The Dim-Post

February 25, 2016

Telling Taibbi excerpt on Trump

Filed under: Uncategorized — danylmc @ 11:25 am

Via Rolling Stone:

Reporters have focused quite a lot on the crazy/race-baiting/nativist themes in Trump’s campaign, but these comprise a very small part of his usual presentation. His speeches increasingly are strikingly populist in their content.

His pitch is: He’s rich, he won’t owe anyone anything upon election, and therefore he won’t do what both Democratic and Republican politicians unfailingly do upon taking office, i.e., approve rotten/regressive policies that screw ordinary people.

He talks, for instance, about the anti-trust exemption enjoyed by insurance companies, an atrocity dating back more than half a century, to the McCarran-Ferguson Act of 1945. This law, sponsored by one of the most notorious legislators in our history (Nevada Sen. Pat McCarran was thought to be the inspiration for the corrupt Sen. Pat Geary in The Godfather II), allows insurance companies to share information and collude to divvy up markets.

Neither the Republicans nor the Democrats made a serious effort to overturn this indefensible loophole during the debate over the Affordable Care Act.

Trump pounds home this theme in his speeches, explaining things from his perspective as an employer. “The insurance companies,” he says, “they’d rather have monopolies in each state than hundreds of companies going all over the place bidding …  It’s so hard for me to make deals  … because I can’t get bids.”

He goes on to explain that prices would go down if the state-by-state insurance fiefdoms were eliminated, but that’s impossible because of the influence of the industry. “I’m the only one that’s self-funding …  Everyone else is taking money from, I call them the bloodsuckers.”

Also, Trump’s support among unionised workers:

Trump is already positioning himself to take advantage of the political opportunity afforded him by “transactional politics.” He regularly hammers the NAFTA deal in his speeches, applying to it his favorite word, “disaster.” And he just as regularly drags Hillary Clinton into his hypothetical tales of job-saving, talking about how she could never convince Detroit carmakers out of moving a factory to Mexico.

Unions have been abused so much by both parties in the past decades that even mentioning themes union members care about instantly grabs the attention of workers. That’s true even when it comes from Donald Trump, a man who kicked off the fourth GOP debate saying “wages [are] too high” and who had the guts to tell the Detroit News that Michigan autoworkers make too much money.

You will find union members scattered at almost all of Trump’s speeches. And there have been rumors of unions nationally considering endorsing Trump. SEIU president Mary Kay Henry even admitted in January that Trump appeals to members because of the “terrible anxiety” they feel about jobs.

“I know guys, union guys, who talk about Trump,” says Rand Wilson, an activist from the Labor for Bernie organization. “I try to tell them about Sanders, and they don’t know who he is. Or they’ve just heard he’s a socialist. Trump they’ve heard of.”

I think this helps explain what’s actually happening in the US, and why Trump’s rise – which seems so risible to people over here, especially on the left – is as much to do with speaking to voters’ economic fears as it is to the extensively covered instances of racism and misogyny. The bigotry is important to his campaign strategy, obviously – but it’s all we hear about and the economic populism is just as important.

60 Comments »

  1. It’s indicative of our times that speaking to the economic fears of poorly informed people – workers or employers works so well for those who have flexible ethical frameworks.
    What usually leaves me surprised is the very high cost of being incurious and intellectually lazy….yet a huge proportion of the population would rather pay that price than……what do we call it….”think” seems to work here.

    Comment by truthseekernz — February 25, 2016 @ 11:34 am

  2. And key is also talking in platitudes rather than policies – more than a few commentaries on Trump suggest that he’s a policy black-hole (including how the giant wall on the border will be built and funded by the Mexican government) – so voters can project whatever ideal they want onto him.

    Comment by Patrick — February 25, 2016 @ 11:50 am

  3. Anyone voting for him for economic reasons is misguided. Even if he wins, which is simultaneously terrifying and hilarious to imagine, he won’t be able to do shit, because it’s unlikely the Republicans will control Congress. Even if they did, I can’t imagine Republicans voting with him on his crazy domestic policies. I could be wrong.

    Foreign policy is another matter. Depending on how the US general election goes, I may head back to New Zealand and invest in a bomb shelter. Not even joking.

    Comment by Seb Rattansen — February 25, 2016 @ 11:59 am

  4. Trump is doing ok with Republican voters and will lose against Clinton.

    There’s a certain kind of US pundit talking him up at the moment.

    Comment by NeilM — February 25, 2016 @ 12:16 pm

  5. I still see the smart money (for the Republican nomination) as being pro-Rubio. He’s starting to gather endorsements from influential Republicans at a quicker pace and in hypothetical head-to-head match ups with Trump he’s the overwhelming favourite.

