Thursday, October 12, 2017


You know who Donald Trump rode to the White House on.

So where are the Democrats when it comes to vilification?

It's not like there aren't any good candidates out there.

John Oliver gave us the CEO of Alpha Coal, who nearly broke down sobbing, talking about the prospect of laying off coal miners in response to a question about a photo on his wall of a coal miner's. But, as Oliver pointed out, he had asked the bankruptcy court to cut the health insurance for 1200 miners while his board voted him and themselves 12 million dollar bonuses.

The coal industry is just too sweet a gift for Democrats, if they were only smart enough to use the gift they've been given.

And big pharma--who could have dreamed up an icon like Martin Shkreli if they'd tried?  Raises the price a drug upon which lives depend by 1000%, "Because I could. There's nothing illegal about it."

Or Robert Murray of Murray Energy who is the latest incarnation of those old tobacco industry executives who testified before Congress that smoking is good for your health and nobody should believe those scientists who said it caused lung cancer because they were all in the pockets of the liberal establishment and were like pinko Commies. Mr. Murray says we shouldn't believe the scientists who say burning fossil fuels (like the coal he just happens to own) contributes to climate change but we should trust his "four thousand scientists" who say just the opposite.  And all he cares about is his coal miners, well, except for that mining disaster which the government said was his fault but he claims was just a natural disaster an earthquake only he knows occurred.

The problem with the CEO's and the board members and the billionaires is most of them avoid fame like the plague. They are happy enough to just be super rich.

The Koch brothers occasionally make public appearances when they are being honored at Lincoln Center for giving money to the opera or ballet. But they keep a low profile and other than books like "Dark Money" they are not much examined, and who reads books anyway?

The shame is that no CEO went to jail for the 2008 financial collapse which, as anyone who saw "The Big Short" movie knows, had many fathers, but some at least were working at the agencies which sold stock and bond AAA ratings to the very companies whose stocks they were rating. 

These Wall Street, Wichita, Kansas,  Bentonville, Arkansas mogols pull the strings which control the lives of coal miners, factory workers, servers all over the country but they are never the bad guys. The bad guys are the imaginary Mexican rapists storming across our Southern Border. 
We need somebody to give us new villains.
Bernie Sanders took a few steps in the direction of stirring up embers of resentment. If only a few younger whippersnappers could follow his lead.


  1. More nuanced than that! Bernie went after millionaires and billionaires - but who wouldn't want to be one of them if you could? They have an inherent appeal - which "elitists" do not. The Republican strategists have done a good job finding "villains" which everyone (or at least many) can dislike (if you accept what you are told about them - after all, who likes "murderers and rapists"?). It is similar to how well Trump's labels of his opponents stick - while you and I still search for one we can hang on Trump. Sad - but true!

  2. Anon,

    It's tougher to do from the liberal point of view because we do not have the vast right wing conspiracy, aka alt right, which is Fox News, The Storm Front blog, the neo Nazi blogosphere etc etc, ginning up the hate for dark skins, Jews, Muslims, all those non White, non Christian no Americans coming to take our jobs and our daughters. All the Dotard has to do is to allude to all that with a dog whistle and they know exactly what he's selling. It's a presold product.

    But, Bernie was able to stir things up. I was in those crowds. They were every bit as rabid at the mention of the billionaire class, nebulous as that might be.
    The marketing just has to be refined and amplified.
    It can be done.
    Donald Littlefinger cannot have the only access to good (M)ad men.

    Mad Dog

  3. Two observations:
    1) I notice you used two different labels to reference Trump. Can't find one the really resonates?
    2) Bernie stirred things up in part by promising free health care and free college tuitions. Who wouldn't love that - of course, who would actually pay for those things. The people in the crowd felt that the millionaires/billionaires were somehow taking the money away from them - in a way no different than those on the right who assume they are not making it because someone (usually of a darker color) is being given what should be going to them.
    Crazies on all sides these days!! Time for a new centrist party - for the informed and rational!!

  4. Anon,

    Dopey Donald, Donald Dubious. I don't know. I sort of like Donald Dotard. Nothing sticks to him, however.
    He is pink and puffy, I supposed Puffy Trumpy might do.
    Oh, yes. The left has its share of crazies.
    The fact is, for profit medicine has a basic structural flaw and commercial insurance is part of that. Personally, I like England's model: Basic plan for all, Cadillac plan as an add on for those who have it through work or fortune.
    You can fly economy or first class--both get you to the same destination, but one in more comfort.

    Mad Dog