March 21, 2016

A phrase that shocked me — "downscale white guys" — spoken by Ruth Marcus of The Washington Post.

I am used to class politics and racial politics. I have 181 and 993 blog posts with these tags. I read elite media every day and watch the Sunday shows — often all 5 — nearly every week. I notice and focus on language in my writing here. It's what I do. When something jumps out at me as different — not the way they normally talk — it means something. I think: Whoa! That must be the way they talk behind the scenes. The mask slipped.

Yesterday, on "Face the Nation," John Dickerson was moderating a panel discussion. He'd asked Ruth Marcus about Donald Trump's efforts to reach out to Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan in the interest of party unity. Marcus said "some Republicans" were "getting to yes with Donald Trump" but a lot were "getting to OMG with Donald Trump."

There was some talk about GOP leaders plotting a 3rd party move or "piggybacking" on the ballot access of the Libertarian or Constitution Party. But even if that worked to keep Trump from winning the presidency, where would it leave the Republican Party going forward? Reihan Salam (of The National Review) observed that younger voters — 18-29-year-old voters — leaned toward Bernie Sanders, and:
The Republican Party needs to think around the bend. Donald Trump is - he's energized a lot of voters who are, frankly, not going to be the voters of the future.
"Frankly" = These people are old and therefore on their way off Planet Earth (if not quite soon enough to stop Trump).

Susan Page (of USA Today) revealed that the Republicans who are talking to her (off the record) assume they're going to lose the presidential election, and they're just trying to figure out "a way to lose the presidency but hold the Senate" or — at least — "lose the White House and the Senate but not have the party destroyed." With that as the goal, they can't agree on "whether Ted Cruz or Donald Trump is the smarter bet."

John Dickerson said he'd talked to Lindsey Graham about that and "the gap between what they say privately and what they're willing to do [in] public... is vast." Two other panelists — Page and Jonathan Martin (of the NYT) — back Dickerson up. The GOP leaders don't want to endorse Cruz. Martin says:
[I]'s hard for these folks in the party to get behind Ted Cruz. Mitt Romney and Lindsey Graham are trying to make it easier, but it's - it's still very difficult.... But this is - this is - the state of the GOP in March of 2016 is, we have to lose with Cruz, it's important. That's astonishing, right, that they are trying to save their party by nominating somebody that they assume will lose the presidency.
This idea that Cruz is the preferable loser triggers Ruth Marcus. She thinks Trump would be "a less strong candidate against Hillary Clinton than Ted Cruz," but then she says "the Clinton campaign is quite nervous about the prospect of running against Donald Trump." Now, that seems contradictory, but it makes sense if you think that both Cruz and Trump will lose to Hillary, but Trump will be a much more unpleasant opponent for her.

Dickerson prods Marcus to explain:
DICKERSON: Because why?

MARCUS: Because who knows.

MARTIN: The unknowns. Yes.

MARCUS: Be - because the rustbelt. Because all those down scale white guys, who knows what - you know with Ted Cruz sort of where he's going and what he's going to say. You don't know that with Donald Trump and you don't know what voters he can energize.
The adjective "downscale" along with "white" and the too-casual "guys" felt so contemptuous to me. And that comes right after the inarticulate "be- because the rustbelt." So disrespectful, so revealing of waves of loathing roiling underneath. These people who should be dead already might get "energized" by Trump. He's the trumpet that blows on Judgment Day and wakes the dead. Could they just please remain in a state of suspended animation until they have the dignity to disappear? That's what I'm hearing in "all those down scale white guys." She's saying: Don't they know they're not needed anymore... how ridiculous they look heaving themselves up off their death beds and dancing to Trump's tune?

I didn't think I'd ever heard the adjective "downscale" to refer to a human being. It seems like something you'd say about a shopping mall or a neighborhood (if you were talking about a place where other people go). I searched the NYT archive to reinforce my impression, and it mostly did. But I found this July 2013 column by Paul Krugman, "Whites and the Safety Net" that used "downscale" to refer to human beings — white human beings — 3 times:
But if there really is a missing-white-voter issue — and I’d like to see some more analysis by serious political scientists before I completely buy in — what will it take to bring these people back out to play? Sean Trende, who has been making the missing-whites case, describes the missing as “downscale, rural, Northern whites”. What can the GOP offer them?
Wow! We know the answer in 2016. The GOP could offer Donald Trump. Krugman continues:
Well, the trendy answer now is “libertarian populism” — but the question is what that means. And for a lot of Republicans, as Mike Konczal notes, it seems to mean lower tax rates on the wealthy, tight money, and deregulation. And this is supposed to appeal to downscale whites because, um, because.
There's that "because" tic we saw in Ruth Marcus.

Krugman, of course, thinks the GOP really has nothing for these people. He doesn't buy the GOP's supply-side economics and doesn't think it has any power to win over anyone who's not already a believer. And what's worse for the GOP is that their attacks on safety-net programs threaten the downscale white people:
[N]ews flash: these programs don’t just benefit Those People; they’re also very important to downscale whites, the very people that will supposedly rescue the GOP.
There's the theory. "Downscale white guys" — or "downscale whites" if you're in print — are on the dole. They should belong to the Democrats, who empathize with the vulnerable. The GOP wanted them, but only if they bought an agenda that made no direct appeal to them. And the billionaire saw them and spoke to them: We don't win anymore! And they came alive. 

260 comments:

1 – 200 of 260   Newer›   Newest»
sane_voter said...

Democrats are the party of downscale non-whites. Can't say downscale minorities because downscale whites are a minorit,y too.

Peter said...

I don't care much for Trump, but, press coverage of his campaign (and especially of the disruptions and occasional violence at Trump rallies) has been disgraceful.

EMD said...

It's nigh time for pitchforks and torches.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

Some people shock more readily than others.

J. Farmer said...

Shorter version of this post: America is doomed.

Carol said...

Funny, just saying "white" people of any kind sounds provocative and even racist!! unless you're saying something bad about whites.

Brando said...

Everyone seems to have acknowledged that there is a large contingent of Americans who feel vulnerable economically (I don't think they're necessarily "downscale", as well-off people feel this way too--but what distinguishes them is a pessimistic outlook towards the direction our economy is taking) and who see nothing in the Democratic argument ("more programs to help!") or Republican argument ("cut taxes and business will flourish and you'll get paid more!"). But while a lot of these people are flocking to Sanders and Trump, even they don't seem to have any fix.

The main challenge right now is that our economy has reached a level of maturity that makes it so ten people can do the work that a hundred people were needed to do before. While in one sense this is a good thing--more efficiency meaning lower prices and higher standard of living generally--the downside is our labor market suffers even during recoveries. As we can't "uninvent" things, and certainly don't want to go back to the standard of living of the 1950s (no could we), no one has really figured out a solution for this. I expect this problem will be more acute in a decade no matter what happens this year.

Clayton Hennesey said...

I'm getting the sense that many people on both sides are hoping against hope that Apple will design a beautiful iElection in the nick of time which they can then download to do away with this horrid, unaesthetic, shouting democratic mess once and for all.

David said...

NOCD

I hear this all the time. Righty Whities can be elitist jerks just as much as lefties.

This is why the race card is Trumps for the left. If the downscalers ever sort politically based on social status and political isolation rather than race the white elites are toast.

Somewhere Pitchfork Ben Tillman is having a little chuckle.

Big Mike said...

The adjective "downscale" along with "white" and the too-casual "guys" felt so contemptuous to me.

Lawyers. Always with weasel-words. It feels contemptuous because it is contemptuous and, yes, I imagine that everyone on that panel felt the same way.

Back in the early days of the 1970s Blacks would interject the phrase "Come the Revolution" into conversations with us honkies. Well, there's a new revolution coming and the a**holes on the panel should be glad it's being led by Trump. There's a lot worse out there.

David said...

John Dickerson? White privilege? He's the poster child.

Laslo Spatula said...

The Slightly-Less-Than-Average-Intelligence Althouse Reader says:

I know you Smart People.

You need the 'downscale' people to be just docile enough to not topple your place at the Top.

Still: every once in a while you happen to look down, and can see just how precarious that Top can be. then you look away, because you are Too Smart to fall. Falling is for those still on the Ladder.

But you figure the Little People will never be Smart enough to kick the legs out from under your chairs, because you tell them it wouldn't be Smart to do such a thing. Bad things happen when Bad Things happen to the Smart People.

So the Smart People keep pumping up their Muzak:

Let it be, let it be: Whisper Words of Apathy, Let It Be.

But sometimes -- sometimes -- the Little People recognize that there are other songs on the jukebox.

We Say We Want a Revolution. You Don't Need to See the Plan.

And I figure you don't get it.

Because you're Smart.


I am Laslo.

Big Mike said...

The Republican Party needs to think around the bend. Donald Trump is - he's energized a lot of voters who are, frankly, not going to be the voters of the future. "Frankly" = These people are old and therefore on their way off Planet Earth (if not quite soon enough to stop Trump).

I'm almost 70, and despite Obamacare I expect to be voting in this election as well as 2018 (adios, Tim Kaine!), 2020, 2022, 2024, 2026, and beyond.

tim in vermont said...

What they were dancing around on the show was that Trump is going to bring up stuff they have all agreed not to discuss in the MSM and they all know what it is and you can read about it in any comment thread.

MayBee said...

Great post.

I am amazed at how casually news outlets and pundits throw around the slur, "The rustbelt".

Michael said...

As baffled as these pundits are now, just think how baffled they are going to be in November. The casual insults are adding up and even those not the target of these casual insults are insulted. These people on these Sunday morning "news" shows are generally clueless about us. As you listen you wonder how they got where they are because what they are saying is not exactly eye opening or even on point.

bbkingfish said...

They were called "Joe Six-pack" by the press, back when they could afford to buy a six-pack.

Now, they brew their own crystal meth, and are known as "downscale white guys."

rehajm said...

This has become a theme the last couple of days. Somewhere within the Clinton math works there's a data set showing Hill's negatives with working class white men, so you send the media minions out to defend. Of course talking about Hillary's vulnerabilities implies she's weak, so you discuss her troubles within the context of the 'chaotic' GOP.

Interestingly, I don't necessarily equate 'downscale' with as negative and condescending tone as inferred here. In marketing we're used to using 'downmarket' to refer to similar products at lesser price points, though not necessarily as in indicator of quality.

Does it matter from where on the scale you believe you're looking from?

Henry said...

It's interesting that Krugman picks up the "downscale" adjective from Sean Trende of the Cato Institute. You just linked to him!

I don't read "downscale" as an insult, but it is a "cold" word. Sociological.

