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Posts Tagged ‘GOP

Jump Joe, Jump

with 2 comments

Manchin that is, Joe Manchin, who is a Democrat Senator from West Virginia – and the jump he should make is to the Republican party since he has just blown up his own party’s plans for destroying the Senate filibuster, thereby screwing a lot of other revolutionary Democrat Party schemes.

Getting rid of the filibuster for all legislation would still have required Vice President Harris to be the tie-braking vote each time, but it would have enabled the Democrats to do whatever they wanted with 51 Senate votes, including packing the Supreme Court.

However the primary goal would have been to pass their “Voting Rights” bill – H.R.1 “For The People Act” (propaganda should always start with a good phrase) – that would federalise (centralise) election management in Washington D.C. and ensure they’d rule the Federal US government as they rule California and Illinois (the Democrats hope).

Manchin told his party to take a hike on that one as well:

I believe that partisan voting legislation will destroy the already weakening binds of our democracy, and for that reason, I will vote against the For the People Act. Furthermore, I will not vote to weaken or eliminate the filibuster. For as long as I have the privilege of being your U.S. senator, I will fight to represent the people of West Virginia, to seek bipartisan compromise no matter how difficult and to develop the political bonds that end divisions and help unite the country we love.

The Democrat Senate caucus meetings may be a tad frosty for a while.

But it’s among the Democrat political activists and MSM journalists where things have naturally dropped to the level of carpet-biting rage, including the following entirely predictable claim about Manchin:

Wow! This is a stunningly original critique from Hill and Jones. It must be all of five minutes since a Republican was called a White Supremacist keen on reviving Jim Crow, but now an Old, White, Male Democrat is getting the treatment! Things must getting serious on “the most dangerous threat to our democracy” front.

Hill is a noted race grifter, having turned a failing gig on ESPN as a sports commentator into a  career as a “journalist” who makes charges of racism against just about everyone who breathes.

However Manchin is not alone. A few weeks ago I noted that he’s been joined in these actions by Arizona Democrat Senator Kyrsten Sinema, whose “Fuck Off” ring and general demeanour show that she’s a younger generation that is wise to all this MSM/Social Media “rage” bullshit and is not intimidated by it.

I also would not be surprised to learn that there are other Democrat Senators who aren’t that keen on all these grand plans either, given the electoral risks involved, but who are quite happy to use Manchin as a shield.

The voters even more so; while they aren’t vocal, there are still a lot of “liberals” who are more middle of the road politically. Manchin, though he seems like a unicorn, is actually a lot more representative than people think he is.

BTW, nearly 70% of West Virginians voted for Trump so Manchin is basically just representing his constituents, which is his job, and naturally he would also like to keep his job. It’s the reddest state in the union in regards to presidential politics.

As result, every single time a raging leftie Democrat goes after him, he gains more credibility for re-election in that state via Republican voters. The media hate him and his own party despises him. They aren’t trying to earn his support, rather, they are seeking to destroy him.

Moreover do these fanatical FaceTwit idiots understand that all of this may actually drive Manchin into the arms of the Republican Party aside from re-election? He has to know that this isn’t going to get any better. The Democrat Party is not moderating.

The old blue-dog era is dead and buried. Manchin may still have a dream of winding the clock back to 1996 but it’s more a hallucination. Woke politics is now at the forefront, as that old friend of segregationists and tough criminal laws, Joe Biden. shows everyday. Does Manchin really want to stick around so he can get called a racist and a supporter of Jim Crow by his own party?

In fact Manchin doesn’t even have to become a Republican. Instead he can become an independent, negotiate with Republicans for whatever committee assignments he wants in exchange for caucusing with them and tell Chuck Schumer and the rest of the Democrats to go fuck themselves.

