Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Do Ideas Matter in Politics?

I'm not sure how Trump won the election.  I'm not sure how the Tea Party took over the Republican Party.

Listening to people who voted for Trump, it's pretty clear they come from all over the place--virtually everything you heard said in his favor comes up when people explain their votes: He may be a loud mouth but he says what he believes not what he thinks people want to hear; he's not politically correct, which is a good thing; he is a good businessman and cares about jobs and he'll save the coal industry and he'll keep manufacturing jobs in America; he'll protect our borders; he'll prevent dangerous Muslims from coming here; he'll back police over Black people; he'll make America White again; he'll keep us out of other people's wars; he'll build the military so we don't have to use it.
I want my coal mining job; don't talk to me about retraining

Virtually everything negative you heard about Hillary comes out in the reasons Trump voters voted against her: She killed Vince Foster; she sacrificed those Americans at Benghazi; she cheated on her income taxes; she sold herself to Wall Street; she waffled on abortion, after saying she was for only first trimester abortions she said she was for late term abortions, which proves she has no real convictions.

All these ideas come from somewhere.
Cantor selling tax cuts

Eric Cantor, writing in the New York Times explained how he had hoped President Obama would work across the aisle, but after he extended a hand, he snatched it back and then just ran over the Republicans and didn't listen to their ideas.

And what, exactly were those great Republican ideas which Obama rejected? When the financial crisis threatened to send the country into the next great Depression, Cantor and Boehner went to the President and suggested he solve the problem by, can you guess? CUTTING TAXES! Yes, the Republican solution to everything. Just cut taxes and we would have been fine. All those belly up mortgage backed securities which collapsed banks and insurance companies and brokerage houses, just cut taxes and it all goes away.  Government spending is how Obama wanted to fight the crisis. Why we Republicans have known since Herbert Hoover government spending can only be a bad thing.
Hillary's America: Counties she won

And, oh, regulation, get rid of that, too. (Never mind it was the lack of regulation which allowed credit rating companies like Moody's and others to endorse worthless securities as "triple A.")

So the Republicans came with the same answers they had in Herbert Hoover's day--let the private sector lead the way. No government spending. That will only worsen the problem. Let the banks and Wall Street and the financial houses rescue us, as if your response to the Titanic was giving the captain a new ship.

Dark blue are the counties Trump won

What I'd like to know is how the Rush Limbaugh crowd, the Mitch McConnell crowd, the Fox News crowd gets its ideas out there. 

Why can't the Democrats study how they did it and emulate that?  The Japanese built an economy on the idea of taking apart superior products and then building better versions of the same thing. Why can't the Democrats do that?


  1. Mad Dog,
    Can you imagine the audacity of the President to snatch his hand back from those welcoming, affable Republicans-the nerve..Yep, that will be the new narrative Republicans will employ to rewrite history. They were willing to work in a bi-partisan fashion to get things done for the country and Obama refused. Congressional obstructionism merely a myth conceived by the Democrats to malign those on the right and in the right..Worst part is the new narrative will probably succeed..

    To your question-I don't know why the Democrats can't spin their own yarns that work and are accepted as fact. Part of the problem may be that our side is too committed to the truth? Perhaps we should consider, as Colbert would say, a little "truthiness" instead-works for the right..

  2. CRR,
    The truth is a hard master. We are carrying that on our backs, as Democrats; likely this is why we find it so hard to win races against those who are not similarly burdened.
    Mad Dog