The left would much prefer to use "downscale" instead of "working class". If you're even one step left of center "working class" is the class you're supposed to sympathize with.*

In fact, there's a great deal of rhetorical avoidance on the left about the fact that Trump supporters are the proletariat. This is one reason why the left is so committed to the idea that Trump supporters (and the tea party before them) are racists (crypto-racists in the Tea Party rendition). That allows them to treat the "downscale white guys" as oppressors and totally erase the fact that these downscale white guys are the oppressed. Who is oppressing them? Start with the people pointing fingers.

Amanda said...

I've often wondered about what some working poor whites saw in the Republican Party and why the hell did they think Republicans ever really gave a damn about their daily struggles. Why did these white working class poor glom onto conservative politics? Did they see themselves as any different than the working class poor minorities? Did they really think Republican economic policies would lift all boats? It is actually good to see that this segment of our society has seen the light, that Republcans never had their best interests at heart. The true constituency of Republicans has been Wall Street and bankers. Wasn't it GW Bush who told a room full of bankers they were his "constituents"?

traditionalguy said...

Trump of all thinking people understands bad markets from economic downturns, and he says hang on until it turns.

That message sounds worth following among the millions of once prosperous and hard working men, of all races, who after the 2008 Real Estate Bubble burst and shutdown housing construction and related business have waited on Obama and his GOP smoke blowing enablers to do anything to turn it for them. All they have seen to date is immense generosity to foreign invaders that speak Spanish and Chinese factory Owners.

Saying they are White Guys is more of today's racial cheap appeal for schadenfreude seeing the Preferred Race getting its just rewards this time. Divide and conquer shit works everytime.

Trump is committed to those guys and they are committed right back. going to huff and puff and blow away the smoke and mirrors.

MaxedOutMama said...

A lot of people screaming about Trump's bigotry are themselves extremely bigoted. They justify their own bigotry by claiming their opponents are worse. The more they feel free to flaunt their bigotry publicly, the more acute the accusations against their opponents become.

A politics based on disdain and contempt of people is doomed to fail. Sadly, that's what we have been served by the current leadership configuration in both parties.

It is the "we" in Trump's "We're going to win" that is most important, culturally speaking. Politically speaking, it may in fact be the winning trump card. Even on DU, I see explosions of anger, worry and distress over the social movements on college campuses. The word "microagression" has assumed a different connotation outside of college diversity bureaucrats among the wider population.

Also, everyone's missing that Trump's plans actually do have a reasonably strong economic basis. Unless the US redresses its trade imbalance, the US population must continue, en masse, to see lower living standards. We cannot do it without retaining and bringing production back into the country.

They keep stressing the "white" thing, but many Hispanics are EXTREMELY supportive of Trump.

Hagar said...

As Newt Gingrich said, "When your base tells you they hate you worse than they do the other party, you need to stop and think about that."

William said...

I would guess that most of the men who attend Trump rallies are gainfully employed and make an effort to keep their families intact. I don't get that vibe with the anti-Trump protesters. I also get the sense that the media people are far more inclined to be sympathetic to those protesters. There's down scale, and there's reptilian scales.

Quaestor said...

Wasn't it GW Bush who told a room full of bankers they were his "constituents"?

Perhaps not. But it was Hillary who got paid hundreds of thousands to give puerile "pep talks" to that same roomful of bankers. Perhaps they aren't her constituents, but they are her customers.

David Begley said...

The fact that the GOPe right now is not backing Cruz 100% tells me that the Establishment is the problem.

Fabi said...

I've heard of downscale dining and upscale night clubs, but haven't really heard of that construct being applied as a gentilic modifier.

One of the commenters yesterday -- I can't remember whom -- used the term "upscale Republicans". It's awkward, to say the least, but I think it also reveals the user of such phraseology to be a misanthrope to some degree.

MayBee said...

I've often wondered about what some working poor whites

It's that a lot of people are happy to work and want to work, but feel Democrats are willing to give jobs cheaply to illegal immigrants and pay people not to work by letting them go on Social Security Disability.

Henry said...

@Amanda. All good questions. And Republicans wonder why working class poor minorities continue to vote for Democrats who never deliver. Here are some things to consider:

* It's not just about economics. Poor people have their own non-economic vision for community, country, and the world, just as rich people do.

* National economic policy, pursued by both Republicans and Democrats, has been remarkably consistent through every administration since Carter appointed Paul Volcker. Every administration has pursued the goal of low inflation, low interest rates, free trade, and high growth. President Obama continues to pursue this path.

* Many U.S. States and even large cities have economies as big as small European countries. California is the 7th or 8th largest economy in the world. California is also a bastion of liberal politics and has been for generations. How are poor people faring in California?

* Maybe there are other frameworks to view class and culture other than the political.

Tank said...

David Begley said...

The fact that the GOPe right now is not backing Cruz 100% tells me that the Establishment is the problem.


Despite being a Senator, Cruz and Trump are the two outside the beltway candidates. If Trump were not around, Cruz would be getting all the hate directed at Trump. With all the talk about how Trump is not getting "the majority" of primary votes, Trump and Cruz together are. The outsiders are getting the vast majority of Rep primary votes.

MayBee said...

Perhaps this is the year we finally get too embarrassed to talk about the [insert "minority" group name] vote.

For example, is anyone talking about the fact it was a black Trump supporter who hit a white protester this weekend?

Hagar said...

The "rustbelt" is FDR country, right?

MayBee said...

Also, they want to hunt, do target practice, have bonfires, drive trucks and not Chevy Volts (what ever happened to the Volt?), their kids don't get preferential treatment to get into college, they feel they lose jobs to "diversity hires".

MayBee said...

And they get called haters for going to Church on Sunday and maybe not wanting to cater a gay wedding with their little family-owned pizza parlor.

tim in vermont said...

They know that they would never be invited back if they said the things we know Trump is going to say.

Hagar said...

Again, these people are not "protesters." You do not protest your political opponents (or any other kind of opponent for that matter); you fight them.

MayBee said...

They are vets who are disgusted by the state of the VA, and the fact that nobody in the White House or Democratic party seems to care even remotely about it.

Unknown said...

so how can we fit trumps "poorly educated" adjective into this conversation. btw, he recently tried to use different terms--I think it was "less educated." I think poorly educated should be a good thing. my family of poorly educated americans from Wichita strikes me as the perfect kind of American. small houses, one car (oldmobile cutlass), baseball with the kids, grandparents at every game, folding chairs that look American made from 1985, church on sunday, coffee at mcdonalds every morning, livers and gizzards for dinner once a week, laundry line in the backyard. and I have a law degree and lived in nyc so I would know.

I Callahan said...

I've often wondered about what some working poor whites saw in the Republican Party and why the hell did they think Republicans ever really gave a damn about their daily struggles. Why did these white working class poor glom onto conservative politics? Did they see themselves as any different than the working class poor minorities? Did they really think Republican economic policies would lift all boats? It is actually good to see that this segment of our society has seen the light, that Republcans never had their best interests at heart. The true constituency of Republicans has been Wall Street and bankers. Wasn't it GW Bush who told a room full of bankers they were his "constituents"?

Sorry Amanda, but this comment is one of your more unaware-of-the-world comments that I've read. The fact that you blame only Republicans for all of the bad things above, the Dems have pretty much done the EXACT same thing, proves that.

The Dems have flat-out abandoned the blue collar vote. As someone who lives in Michigan, I've seen this first hand. Remember when the Dems replaced John Dingell (who was very partial to the auto companies), with Henry Waxman, a Hollywood global warmy? There were internal memos that were leaked that showed Dems strategizing for the rich and poor, but not the middle class. Even in the above exchange, "downscale white guys"?

Please, Amanda, get out of your bubble and try to be open-minded. You've effectively closed off 1/2 of the story because it doesn't fit your worldview.

David Begley said...

Ruth Marcus, David Brooks, John Dickerson, CNN and the entire NYT and WaPo are completely out of touch with anything outside their own worlds. And with Fox we have a massive NYC cheerleading squad for Trump because he's their buddy.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

It's going to be interesting when people like Ruth Marcus realize that they're as casually bigoted about working class Whites as Bull Conner and Lester Maddox were about Blacks.

Bob Boyd said...

The Republican Party has allowed itself to become everything the Democrats have always accused them of being, namely the party of the rich and big corporations. Their strategic planning actually revolves around courting the votes of illegal immigrants who aren't even here yet. It's an institution serving itself.
At the same time, the Democratic Party has moved away from championing working men and women in favor of identity groups and social programs for those who don't work. They are focused on the grand scheme of importing Democrat voters and changing the polity of the country in their party's favor.
The rhetoric and the actions of both parties are full of scorn and contempt for ordinary Americans who are insulted and vilified constantly.
When one man is getting ready to screw over another man, he vilifies that man in own mind and with his words, so he can feel better about what he is doing, he convinces himself his victim somehow deserves it. That is what is happening in our culture. Trump is a symptom, not the disease.

Fabi said...

All really good points, MayBee. In theory, the Republican Party has a small Government mandate -- one that if applied would mitigate the endless federal tentacles and their resultant problems.

mezzrow said...

Keep this post in the vault, Professor. You'll be coming back here.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

I would add to Henry's excellent reply to Amanda that the Democrat party is no less in the pocket of what used to be called "the monied interests" that is large banks, industry, and the media, than the Republican party.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timothy_Geithner

AllenS said...

down scale white guys, are white guys who were not impressed with the crease in Obama's pants.

Richard Fagin said...

Media contempt for "downscale white guys" appears to be news to you why, exactly, Prof. Althouse? After all, the media view of President Reagan was that he was a downscale white guy. So was it also for Presidents Lyndon Johnson and Bush 43.

Henry said...

...so how can we fit trumps "poorly educated" adjective into this conversation.

Great observation. "Poorly educated" does not mean "dumb" and the people Trump was addressing know it. I think Trump could have driven that point home a little better than he did, but part of frustration of the working class is the idea that credentials beats experience.

If you want a perfect example of this frustration, just rewatch the movie Die Hard. All through the movie the off-duty detective and the beat cop are frustrated by their so-called superiors and the FBI making the wrong decisions.



MayBee said...

Trump's "Make America Great Again" is also and especially genius. I know a lot of upscale lefties don't get this, but America is a country with great pride. We love teams- our football teams, our baseball teams, and our country. A lot of effort from the left these days - very vocal since 9/11 - is how un-special America is. Like it or not, Obama made this a central theme of his foreign policy. Vocally during the early days, and now just by his absence and fecklessness on the world stage.
A lot of lefties are happy for that. They listen to thinkers like Tom Friedman who wish America could be a little more Chinese, or Bernie Sanders who wishes America could be a little more European.
WOmen's groups and other social justice types want to take the fun out of football (the wife beaters! The concussions!) and want to talk at every turn about the stain of slavery or white privilege.

Maybe the lefties like Amanda can't get this, but there are people who really just want to be a part of something great, and for most of their lives Americans were happy to believe America was that great thing.

Birkel said...

