Tag Archives: republican party

The GOP convention has done its job. Here are some highlights.

Summary: The Republican convention has served us well by showing us what we will get if we pull the level for GOP candidates on November 8. Here are some of the highlights.

Republican National Convention 2016 Logo

(1) GOP plans to build a New America

50 Shockingly Extreme Right-Wing Proposals in the 2016 Republican Party Platform” by Steven Rosenfeld / AlterNet, 18 July 2016 — “What Trump, a GOP Congress and GOP-appointed Supreme Court would do to America.” A cornucopia for corporations and the 1%; a horror show for the rest of us. Here is the full platform.

  • Tax cuts for the rich. Cut government salaries and benefits.
  • Dramatically increase Pentagon budget. Cancel Iran nuclear treaty and expand nuclear arsenal.
  • Deregulate the banks. Stop consumer protection. Start repealing environmental laws. Start shrinking unions and union labor. No change in federal minimum wage. Give internet service providers monopolies. Privatize government services to “fight poverty”. Replace traditional public schools with privatized options. Privatize student loans instead of lowering interest rates.
  • Appoint anti-choice, anti-LGBT, and anti-Obamacare justices. Make Christianity a national religion. Loosen gun controls nationwide. Pass an anti-choice constitutional amendment. Allow states to shut down abortion Clinics. Oppose stem cell scientific research. Replace sex education with abstinence-only approaches.
  • Loosen campaign finance loopholes and dark money. Repeal Obamacare. Privatize Medicare. Turn Medicaid, the poor’s health plan, over to states. No increasing Social Security benefits by taxing the rich. …

(2) Trump plans a purge if he wins

Governor Christie, who leads Trump’s transition team, told dozens of donors at the GOP convention that they were drawing up a list of federal government employees appointed by Obama to fire if Trump wins. Christie also said that “One of the things I have suggested to Donald is that we have to immediately ask the Republican Congress to change the civil service laws. Because if they do, it will make it a lot easier to fire those people”. Reuters reported this on the basis of a recording and accounts from two attendees.

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See how the Republican Party’s history brought forth Trump2016

Summary: The Republican Convention shows our dysfunctional political system at work. Understanding how we got here requires shining harsh light on the modern history of the Grand Old Party, born fighting against slavery — and dark actions in the 20th Century. From the archives.

Republicans Flag

Contents

  1. The GOP’s great betrayal.
  2. Cut food stamps, more $$ for agricorps.
  3. The GOP’s war on public health.
  4. For More Information.
  5. Tom Tomorrow explains the Class War.

(1) The GOP’s great betrayal

On19 June 1964 the US Congress passed the 1964 Civil Rights Bill, with majorities from both parties. But one of thee “no” votes was by Barry Goldwater, the Republican candidate for the Presidency. He saw an opportunity to redraw America’s political map and end the dominant position the Democratic Party had held since the Great Depression (see his speech). The price was betrayal of the Republican Party’s legacy.

Thus began one of the greatest betrayals in modern American history, an accommodation of evil in exchange for political power. Selling their souls for 30 pieces of silver, instead of allowing the South’s racists to either accept this progress or marginalize themselves with a pariah third party.

But this is consistent with the GOP’s behavior before and since, a too-often inimical role shaping America. Perhaps the reform of America should start with the part most needing reform: conservatives, heal thyselves.

(2) Cutting food stamps, but more dollars for agri-corps

The GOP shows its values clearly in their quest to cut the food stamp program while boosting subsidies for agri-corps. As explained in “Republicans: We Were Too Nice to the Hungry, But We’ve Fixed That” by Jonathan Chait in NY Magazine, 20 September 2013 — Excerpt…

Republicans hate domestic spending, but their hatred is not completely indiscriminate. Some programs offend them more, and others less. The general pattern is that social programs offend Republicans to the degree that they benefit the poor, sick, or otherwise unfortunate. The struggle over the farm bill is not the biggest policy dispute in American politics, but it is the one that most clearly reveals the priorities and ideological identity of the contemporary GOP.

The farm bill traditionally combines agriculture subsidies (which hands out subsidies to people on the arbitrary basis that the business they own produces food as opposed to some other goods or services) with food stamps (which hands out subsidies to people on the highly nonarbitrary basis that they’re poor enough to likely have trouble scraping together regular meals). Conservative Republicans revolted against the normally automatic passage, insisting that the cuts to food stamps — $20 billion — did not slice deeply enough. Last night the House rectified its failure by cutting food stamps by $40 billion.

The putative rationale for the food-stamp cuts is that eligibility standards have loosened, or that it encourages sloth. Jonathan Cohn makes quick work of these claims, and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities makes long, detailed work of them. Click on those links if you want a blow-by-blow refutation. The upshot is that food stamps are a meager subsidy, of less than $1.40 per meal, for people either stuck in very low paid jobs or unable to find work at all. Their cost has increased because the recession has increased the supply of poor, desperate people.

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The five reasons Trump will lose in November

Summary:  Now that both parties have chosen their candidates, let’s revisit my prediction that Clinton will win. Here are the reasons experts will give on November 8 to explain why Trump’s defeat was inevitable. See the facts. Ignore the media hysteria (Trump is clickbait; they need the clicks).  See the For More Information section at the end, and the interesting discussion in the comments.

The gap begins its inexorable widening. From Real Clear Politics.
See the 3-way results here, including Johnson.

Clinton-Trump polls, 15 June 2016

Many people assume Trump’s success in the GOP primaries — against those odd far-right leaders — mean he’ll do as well against Clinton. That’s wrong. The media need Trump — he’s top clickbait — but the facts are against him. Here is my prediction, building on the available data.

First, the current polls underestimate Clinton’s strength. A large fraction of Sanders’ supporters will back her after she gets the nomination; Trump will push even the Left’s Clinton-haters to pull the lever for her. The former is a standard dynamic in US campaigns; the latter results from Trump’s high and rising “unfavorable” ratings in the polls.

Second, Trump’s power comes from long-suppressed populism. This includes dark elements, such as racism, and re-fighting old battles (such as sky-high rates of immigration). Trump stumbled into populism, and has poorly exploited its themes — instead he runs his mouth off over tangential issues. See Walter Russell Mead’s description of populism’s deep roots in America, and the power of populism to rally Americans abandoned by Left and Right.

Third, Trump has stepped on the big stage where he’ll face scrutiny on a scale greater than by the GOP’s clown chorus. Given his fondness for wacko conspiracy theories (e.g., Obama’s birth), and gullibility. Breitbart repeats the politically useful lie “Hillary Clinton Received Secret Memo Stating Obama Admin ‘Support’ for ISIS“. Trump jumps in…

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