All of the above is why I wasn’t interested in the hysterical screaming from the US Right when they found themselves facing Democrat control of all three branches of the Federal government after January. That control was razor thin in all three areas. Even with a huge increase in the popular vote the Electoral College win by Biden was slim – in terms of vote difference in the key swing states it was actually smaller than Trump’s win in 2016. The five-six Senate seats the Democrats expected to win never happened and it was only thanks to the unusual event of having not one but two runoff elections in a single state, Georgia, that they even got a tie. As for the House, the GOP lost no seats and cleaned up a dozen or so Democrats, bringing them to within half-a-dozen votes of sending Nancy Pelosi to her final ash heap.

This is nothing like 2008 when the Democrats got all three branches with overwhelming majorities. Back then every US Right winger had serious cause for concern at what they could get done. But sufficient Democrats know how close they are to the razor’s edge to not push things too far.

In theory you could say the same thing about the GOP but the difference here is that it’s the Democrats who are pushing extremist policies across the board, where even a seemingly normal infrastructure bill that could be bipartisan is reduced to being nothing but a porkfest where only simple bribery might get GOP votes. Although the Democrat Operatives with Bylines in the US MSM and around the world do their damndest to portray the opposite, after 2016 few are stupid enough to think that the MSM represents many voters.

The Democrat coalition is unsustainable. The radicals have taken over the leadership, either directly or via proxy, and the further things move left, the more the party splits in two.

Written by Tom Hunter

June 10, 2021 at 3:49 pm

Die MSM, Die – A blast from their lying past

Anybody who has followed US politics over the last few decades will remember a minor kerfuffle that occurred during the 1992 Presidential election.

Earlier that year the GOP primaries were happening and while not as exciting as the Democrat ones, because the incumbent President usually has no real challengers, people did pay some attention.

While conducting one of the usual election campaign photo opportunities President Bush dropped by a National Grocers Association convention in Orlando. One of the exhibits Bush visited was a demonstration of NCR’s checkout scanning technology, and he’s seen here at that point.

Following the triumph of Desert Storm, Bush was still riding reasonably high in the polls, even if they had declined a bit as a shallow recession appeared in late 1991 and pushed on into early 1992. But like most incumbent Presidents he was expected to win, so much so that several Democrat heavy hitters decided not to run that year, leaving the field to unknowns like some guy from Arkansas called Bill Clinton.

Still, the recession was seen as Bush’s weak spot and the Democrats began to chew away on this, along with their faithful lackey, The New York Times. The chosen narrative was that Bush didn’t really care about ordinary people, which was why he wasn’t doing anything to end the recession, so the idea was to produce endless articles showing how he was “out of touch” with the average American after decades in Washington D.C.

As you can see from the MSM coverage today of the current POTUS, an even more long-term incumbent of Washington D.C., narratives can be turned 180 degrees when the political and ideological need arises.

So when this photo and story appeared it was a gift to the NYT, and one of their lead reporters jumped all over it:

Today, for instance, [Bush] emerged from 11 years in Washington’s choicest executive mansions to confront the modern supermarket.Visiting the exhibition hall of the National Grocers Association convention here, Mr. Bush lingered at the mock-up of a checkout lane. He signed his name on an electronic pad used to detect check forgeries.

“If some guy came in and spelled George Bush differently, could you catch it?” the President asked. “Yes,” he was told, and he shook his head in wonder.

Some grocery stores began using electronic scanners as early as 1976, and the devices have been in general use in American supermarkets for a decade.

Because the NYT was regarded as the lead on any story, this one gave other editorial writers the chance to pile on and amplify the narrative (always an essential part of a propaganda campaign), like the Boston Globe

President Bush, according to reporters who followed him around Tuesday at the National Grocers Association convention in Orlando, Fla., had never before seen a supermarket cash register on which the name of the item and its price flashed on a screen when the item was dragged across an electronic scanner.

The scanner was introduced at supermarket checkouts in 1980, the year Bush was elected vice president, and is just one of the many aspects of everyday life from which a president (or vice president) is shielded in the private life of public office.

As opposed to this cool guy and his trumpet saxophone.

Then a small piece of truth emerged:

Andrew Rosenthal of The New York Times hadn’t even been present at the grocers’ convention. He based his article on a two-paragraph report filed by the lone pool newspaperman allowed to cover the event, Gregg McDonald of the Houston Chronicle, who merely wrote that Bush had a “look of wonder” on his face and didn’t find the event significant enough to mention in his own story.