Fabi:

From your keyboard to God's inbox. Small government would be better for all but the politicians.

tim in vermont said...

Hillary told Goldman Sachs tof ignore the rhetoric coming out of Democrats and that she would be better for them than the Republicans. But W last ran 12 years ago so that's more important.

Char Char Binks said...

I call them the "hoi polloi", because they don't know what it means.

pm317 said...

This war on 'downscale whites' started in 2008 if not before. Donna Brazile famously said, Obama and the Dems didn't need them because majority of them were supporting Hillary at the time.

Levi Starks said...

Do you have a tag for "white trash" ?

Bruce Hayden said...

I do find this interesting. Hillary and the Dems should be apoplectic about this - this has been one of the core Dem constituencies for 200 years or so now, since some of them almost accidentally burned the White House down upon the election of Old Hickory, Andrew Jackson. Plus a lot of private union rank and file. Who does Hillary have left? Underclass Blacks, underclass Hispanics, single women, union leaders, Hollywood, and government employees? Not much else. Amanda and the left ask why they aren't happy with their government handouts, their Obamaphones, Medicaid, food stamps, etc. That is what they mean when they talk about not voting their economic interests. They should just take the handouts and shut up. But, many in this demographic are too proud for that, and want to take care of themselves and their families. But, the government has made that much more difficult, with jobs being filled by illegals or shipped overseas. Etc. Talking down to this demographic isn't going to win their votes, esp. when Trump is talking right at them, and telling them what they want to hear.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

@Amanda

Why don't you talk to some working class people and find out what they think?

Here's a clue. The Pubs are worthless but they don't actively hate everything about me and what I think is important. Pubs don't brag how they are going to put lots of hard-working people out of a job.They don't sneer at us and call us racists who bitterly cling to our Bibles.

Bob Ellison said...

They are parents of sons who avoid college because college = rape accusation. They are entrepreneurs driven away from opening businesses because of red tape. They are landscapers and roofers who would hire only legal workers if they could, but they can't compete with the other guys who hire illegals. They are families with traditions in the military and in policing who see less reason to continue those traditions.

MayBee said...

Thanks, Fabi. Exactly.

Chuck said...

"I love the poorly educated!"

khematite@aol.com said...

Althouse wrote:
MARCUS: Be - because the rustbelt. Because all those down scale white guys,

"Because" followed by a noun, a la Marcus above, became very noticeable as a way of explaining things only a few years ago.

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2013/11/english-has-a-new-preposition-because-internet/281601/

tim in vermont said...

"Drag a hundred dollar bill through a trailer park."

Famous Democrat bashing one of Bill's victims.

Bruce Hayden said...

Most of these aren't white trash, but rather, the types of people who have gone, or tried to go, to work every morning. We are talking (primarily) white working class. The losers there are the white trash, the ones on meth, who look more like the black and Hispanic underclass every year. But these Trump supporters are more likely to be the successful plumber or electrician, or someone who has worked at, say, Home Depot for a decade or two. The white trash probably aren't going to vote, and if they do, it will more likely be to Hillary for all the freebies that her party wants to give to buy votes.

Writ Small said...

@MayBee - You make a very strong point.

However, one of the things that has always separated the US from Europe is that the Right wing of our country was based on universal principles. In Europe, with their parliamentary systems, the Right is often split between traditional conservatives and the "far right" white national identity politics groups, a la Le Pen. To the extent that Obama has led us to this point, he may have succeeded beyond his wildest dreams in turning the US into just another European democracy.

Amanda said...

"They are vets who are disgusted by the state of the VA, and the fact that nobody in the White House or Democratic party seems to care even remotely about it."

It seems as if some of those veterans protest at Trump rallies.

Highlight of Trump rally: meeting Nate Terani, Muslim Navy vet thrown out for carrying "Stop hate speech v Muslims" sign. (1/2)
2:36pm - 19 Mar 16

Drunk pro-Trump jerks yelled at him "Get a job!" He works at a pro-vet non-profit.
2:38pm - 19 Mar 16

Nonapod said...

Maybe I'm just cynical and as such already have fully formed assumptions about what these elites really think as opposed to what they say... but I'm not seeing anything revelatory about all this. That is, I agree with Professor Althouses' assessments but don't find them surprising. That certain rich white elite establishment types despise the poor white rabble for not knowing what's good for them isn't new. That every once in a while they let the "mask slip" allowing an observant person a window into their soul isn't new either. It just serves as further confirmation of what many of us already assume is the case.

tim in vermont said...

Another coal company employing thousands of working class whites bankrupt today, just like Obama and Hillary promised! Keystone blocked despite massive popularity, thousands of working class jobs killed! What could they be thinking?

Amanda said...

"Why don't you talk to some working class people and find out what they think?"

Bill, I've been a working class person my entire adult life.

tim in vermont said...

I am sure the IRS is getting right on that non-profit for political activities, any day now.

tim in vermont said...

It's amazing then why you are so mystified Amanda

MayBee said...

It seems as if some of those veterans protest at Trump rallies.

Highlight of Trump rally: meeting Nate Terani, Muslim Navy vet thrown out for carrying "Stop hate speech v Muslims" sign. (1/2)
2:36pm - 19 Mar 16


Yes, these people exist, too.

You asked who the people are supporting Trump, and then you pull up a link about Trump protesters. Are the two points related?

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Amanda said...I've often wondered about what some working poor whites saw in the Republican Party and why the hell did they think Republicans ever really gave a damn about their daily struggles. Why did these white working class poor glom onto conservative politics?

You wonder that, Amanda, in large part because your Leftist worldview is permeated with Marxist beliefs. Nothing wrong with that, of course, but it does color how you analyze problems.
If your primary identification of different groups of people is by their social and economic class and you assume that groups' highest goal is to maximize their class' gains AND you assume that the best way to do that is through Leftist programs you will of course be surprised when poor whites vote the "wrong way." You might consider, though, that many people in America don't have the same Marxist conceptions and "class solidarity and power" is not the most valued goal of many Americans--or, at least, historically it has not been. Over the years many Americans voted the "wrong way" from the Leftists perspective and did so out of fealty to certain principles and beliefs--they felt one party agreed with those principles and voted accordingly. You fine folks on the Left usually dismissed such decisions as the product of racism, some other bigotry, or just ignorance, but in fact there were valid, well thought out reasons many supported the Right. It is a notable failure of the Republican establishment that it has been unwilling or unable to articulate these important reasons lately (and has instead sounded more like the Democrats--"vote for us, we'll keep programs X, Y, and Z running and those programs benefit constituencies 1,2, and 3" and so on).

It is true, of course, that the Media and education system largely embraces the Marxist view of the world today and has been convincing more and more people to do the same. It's my belief that one of the things that made America exceptional was that the pull of those ideas was always weaker than a commitment to "American values," but I have to admit that the Left (with their Marxist views) has been winning the culture war for many, many years. One result we should expect is more "class" voting, and it's entirely possible that the Trump phenomenon is one such symptom. As many have been saying, Trump's popularity is in large part a product of the Left.

Michael K said...

"our economy has reached a level of maturity that makes it so ten people can do the work that a hundred people were needed to do before."

I don't agree with this. It's true in the sense that automation can replace some manufacturing jobs but small business is the natural constituency for the GOP. The big corporation executive is now more concerned with finance than manufacturing. I remember reading about how Ford lost focus back in the 70s when it's management was taken over by lawyers and accountants and engineers got pushed down in the hierarchy. Their quality and innovation suffered and the Japanese cars stated to take their market.

A friend of mine majored in insurance at Penn State and worked his way up to VP of MONY but lost out on CEO when a lawyer with little or no Insurance experience became CEO. He moved to a smaller company and did well as CEO.

Some of this has affected most American industries but none more than manufacturing. Regulation and punitive tax laws have forced many companies to hire lobbyists and become tax experts. The base business has become less important. Look at GE after Jack Welch and now under Hillary and Bill's best friend, Imhoff.

Lots of good observations in the comments above.

"The Republican Party has allowed itself to become everything the Democrats have always accused them of being, namely the party of the rich and big corporations."

Some of this is self defense. Manufacturing goes to China or Mexico because there is no EPA.

Reynolds' column yesterday about the Tea Party being the predecessor to the Trump voter was right on.

Sammy Finkelman said...

"lose the White House and the Senate but not have the party destroyed. With that as the goal, they can't agree on "whether Ted Cruz or Donald Trump is the smarter bet."

The dispute would be over the question of if maybe Trump would not harm the Republican Party, because he would be seen as an aberration, especially if a third party candidate got a lot of Republican votes.

After all, the Republican Party split in 1912, but was back in 1916 (with a candidate who had been out of politics in 1912 (because he'd been on the Supreme Court) and won the presidency in 1920.

While maybe Cruz could permanently harm the Republican Party, because he's seen as mainstream, but he's loudly for deportation of people who have been in the United States for quite some time, and no compromise. That kind of a position gets to be more of a problem every year, as illegal immigrants and their children assimilate. (some people fear they're assimilating into the wrong culture, and their only idea is to get rid of them or hope their numbers diminish)

And then there's going after "sanctuary cities" by cutting off federal aid to blue states - it won't happen, but he's for that - and maybe we'll also hear about invalidating driver's licenses and IDs for travel of airplanes and trains or maybe even bank accounts from states that issue them in violation of federal dictates, which is actually now federal law, but the effective date of which is continually being put off by the Obama Administration. The states won't, and sometimes can't, cave (politically) All the momentum is for more liberal issuance of them.

And there are other ways too that Cruz can put people off.

Sammy Finkelman said...

Deportation only or deportation first is not a majority position, even among Republicans alone, although the actual median Republican position, which is actually nonsense (because of all the nonsense that's been spewed on this issue *) would lose almost as many votes.

* all the nonsense that's been spewed

1. Pay back taxes: What kind of nonsense is that?

2. Control the borders: Yeah, really, and how would you know? And do they want to, anyway - the whole premise is that Democrats don't want to.

3. Control the borders and then maybe we'll think about amnesty (making some kind of a deal in advance is excluded): Do they think the proponents of amnesty have the word IDIOT written on their foreheads??

4. This should be the last amnesty, and that means...control the borders first:
What happened to visa overstayers, and what would detecting and punishing visa overstaying severely do to tourism, and international trade and scientific meetings and so on?

5, Work visas eed to be reduced and given or withheld at the arbitrary discretion of the federal government: How many people want the survival of their business to be dependent on that? And where else do you believe in central planning?

Stuff and nonsense the whole discussion.

MayBee said...

But let's discuss the Muslim thing, because it is a perfect example.

First of all, I am not for keeping Muslim immigrants out of the US and don't even think it's possible.

