Tuesday, December 26, 2017

The Republican Party And Its Financiers Have Been Waiting For 8 Decades To Destroy The New Deal. Is America OK With That?


Nancy Ohanian's Trumpist

Trump was driven to run for president by more than one thing, although high on his list was his visceral hatred for Obama and the outrage he felt of having been talked down to in public by a black president who Trump never recognized as an actual president but as a usurper whose com accomplishments he has been erasing, one by one. That reason doesn’t trump Trump’s overarching greed and avarice, but Obama hatred can’t be ignored as a motivation. With a sick and rotted out Republican Party taking on the role of accomplice and enabler, erasing Obama’s accomplishments is spilling over to erasing the legacy of the New Deal as well, a dream more of Paul Ryan’s than Donald Trump’s— although Trump was easily persuaded that erasing the New Deal is his destiny. On Sunday, Heather Cox Richardson explained to Guardian readers how it’s working. That 1.5 trillion dollar deficit was part of the plan— Ryan’s last laugh. But Richardson’s first sentence is hardly a laughing matter: “Since January, there have been frightening signs that America is becoming an oligarchy overseen by a dictator.” It hardly lightens up as she progresses.
From the first, Donald Trump has followed an authoritarian playbook, beginning with his rejection of objective reality. Forced early on to defend the assertion that the crowd at Trump’s inauguration was the biggest ever witnessed, presidential spokesperson Kellyanne Conway explained that the administration used “alternative facts”. Since then, the president has repeatedly attacked fact-based media as “fake news.” Indeed, with his insistence on an alternative reality, Trump sometimes seems like an elderly Fox News-addled neighbour suddenly given power to make his bizarrely warped view of America real.

But now, it feels all too real, with Trump delivering on the economic core of his vision. He has slashed regulations that protect workers, walked away from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, attacked the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) and gutted the government. Finally, in a dramatic “win” for his administration, the Republicans last week passed a major tax overhaul that slashes taxes primarily for the wealthy and is projected to create an almost 1.5 trillion dollar deficit. Republicans have already said that the only way to address that shortfall will be with cuts to Medicare and Social Security.

Since Democratic president Franklin Delano Roosevelt established the New Deal in the 1930s, radical conservatives have railed against the idea that the government should intervene in the economy. The New Deal responded to the Great Crash and the ensuing Depression by regulating business, providing a basic social safety net and promoting infrastructure in order to maintain a level playing field for all Americans. Opponents countered this principle by arguing that the government must not hem in America’s business leaders. In their view, government regulations and laws to benefit poorer members of society crippled leaders’ ability to prosper and, since their prosperity drove the economy by trickling down to everyone else, such laws destroyed progress.

But the New Deal was wildly popular, so conservatives sold their reactionary economic vision by enlisting white racism. As the federal government promoted civil rights, they warned that an active government redistributed the wealth of hard-working, white taxpayers to African Americans, a “special interest” that wanted better treatment than everyone else. In contrast, conservatives offered the image of the American cowboy individualist.

Ronald Reagan, with his derision of the welfare queen and his mantra that “government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem,” rode that racist anti-government cowboy image into the White House. Trump is this conservative macho individualist exaggerated to caricature. He brags about how he knows better than anyone how to run a successful business, how to fight Isis, how to find “the best people” for office.

While Reagan hinted at the discrimination inherent in the conservative worldview, Trump revels in it. But Trump delivered not just on the racism and sexism of the individualist vision, but also on its economics. In short, Republicans under Trump have finally destroyed the New Deal, turning the government over to a small cadre of wealthy businessmen, unhampered, to run the country as they see fit. When Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore put on his cowboy hat and rode his horse to the polls in Alabama in December, he was deliberately embodying Republican individualist principles.

…In 2017, Trump brought to life the alternative reality portrayed on Fox News, the individualist vision designed to destroy the New Deal. Now that it is exposed to reality, Americans reject it. Trump’s approval rating is at 35%, a historical low.

Nonetheless, it is not clear that democracy will prevail. Trump admires not America’s democratic allies but autocrats: Turkey’s President Erdoğan, North Korea’s Kim Jong-un and Russia’s Vladimir Putin. He has shown astonishing disregard for the law, flouting nepotism and emoluments rules and treating regular government procedures, including the authority of Congress, with disdain.