Moreover, Bush had good reason to express wonder: He wasn’t being shown then-standard scanner technology, but a new type of scanner that could weigh groceries and read mangled and torn bar codes.


Bob Graham of NCR, who demonstrated the scanner technology for President Bush, said, “It’s foolish to think the president doesn’t know anything about grocery stores. He knew exactly what I was talking about.”

But by the time this truth leaked out it didn’t matter because it was buried on the back pages with one-time printing and then forgotten. To be fair there were some other MSM sources in the day that were more honest and less partisan than the Globe, NYT and others:

Newsweek screened the same tape and reported: “Bush acts curious and polite, but hardly amazed.” Michael Duffy of Time magazine called the whole thing “completely insignificant as a news event. It was prosaic, polite talk, and Bush is expert at that. If anything, he was bored.” 

Those semi-balanced days seem even longer ago than 1992.

But despite the likes of Time and Newsweek, The Narrative had multiple front-pages and therefore stuck – which was the intention of the NYT and other Democrat-supporting MSM sources. In fact it stuck so well that it’s still repeated, as it was with an ordinary 2009 NYT story about the history of the bar code scanner:

They even played a role in the 1992 presidential race, when then-PresidentGeorge H. W. Bush, at a campaign stop, seemed surprised by what had already become a technological staple of everyday life.

Also with a scathing NYT attack on John McCain about his supposed ludditism in 2008:

She even does my boarding passes – people can do that now,” Mr. McCain marveled. “When we go to the movies, she gets the tickets ahead of time. It’s incredible.”

Mr. McCain’s sense of wonder evoked the episode in the early 1990s when George H.W. Bush became overly impressed upon seeing a price scanner at a supermarket check-out counter.

As opposed to this cool guy and his Blackberry.

Yes, you’re seeing yet another standard pattern in the MSM, all the way to Cool Britannia and our own “Youth Adjacent” PM.

Written by Tom Hunter

May 18, 2021 at 12:47 pm

WERE I TOM PEREZ

I would be recommending to my colleagues on the Democratic National Committee that they award Donald Trump honorary life membership of the DNC in return for services rendered to the Party. After-all, he was a registered Democrat up until a decade ago.

If Trump had exhibited a modicum of leadership over COVID then he would have won over Biden at a canter while his quite simply bizarre behaviour post the election in challenging the result probably cost the Republicans control of the Senate with the loss of the two Georgia Senate seats won by the Democrats with larger margins than Biden when he carried the State back in November.

And then to cap it all off we have the storming of the Capitol by Trump supporters egged on by the President. This is politics banana republic style.

Politicians write their own legacy. I suspect history will judge Trump to be an aberration in US politics sorta a Jeremy Corbyn in reverse … and it could have been so different had he not given the word ‘arsehole’ a whole new meaning.

Gonna be really interesting to see how the Republican Party reacts to this. Trump created his own constituency and in doing so he burned-off many moderate Republicans … you might cogently argue Trump is/was the ultimate RHINO.

Written by The Veteran

January 7, 2021 at 11:38 am

Posted in US Politics, USA

Tagged with , ,

As Sure As The Sun Rising…

… are the sighs of relief from Democrats and the Democrat Media complex that with another Republican President defeated, the sun is not only shining brightly upon the broad uplands of the USA but it is time for healing all the wounds created by the “divisive” GOP President and his allies.

And healing! Lots of healing.

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHH!

Come on, Man. I’ve heard this crap after Reagan, Bush I, Bush II and now Trump and I could accept it when the target was the candidate.

While every US election is filled with such rhetoric – it’s the American way – this has not just happened during the heat of an election but every day for more than four years.

Moreover, what has truly made this time very different is that the hate has been directed not just at the GOP President but specifically and deliberately at individuals who are Trump supporters and voters. It’s been prominent on Facebook, Twitter and a host of other social media sites, and it has manifested itself in attacks against Trump supporters designed to destroy their employment, businesses and careers.

