Tag Archives: Republican Politics

Trump’s Labor Day

Published / by stevec

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From Robert Reich

Reich provides documentation of the downward spiral in the economic well being of American workers and an explanation of why this has occurred. Here are the highlights.

First the standard explanation: “…most American workers are no longer “worth” as much as they were before digital technologies and globalization. So they must now settle for lower wages and less security.”

According to Reich this is “Rubbish.”

The real reason:

America’s economic and political elites could have used their growing political and economic clout to help workers get ahead – through better schools and more affordable college, comprehensive job retraining, wage insurance, better public transportation, and expanded unemployment insurance.

They could have pushed for universal health insurance.

They could have paid for all this by accepting, even lobbying for, higher taxes on themselves.

They could have sought to reduce their own political clout by demanding limits on campaign spending.

But they did the reverse: They spent more and more of their ever-growing wealth and power to rig the game to their own advantage.

As a result, trust in all the major institutions of our society has plummeted.

Is it any wonder that Trump was elected? He just exploited the situation. But what has he done to repair the damage?

In his first seven months as president, Trump has done nothing for American workers. In fact, his attempt to undermine the Affordable Care Act, his retreat from Labor Department regulations boosting overtime pay, and his proposed tax cuts for the wealthy and big corporations will make most workers worse off.

But he is in office because of their anger and distrust, and he’s still feeding off it. “The establishment protected itself, but not the citizens of our country,”

 

 

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.

Who Ate Republicans’ Brains?

Published / by stevec

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Another one from my favorite clear thinker.

A quote to motivate reading the entire piece:

Now what? Maybe, just maybe, Republicans will work with Democrats to make the health system work better — after all, polls suggest that voters will, rightly, blame them for any future problems. But it wouldn’t be easy for them to face reality even if their president wasn’t a bloviating bully.

And it’s hard to imagine anything good happening on other policy fronts, either. Republicans have spent decades losing their ability to think straight, and they’re not going to get it back anytime soon.