But Trump said this when there was a flood of immigrants pushing their way out of countries where Obama's Foreign policy has been absolutely feckless, and pouring into countries that couldn't handle them and then demanding their way into developed European countries. Many of the refugees were men of military age, leaving rather than staying and fighting for their country. Our country admitted we had almost no way to truly vet the people that would come over here.
Then San Bernadino happened - an immigrant who had gotten through the Visa process, who was known as extreme in her own country- shot her husband coworkers.
And Paris happened- men who had gotten to Brussels and Paris on fake passports through the refugee program.

And our current president could only mock people who thought a flood of refugees from these countries might not be a good idea right now.
"What are they afraid of? Women and children?"

That's the kind of thing that grinds. I mean, doesn't that even bother you?

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Amanda said..."They are vets who are disgusted by the state of the VA, and the fact that nobody in the White House or Democratic party seems to care even remotely about it."

It seems as if some of those veterans protest at Trump rallies.


So you think vets are protesting against Trump because they're disgusted by the job Trump's doing with the VA, or the fact that despite truly terrible management of the VA happening under President Obama's watch no one has paid a price for it and in fact the VA's still pretty poorly run? That's Trump's fault?
Or did you just want to nonsensically shoe horn in the fact that some people who don't like Trump are also vets? Because that's pretty low, Amanda, kind of a "some of my best friends are X" type of move.
Is anything Obama's fault, or his responsibility? If people are upset at the Obama admin over its mismanagement of the VA (and the suffering and deaths of veterans that mismanagement has caused or worsened) is that valid, or is any such criticism just attributable to racism, too?

Sammy Finkelman said...

tim in vermont said...3/21/16, 9:44 AM

Another coal company employing thousands of working class whites bankrupt today, just like Obama and Hillary promised! Keystone blocked despite massive popularity, thousands of working class jobs killed! What could they be thinking?

They can wrte of West Virginia, Tennessee and Kentucky, and none of these jobs have much future anyway, but people can get religion about no coal or oil or anything else you burn for energy.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

@HoodlumDoodlum

I liked your answer to Amanda, but the short version is "false consciousness."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_consciousness

MayBee said...

Oh! And then anyone who agrees with Trump more than Obama on the immigrant/refugee thing is called racist.

Sammy Finkelman said...

I don't people who vote for Trump are people who are actually suffering economically. They are people who fear is going down the drain, but don't feel it's gone down the drain yet, mostly. And they are not people who've lost their jobs, but who feel they might.

YoungHegelian said...

@Hoodlum,

Over the years many Americans voted the "wrong way" from the Leftists perspective and did so out of fealty to certain principles and beliefs--they felt one party agreed with those principles and voted accordingly.

Are you talking about blue collar whites or American Jews?

Because, when people like people like Amanda or Thomas Frank wonder while some folks don't vote their class interests, nobody ever says to them "yeah, those Jews really should vote Republican, huh? I mean, who has less in common than American Jews & blacks & Latinos." Nobody ever says that because "voting your class interests" is a one-way street for these people. It's just an intellectual cudgel to push folks to vote "the right way".

God help the Democrats if the Jews ever decide to vote "their class interests" & go Republican, since they provide a minimum of 40% of the Democratic Party's money.

Brando said...

"I don't people who vote for Trump are people who are actually suffering economically. They are people who fear is going down the drain, but don't feel it's gone down the drain yet, mostly. And they are not people who've lost their jobs, but who feel they might."

I think that's right. It's not the people who have lost everything who are most motivated, but rather the people who feel they are in danger of losing. They tend to be the most revolutionary.

Fabi said...

HoodlumDoodlum@9:57 -- You're exactly right and it's an important point. There are also at least two veterans groups -- and I have no idea if they've been vetted or if it's stolen valor -- hired by Soros to rabble-rouse. It's mindless agitprop.

tim in vermont said...

None of these jobs have much future...

Because politics. there is still plenty of coal and oil.

Michael said...

Yes. The strongest force behind the current wave of mindless populism, whether for Trump or Sanders, is the boundless contempt that the media/academic/governmental elite feels for regular people who are not part of it. What made America "exceptional" was that average citizens (or basically everybody) could take responsibility for their own lives, live as they wished under the law, and improve their situations. Now we are losing not only the reality of this but even the basic idea, for far too many people.

Bay Area Guy said...

Downscale white guy workers of the world unite!

You have nothing to lose but your chains (to the Democratic Party)!

In 1988, WV voted for Dem Dukakis (1 of 10 meager states that year).

That ain't gonna happen again, I reckon.

The Trump supporters have to start standing tall, and pivoting towards the General. This means hammering Hillary, while wooing and embracing skeptical Repubs and independents. The latter will be more challenging.

Fernandinande said...

Lileks has some stills of newspaper headlines from what looks like an early 1940s movie, "So this is Washington", saying "Rural Sages Advise on Farm Problems", "Little Man's Champion Creates Frankenstein", and "'Common Man' Inventor thinks he's two other guys".

TosaGuy said...

""They are vets who are disgusted by the state of the VA, and the fact that nobody in the White House or Democratic party seems to care even remotely about it."

It seems as if some of those veterans protest at Trump rallies.

Highlight of Trump rally: meeting Nate Terani, Muslim Navy vet thrown out for carrying "Stop hate speech v Muslims" sign. (1/2)
2:36pm - 19 Mar 16

Drunk pro-Trump jerks yelled at him "Get a job!" He works at a pro-vet non-profit.
2:38pm - 19 Mar 16"

Google Tammy Baldwin and VA and see just how Democrats in power care about veterans.

Amanda said...

Tim, I'm a Democrat precisely because I worked hard for a living. I belonged to a union for many years and found that in my profession it was essential, as the unionized facilities had far safer working conditions and I had children that depended on me. Why are some working class whites so against unions? Why did they buy the notion that the company would treat them fairly? Why are they satisfied with low wages and poor benefits in non unionized work places?

They bought the propaganda from the Republlican elites in Congress who understood that their "constituents" would donate more to them if they helped them get rid of unions and worker protections, benefits and decent working conditions, because it would mean more profit. How have wages increased over the last 30 years? Answer, they haven't, because the oligarchy gave the order to Congress to make it as hard as possible for the unions and the union workers. Trickle down wealth was a lie. The working class have been duped by Republicans for the last 30 years and now to add insult to injury they're being duped by a billionaire named Trump.

Sammy Finkelman said...

Hillary Clinton and Senator Charles Schumer are for a national ID card [They don't say much about it, but they are] but Ted Cruz is for dictating to the states, and would be against a national ID card on thegrounds it makes the federal government too powerful. E-verify, and forcing states to do things, however, presubably does not (?!)

Big Mike said...

I've often wondered about what some working poor whites saw in the Republican Party and why the hell did they think Republicans ever really gave a damn about their daily struggles.

The working class whites realize that Republicans don't give a damn. But 21st century Democrats actively obstruct working class white people and view them as objects of disdain (at best) or outright hatred ("white privilege!") at worst. Republicans, outside of Trump, have done nothing to earn those voters, but the Democrats have read them out of their party. In a two-party system, where else do they go?

Why did these white working class poor glom onto conservative politics? Did they see themselves as any different than the working class poor minorities?

Actually, yes they are. There's all sorts of support available to working class Black and Latino families that is very, very difficult for working class white people, especially rural white people, to get.

Did they really think Republican economic policies would lift all boats?

No, but they see that Democrat policies are designed to make them more poor.

The true constituency of Republicans has been Wall Street and bankers.

You need to update your epithet-generator for the 21st century. The Wall Streeters and bankers donate to the Clinton campaign and to the DNC. Why do you think that is, if not because they've bought the Democrat party right down to Debbie Wasserman Schultz's shampoo bottle.

tim in vermont said...

So Amanda is a teacher. Fuck those miners! They can go to hell!

MayBee said...

Why did they buy the notion that the company would treat them fairly?

Why do you buy the notion the government will treat you fairly?

Brando said...

"I don't agree with this. It's true in the sense that automation can replace some manufacturing jobs but small business is the natural constituency for the GOP. The big corporation executive is now more concerned with finance than manufacturing. I remember reading about how Ford lost focus back in the 70s when it's management was taken over by lawyers and accountants and engineers got pushed down in the hierarchy. Their quality and innovation suffered and the Japanese cars stated to take their market."

The quality and innovation may have suffered relative to the Japanese at that time (though since the '70s they've made up a lot of that ground) but compared to where they were fifty years ago manufacturing is a lot more efficient. It's also true of the service industry, and retail--a single clerk can do far more than several clerks could in the past. Moreover, just walk into a CVS today--you'll see plenty of self-checkout lines and maybe one clerk working there for those who don't want to use self checkout. Everything is getting less labor intensive, and that's not such a problem when economic growth is rapid, but we don't usually get enough growth to make up for it.

I haven't seen anyone come up with a good solution for that problem--usually it boils down to things such as "bigger safety net" or "more retraining of redundant employees" or "expanding the 'gig' economy so people can make up their losses of hours"--but each of these has its drawbacks and at any rate doesn't seem like it could do more than nip at the edges.

One thing about this election year is there's more attention to those "left behind" by the decades of growth we've had. At first I wondered why it was happening in 2016 rather than 2008 when the economy was much worse, but I think the reason is that in 2008 you could blame the downturn (and they did) but in 2016 the fact that the recovery is many years in and yet our job growth has been underwhelming (especially considering the trough it started from) makes the problem more clear.

Amanda said...

https://berniesanders.com/issues/caring-for-our-veterans/

"

Sen. Sanders believes that just as planes and tanks and guns are a cost of war, so is taking care of the men and women who we sent off to fight the war. It includes caring for the spouses and children who have to rebuild their lives after the loss of a loved one. It includes caring for the hundreds of thousands of veterans with multiple amputations or loss of eyesight, post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury. It includes veterans who are having difficulty keeping jobs in order to pay their bills, and it includes the terrible tragedy of veterans committing suicide. 



As the former Chairman and a current member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, one of Sen. Sanders’ highest priorities in Congress has been ensuring that our veterans receive the care and benefits they have earned.

Amid reports of unacceptable wait times at many VA medical facilities last year, Sen. Sanders spearheaded a bipartisan effort to pass the most comprehensive veterans’ legislation in decades. The landmark Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act increases accountability within the VA and ensures that all veterans have access to timely health care.

The law written by Sanders strengthens the VA health care system by authorizing 27 new medical facilities and by providing $5 billion to hire more doctors and nurses to care for the surging number of veterans returning from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
It provides incentives to attract young doctors to the VA. It makes it easier for some veterans to see private doctors or go to community health centers, Department of Defense facilities or Indian Health Centers. It expanded VA educational benefits and improved care for survivors of sexual trauma while serving in the military."

tim in vermont said...

The government will treat everyone as fairly as they have the mine workers.

Amanda said...

No Tim, I'm not a teacher.

TosaGuy said...

What people like Amanda don't understand is that people in fly-over America know more about how the so-called elite view them than what the so-called elite actually know about the rest of America.