He has tried to undermine the FBI and American intelligence agencies, shows a disturbing affinity for Putin and Russian oligarchs, and has tried to undermine the authority of special counsel, Robert Mueller, charged with examining the role of Russia in the 2016 election. Acting again from the autocrat’s playbook, he has repeatedly attacked the press and has packed the courts: appointing the supreme court justice Republicans denied to President Barack Obama and 12 circuit judges, more in a year than any other president in history.

And Trump has followers who appear to be willing to rally around him, no matter what he does, even, perhaps, to dismiss as “fake news” any evidence of collusion with Russia that Mueller produces or, maybe, as the president suggested, to let him “stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody.” If Republican leaders are willing to enable Trump’s autocratic enthusiasms in return for oligarchy, American democracy will die.

In the 1850s, when a small group of rich slaveholders took the government away from the majority and tried to create an oligarchy, Abraham Lincoln implored Americans to work to guarantee “that government of the people by the people for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

Words for Americans to think about in the year 2018.
And more than think about. This isn’t going to end well… and Trump isn’t going to go down quietly or calmly. He has the support of 35% of the population— the crazy, armed 35%. Bernie and his supporters think a lot about the New Deal too and many of them think they can wean Trump supporters away from fascism with it. I guess we'll see soon enough, won't we?



At 9:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah. And the jews in Germany thought hitler's crazed mobs would wear themselves out too.

For nearly a half century, between '32 and '81, the Rs sought to destroy the New Deal. They plotted to kill FDR and overthrow the government. They tried to win at the ballot box. They tried fearmongering in '64 ($hillbillary worked for Goldwater, remember). They tried racism after LBJ's Great Society. They tried treason, lying about peace in Viet Nam and burglary (it worked). But the burglary did finally catch up with them.

Then, in '80 they appealed to greed and hate. Nothing more. And it worked.
In response, the democraps decided to sell their souls to compete with the Rs for the same money. And voters loved all of it.

So, as of '80, the financiers who have sought to obliterate the New Deal and Great Society reforms, are also supporting the democraps. And all voters who participate are very supportive of it all.

One could expect a minority of voters to be Nazis. A third is a lot more than it should be, but it's about what Germany had between '32 and '39.
But one SHOULD expect that the remaining 67% would coalesce into a permanent majority to prevent the Nazi minority from gaining power. But not in the usa.

You have to look at it this way: The money has 67% (democraps and Rs). The anti-money is only a third.

We live under tyranny of the money... and 67% of voters are fine with it since they always vote for either R or democraps.

To the money's credit, they've gone slowly enough, like the boiling frog analogy, so that the rubes who vote still play along and also nobody is in the streets demanding our rights back.

At 9:58 PM, Blogger Tony Wikrent said...

Not sure if Bernie supporters really believe the hardcore 35% can be weaned away. I for one do not. Why? Because the rich, who have become a new oligarchy, are fully finding the ongoing propaganda machine that created the 35 % in the first place. The rich are the source of the problem, but nobody is willing to talk about it. Plenty of studies and books about the Kochs or the Mergers or the Scaifes, but nobody wants to discuss treating them as the internal enemy of the republic that they are. And the Democratic Party is beholden to the rich also, so Dem leaders are unwilling to abandon neoliberalism and willing to cut Social Security and Medicare. And the Putin bogeyman is just a distraction from the reality that the Democrats are almost as awful as the Republicans.

At 6:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tony gets it. Americans worship celebrity and wealth. So much so that anyone who is a celebrity gets rich simply for BEING a celebrity (kardashians).

We keep electing the clergy of the rich (Ds and Rs) who combine to get all the votes, even though about 2 in 5 who COULD vote stay home.

So, yes, americans are fully on board with everything that is going on. They always vote for it.

At 7:35 AM, Anonymous ap215 said...

Well brace yourself for this if the neoliberals win their primaries & have their way with the majority in both chambers in 2018.


At 8:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I have a difficult time accepting anything Politico has to say. Too much of their output reminds me of the output of Murdoch's many media properties.

At 5:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tony, if polls are even close to correct, the trump base is a faithful and pious bunch. They won't be turned by any Bernie populism, even if they are all made destitute by trump and R policies. Just as the highly religious believe even more fervently when their religion suffers regular, chronic factual debunking.

You must have noted, as I have, that his favorable never dip below a third nor above about 2 in 5. When someone as misanthropic and clearly insane as trump can't ever go below a third, you know his base is completely delusional.


Post a Comment

<< Home