    Keep in mind also that Rubio doesn’t need to win a majority of delegates before the convention, but Trump almost certainly does. A brokered/contested convention will be so anti-Trump that even if Trump’s a handful of delegates short, the rest of the party will get behind another candidate to lock him out.

    Comment by Phil — February 25, 2016 @ 12:32 pm

  6. Barack Obama once famously said that he was a bit of a black canvas, onto which people projected their hopes and dreams. It seems to me that Donald Trump is something similar, except that he does not wait for people to do their projecting but guides the process.

    So, Matt Taibbi, and naturally this left-wing blog, project two key arguments of the left onto Trump as the reason he’s doing so well: “free-trade” agreements controlled by corporations and the effect of corporate monopolies (or oligopolies) on the working class.

    But it may also be that Trump’s appeal lies in another direction, and it’s actually right under your noses with the standard talk about a right-winger appealing to crazy/race-baiting/nativist themes. Here’s Clive Crook in Bloomberg a few days ago, with Donald Trump, Class Warrior, by Clive Crook:

    I’m a British immigrant, and grew up in a northern English working-class town. Taking my regional accent to Oxford University and then the British civil service, I learned a certain amount about my own class consciousness and other people’s snobbery.

    But in London or Oxford from the 1970s onwards I never witnessed the naked disdain for the working class that much of America’s metropolitan elite finds permissible in 2016.

    He’s talking about people like you and your commentators – and probably me as well – when he goes on to say:

    When my wife and I bought some land in West Virginia and built a house there, many friends in Washington asked why we would ever do that. Jokes about guns, banjo music, in-breeding, people without teeth and so forth often followed. These Washington friends, in case you were wondering, are good people. They’d be offended by crass, cruel jokes about any other group. They deplore prejudice and keep an eye out for unconscious bias. More than a few object to the term, “illegal immigrant.” Yet somehow they feel the white working class has it coming.

    But white privilige ……
    <blockquote<
    My neighbors in West Virginia are good people too. Hard to believe, since some work outside and not all have degrees, but trust me on this. They’re aware of how they’re seen by the upper orders. They understand the prevailing view that they’re bigots, too stupid to know what’s good for them, and they see that this contempt is reserved especially for them. The ones I know don’t seem all that angry or bitter — they find it funny more than infuriating — but they sure don’t like being looked down on.

    Many of them are Trump supporters.

    Clinging to their guns and religion out of a fear of foreigners perhaps. But here’s the key part:

    Yet, contrary to reports, the Trump supporters I’m talking about aren’t fools. They aren’t racists either. They don’t think much would change one way or the other if Trump were elected. The political system has failed them so badly that they think it can’t be repaired and little’s at stake. The election therefore reduces to an opportunity to express disgust. And that’s where Trump’s defects come in: They’re what make him such an effective messenger.

    The fact that he’s outrageous is essential. (Ask yourself, what would he be without his outrageousness? Take that away and nothing remains.) Trump delights mainly in offending the people who think they’re superior — the people who radiate contempt for his supporters. The more he offends the superior people, the more his supporters like it. Trump wages war on political correctness. Political correctness requires more than ordinary courtesy: It’s a ritual, like knowing which fork to use, by which superior people recognize each other.

    The political system has failed them so badly that they think it can’t be repaired and little’s at stake. I don’t agree with the latter point, but I can see how they could think that.

    As someone commented the other day: “Will Smith lives in a 25,000 square foot mansion, but not getting an Oscar nomination means that racism abounds in the US. Fuck that shit”

    Class warfare plus – and somehow the Left have missed it completely, except to dismiss it as yet another dreary chapter in the history working class reactionaries.

    Comment by Tom Hunter — February 25, 2016 @ 12:37 pm

  7. black canvas????? Sigh. Freud strikes again.

    blank canvas. Blank! Dammit.

    Comment by Tom Hunter — February 25, 2016 @ 12:39 pm

  8. There’s quite a few US pundits talking Trump up under the guise of concern for the Dems.

    But they don’t care if he wins or loses, what they don’t want is for Clinton to win. That’s their primary motivation.

    Comment by NeilM — February 25, 2016 @ 12:47 pm

  9. This analysis suggests authoritarian attitudes are the best predictor of support for Trump
    http://www.vox.com/2016/2/23/11099644/trump-support-authoritarianism

    Comment by swordfish — February 25, 2016 @ 1:30 pm

  10. @Phil,

    Trump is threatening to run as an independent – if he gets the largest share of delegates, but gets blocked out by the GOP establishment. Then the GOP will be so screwed, because they will not win the Presidency and a lot of Trump voters will be voting with the specific intention of punishing the GOP so will vote Dem in the Congressional races – the GOP will lose its majority.