Fly-over America is witness to media and entertainment that knows nothing beyond the stereotype. People in this circle will never shut up about what they think.

It's like that cousin who grew up in the big city and when visiting grandma won't shut up about how nasty, boring, dirty and stupid everyone out here is.

YoungHegelian said...

@Amanda,

Why are some working class whites so against unions? Why did they buy the notion that the company would treat them fairly?

They never thought that companies would treat them fairly. They just never thought the unions would, either.

My father worked for Wolverine in northern Alabama, & when the union tried to organize the plant, I asked him why the workers didn't go union. He said "because the only weapon the union has is a strike, and these guys can't afford a strike".

I also had a job at Wolverine for that summer when the union attempted to organize. Management had all the shift workers in for a meeting to dissuade them from voting union I, as then a good liberal myself, was amazed at the hostility to the union among the workers. The idea that the union was on their side was treated with open derision by the workers. This was 1976.

Big Mike said...

@Amanda (10:07), now drive down to Appalachia and try to tell an out of work coal minor that the Democrats care about the UMW. Go ahead! I'll pay for your gas if you go.

Why are they satisfied with low wages and poor benefits in non unionized work places?

Actually, that's a good question. But what you really need to do is go ask a worker at a non-unionized plant somewhere why they don't unionize. Or go to Chattanooga and ask one of the workers at the VW plant why they originally voted down the UAW and what happened last December to change their minds.

Curious George said...

"Amanda said...
No Tim, I'm not a teacher."

Nurse.

Browndog said...

The bottom line is, the "down-scale white guys" are the last stronghold of traditional American values.

They haven't just been abandoned. They've been scorned.

Just living their lives, minding their own business, striving to do the right thing put them on the wrong side of the culture war.

If you are ever bewildered when you hear whites espouse their contempt for "White Privilege", you shouldn't be-

We are not the White's you are looking for

Those....are further down the scale.

tim in vermont said...

Nurse then? Maybe you are Inga? Just kidding, Inga was a troll who was always accusing me of being a sock puppet.

Tom said...

Trump says in plain language what the elites say in veiled, coded language. But tell me, what's the overlap between ant Trump folks and folks who make fun of NASCAR. I bet it's pretty close.

Nonapod said...

I'm always torn by people like Amanda who post here. On the one hand, I'm very happy to have someone who provides a counterpoint to the prevailing veiw point here. On the other hand it's frustrating to see a lack of dimensionality in thinking.

If you want to win an argument, you have to be able to understand a little bit about why your opponent believes the things they believe without being dismissive and going for the easiest answer. The problem I often find with people arguing from the left is that when they look for an explanation for why people on why the right believes what they believe they simply stop at ignorance and racism. And the problem with that is that it shuts down all thought and reduces your opponents to one dimensional empty characters. There's no attempt to treat your opponents honestly and fairly, to treat them like human beings with real thought behind their positions.

And to be fair here, there are certainly plenty of people on the right, myself included on occasion, who do the same thing to people on the left. But I'd like to believe I really try to make an effort to understand the other sides positions and why they believe the things they believe.

The core of the left versus right argument can be reduced to collectivism versus individualism. Or if you like pure egalitarianism versus pure meritocracy. You have to understand both of these positions if you're going to try to make a valid and fair argument. Why do people believe in these things, really?

But I'm rambling and I'm sure this is all in vain anyway.

MayBee said...

How was the VA doing when Bernie Sanders was the Chairman of the Veteran's Affairs Committee?

TosaGuy said...

I've had a pretty successful year and, as a result, I get to pay 50 percent more in total income taxes than the year prior.

My wife and I worked our asses off and while I will carry no water for the GOP, it is a party that doesn't denigrate me, because I have had success in life, as what is wrong with America.

Michael K said...

"Why are some working class whites so against unions? "

First, "unions" to "working class whites" and to me, a former Teamster member, mean trade unions and craft unions, not public employee unions. The leadership of trade unions, especially CIO industrial types, got carried away with running for union office by promising more pay to members. I attended a strike vote as a 16 year old Teamster member. The young guys with no kids were all for "showing the company who's boss." The older guys who had kids and families and mortgages, were for slowing down the strike enthusiasm and thinking hard. It was a very important learning experience to me.

Craft unions with apprenticeship programs should be a big part of our education system. They are in Germany. My nephew spent four years in the Marines, got his college degree and THEN did an apprenticeship with the elevator installer and repairman's union, whatever it is called.

A lot of these craft union jobs are going away because illegal aliens, even while unskilled, are so cheap to hire that union jobs are scarce. When do Democrats import millions of illegals ? Not to help their union members. I'm sure of that.

n.n said...

Abortion, euthanasia, displacement/replacement, marginalization/exclusion, and downscaling. Choices, choices. No choice. Pro-choice.

Both party establishments have selective and peculiar interests.

MayBee said...

Amanda- you asked why some working class people are conservative, and you counter with examples of how some working class people are Democrats.

Do you really want to understand why they are, or do you want to just say they should all be Democrats?

Amanda said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael K said...

"Why do Democrats...."

sydney said...

I have not read every comment, so forgive me if this has been said, but of the two parties in our two party system, the Democrats have the more divisive view of community, do they not? They are constantly dividing people into categories and playing them against each other- Rich vs. Poor; Minorities vs. Whites; Uneducated vs. Educated; Immigrants vs. Natural Born Citizens. It comes as not surprise to me that Ruth Marcus would talk this way, about "downscale" people, or that Paul Krugman also did. They are both part and parcel of the Democrat party. This is not a healthy way to think of your fellow man. It dehumanizes.

narciso said...

no, they don't need to learn the argument, stewart and colbert and maher,taught them that lesson.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

The Media has been celebrating the impending die-off of whites for the last few years. Finally America will be free from the horrors of being run by older white people! It strikes me as unseemly, but it's acceptable and encouraged by the Left.

When poor black communities have problems it's America's moral responsibility to address those problems--to pour billions of dollars into them, to expand the government to help them, to demonize people identified as enemies of them (often for simply not believing fully enough in the Left's chosen fixes)--it's a moral imperative and anyone not on board is deemed ugly.
When poor white communities have problems they're dismissed as downscale rustbelt-living trash. They're assumed to be bigots and racists so the fact that they're dying off is treated as no big deal over all. The meth and heroin problems that've spread through those communities over the last decade are only now getting some attention, and frankly it seems like that's only because upper middle class college-type kids are now having heroin problems in large numbers.

I remind people all the time that "The Media Hates You." We on the Right know it. It's not some new thing for us. Attacking the Media will almost never go wrong for a candidate from the Right, but they're surprisingly shy about actually doing it (some theorize that the politicians/candidates, being elites themselves, don't feel the hatred/contempt from the Media the way the average person does). Trump is not shy about attacking the Media, and lots of people who otherwise don't like Trump much nevertheless really enjoy him making those attacks.

Why should the Right treat Jorge Ramos like a neutral, fair journalist? More to the point, why HAVE the politicians on the Right done so for years? Same for Candy Crowley, same for George Steph., and on and on. Trump's full of cheap insults and childish name calling, but at least a lot of that is directed at the correct targets.

Amanda said...

Why do Republicans oppose unemployment benefits?

So how is this supposed to help all those disaffected poor whites in our country?

D.D. Driver said...

♫ I'm gonna try for an ̶u̶p̶t̶o̶w̶n̶ upscale girl
She's been living in her w̶h̶i̶t̶e̶ ̶b̶r̶e̶a̶d̶ locally-sourced world
As long as anyone with hot blood can
And now she's looking for a ̶d̶o̶w̶n̶t̶o̶w̶n̶ downscale man
That's what I am ♫

Michael K said...

Amanda, I'm trying to keep from assuming you are stupid or a DNC bot posting stupid comments. The GOP opposed extending benefits because it has been shown in multiple studies that lengthy periods of unemployment benefits reduce the chances of getting another job. Skills erode. The motivation declines. The same applies to Social Security Disability, which has become the Dole that England has expanded until most of the country has negative GDP.

Browndog said...

The core of the left versus right argument can be reduced to collectivism versus individualism.

THIS.

Sebastian said...

"I think: Whoa!" And then I think, WTF? I mean, you and I are on the same wavelength in many ways, but the continual faux surprise grates. This is who they are. This is what they do. You know it. There's nothing to whoa about.

@BH: "the Dems should be apoplectic about this - this has been one of the core Dem constituencies for 200 years or so now" Nah. They can win without losers who don't stay bought.

@Amanda: "Why are some working class whites so against unions?" Because they always turn into a useless, self-serving racket, because they always gum up the works with rank incompetence, because they become expensive PACs in which actual workers have no voice, because . . .

Michael K said...

Amanda, from your linked article,

It has been extended 11 times since 2008 and doing so again is popular with 60% of Americans behind it,

Years and years of "unemployment benefits." That's The Dole.

rhhardin said...

It must be a rhetorical shocked, caused by rhetorical PC.

narciso said...

no, they don't need to learn the argument, stewart and colbert and maher,taught them that lesson.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

sydney said... forgive me if this has been said, but of the two parties in our two party system, the Democrats have the more divisive view of community, do they not? ... They are both part and parcel of the Democrat party. This is not a healthy way to think of your fellow man. It dehumanizes.

I agree, but I think we have to acknowledge that the rise of Trump is in part a signal that people on the Right (broadly defined) are adopting a similar view. I blame the influence of cultural Marxist thought/beliefs, but whatever the cause it sure seems like Trump's been able to make a large number of people feel like they're part of a separate group that Left and Right have both ignored (or attacked) and that Trump alone wants to help. It's a division mostly within the Repub. party for now (thus the constant distinction-making btw the "establishment Repubs"/GOPe and the Trump supporters) but it's possible Trump's appeal along those lines will extend to a portion of people who otherwise (loosely) identify as Democrats.

TosaGuy said...

Because it is called unemployment benefits and not funemployment benefits.

Most people don't need such blunt motivation to get off the couch, but enough do that we can't have nice things.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

"I love the poorly educated!"

If you attended public schools in the last 30 years, you HAVE been poorly educated. 12 years of you childhood and young adulthood receiving a poor, inadequate, propagandized, incomplete education. A poor education foisted on us by a combination of teachers unions, government restrictions and a lack of holding anyone accountable for the poor education.

It isn't the fault of the poorly educated because many don't have other options...well until now with some charter school movements and the rise of home education groups.

A poor education does not make for a necessarily stupid person. People who have been poorly educated recognize the shortcomings of their educational experience and often go on to create a good life despite the lack.

I've met a lot of highly educated people who are dumber than a bag of hammers when it comes to common sense. A rich education is not a guarantee of intelligence.

So. Those who have been poorly educated should stand up and be proud that they have made it or are trying to make it DESPITE the obstacles that have been placed in their past by the poor education they have been forced to endure.

