our president is not just in over his head but perhaps out of his mind. It would be one thing if they were surrounding him in order to stop him. But in fact they surround him in order to enable him for their own various ends. The myriad acts of malignant legislation committed while the nation is distracted by the president’s woes are evidence of their own agendas.

Republican Cruelty

Published / by stevec

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Another post that is not directly about Trump (but he is one of the tribe and is a clear facilitator). It is about Republican Cruelty. Concerning healthcare, Paul Krugman and Timothy Egan say it best:

Paul Krugamen first: Understanding Republican Cruelty:

So one way to understand this ugly health plan is that Republicans, through their political opportunism and dishonesty, boxed themselves into a position that makes them seem cruel and immoral — because they are.

…this story began with a politically convenient lie — the pretense, going all the way back to Ronald Reagan, that social safety net programs just reward lazy people who don’t want to work. And we all know which people in particular were supposed to be on the take.

Now, this was never true, and in an era of rising inequality and declining traditional industries, some of the biggest beneficiaries of these safety net programs are members of the Trump-supporting white working class. But the modern G.O.P. basically consists of career apparatchiks who live in an intellectual bubble, and those Reagan-era stereotypes still dominate their picture of struggling Americans.

Or to put it another way, Republicans start from a sort of baseline of cruelty toward the less fortunate, of hostility toward anything that protects families against catastrophe.

Timothy Egan also addresses the Cruelty of the healthcare bill, The Blood on a Tax Cut. “The toxic Senate bill is the broadest attach on working Americans by a governing political party in our lifetime.”

There is blood on this tax cut. It’s a simple swap — taking away $700 billion from one class of people to give it to another. That swap would leave 22 million Americans without health care over the next decade, and many of them will die prematurely because they will not see a doctor in time. In turn, those making $875,000 a year would get an average tax cut of about $45,000. Those making $5 million a year would get a break of $250,000.