    Comment by unaha-closp — February 25, 2016 @ 1:50 pm

  11. The notion that Trump is some sort of indication of how broke US politics is just part of this the elites! The establishment! rhetoric comming from this odd alliance of sections of the left with Ron Paul libertarians.

    The US political system gave us 2 terms of one of the most capable politicians there has been and I’m confident we’ll get Clinton this time round.

    Odd things happen in US politics, always have and always will. Trump is just the latest.

    Comment by NeilM — February 25, 2016 @ 1:52 pm

  12. Wonder if Hillary Clinton has ever faced a populist, fresh faced, divisive candidate and lost before?

    Comment by unaha-closp — February 25, 2016 @ 1:58 pm

  13. Very interesting perspective from Tom above. If it’s Trump v Clinton then I’m with Matt Taibbi in thinking Clinton is toast because $675k underpants etc!. And since Trump looks increasingly likely to be in the general race for POTUS, the democrats best get behind Sanders pronto. They won’t of course, because $, which is why President Trump is all too likely a scenario.

    Comment by John Small (@smalltorquer) — February 25, 2016 @ 2:51 pm

  14. @unaha-closp

    If Trump’s on the ballot as GOP nominee, there’s likely to be a strong Dem and independent turnout that harms Republican senators and representatives ‘down ballot’.
    On the other hand, the kind of people likely to turnout and vote for Trump as a 3rd party candidate are most definitely not the kind of people who will vote Dem – my impression is they hate Obama and Hillary more than they hate their local representative.

    All in all, I’d lean toward the Republican establishment figuring it’s better lose this election and cast off some of their more troublesome base supporters, rather than spend the next 4 or, god forbid, 8 years dealing not only with Trump, but also his cast of dubious Secretaries.

    Comment by Phil — February 25, 2016 @ 3:38 pm

  15. The US political system gave us 2 terms of one of the most capable politicians there has been and I’m confident we’ll get Clinton this time round.

    I presume you’re talking of Bill Clinton, who I also admired as a politician (the best in the last 25 years). But the times have changed. Inside the Democratic Party the centrist, triangulating world of the Clinton’s is not just gone, it is despised by the people who voted for Obama, and now for Bernie.

    As for Hillary herself, I can’t recall a worse Democrat candidate. Dukakis may have been hopeless but I don’t think people despised him. She’s nails-on-blackboard and the reluctant response of the Obama base to her overtures seems to actually be getting worse, not better, even as she panders ever harder to #BlackLivesMatter and #WaronWomen to compensate for Bernie’s strengths.

    Besides, I’ve spent six months saying that Trump has a ceiling, that Trump has no “policy” exceeding 140 characters, and whose flip-flops on everything would not be acceptable to GOP voters. Well, here we are. So I’m no longer so certain that Hillary can beat him in the General election, and it seems a number of Democrats are begiining to wonder about that too. The Obama coalition may have been unique to Obama. And just look what Trump did to Bill Clinton in the space of a few tweets, turning him from an asset to a liability in 48 hours. Sure, the Democrats will scorch the earth with Trump – god knows they have plenty of material – but in this new media world I’m not so sure it will be as effective as in the past. And Trump knows how to hit back, and he’s got material as well. One hundred million dollars was supposed to bury Jeb Bush’s opponents in TV attack advertisments, as was done by his brother and father. But that was the world that Bill Clinton also succeeded in – and it’s gone.

    President Trump????

    Fuck!

    Comment by Tom Hunter — February 25, 2016 @ 3:40 pm

  16. “The US political system gave us 2 terms of one of the most capable politicians there has been…”

    Who are you referring to NeilM?
    I assume you mean Clinton v1.0

    Comment by Gregor W — February 25, 2016 @ 3:44 pm

  17. The Senate has long been predicted as a very possible swing to the Democrats this year anyway, due to the GOP defending far more seats than the Democrats, and with only a two seat majority. This is even before the Presidential race is considered.

    So, the permutations, in order of likelihood:

    1 Hillary can’t get her base excited, even with Trump as the devil, but ekes out a win, and gets a Dem Senate + a GOP House. Partial deadlock.

    2 Hillary can’t get her base excited, even with Trump as the devil, but ekes out a win while facing a GOP Senate and House. Full deadlock.

    3 Trump gets his base more excited than Hillary’s and wins. House stays GOP with solid majority. But whether the Senate is held by the Democrats or the GOP the result is deadlock as Trump realises he’s not the CEO of the USA but Tweets daily abuse at the GOP in his frustration.

    4 Trump gets his base super-excited (including cross-over Dems) and wins with coat-tails for the GOP Senate and House. They “persuade” him in the directions they wanted to go, and being a man of no philosphy and principle he trundles along with them. My preference.