What?

If you were in any way serious about what you repeatedly screamed at your political, ideological and class opponents, why on earth would you wish to extend an olive branch to Ignorant, Redneck, Racist, Xenophobic Nazi Rural Hicks who are supporting an attempted Right Wing coup even as we speak, destroying the idea of democracy, elections and the rule of law?

Either you were simply full of shit in your hysterical, TDS-unhinged accusations or you now realise that almost 74 million Trump voters represent something much more than a fringe minority that can be crushed. What was it that Lenin said?

You probe with bayonets: if you find mush, you push. If you find steel, you withdraw.

Ah well. Ms Milano has history with her “standards’, as witnessed by her vastly differing reactions to the sexual assault allegations against Justice Kavanaugh (top) and Joe Biden (bottom).

But Ms Milano is simply a celebrity example of literally millions of ordinary US Democrats and Leftists who have employed such tactics against friends and family members – and have been encouraged to do so by a vast Democrat media complex who suggested, amongst other things, that events like Christmas and Thanksgiving were ideal places for it to happen.

I’ve seen it on my wife’s Facebook. And I see now the same calls for unity and healing from these same people.

LOLGFY.

I don’t think so. It’s too late. As with many other aspects of American society Trump has forced the masks to be ripped off, and we have peered into the abysses thus revealed.

If it had simply been aimed at Trump, as it was at Reagan, the Bushes, or the GOP in general, then it could be shrugged off as it was before, as something like Biden describes.

But this has been made very local and personal, like a civil war, and it cannot be undone easily or quickly. There has been very little difference in language, ideas and attitude between people we’ve known for twenty and thirty years, and the sort of trolling, Far Left animals one sees in blog comment sections.

.

But at the same time as such people should be waved off now as those one should have as little to do with as possible from here on, it pays to make note of the humourous aspects of them, like the New York Times.

Or those who helped to massively tip the scales in the propaganda war of 2020.

Written by Tom Hunter

November 26, 2020 at 4:40 pm

Posted in US Politics, USA

Tagged with , , ,

Your choice of dinner, Vet?

It’s quite amusing to have gone from this on the evening of Wednesday, November 4th…

“I’m not sure if I (or Wayne Mapp) need to ask Adolf, Rossco and any of the the other true believers the recipe for ‘humble pie’ and, for Tom H, his bank account detail for me to dc his winnings.”

… to President Joe Biden now, as seems almost certain.

Nobody likes to take the MSM’s word for it, but given that Trump lags behind by thousands of votes in three key states – Arizona, Georgia and Pennsylvania – this is not going to be a repeat of the 2000 election where it all hinged on just one state with the difference of perhaps a few hundred votes. The percentage differences for all but Nevada are admittedly tiny, with Georgia at 0.2%, Pennsylvania at 0.64% and Trump may even win Arizona eventually. But I don’t think any court challenges are going to changes tens of thousands of votes in the very appropriately nicknamed “Keystone State”.

So that’s that. All that remains is post-analysis and The Vet’s selection of restaurant, preferably in Auckland.

Written by Tom Hunter

November 9, 2020 at 8:42 am

Here come the Courts!

So I go to bed last night with Trump holding decent majorities of 3-4% or more in three key states he needed to win: Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.

These are the sort of election night margins that are usually too big to overturn, which is what GOP congressman in Orange County also thought in 2018.

Trump had smaller margins in Georgia and North Carolina and it seemed that this was where he was vulnerable, but even those would not have given Biden the Electoral Votes he needed to get to 270.

But this is 2020 where nothing is predictable and in the early hours of the morning this happened.

Given that Trump never gives up I can see this going to the courts in those states – Arizona seems to also have problems – but my observation is that recounts don’t usually change dramatically. The only such change would be if a whole bunch of mail-in ballots were declared invalid.

So it would seem that the Vet’s concession last night of a Biden loss was premature and I may still end up being the one that has to buy dinner.

