Tuesday, December 20, 2016

How Much Pain Do The Republicans Have To Inflict On The Working Class Before Voters Start Wondering What Happened with All Those Trumpy Promises?


Earlier today we ended the morning post with a comment on something Matt Taibbi mentioned in a recent Rolling Stone column, namely that Trump's recent appointments from Goldman "are absolute proof that his 'populist' message was a crock all along."
Can anyone doubt it? Sure... More than half the country is living in a state of reality denial. That's really how Trump got elected. The pain headed their way is likely to wake them up... quickly.
Moments later... this piece from Dante Chinni in the Wall Street Journal: Trump Counties Would See Big Impact From Obamacare Repeal. His point is that the worst pain and suffering from enacting the Republican health care agenda ("die quickly") will be felt in communities that gave Trump some of his highest levels of support, in places like the coal mining regions of West Virginia, Kentucky and in OH-06. There are 20 million Americans who depend on Obamacare for their health insurance and many of them were Trump voters in working class counties, rural counties, "evangelical hubs" and in "graying America." Chinni reiterated that swaths of largely rural Graying America, Rural Middle America and Working Class Country counties make up large parts of Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, the states that led to the Trumpanzee electoral college victory. Before the election the uninsured rate in the U.S. had sunk to 10.9% but most Americans are still telling pollsters they don't like the Affordable Care Act. Of course most Americans Republicans are also telling pollsters that Trump won the popular vote, even though Hillary Clinton beat him by a gigantic 2.8 million votes.
The fact that insurance coverage rates increased in those counties is not a surprise. They are the kinds of places that the ACA targeted when it aimed to expand coverage. The county categories that show big upticks in insurance coverage had been below the national average for coverage rates in 2008, according to Gallup data. Many of them have median incomes below the national average and struggle with higher than average unemployment rates.

Viewed through a political lens, the numbers suggest a challenge for Mr. Trump and the GOP-led Congress. If Mr. Trump keeps his campaign promise to scrap and replace the ACA, communities that gave him some of his biggest margins would likely see the biggest impact. That reality may be behind Mr. Trump’s expressed interest in holding onto at least parts of the law, particularly provisions that bar insurers from denying insurance on the basis of preexisting conditions and which allow people to keep their older children on parents’ plans.

... People may say they don’t like the law or its costs, but what happens if changes to the law result in people losing coverage? That’s a question that probably can’t be answered until after the changes are made.

When the repeal and replacement of the ACA may happen is not yet clear. Some conservatives are saying the complexities of making such a big change take time, and that may mean waiting until perhaps 2019 to implement a replacement for the health law.

By that point the next presidential election will be much closer.
Two years before that, of course, are the 2018 congressional elections. The Senate is a lost cause. Ignore the DSCC, Chuck Schumer and the Senate elections in general. We'd be better off if they choke on their own vomit after shoveling their crap, loser candidates like Patrick Murphy, Katie McGinty, Ann Kirkpatrick, Patty Judge and Ted Strickland down everyone's throats. They'll lose more seats in 2018. Don't worry about it and don't put a nickel into anything but helping defend (directly, never through the DSCC) Tammy Baldwin (WI) and Sherrod Brown (OH). The action for 2018 is all in the House. The Democrats have to come out with a net gain 24 seats to put a brake on Trumpism. (In reality they need more than 24 seats because of so many Democratic collaborators among the New Dems and Blue Dogs, but let's call it 24 seats for the sake of argument.)

How to win back the House? Offer a more attractive alternative to the destruction Trump and Ryan are promising. Sounds simple, right? Yet when people on Twitter started buzzing Monday how the Republicans had stabbed American workers in the back by excising Buy American provisions out of a water infrastructure bill, I felt the obligation of explaining to them that so many Democrats voted for it that it was completely negated as a campaign issue. Most solid progressives like Mark Pocan, Barbara Lee, Raul Grijalva, Ted Lieu and Matt Cartwright voted against it, but even Berniecrats Keith Ellison and Tulsi Gabbard voted with Paul Ryan and the Republican wing of the Democratic Party on this one. So... throw that issue down the garbage disposal.

Last night, writing at FloridaPolitics.com, Scott Powers offered some advice from Alan Grayson for Florida Democrats. "Unless there is substantial structural change," explained Grayson, "the Blue Dogs will continue to make the argument that a populist Democrat, or for that matter a progressive Democrat, which is not exactly the same thing, has no chance of winning-- because that’s the way they continue to dominate the statewide machinery,” Grayson said. “Even though they’ve been proved wrong in every single race except for Alex Sink’s race for CFO, every single race for a quarter century."
Grayson said the party needs to stop relying on identity coaltion-building politics-- black, Hispanic, gay etc.-- and focus clearly on basic issues people can believe will improve their lives, and which can be delivered. In the senate campaign, his was “seniors deserve a raise,” which referred to his plans to expand Social Security and Medicare. Trump and Gov. Rick Scott won populist campaigns on bringing back jobs.

"There are populist issues that would actually bring the whole state together and galvanize the groups that we did extremely poorly with in the national election, for instance high school dropouts, where the Democratic Party got wiped out," Grayson said. "The polls showed Bernie did 40 points better than Clinton with high school dropouts. 40."

A populist campaign, he argued, that focuses on those issues as Sanders did, while paying little attention to issues that have only regional support in Florida, could win.

"There are a number of issues that play just as well in the Panhandle as they would play in South Florida and the polls show it. For instance, increasing the minimum wage. There’s basically majority support all around the state except for Fort Myers," Grayson said. "There are certain issues, actually, that you do see regional differences like for instance gun control, like abortion, and not the way you might think. Abortion is not that popular in South Florida."

He also railed against what he called "the commentariate and the political industrial complex" for writing off attempts to appeal to certain segments of voters, like much of the working class, because they don’t vote. This year they voted, for Trump.

"I think if the Democratic party stopped ignoring them, they might vote," he said.

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At 9:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I got news for Grayson, who I actually like... a lot.

But the D party CAN'T "pay attention" to the 160 million who didn't vote for der fuhrer.

First, they are in the minority and impotent. Almost all of this is due to their cowardice and ineptitude, but since the early '80s it's because they've served only the big money BY DESIGN of the DLC which has assimilated all the other official arms of the party.

Second, it's because if they DID actually serve the 315 million non-CEO and non-billionaire caste, the money would stop flowing... and it turns out that they really, REALLY love that money.

And third, I do think that an increasing number of that 160 million are on to them, and if they returned to supportive RHETORIC, they wouldn't be believed. 40 years of betrayals and sellouts is enough even for the limited intellects in this electorate.

A party that wants to win in perpetuity should be appealing NOT to the 60 million that always vote D no matter what piece of shit is running, but to the 100 million that don't participate BECAUSE all candidates are pieces of shit and don't represent any of their interests anyway.

Let the 60 million deplorables that always vote R do what they do.
Advocate for the 160 million others. Get a lot of the mindless D voters to switch. And give most of the other 100 million a reason to show up. Then you'd have something.

At 5:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We need more politicians like Alan Grayson. A real progressive who really speaks out and tells it like it is!

At 8:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, but until the leadership of the Democratic Party is completely replaced, the party doesn't stand a chance. I predict with confidence that 2018 and 2020 will be a complete disaster for the Democrats despite every crazy thing the Republicans do over the next 4 years.


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