    5 Hillary excites her base and wins it all, plus a Democrat Senate and House. Nope. Candidates like Obama only appear once every few elections, and even then require special circumstances like the GFC to win big. That’s not going to happen here.

    Comment by Tom Hunter — February 25, 2016 @ 3:58 pm

  18. Here in New Zealand (and I would guess, many places outside the USA) the coverage of the Republican race is totally dominated by Trump-as-joke/nightmare, for the soundbite reasons we’re all familiar with. It saves on analysis, just run the latest clip, and the responses to it.

    Very rarely do we get much detail on other candidates such as Cruz, who is – incredible though it may seem – worse than Trump. If you never saw any US coverage (thanks, internet) and relied on our local hacks, you’d think any Not-Trump nominee for the Republicans would be welcome. Wrong.

    Cynical bigotry for headlines is obnoxious, but the only thing worse is sincere bigotry fuelled by faith.

    Comment by sammy 3.0 — February 25, 2016 @ 5:52 pm

  19. Who are you referring to NeilM?

    Yes, wasn’t clear.

    I meant Obama

    Comment by NeilM — February 25, 2016 @ 6:02 pm

  20. It saves on analysis, just run the latest clip, and the responses to it.

    I don’t watch broadcast TV in NZ so have no opinion, but I can guess it’s the same old lifting of foreign services. In which case I would not be too scathing about the NZ media, given what the US is doing:

    GOP Candidate Air Time
    ABC, CBS and NBC evening news, 1/1 – 1/31

    Trump 157 minutes
    Cruz 79
    Rubio 10
    Christie 8
    Bush 4
    Kasich 2
    Paul 65 seconds

    They hate him. They love him. They hate him, …..

    We’ll see if this turns around in the general election – assuming Trump makes it that far – with that much coverage and almost all negative. But he knows how to manipulate the media: one outrageous Tweet and he’s got them for 24-48 hours, followed by another and another and … eyeballs, clicks.

    They love him. They hate him. They love him, …..

    Comment by Tom Hunter — February 25, 2016 @ 6:19 pm

  21. “it’s unlikely the Republicans will control Congress”

    Really? Because they control it now and I’ve seen no indication that there’s an anti-Republican landslide on the way in November.

    Comment by Ortvin Sarapuu — February 25, 2016 @ 7:53 pm

  22. unaha #11: In other words, the Ross Perot effect. Or closer to home, the New Zealand Party effect.

    Tom H #17: Where would Sanders fit in the order of things?

    Comment by Kumara Republic — February 25, 2016 @ 7:56 pm

  23. Ortvin: You’re right. For some reason I thought the Democrats still held the Senate.

    American voters usually don’t split their vote, so a vote for President Trump will most likely mean a vote for a Republican Congress. Which is scary.

    But even if he had a fully Republican Congress behind him, I can’t see every single Republican voting for domestic legislation to build a massive wall along the Mexican border, or voting for legislation to block Muslims from entering the US.

    But that will be the least of everyone’s problems if he has his fingers on the red button.

    Comment by Seb Rattansen — February 25, 2016 @ 8:42 pm

  24. and I agree with Sammy that the only thing worse than Trump is Cruz, because Cruz actually believes all the shit he says.

    Comment by Seb Rattansen — February 25, 2016 @ 8:43 pm

  25. Tom H #17: Where would Sanders fit in the order of things?

    As an interesting footnote to history and a warning to Hillary.

    But much as I’d love to see him win the Democratic nomination – though not in a world where Trump is his GOP opponent – it’s not going to happen. Bernie has the enthusiastic support but he’s not Obama, and Hillary has the dull, boring, cynical, groaning weight of the Party Apparatus, of which the Superdelegate process is merely the most obvious example. She’s damned lucky not to be facing Elizabeth Warren or another Obama, or she’d be toast.

    Of course, one of the laughs for me is the degree to which Bernie and Trump’s gripes and targets of attack overlap.

    Comment by Tom Hunter — February 25, 2016 @ 8:46 pm

  26. But that will be the least of everyone’s problems if he has his fingers on the red button.

    The 1980’s called and they want their primal fears back.

    The most Trump would do is ramp up Obama’s drone assassination program even further. But major wars, especially in the ME? Not a chance. As usual with Trump there are blatant contradictions: the Iraq War was stupid ….. but we’ll take their oil and deprive them of money. I’d go with what he has said for years, not only his opposition to the Iraq War (at least later), but his “Truther” convictions about 9/11 and that Bush lied. All of that leads me to believe that he’s damned near an isolationist, with a desire to have a modern military with spiffy uniforms that looks yuuuge – but which does nothing.