Further analysis must await a conclusive result but one thing that can already be declared is that we should not only ignore the MSM (a given in my case anyway) but also most of the pollsters, not to mention the aggregators like 538, whose star has steadily fallen since 2008. Just one example:

Any marketing division of a corporate that got sales figures that wrong would be seeing people get fired. Somehow that never seems to happen with pollsters, who will simply make a bunch of excuses about “methodology problems”, as they did in 2016, and then go on their merry way to the next election where they will be again touted by the MSM airheads with whom they have a parasitic relationship.

Written by Tom Hunter

November 5, 2020 at 9:29 am

AS I WRITE THIS

I’m not sure if I (or Wayne Mapp) need to ask Adolf, Rossco and any of the the other true believers the recipe for ‘humble pie’ and, for Tom H, his bank account detail for me to dc his winnings.

But whatever … it’s clear that Trump over performed and Biden the opposite. Forget about the popular vote … means nowt … it’s all about the electoral college vote and right now it’s too close to call.

Certainly I (and many others) became transfixed by the polls and the surge in early voting numbers. Very few (true believers excepted) predicted the red tsunami that occurred on election day.

As it stands right now it appears the Republicans have made a net gain of three seats in the House while retaining control of the Senate. The amount of dollars expended by the Democrats in trying to unseat Republican Senators was staggering. It is reported that in South Carolina they spent $140m in trying to flip Republican Lindsey Graham’s seat. Graham won by over a quarter of a million votes.

Should Biden win one suspects he will be thanking his lucky stars that the Republicans own the Senate. Means they can nobble legislation proposed by some of his more looney tunes Democrat Party colleagues like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortes while he can do a Pontius Pilate.

Whatever the final result you can argue it is the worst possible outcome for America. One side is going to be hugely aggrieved … the potential for chaos is very real.

Written by The Veteran

November 4, 2020 at 8:18 pm

Posted in US Politics, USA

Tagged with , ,

Resistance is Futile

Why bother adding a comment to a post when I can write my own post!

I’m referring of course to my fellow blogger, The Vet, and his post on a recent CNN US election poll, conducted by polling group called SSRS.

And all this courtesy of DPF’s thrilled post on the same subject over on Kiwiblog, Biden has 16% lead in SSRS poll.

Let’s start with the obvious points:

  1. CNN has run a 24/7 Trump hatefest for five years now, so the idea that they would support a poll from an “independent” polling group (why not add “Fact Checker” to “Independent”) that just happens to trash their fave hate object, is not an outlandish concept.
  2. That this is then trumpeted by similar TDS sufferers world-wide should come as no surprise, including that fact that no analysis or scepticism of the poll is applied.
  3. DPF is one of the worst such sufferers in NZ. I don’t think even the Lefty blogs have been this harsh. It’s as though DPF is terrified that Right-Wingers like him will be forever scarred by association with the Orange Mussolini.
  4. Not to mention that it’s a Republican who is repudiating all those Right-WIng shibboleth’s of the past forty years: Free Trade agreements, wide open immigration (illegal and otherwise), tarriffs, eliciting votes from union workers in Sunset Industries – all those things that were supposed to have been buried with the victories of Reagan, Thatcher and Roger Douglas.
  5. The DPF trait noted by NZ Lefties for years of doing nothing but reporting bad news for a political opponent, especially when his beloved National is in deep shit. Just pound on the opposition’s negatives. Don’t bother reporting the positives for your side when there are none. So in the last six months Kiwiblog has been an endless series of Trump-bashing, with one exception around the recent Israeli diplomatic deals with Islamic Gulf states. There has not been a single pro-Biden piece. Of course; DPF isn’t that silly.

And then there’s the poll itself. Readers who checked out the link will note that it has shown a Biden lead over Trump since the first comparison was conducted April 3-6 (starting with that)

  • 11%
  • 5%
  • 15%
  • 14%
  • 4%
  • 8%
  • 15%
  • 16% (the latest result)

Not to put too fine a point on it but that is a pretty fucked up poll. The wild swings to start with – from 11% to 5% to 15% in three months. But also the fact that a poll that showed an 11% gap way back in early April and has had gaps of 15% should not have a 16% gap extolled as evidence that Trump is doomed.