Birches said...

Who do the pundits think these kids are going to vote for once Bernie is denied the nomination. It's not going to be Hillary.

@Amanda

I'm against unions because my husband worked for one. Then he moved up to management and was constantly being written up for trying to get work done while others sat around.

Big Mike said...

But I'd like to believe I really try to make an effort to understand the other sides positions and why they believe the things they believe.

@Nonapod, I don't think it's very hard to understand the other side's positions when the other side is the Democrats. Those positions are relentlessly pushed by the newspapers (the tiny Fairfax Journal which is delivered free to the foot of my driveway is even further left-wing than the Washington Post, if you can believe it), network news, cable news (except Fox, or so I'm told -- I don't get cable), web sites like Salon and Slate. And let's not forget bumper stickers! I still can't get over cars with a Coexist! sticker but also a little magnetic fish with feet on it and DARWIN inside the figure. Doesn't that sort of imply the car's driver is willing to coexist with everyone except evangelical Christians?

BJM said...

This is the sort of governmental overreach that drives the fear Trump is tapping into: EPA Putting Red Light on Amateur Car Racing.

The amateur racing industry employs an estimated 1 million people, with direct and indirect sales surpassing $6 billion annually.

http://tinyurl.com/hjccqda

Hagar said...

The VA was put together in 1930 by Herbert Hoover (ever the efficiency expert!) from a cluster of agencies for veteran care dating back to the Civil War and WWI.
The Civil War was then 65 years in the past and its last veterans dying off fast, and WWI, of course, was "The War to End All Wars," so not many more veterans were expected.
The VA thus was from its inception a dead end agency, and the history of its management has been accordingly, though the "Brave New World" idealists proved absolutely wrong about the "No More Wars" part.
Last year's scandal is now old news as far as the media is concerned, and all that happened was that the VA had to take some flak in Congress, but no one got fired, and the VA in fact got $17 billion added to its budget.
And like the Bourbons of 1814, they have learned nothing and forgotten nothing.

If you want our veterans to be better treated, the VA needs to be abolished with people indeed being fired from the Civil Service entirely, and a new system devised around the needs of our veterans f our present modes of warfare.

Amanda said...

5 Times Republicans in Congress Screwed Veterans

1. Veterans Affairs Funding Bill (2015)
The House Appropriations Subcommittee, met with VA Secretary Bob McDonald to remove more than $1.4 billion in veteran services from President Obama’s proposed 2016 budget. Included in those cuts was more than $690 million earmarked for direct VA medical care and $582 million in VA construction projects. As a result of the cuts, it was estimated that 70,000 fewer veterans would be able to receive needed care.

2. Women Veterans and Families Health Services Act (2014)
This bipartisan bill would have provided fertility treatment and counseling for severely wounded veterans and their spouses. However, the bill was killed before making it out of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee after Republicans proposed an amendment to prevent any involvement with Planned Parenthood.

3. Veterans Health and Benefits and Military Retirement Pay Restoration Act (2014)
This bill, proposed by Senator Bernie Sanders, was a piece of sweeping legislation that would have expanded healthcare and education for veterans. After clearing a procedural vote by a 99-0 margin, the bill was hijacked by Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans who attached an amendment to the bill which would have levied sanctions on Iran.

While arguing over the proposed amendments, other Republicans took to the floor to raise concerns over the cost of the bill, and it was ultimately defeated with 41 of 45 Senate Republicans voting against the bill.



4. Veterans Jobs Corps Act (2012)
Originally submitted by democratic Representative Bruce Braley of Iowa, this bill would have established the Veteran’s Jobs Corps to provide gainful employment to more than 20,000 veterans through public works projects in their own communities at a cost of $1 billion over 5 years.

Ultimately, Senate Republicans blocked the bill because it was unpaid for… while simultaneously proposing a bill to increase military spending with no way to pay for it.

“We Republicans remain resolute in our commitment to deny the Democrats anything that looks like an accomplishment in an election year,” said Republican leader Mitch McConnell.

5. Homeless Women Veterans and Homeless Veterans With Children Act (2010)
Originally proposed to expand assistance for homeless women veterans and homeless veterans with children, as well as increasing funding for federal grant programs to address the issues surrounding homelessness amongst veterans, this bipartisan bill made its way through the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee with strong support from members of both parties. However, the bill was promptly killed as Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell, on behalf of Senator Tom Coburn, objected based on the cost of the program."

mccullough said...

Sanders blocked an amendment that would have changed the civil service laws to make it easier to fire managers at the VA. This was after the debacle at more than 100 VA facilities across the US. No one has been fired yet for that debacle. For Sanders, the VA is a jobs program first and serving veterans is a distant second. He cares about VA workers more than veterans.

Sanders also wants to ban fracking. So he wants to kill blue collar jobs and have the Middle East continue to have an outsized influence.

He really is an imbecile

BDNYC said...

I hate, hate, HATE it when liberals lecture about how people should "vote their interests." As if politics and government are only about resource allocation. I am sure there is some truth to that among Democratic voters. Their party is essentially just coalition of interest/pressure groups. The party have very few if any solid principles.

To the extent he has Republican support, Trump represents a similar sort of appeal. He isn't a principled limited government conservative. He's just the guy who's promising to make the white working class thrive again. He's presenting himself as the tough fighter who actually does represent their economic interests. After 8 years under Obama -- a time when white heterosexual people with traditional views have felt under constant siege by the government, by the PC culture, by crybullies, by sneering coastal elites -- Trump tells them something new and refreshing and promises greatness. More than just greatness, a restoration. I get it.

Me, I vote on principles even if my principles hurt my wallet. I vote for what I believe.

Yancey Ward said...

Ann,

It sounds contemptuous because it is contemptuous; and from what I can see around me- people like Marcus are going to be shocked that it isn't just downscale white guys in the Trump camp. What I sense here is a sudden fear in the Left about Trump's actual candidacy versus Clinton.

I am going to make another outlandish prediction- Clinton is the candidate that gets dumped at a convention- not Trump. Biden needs to start stretching- he is going to be pinch-hitting.

Brando said...

"Why do Republicans oppose unemployment benefits?

So how is this supposed to help all those disaffected poor whites in our country?"

Ok, let's imagine for a minute that you had to guess what is the conservative/libertarian rationale for "opposing" unemployment benefits (though what we're really talking about is opposing extensions of the benefits, not getting rid of the benefits altogether).

Even if you disagree with the rationale, you must be aware that libertarians argue that extending unemployment benefits beyond a certain number of weeks can reduce the applicant's incentive to take a new job (and we're not talking about a new job that they are vastly overqualified for--employers generally wont' hire people who are overqualified simply because that person is likely to leave sooner). Now, some liberals argue that this disincentive can be a good thing, because we want employees to be picky enough to take the jobs they're best qualified for and pay them the most, as that is more economically efficient than taking a pay cut, but the counterargument is that beyond a certain point the applicant's job skills deteriorate and their marketability drops (not to mention the effects of depression on being out of work for a long period) and sometimes those "preferable" jobs don't materialize anyway, so it is better to put a shorter time limit on unemployment so that the worker gets something sooner.

You can argue the conservatives are wrong, but when you suggest that they have no concern for the working class because of such policies then you're succumbing to the easy temptation of demonizing the opposition. It's much easier than grappling with opposing viewpoints, but it's the intellectual equivalent of a candy bar.

Amanda said...

How is Trump's stance on the minimum wage going to help those disaffected white working class Americans?

mccullough said...

There are 3.5 million truck drivers in the US. Sanders wants to get rid of trucks on the road. Imbecile

Browndog said...

@Amanda: "Why are some working class whites so against unions?" Because they always turn into a useless, self-serving racket, because they always gum up the works with rank incompetence, because they become expensive PACs in which actual workers have no voice, because . . .

Well, there's that.

Also, because you get paid the same as the lazy, incompetent piece of shit working next to you, and you'd be making a helluva lot more money if your employment was merit based (as all employment should be).

TosaGuy said...

VA gave $100M in bonuses as vets awaited care.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/06/11/va-waiting-lists-bonuses/10315455/

I am a vet who uses the VA. The default position of the people I interact with is that I am commodity they have to deal with so they can get a paycheck.

My Senator seems to have the same view as VA staff: http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/former-staffer-files-ethics-complaint-against-sen-baldwin-b99484788z1-300686731.html

Brando said...

"I hate, hate, HATE it when liberals lecture about how people should "vote their interests." As if politics and government are only about resource allocation. I am sure there is some truth to that among Democratic voters. Their party is essentially just coalition of interest/pressure groups. The party have very few if any solid principles."

It also presupposes that they know what people's "interests" really are. Just possibly working class folks think that driving their employers out of business could come back to bite them in the ass.

Michael said...

Amanda

Disaffect white working class Americans don't work for the minimum wage.

Big Mike said...

@ToscaGuy, first of all, congratulations on your good year. I don't imagine it came easy.

Secondly, you make a point I've made in other comments here and on other threads -- it's not that Republicans have done anything themselves to earn the support of the small businessman or family farmer, it's that Democrats actively hate, loathe, and despise people like you.

mccullough said...

1.3% of workers receive the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.

Big Mike said...

Also, because you get paid the same as the lazy, incompetent piece of shit working next to you, and you'd be making a helluva lot more money if your employment was merit based (as all employment should be).

@Browndog, in fact that lazy, incompetent POS may well be making more than you and will be laid off after you if he has seniority.

Henry said...

@Amanda, off the top of my head I can come up with three hypothetical answers (including one that Trump himself has used). Test yourself and see what you can come up with.

Persuasive arguments start with understanding the strongest points of the opposition.

mccullough said...

Most minimum wage workers are illegal immigrants and teenagers

Bob Boyd said...

I can just hear these guys in the Jeb! strategy meetings a year ago ago.

"The Democrats have the poor blacks and we have the middle class whites....these fucking Tea party people, if you will."

"The blacks will always vote Democrat as long as the Democrats throw them a rhetorical bone now and then. They have to. They sure as hell aren't going to vote for us! Our whites are the same way. Where else are they going to go? They're stuck with us. Throw the small government bone and move on, OK? They're stupid, but loyal. I mean look at the last two midterms, right?"

"You are exactly right, my friend. We have rich California techies to worry about with money to burn and Hispanics and young people who want to vote for somebody cool."

"You know ho's cool? Jeb! is cool. You can be cool, can't you Jeb!"

"I...uh...I do believe I can garner some coolness, sure. I'll get to work on that...I...uh..."

"Somebody want to help Jeb! be cool? Fred, didn't you tell me you had a really cool friend in college or something? So you know about cool. Right. OK, so you got this? I'm counting on you, now.
"Ok, what's next? Oh yeah, Zuckerberg. Did anybody call Zuckerberg like I asked? Hey, maybe Zuckerberg can get Jeb! some "likes"...likes are cool. You want some likes, Jeb!?"