    Comment by Tom Hunter — February 25, 2016 @ 8:54 pm

  27. Wow, NeilM. Obama?! Seriously?
    The guy has been a sellout from the get-go. His administration has been a shambles, lurching ineffectually from one crisis to the next.

    I guess it’s how you define ‘Capable’.
    If you mean ‘a politician who is able to effectively harness populist sentiment’ then I agree.
    If you mean ‘capable of effecting a legislative agenda that’s meaningful and effective for his support base*’ then, not so much.

    *by support base I mean voters, not his actual support base.
    If though you mean his actual consistency, then again, I agree he’s been successful given the destruction of rights and continued wealth transfer under his tenure.

    Comment by Gregor W — February 25, 2016 @ 9:07 pm

  28. @Seb: The Republicans control both Houses. A Republican Congress isn’t some scary hypothetical, it’s the situation we’ve been in for the last six years.

    Comment by Ortvin Sarapuu — February 25, 2016 @ 9:07 pm

  29. Tom Hunter has left a great deal of interesting thoughts. Well done that man.

    Comment by ianmac40Ianmac — February 25, 2016 @ 9:46 pm

  30. Obama?

    Okay I missed that, so ….I presume you’re talking of Bill Clinton,.

    Obama? Seriously? I could see some arguments for him but “capable” is far from being one of them.

    Utterly unable to build relationships with even his own Democrat party reps in the House and Senate – to the extent that they’ve bitched about him for years now about being aloof, and thus left him hanging in countless fights (compare to the arm-twisting Clinton, LBJ, or even Bush). Seemingly uninterested in his own cabinet, with months passing and no phonecalls according to interviews with past members. Tough criticisms from three of his former Defence secretaries.

    And that’s just the opinions: what’s seen in practice is domestic executive orders stuffed in courts, the Stimulus, Dodd-Frank and Obamacare, which have only strengthened the giant beasts of Wall Street and Health Insurance respectively – with the program reduced to being simply another broken government system slouching towards a funding/expense death spiral. Then there’s the foreign policy that’s seen enemies providing him with wedgies and friends who go their own way with war and weapons. And all this has resulted in about a thousand Democrat seats that have gone up in flames over seven years. The House gone. The Senate gone, and a dozen State governments.

    Capable? Not as a government leader and not as a politician only – except when he’s on the campaign trail for himself.

    Comment by Tom Hunter — February 25, 2016 @ 9:47 pm

  31. I think any disappointments with Obama’s achievements can mostly be put down to the very difficult political environment he, like any president, had to work within.

    He can’t even expect support on issues from his own party.

    But he’s made some significant incrementalist changes in such as areas as health and actively and in a heartfelt manner championed gay rights and gun control.

    He negotiated the nuclear deal with Iran and has advocated action on climate change.

    He was never going to meet the rhetorical expectations of his election campaign but I doubt he thought he would and most people I think had more simple realistic expectations.

    I thought, for various reasons, that it would be preferable to have an HRC presidency followed by an Obama one but having things work out in reverse I’ve no problem with.

    Comment by NeilM — February 26, 2016 @ 12:14 am

  32. …and in a heartfelt manner championed gay rights…

    I always appreciate the fact that his followers think it quite funny how he lied to the rubes on this issue in 2008 – while they’re very anrgy about Wall Street money, drone strikes, etc. The rule is that your politician can lie to others, but you must not lie to us.

    Anyhoo, another extraordinary fact about Triump’s campaign that has just come to light:

    Mark Halperin ✔‎@MarkHalperin

    Billionaire self-funding front runner Trump apparently has ZERO TV ads on in Super Tuesday states. Today sorta last day to add buys

    1:25 AM – 26 Feb 2016

    Why should he spend any money when he knows how to get the media to do it for him. Who cares what he talks about or says when the real point is simply to deprive his opponents of oxygen.

    Still, it’s incredible in the history of a US campaign,

    Comment by Tom Hunter — February 26, 2016 @ 10:30 am

  33. Well that odd libertarian/left alliance certainly have the knives out now for Clinton.

    This video is doing the rounds purporting to display how HRC hates blacks:

    Not so widely circulated are these two:

    Comment by NeilM — February 26, 2016 @ 10:31 am

  34. @NeilM

    ….any disappointments with Obama’s achievements can mostly be put down to the very difficult political environment. He can’t even expect support on issues from his own party.

    That’s excusing Obama for not doing his job because it’s hard and stuff.

    But he’s made some significant incrementalist changes in such as areas as health and actively and in a heartfelt manner championed gay rights and gun control.

    Obamacare is a handout to insurance companies. The rest is changey, hopey hokum for the Dem. All mouth, no trousers.

    He negotiated the nuclear deal with Iran and has advocated action on climate change.