And of course there is the final fact that – just as in 2016 – this is a National poll in an election where the Nation-wide vote doesn’t matter and it’s the result of the elections in each of 50 states that do, especially the swing states that make the difference, as Hillary Clinton learned to her horror in 2016. And those states, especially in the supposed Blue Wall of Mid-Western states that collapsed for the Democrats in 2015, are showing nothing like this at all.

It may well be that Trump loses this election. But that was also true in 2016 when we were bombarded by polls like this that were basically headlined as “Trump Certain Loser” – right up until he won. I understand statistical flukes but when there are fundamental drivers that have not changed there’s no point in treating the whole exercise as a coin flip.

And since I have a hundred buck bet with The Vet riding on Trump winning – and that will not be cash but an excellent meal at the winner’s choice of Auckland restaurant – I’m sticking with my prediction that Trump, with all his flaws, is going to pull this one out of the fire as in 2016.

(Classic TV reference in the title)

Written by Tom Hunter

October 7, 2020 at 8:07 pm

Meanwhile, Back in the Senate

News that Trump has tested positive for Chinese Lung Rot has thrown yet another piece of dynamite into what has already been the craziest year this century – including 2001.

Meanwhile, as is usually the case with that vast nation, other work moves forward, starting with Amy Coney Barrett’s hearings and Supreme Court vote in the US Senate. It would appear that McConnell has the numbers, and I would not be surprised to learn that he’s had them for months now as he gamed out the results of RBG’s death, which Washington insiders had surely suspected for some time now, gossip networks among the powerful being what they are.

It’s hard to say how the hearings will go. The Democrats have dialed everything up to 11 this year so although I’m not expecting her to be accused of gang rape they’ll probably be something nasty. To which mockery perhaps is the best answer.

Not a bad idea actually. It would certainly make Feinstein choke as the Democrat minority leader of the Senate committee that will lead the hearings.

And in yet another of the Democrat Party’s “senior moments”, word has spread that Democrats are very concerned that Feinstein’s age and recent difficulties processing things will mean she won’t handle Barrett very well. In fact the Left can thank Feinstein for the rise of Barrett, after the foolish comment, “the dogma lives loudly within you”, uttered during hearings on Barrett joining the Seventh Circuit Court a few years ago.

Meantime in the MSM, the 2008 Journolist world of incredibly well-aligned talking points between “different” MSM reporters continues.

Meantime it turns out that Democrats were afraid of diversity the whole time – and that’s before we get to diversity of thought.

Written by Tom Hunter

October 3, 2020 at 5:52 am

Posted in US Politics, USA

Tagged with , ,

Kansas Can Go Fuck Itself

Sixteen years ago a man named Frank Thomas wrote a book that rapidly became required reading among Democrat politicians and activists in the USA.

The book is called What’s The Matter With Kansas, and it dealt with the seeming inability of the Democrats to take electoral advantage of things like the Iraq War and economic issues in the heartlands of America. The author, Thomas Frank, is a good writer and thinker and was tackling contemporary issues, but for me the book boiled down to the same old “false consciousness” argument that Marxists have been banging on about for over a century in trying to explain the failure of Marxism to take root among the toiling masses.

Frank’s analysis fell into the same world of hand-wringing “Why do they vote against their own interests?” explanations and his wasn’t much better than the Marxists’ one:

Strip today’s Kansans of their job security, and they head out to become registered Republicans. Push them off their land, and next thing you know they’re protesting in front of abortion clinics. Squander their life savings on manicures for the CEO, and there’s a good chance they’ll join the John Birch Society. But ask them about the remedies their ancestors proposed (unions, antitrust, public ownership), and you might as well be referring to the days when knighthood was in flower.

The Culture War in other words, with one side a coalition of social conservatives (abortion, gay marriage, etc) and economic liberals (tax cuts and deregulation, spending cuts, free trade). Frank, as a Mid-Westerner himself, had harsh words for the Democrats:

The Democratic Leadership Council, the organization that produced such figures as Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Joe Lieberman and Terry McAuliffe, has long been pushing the party to forget blue-collar voters and concentrate instead on recruiting affluent, white-collar professionals who are liberal on social issues. 