"I...uh...I think I'd LIKE that....heh heh..."

"Good one, Jeb! You're a natural. No I'm serious!"

Amanda said...

How do pro Trump libertarians reconcile the fact that Trump says he will do nothing to ensure that the Social Security fund, doesn't go broke?

How do conservatives deal with Trump's Universal Health Care for poor folks? When asked who would pay for it, he answered, " The government will pay for it". I thought conservatives rich and poor alike didn't believe in handouts and free stuff. He said he's going to make a deal with hospitals and clinics and make sure that poor folks get health care. Doesn't he realize what that would do to everyone else's health care costs?

Henry said...

There are no Trump libertarians.

Trump conservatives are not movement conservatives.

Michael K said...

"Democratic voters. Their party is essentially just coalition of interest/pressure groups. The party have very few if any solid principles."

Jay Cost wrote a pretty good book about this a couple of years ago. It's called, Spoiled Rotten, and does a good job of explaining why the Democrats are as fragile as Republicans as a party.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Amanda...How is Trump's stance on the minimum wage going to help those disaffected white working class Americans?

I realize you're just throwing a bunch of stuff at the wall at this point, Amanda, and including lots of links to things that are at best marginally related to the actual discussion/conversation the rest of us are having, but in the spirit of charity (and so many on the Right are so very charitable) I'll give you a real response (that is, I'll pretend as though you actually care and weren't just posing yet another question to (poorly) make some half-assed point).

I don't know Trump's stated position on a $15 minimum wage and you didn't bother to state it, but I'll assume he's agin' it. Why would he be? Well, he might understand that the true minimum wage is always $0.
He might believe that setting a minimum wage above the value of the work to be done will mean unemployment/job destruction.
He might understand the math that dictates that if a particular job generates $4 of profit/hr for a company (at, say a $10/hr wage) that raising the wage the company has to pay for that work to $15/hr means the company cannot employ a person do to it.
He might believe that the combined policies of a high minimum wage and a permissive immigration policy (that allows many millions of people to come in) spells trouble for our nation/its employers/the taxpayers who'll end up paying for people who will be unable to find work.
He might think that the minimum wage isn't designed to be enough for a single person making it to support a large family by themselves, so comparisons to that metric are flawed ("a single mother with 3 kids can't pay her bills making minimum wage!" Yeah, no shit, why would anyone think she could?)
He might believe that since most working people historically don't make the minimum wage for very long (and that most people making the minimum wage do so at the beginning of their careers/while working their first jobs as young people, etc) there are more cost-effective ways to actually help large numbers of working people.
He might think that by raising the minimum wage and putting pressure on companies to reduce their employment of low-skilled workers (who don't make the company enough to support a higher salary) we would be preventing many young people from getting that first job that helps start their careers to begin with, thus actually worsening the long term employment outlook for the very cohort that measure claims to assist.

There are probably more, that was just off the top of the ol' cabeza. Had you considered any of those possible reasons, Amanda?

Brando said...

"How do pro Trump libertarians reconcile the fact that Trump says he will do nothing to ensure that the Social Security fund, doesn't go broke?

How do conservatives deal with Trump's Universal Health Care for poor folks? When asked who would pay for it, he answered, " The government will pay for it". I thought conservatives rich and poor alike didn't believe in handouts and free stuff. He said he's going to make a deal with hospitals and clinics and make sure that poor folks get health care. Doesn't he realize what that would do to everyone else's health care costs?"

I'm not aware of any libertarians for Trump, as he's about the most un-libertarian candidate the GOP has nominated since Nixon and probably beyond. Those issues you raise--to the extent that they represent an actual proposal of Trump's and not just some meandering thought he would snuff out a day or two later with another meandering thought--have been the subject of a lot of libertarian criticism of Trump.

So don't foist that guy on us!

Amanda said...

"There are no Trump libertarians."

Libertarians for Trump

mccullough said...

The last five years, Social Security has paid out more in benefits than it has received in payroll taxes. The Social Security fund is an accounting fiction. It contains special bonds that can only be redeemed by the US Treasury. So the Treasury issues bonds to the public and then gives money to the Social Security "trust fund." The bonds the Treasury issues are then added to the federal debt and increase the annual federal deficit. It all comes from future tax payers.

Hagar said...

The United States have never had an ideological "labor left" of any consequence. The labor force of the 19th and early 20th century to a large extent consisted of poor immigrants, and we came here to get rich ourselves, rather than to pull "the rich" down to our level.

Will Rogers (and Rogers died in 1937) said that he had been to one of them thar union-management negotiations, and the only difference he could see was that the union guys tended to be better dressed and smoke more expensive cigars than the management types.
That was power to power negotiations, and being a "union man" meant something.

But "Big Labor" got in bed with the government, and today it is the government that rules. The "Big Labor" of those days is barely on life support. "Union labor" today consist overwhelmingly of government employees, especially teachers, and the AFL-CIO has been taken over by the "Johnny Friendlys" from the SEIU, who negotiate with the White House, not the employers.

So what is a person who in the old days would have been proud to be "union" to do?
Bureaucrats, teachers, and ACORN/SEIU do not speak for them.

I Callahan said...

Amanda - every one of your questions has been answered. Yet instead of engaging those questions, you keep throwing out more questions.

I think it's time for you to engage.

Hagar said...

Or nurses.

mccullough said...

When the SS "trust funds" run out of their special IOU bonds th n the Treasury will issue bonds anyway and turn the money over to. The SSA. In other words, it's the same as it is now since SS Costa are greater than SS revenues. The "trust fund" is a gimmick

tim in vermont said...

Look at all the free shit we are going to take from employers and give you. When they leave for Mexico, we will send you an invitation to the protest!

Rusty said...

Amanda said...
How do pro Trump libertarians reconcile the fact that Trump says he will do nothing to ensure that the Social Security fund, doesn't go broke?


Why Amanda.
Are you finally admitting that there is no money in our SS lockbox? Your Democrat betters have been telling us for decades that there was nothing to worry about. Have you been lying all this time?

Rusty said...

manda said."How do conservatives deal with Trump's Universal Health Care for poor folks?"

Are you telling us that the ACA has been a failure?

Birkel said...

Oh, isn't that CUTE!!

Amanda thinks whether Trump supports all the government handouts will matter. It's not like the math involved means that Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, government pensions and all the bull shit will not get what has been promised. No, it's whether that Big Old Meanie Trump promises to do the impossible.

Because Feelz. And math sucks.

If only there were a way that a Trumpian promise could repeal compound interest, I would know the man was the most powerful, influential, nay, God-like man in the history of history. I would vote for that man in a minute.

What a maroon.

Browndog said...

Inga's sister spends all her time pushing government programs, and cannot understand for the life of her why the white working class (hate that term) "votes against their own self-interests."

Maybe, just maybe, all they want is jobs, not handouts.

Amanda said...

"The last five years, Social Security has paid out more in benefits than it has received in payroll taxes. The Social Security fund is an accounting fiction. It contains special bonds that can only be redeemed by the US Treasury. So the Treasury issues bonds to the public and then gives money to the Social Security "trust fund." The bonds the Treasury issues are then added to the federal debt and increase the annual federal deficit. It all comes from future tax payers."

McCullough,
So how do you feel about Trump's plan for not dealing with Social Security (not willing to raise the retirement age, not willing to do means testing)?

Birkel said...

Amanda:

Which of the Democrats is proposing turning Social Security into a welfare program by raising the retirement age, means testing and lowering benefits?

Names, please.

mccullough said...

Conservatives lost when the 16th Amendment passed. It was inevitable that once the federal government could tax income, that it would tax the shit out of it and would then spend it (and then borrow what it couldn't tax to keep spending more). In 1928, the US Supreme Court upheld the delegation of Congress law making authority to executive agencies. So the administrative state exploded, which was inevitable. Then the New Deal came and the Supreme Court upheld Congress expansive power. So Congress took power that had belonged to the states and then handed that power, along with its own power, to the executive branch. And then the Supreme Court upheld Congress power to spend for the general welfare even if that wasn't tied to an enumerated power. So then we got Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and all the social welfare programs.

So Conservatives lost the last fight 50 years ago. The only fights left are over liberty and equality issues. Dems won on abortion and gay marriage as a constitutional right and conservatives won on guns and corporations have free speech rights.

But the federal government spends and borrows far more than it could ever feasibly tax. So we have a $19 trillion debt and unfunded liabilities for Medicare and Social Security over the next generation that are in the tens of of trillions of dollars. And the states and municipalities also need much more taxes because they have unfunded pension and medical benefits that exceed 5 trillion over the next generation.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

How is Trump's stance on the minimum wage going to help those disaffected white working class Americans?

A couple thoughts on minimum wage increase and working class people:

---If you make $4 an hour above minimum wage now, what happens when the new hires come on at the same wage as you when you've been working there for six years?

---If you make some magical minimum wage of, say, $15 an hour, what happens when everyone who works at Walmart also now makes $15 an hour and you stop by that Walmart to pick up a package of toilet paper, some flip flops for your preschooler and a gallon of milk and it now costs you $47?

---If you make some magical minimum wage of, say, $15 an hour, what happens when you start paying twice the taxes you used to?

HoodlumDoodlum said...

mccullough said...Conservatives lost when the 16th Amendment passed. ... . So Congress took power that had belonged to the states and then handed that power, along with its own power, to the executive branch.

And the 17th Amendment helped ensure that trend (of power moving from the people-local gov-state gov to the national gov) would be difficult if not impossible to reverse.

mccullough said...

No one, not Trump, Hillary, Sanders, Obama, Paul Ryan, etc. has anything approaching a plausible plan to deal with any of the debt and deficit spending problems. Anyone paying attention knows there is not enough income or wealth in the US to pay for all this stuff.

Draconian cuts will have to be made by some future leaders. The leaders we have now focus on the next election and the news cycle. They are worried about their personal power. That's all they care about. Everything else is our problem, our kids and grandkids problem, and future Americans' problem. We are selfish and short sighted, which is why we elect the leaders we do.

Bay Area Guy said...

Amanda sez: "I'm a Democrat precisely because I worked hard for a living. I belonged to a union for many years and found that in my profession it was essential, as the unionized facilities had far safer working conditions and I had children that depended on me."

Outta curiosity, Was this a private sector union or public?

This distinction is important. As for the former, you will likely have a lot of Republican allies. Even the most callous Chamber of Commerce Conservative understands that, historically, private sector unions were a necessary check against the excesses of corporate power. On the issue of Trade, you might wanna actually listen to what Trump is saying.

As for public sector Unions, well, except for cops, we don't give a hoot about them, and think they should be abolished.

Henry said...

I wrote: "There are no Trump libertarians."