    Bullshit on both. His administration has been completely outmaneuvered on all foreign fronts.
    Wrt Iran specifically, complete capitulation was painted as victory. Iran got everything they wanted and gave away nothing. Geopolitcally, Iran is in a far stronger position that they have been for decades as a result of the current Administration’s incompetence, and good on them. Clinton and Kerry are foreign policy rubes.

    Action on climate change? I’m not even going to go there.

    He was never going to meet the rhetorical expectations of his election campaign but I doubt he thought he would and most people I think had more simple realistic expectations.

    See first comment.
    Basically you are saying it’s OK to bullshit and dissemble your way into the top job and then….oh well.

    I thought, for various reasons, that it would be preferable to have an HRC presidency followed by an Obama one but having things work out in reverse I’ve no problem with.

    Clinton v2.0 will be a disaster. She a liar and an incompetent, in love with her own potential legacy.
    Dems will probably swallow a truly putrid dead rat to elect another war hawk Wall St. lackey, but I think it’s a shame that the Hobson’s choice of tribal ‘lesser evilism’ is the basis for picking a President.

    Comment by Gregor W — February 26, 2016 @ 11:20 am

  35. thanks swordfish – that’s the best explanation of trump’s ‘popularity’ i’ve seen yet – that rings true to me (having spent three and a half years living in the US in towns big and small – and explains a fair bit of the support for key in this country as well – at least with regard to the people i know) and highlights how the decline in the quality of our media reinforces these trends

    neilM – your ongoing celebration of obama’s presidency reveals yet again your complete lack of political nous – please go back to the dull world of craft beer where everyone can be mates and celebrate male company in a friendly non sexual way

    Comment by rodaigh — February 26, 2016 @ 11:32 am

  36. But if we keep the old flag we’ll be forced to change it during the transition to a republic, which may happen during my lifetime.

    Every 4 years we get an in-your-face reminder of just how screwed up a republic is compared to a constitutional monarchy. Why would we ever want to add this additional layer of stupid to NZ politics?

    Comment by unaha-closp — February 26, 2016 @ 12:22 pm

  37. I’ve been insulted plenty of times but never been called a lover of craft beer before. I shall flounce shortly.

    But if anyone is interested, the well funded anti-Clinton campaign run by Greenwald and co. is gearing up to full misogyny and sadly a few too many on left are being taken in once again.

    Comment by NeilM — February 26, 2016 @ 12:58 pm

  38. But if anyone is interested, the well funded anti-Clinton campaign run by Greenwald and co. is gearing up to full misogyny and sadly a few too many on left are being taken in once again.

    I guess you missed the whole Madeleine Albright / Gloria Steinem thing.

    Misogyny. That tired old trope.
    You know grasping at straws has reached epic new heights when a white, super-rich, ultra connected member of the political elite cries foul and claims she’s getting a raw deal because she has a vagina.

    Comment by Gregor W — February 26, 2016 @ 1:34 pm

  39. Misogyny. That tired old trope.

    Speaking of which …

    This analysis suggests authoritarian attitudes are the best predictor of support for Trump
    http://www.vox.com/2016/2/23/11099644/trump-support-authoritarianism

    Uh huh, …and …

    thanks swordfish – that’s the best explanation of trump’s ‘popularity’ i’ve seen yet – that rings true to me (having spent three and a half years living in the US in towns big and small …. Comment by rodaigh — February 26, 2016 @ 11:32 am

    Like Berkeley? Oh, of course. Fresh leftist analysis from a member of Greeeeeaaaaaaaat (say it like Tony The Tiger) Public Schools of Minto and Bill Courtney OCD fame.

    I guess all those authoritarian-worshipping dick heads from ancient communist regimes, plus the more recent clowns who’ve drooled with joy over Che, Castro and Hugo Chavez, were just outliers in the prediction stakes?

    What a load of self-deceiving crap. I’m under no illusion that such people are attracted to Trump because he has all the characteristics, but you think this is just a right-wing phenom? And of course it’s “super-smart” wonkblog, Vox.com:

    Matthew YglesiasVerified account
    ‏@mattyglesias
    Confession time: Until today I thought Evelyn Waugh was a woman, because his name is “Evelyn” and that is typically a woman’s name.

    Yeah. Genius.

    Comment by Tom Hunter — February 26, 2016 @ 3:48 pm

  40. That ugly alliance in the US between the left and libertarians will be having serious conniptions now.

    Clinton won a greater proportion of the black vote in SC than Obama. Which puts into perspective that latest round of accusations she is bad for blacks from highly paid concern trolls like Greenwald.

    Comment by NeilM — February 28, 2016 @ 3:56 pm

  41. Actually NeilM, it does nothing of the kind.

    It puts into perspective the power / vertically integrated nature of the African American political machinery within the Democratic Party; a machinery rooted in Tammany Hall type corruption / nepotism, with healthy support from the leadership of black Protestant Christian congregations.