The DLC was the direct result of two damaging elections for the Democrats. The first in 1984 when Walter Mondale – with his traditional Democrat ideas of increased taxes, union support and restrictions on free trade – lost in a landslide against Reagan. The second in 1988 when “Good jobs at good wages” Dukakis went down to a humiliating defeat against the colourless George H W Bush. The DLC was a direct response to those losses as it crafted the Clinton world, a post-Mondale age that stopped hating on CEO’s and learned to love NAFTA and its ilk:

The move seemed smart. This was the go-go eighties, we were all Material Girls (for whom the boy with the cold hard cash was always Mr. Right)

But one of the secrets to Trump’s 2016 victory was that he actually reversed some of these Right-Wing 80’s wins. Even though the DLC had died (and is actually spat upon by sections of the Democrats now for all its 1990’s compromising and triangulation with the GOP), it left the affluent, white-collar professionals in total control of the Party – and they despise the blue-collar crowd more than ever.

Trump swooped in and got enough of these “deplorables” to win key swing states. No other GOP politician could have done it because none of them had Trump’s history on the subjects. Go back thirty years and you’ll see him saying exactly the same things about free trade deals and wars and America getting screwed. And ordinary people who watch Oprah and reality TV shows knew this. Trump was not trimming his jib to the polls: this is what he really thought, but it was only in 2016 that such ideas finally broke through.

However, to do this, he first also fought and defeated a similar crowd inside the GOP, who had begun to despise their working class social conservatives, their Reagan Conservatives. Were not income tax cuts and slight restraints on spending enough? Especially combined with all that good culture war stuff on the hustings – that somehow never turned into anything but defeats in the Supreme Court and elsewhere. Plus wars fought for the ideal of International Liberalism.

When you also look at the insane spending of the US government and Trump’s pledge to never touch Social Security and Medicare you’re actually seeing a new coalition: call it Social Conservatives and Fiscal Liberals. It’s actually very much the mid-20th century Democrat Party and despite the MSM amplified squeaks from Democrat newbies like AOC about unions, healthcare and welfare it’s very much not today’s Democrat Party.

No, today’s Democrat Party is one that has learned nothing from Frank’s book, and is described well in a recent article by Lefty Matt Taibbi. It’s longish but if you are at all interested in what’s happening in the USA right now I suggest you read the whole thing. Taibbi starts with Frank’s old book.

That Democrats needed Thomas Frank to tell them what conservatives fifteen miles outside the cities were thinking was damning in itself. Even worse was the basically unbroken string of insults emanating from pop culture (including from magazines like Rolling Stone: I was very guilty of this) describing life between the cities as a prole horror peopled by obese, Bible-thumping dolts who couldn’t navigate a Thai menu and polished gun lockers instead of reading.

I wish more journalists were as self-aware as that. Readers will note that our regular diet of Lefty trolls here at No Minister (including ones at our old site) continue to throw around the exact same accusations, but they at least have the excuse that they don’t value election victories and “ideas” beyond opportunuties for taunting. As Taibbi points out, he was hardly alone:

The news media and Hollywood shifted accordingly. Working-class voices disappeared from the press and earnest movies like Norma Rae and The China Syndrome gave way to a new brand of upper-class messaging that reveled in imperious sneering and weird culture-war provocations.

He quotes Frank’s 2004 book on this matter:

“The state [Kansas] watches impotently as its culture, beamed in from the coasts, becomes coarser and more offensive by the year... Why shouldn’t our culture just get worse and worse, if making it worse will only cause the people who worsen it to grow wealthier and wealthier?”

As Taibbi caps it: We have the answer to that now, don’t we?. We do indeed: cue Netflix and their pedophilic movie, Cuties.