Amanda linked: Libertarians for Trump

I stand corrected. There are two libertarians for Trump.

From the web site (dateline 3/15/16):

Dr. Donald Miller (donaldwmiller@gmail.com) and I (wblock@loyno.edu) are starting up a new group to be called Libertarians for Trump.

LFT has its work cut out for it in mobilizing massive support for Donald Trump within the libertarian community.


Well, duh.

Birkel said...

mccullough:

I have seen estimates of 5 trillion before, but as I recall those accepted some wildly unlikely scenarios. Increased taxes, for example, were projected not to negatively affect business growth.

The likely real deficit is much larger.

mccullough said...

The worst Supreme Court decision in the last 50 years was the 1995 case US Term Limits, Inc. v. Thornton.

mccullough said...

Birkel,

That's correct. Wisconsin uses an assumed rate of return of 5.5%, while the other states and cities use 7 or 8% rate of return assumption. Wisconsin's pension is in the best shape by far of any state. Illinois is the worst.

Qwinn said...

All unions inevitably wind up serving only the 20% most incompetent of their members.

And the racket between unions and the Democrat party trading money that doesn't belong to either of them back and forth fully qualifies as a criminal conspiracy.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

The working class have been duped by Republicans for the last 30 years and now to add insult to injury they're being duped by a billionaire named Trump.

I wish more people would think about how their beliefs sound to the other "side." How many people are you going to win over by saying "You're too stupid to understand what's good for you, and you've been too stupid for 3 decades" and then following up by saying they continue to be too stupid to understand how they should vote/what they should believe now??
It's not just Amanda, of course, and it's not even just the Left. Often a similarly-framed argument is voiced from the Right about minority voters ("the Dems haven't looked out for your interests/actually done more than pay lip service to your problems, but you're too stupid or too fearful of Media-invented boogeymen to see the truth).

These aren't very flattering beliefs to hold about your fellow citizens, but even if they're true (and sometimes unpleasant things are true) who exactly do you expect to PERSUADE by making assertions and arguments along those lines?!

Dr Weevil said...

Ask a simple (in more ways than one) question, and get a simple (in only one way) answer:
"How do conservatives deal with Trump's Universal Health Care for poor folks?"
By supporting the only conservative in the race: Cruz (duh!).

Gahrie said...

And the 17th Amendment helped ensure that trend (of power moving from the people-local gov-state gov to the national gov) would be difficult if not impossible to reverse.

All four Progressive Amendments were disasters that made America worse. So far we have only had the courage to repeal one of them...we need to repeal the other three.

Michael K said...

He said he's going to make a deal with hospitals and clinics and make sure that poor folks get health care. Doesn't he realize what that would do to everyone else's health care costs?

I have no idea what he will do but I have a suggestion. There was a time in the past when big city and county hospitals, that were also teaching hospitals, did a pretty good job of caring for the poor. I was a medical student, then an intern, then a resident in Los Angles County Hospital in the 1960s. Two purposes were served. The poor got pretty good care and medical education was quite effective in teaching new young doctors through experience. Older doctors in practice taught and helped care for the poor for no money but, of course, doctors could afford to do that then.

Then came Medicare and Medicaid. The projected cost for Medicare was about 5% of what it was ten years later.

Medicaid has been hideously expensive and the care has been shown over and over again to be inferior. Lyndon Johnson convinced the poor that he was going to give them free care that was just as good as those middle class folks. It didn't matter as Amanda knows nothing about health care and most Democrats think inputs=quality.

Bernie Sanders wants to give them free care just as good as the NHS, which has daily scandals.

Nine in ten hospitals are now unsafe: Bed blocking fuelling overcrowding crisis with a third running out of spaces at least once this winter

I have no idea what Trump will do if elected but it can't be worse than what we have.

Brando said...

"These aren't very flattering beliefs to hold about your fellow citizens, but even if they're true (and sometimes unpleasant things are true) who exactly do you expect to PERSUADE by making assertions and arguments along those lines?!"

I'm partly guilty of what you're talking about as I wonder at the near-complete loyalty to the Democrats that blacks have demonstrated over the years. But then I don't ask about it to persuade anyone but rather to see if anyone has alternative reasons for why this is the case.

Overall, when we think a given policy or set of policies helps or hurts, we can't seem to understand why someone may feel differently. Perhaps blacks don't see the Democrats as a party that has used them and perpetuated the problems that plague their community, but rather maybe they see those policies as helping them and figure the only problem is they're not getting enough of them. Or they see the alternatives as worse.

Amanda said...

"Dear White America: Your working class is literally dying—and this is your idea of an answer? And now white people — and white working class men in particular — are suffering an identity crisis, as their perceived birthright is being taken away from them. Poor and working class white Republicans, who vote for policies that hurt people like them, have contributed to this problem. White conservatives in the South, who flocked to the Republican Party because of anger about the civil rights movement, have caused this problem. Poor and working class white Republicans, who use the financial prosperity and success of the rich and upper classes as a barometer for how they should vote (a choice made even more absurd in a country where inter-generational upward mobility has been basically non-existent for decades), are a cause of this problem.

And white poor and working class people (as well as white folks en masse) — who do not realize that white elites have systematically lied to them by using the politics of racial resentment to focus their attention on “black crime,” “illegal immigrants” and “welfare queens,” instead of properly on the destructive power of neoliberalism — are among the primary conspirators in their own destruction.

Unfortunately, American history is replete with examples when white people chose racism and white racial affinity over shared class interests with people of color. When threatened, those who are invested in Whiteness as a type of property and psychological wage often double down on protecting it. Instead of embracing black and brown Americans, White America in crisis may wholly abandon the chimera of “post racial” politics and fully embrace a reactionary type of white racial identity politics—and perhaps even overt, old fashioned, bigotry.

White America is hurting. White America is in a panic — stirred up by know-nothing nativists like Donald Trump, the bigotry and resentment-based politics of the Republican Party, as well as the eliminationist anxieties produced by the right-wing media. I worry that, as horses in a fire, that White America will run back into the burning barn instead of running out to the freedom that awaits them should they ever try at meaningful alliances with people of color.


I'm pretty sure this will make folks here very angry, but maybe just maybe a few of you will see some truth here.

mccullough said...

Nowadays conservatives can only hope to blunt the administrative state and not add to or expand existing spending programs. W was not a conservative because he created a whole new group of unaccountable so unresponsive government workers (the TSA and the other new workers added to the reshuffling of existing agencies into the new DHS), doubled the number of federal regulations, and added a new entitlement spending program (Medicare D).

It would be a feat of good government if civil service laws and collective bargaining agreements could be done away with to make the day to day workers and managers of the permanent federal bureaucracy responsive and accountable. But that's an impossibility.

Maybe the GOP could not only vote to repeal Obamacare, but vote to repeal Medicare D and the TSA. At least move the country back to 2001 and admit their own mistakes.

Gahrie said...

. I worry that, as horses in a fire, that White America will run back into the burning barn instead of running out to the freedom that awaits them should they ever try at meaningful alliances with people of color.

Yeah..that whole war thing, and Reconstruction, and the civil rights Amendments, and the civil rights movement....they don't count.

Michael K said...

Truth in Salon ? You have got to be kidding or delusional.

Birkel said...
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Birkel said...

Because if anybody knows about the white working class, it is people who work for Salon dot com.

Mississippi has per capita average income above that of nearly every European country.

And the South flipped to Republicans 40 years after the Civil Rights Acts passed.

Amanda, you racist, just stop while you are behind.

TosaGuy said...
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Szoszolo said...

Amanda, please learn how to do links with just a word or phrase. All that blue text makes it harder for us to ignore your comments.

Michael K said...

"vote to repeal Medicare D and the TSA."

The TSA was the Democrats' price for the War on Terror. They insisted that the free market airport screeners, most of whom were employed by the airlines, be replaced by government unionized employees.

mccullough said...

Blue collar folks have seen what local, state, and federal government policies have done for blacks, which is created a permanent underclass of 50%. And they don't want to bust their ass in low paying jobs like most Latinos and have the government supplement their income with food stamps, housing vouchers, and Medicaid. They want an economy that produces good paying jobs like the ones they had. They believe in hard work paying off.

TosaGuy said...

I can sum up the view of the author from which Amanda copies and pastes in eight words.

White people who disagree with me are racists.

Birkel said...

Szoszolo:
Ignorance is bliss!

Amanda said...

Michael K,
What I find interesting is how someone as educated as yourself can be so severely affected by epistemic closure. Yesterday you couldn't believe that is was the black man who was the attacker in that Trump rally in which he assaulted the white protester. You WRONGLY insisted that it was the black man who was the protestor, despite me correcting you twice. Others even told you that you were mistaken. Yet you persisted to believe what your mind wanted to see.

mccullough said...

Michael, there was a big debate at the time whether TSA employees should be allowed to unionize. Well the Dems won that fight and now we have workers who fail more than 50% of security checks during audits and can't be fired. It's a jobs program whose very remote secondary purpose is to ensure safety on flights.

The military is the only part of the government immune from civil service laws and collective bargaining agreements. And the American people have a very favorable view of the military, unlike the rest of local, state, and federal workers and managers

Birkel said...

There was a black guy for Trump? Are you breaking news, Amanda, you racist?

Birkel said...
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Birkel said...

Amanda:

When is it ok for a Democrat, such as yourself, to wear a KKK hood in public? Were the protesters wearing such KKK hoods more or less racist than you are?

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Amanda quoted (in an annoying way) "White America is in a panic...stirred up...by the resentment-based policies of the Republican Party."

I snorted; I actually snorted. The Republican party's policies and rhetoric are resentment-based? That has to be a joke. Sanders' whole campaign is based on resentment ("you were cheated! The rich took your money, the bankers corrupted the political process, you've been cheated and only by voting for me can you get back what they took from you!") and Mrs. Clinton is actually worse ("you have been cheated and kept down by scary racist Republicans with their rich cabals and their planet-hating, money-taking ways").
The party that can't stop talking about the "1%?" The party that can't frame an issue in any way other than "the people vs. the powerful?" People from the Left actually have the balls to say the Republicans are the party of resentment? Snort, snort, snort.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Oh Amanda. That screed is the most ignorant, silly thing I'll read all day. Bless your heart.

cubanbob said...

Amanda thinks that raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour but not stopping immigration legal or otherwise of people whose skill set is that of minimum wage workers is going to benefit Americans whose skill set is that of a minimum wage worker. Brilliant.

Amanda (I use her as an example of the lefty mentality) can't understand why working class whites don't vote their class interest when they have already cast millions of votes for the one candidate so many of them think is the one who is going to best represent their class interest: Donald Trump. Incidentally these very same people are nationalists and patriots and are not likely to vote for a criminal and a traitor no matter how much she may pander to them.

Amanda once you remove the Marxist colored glasses the world's reality will become blindingly obvious to you.

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