    There was actually a really interesting article on this subject the other day on RNZ IIRC, talking about this being the critical difference between the African American and Latino vote, and hence why Sanders as an outsider within the Party cannot hope to win the former.

    Comment by Gregor W — February 28, 2016 @ 6:15 pm

  42. @Gregor W

    Clinton one a huge percentage of the black vote. They’re just average Dem voters for the most part – not part of the party machine.

    And although there have been quite a few pundits telling them what to think – ie don’t vote Clinton – they decided to vote Clinton. Most likely because they see her as their best option.

    Sanders failed to convert his rhetoric into votes. He just didn’t convince people. And he’s been outspending her.

    It’s not a product of party machinations.

    It’s also a clear indication that whatever ill feeling there was over the identity politics fight between Clinton and Obama that is now in the past.

    Comment by NeilM — February 28, 2016 @ 6:50 pm

  43. From The Guadian:

    “Clinton won a large majority of black voters, most women and voters 25 and older. She was backed by both highly educated voters and those without a college degree, by those with high household incomes and the less affluent. Bernie Sanders was supported by voters under 25 and those who identified themselves as independent.”

    I don’t think one can write that off as Wall St controlled Party machine destroys independent will of the people. Which is how this is being portrayed by Greenwald and his useful idiots.

    Who do not give a shit about whether the Dems win or not.

    Comment by NeilM — February 28, 2016 @ 7:18 pm

  44. @NeilM – Don’t be naive.

    I think you might need to do a little bit more reading wrt the primary process, how party machinery works in the U.S. and the voting record of African Americans before opining. For the southern African American constituency, there would be far more trusted sources advising them to back Clinton than ‘pundits’ telling them to back Sanders.

    Here’s a clue: How many southern African American Dems do you think even know who Greenwald is let alone seek to hear his opinion, as say, the opinion of their pastor or local African American elected official.

    Here’s another clue: How many African American elected officials got there without the blessing and funding of the DLC? And, who owns the DLC?

    Also, the demographics can be pretty simply explained.
    Voters 25+ already have a voting record, and, if they are taking part in the primary process, are Party Dems. They will have been exposed to a considerable amount of ‘tow the Party line’ line of argument via standard media channels which has been overwhelmingly Pro-Clinton.
    Those below 25+ will be new to politics, and likely those most punished by sluggish employment rates, saddled with student loans without the likelihood of meaningful employment, will have been had there politics formed under Wall St. bailouts and 15 years of war, and will definitely be more sensitive to social media and underdog marketing logic.

    It’s not that hard to understand.

    Comment by Gregor W — February 28, 2016 @ 9:09 pm

  45. How many southern African American Dems do you think even know who Greenwald is

    None. But my barb was aimed at the white male liberals here and in the US that hero worship him.

    Comment by NeilM — February 28, 2016 @ 9:41 pm

  46. NeilM – you’ve lost me. I’m genuinely confused. Are your comments some kind of solipsistic experiment?

    Who is your ‘barb’ was aimed at given that you’re the only person who brought Greenwald up?

    Comment by Gregor W — February 28, 2016 @ 11:55 pm

  47. @gregor

    There’s a much easier answer that can be gleaned from polls and the SC result, rather than any kind of conspiracy or DLC-driven towing the party line:
    Black/latino/minority Democrats are actually pretty conservative on a lot of issues and Sanders simply doesn’t gel with their preferences.

    Comment by Phil — February 29, 2016 @ 9:57 am

  48. And as if things could not get any batshit crazier: Trump is the GOP’s Frankenstein monster.

    Oh not the headline. If it were only that, then the Left would be happy. But withhold the expressions of joy in your hearts – the article that announces support for the Democrats and Hillary Clinton is by ….. Robert Kagan.

    Good old Iraq War promoting, Middle-East-democracy-spreading-via-the-US-military promoting Kagan. The prince among Neo-Conservatives is now totally on Hillary’s side.

    I need popcorn – and whiskey, lots and lots of whiskey.

    Comment by Tom Hunter — February 29, 2016 @ 11:28 am

  49. Grrr

    Trump is the GOP’s Frankenstein monster

    Comment by Tom Hunter — February 29, 2016 @ 11:30 am

  50. @ Phil

    Black/latino/minority Democrats are actually pretty conservative on a lot of issues and Sanders simply doesn’t gel with their preferences.

    Sure, but their preferences (as with all of us) are formed by external factors; conservative values, religious notions, how messages are being delivered by trusted sources etc.
    One of those significant factors for African Americans is the vertically integrated nature of their politics, stemming I suspect from the civil rights movement and it’s later co-option by the Dems to capture the ‘black vote’; weird in itself given that historically, Southern Dems were the core proponents of segregation.