The rest of the article deals with a new book by Frank, The People, No. It’s a history of the American Populist movement of the 1890’s and Taibbi speculates that it’s a response to reactions to Trump:

Also: the word, “populism,” became a synonym for plague or menace. Post-Trump and post-Brexit, pundits tended to use the term in tandem with other epithets, e.g. the “populist threat.” For Frank, a liberal intellectual whose breathless admiration for the actual Populist movement of the 1890s had been a running theme across two decades, this must have stung.

Although Frank may not have intended comparisons, Taibbi draws them, especially when Frank gets to the 1930’s where Populist policies that had been defeated 30-40 years earlier began to win with FDR and the Great Depression:

F.D.R. himself was a genteel aristocrat, but battered as a Russian agent… His followers were “people of low mentality” who backed policies that were the “laughingstock of the leading monetary authorities of the world.” This campaign, which should sound familiar, failed over and over…

But those victories of policy were not ones of culture, especially in government, and the following also sounds familiar as Taibbi gives a synopsis of Frank’s take on the post-WWII era:

The model of enlightened government for this new “technocratic” class of “consensus thinkers” was John Kennedy’s “Camelot” cabinet of Experts in Shirtsleeves, with Robert McNamara’s corporatized Pentagon their Shining Bureaucracy on a Hill. This vision of ideal democracy has dominated mainstream press discourse for almost seventy years.

The myth of “The Best and The Brightest“, which was seen again with Bill Clinton’s presidency and may have peaked with President Obama. On that note there is reference to a 2016 Frank book I’d not heard of: Listen, Liberal, which seems to have been a warning to the Democrats that things had actually not gone all that well for ordinary people during Obama’s time and that this spelled trouble for Hillary Clinton. It’s probably not a surprise that I hadn’t heard of it, for it was buried by the likes of the NYT (“pessimistic note”). Taibbi was in the same space when he started covering Trump:

When I was first sent out to cover the Donald Trump campaign years later, I assumed the editorial concept would be simple: mockery. New York’s infamous “short-fingered vulgarian” had taken over national headlines in the summer of 2015 with a foul-mouthed stream-of-consciousness rap, organized around an impossible Pharaonic wall project and scare tales about rape-happy Mexicans – the Diceman doing Pat Buchanan. If this was taking over the Republican Party, there wasn’t much to report. The enterprise was doomed, and journalism’s only mission was to make sure the silliest bits were captured before being buried under the sands of history.

The Diceman doing Pat Buchanan: that’s very clever and sounds like so many Lefties to this day. But he soon got scared:

Twenty minutes into my first Trump campaign event, I knew this was wrong, and was seized by a sinking feeling that really hasn’t left since. Trump in person sounded like he’d been convinced to run for president after reading What’s the Matter with Kansas? His stump act seemed tailored to take advantage of the gigantic market opportunity Democrats had created, and which Frank described.

Frank and Taibbi were not quite, but almost, alone in this. Before Frank’s book was this article from early 2016, Donald Trump, Class Warrior, by a writer called Clive Crook. I’d been reading Crook for years without knowing that he was an English ex-pat, and that background added to the power of this observation:

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. 

Incredible is it not, knowing the English class system, and in 1970? He and his wife decide to buy a house in West Virginia in preparation for retiring from Washington D.C. Naturally this leads to lots of jokes, “about guns, banjo music, in-breeding, people without teeth and so forth“. He strains to emphasise that his Washington friends 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.

And then he describes his new neighbours.

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.

And he goes on to point out that they were not being stupid in voting for Trump. They knew he was “coarse”, crude, impolite, outrageous and unfairly vicious in a fight, and also how he bullshits constantly – just like most people in real estate. And that was exactly what they wanted:

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.

But the Democrats and Never-Trumpers on the Right, and their friends around the world, have learned nothing, judging from four years of ever-escalating attacks not just on Trump but on anybody who works with him or supports him. They’re simply not interested in learning from their mistakes and have gone even further in making sure that nothing is to be learned from The Deplorables, who are to be simply shunned. I’ll leave the last word to Taibbi, including the line that forms the title of his article and mine:

By 2020, the official answer to What’s the Matter with Kansas? was Kansas is a White Supremacist Project and Can Go Fuck Itself.