    That’s politics though I guess.

    Comment by Gregor W — February 29, 2016 @ 1:10 pm

  51. I came across a satrical site I’d not heard of before, and I wondered if Danyl might just appropriate the tagline, since Juvenal just does not seem to be cutting it anymore. Here’s the tag

    Satire is dependent on strong beliefs, and on strong beliefs wounded….

    Anyway, the article that lead me there was this one: Converted Trump Now Running for Pope:

    Thank you….thank you. You know, when I first started this campaign, people didn’t believe me. First they said, he’s not converting, he’ll never convert. Then I converted. Then they said, he’ll never get baptized, he won’t want the water to mess up his hair. But then I got baptized. Then they said he won’t get confirmed, and I got confirmed. And then they said he’d never run for pope. Well here I am, and I’m running for Pope; and I’m doing very well I must say.

    (Cheers, applause)

    I don’t have to do this, when you think about it. I really don’t. I’m rich. I’m really, really, rich. I built a great company; a tremendous company. I employ thousands and thousands of people. So my friends, they ask me, they say Donald, you have everything you can dream of. You’re rich, you have an amazing wife, an amazing family, you’re very successful, why run for Pope? And I say, you know what? I have to run. My Church needs me. The Catholics need me. I have to make the Catholic Church great again. I have to.

    (Cheers, applause)

    You know, it’s a sad thing to say, but the Church is in such bad shape; terrible shape under Francis. The Catholic Church doesn’t win anymore. We just don’t. When is the last time Catholics won anything? Lepanto? When was that, the 1500’s? We don’t win anymore. But, let me just say, Under a Trump papacy, we are going to win again. We are going to win so much. We are going to win so much you are all going to be sick of winning, ok? But right now, it’s terrible. Just the other day, I see the Pope is praising Martin Luther. Martin Luther! Can you believe it?

    And here’s the link again, just in case: http://a-cnn.com/index.php/articles/item/2027-trump-becomes-catholic-now-running-for-pope

    The only problem is that satire is no longer matching reality, as evidenced by the catchphrases above.

    Comment by Tom Hunter — February 29, 2016 @ 4:53 pm

  52. Black/latino/minority Democrats are actually pretty conservative on a lot of issues and Sanders simply doesn’t gel with their preferences.

    I think there’s something to be learnt about the recent left wing populist movements in that Sanders appeals mostly to young white dudes.

    Who have the time and resources to spend on the internet proclaiming themselves to be alienated and dispossessed.

    Comment by NeilM — March 2, 2016 @ 8:41 pm

  53. It might be worth remembering that at this stage in the Obama/Clinton primary every white liberal male pundit here and overseas was demanding that Clinton pull out.

    Apparently she was going to destroy the Democrat Party because she was an evil ambitious woman.

    Comment by NeilM — March 2, 2016 @ 8:48 pm

  54. NeilM: Could it also be that Hillary has access to Wall St donors and Sanders refuses to do so? Then again, Jeb Bush outspent the others and had little to show for it.

    Comment by Kumara Republic — March 2, 2016 @ 9:04 pm

  55. From what I’ve seen Sanders has out spent Clinton but she has our organised him.

    So I think one has to give some weight at least to her appeal rather than to just funding.

    Sanders hasn’t been able to extend his message beyond a very limited audience. I think that’s because the audience isn’t there.

    Her broad appeal to blacks, Latinos etc is a bit hard to put down to just Wall St.

    Comment by NeilM — March 2, 2016 @ 9:15 pm

  56. Something that gets a bit overlooked in the primaries is that policy is a bit of a smoke screen.

    The real battle is between organisational structures – can you get people out to vote.

    In 2008 Obama’s organisation lead by Axelrod out organised Clinton.

    That’s where the battle really is.

    It’s an odd system but the primaries are really about who can survive the gruelling process of campaigning, who’s organisation can mobilize more effectively.

    Comment by NeilM — March 2, 2016 @ 9:27 pm

  57. “Led” seems to be turning into “lead” (not by any alchemical process), much like “lose” is turning into “loose.”

    Comment by Psycho Milt — March 3, 2016 @ 7:00 am

  58. Hey, hey, mama, said the way you move, gonna make you sweat, gonna make you groove…

    Comment by Kumara Republic — March 3, 2016 @ 8:44 pm

  59. Yeah, I couldn’t see the word “Led” written down without my brain automatically appending “Zeppelin” either. Is it just an age thing, or is that why people think “led” is spelt “lead” now?

    Comment by Psycho Milt — March 4, 2016 @ 7:28 am


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