The GOP’s Leader/Base Racism ‘Dilemma’: When All You’ve Got Is A Bigot… (Part 2)

(Drew Sheneman via GoComics.com)
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The “adults in the room” of the Permanent GOP Party embraced Donald Trump because he seemed like a bargain-basement solution to overcoming Hillary Clinton’s predicted landslide victory. Now that Trump’s gleefully ravaging the whole party’s chances in 2020, they’re stuck — they can’t cross the Oval Office Occupant’s rabid “Base” (not to mention the GOP traitors like McConnell and Nunes, who’ve traded their souls for Russian payola and ‘red meat’ votes), but all the still-normal Repub voters and “independents” can’t stomach the stench. Let a thousand tiny, tiny violins play!


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When the Dog Whistle Is Silver-Plated & Hand-Chased: Conservative Thinking At Its “Best”

It’s all over political twitter, but the only mainstream-media pushback against Hawley I could find so far was from his hometown paper, the Kansas City Star:

The Anti-Defamation League in Missouri is calling on U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley to apologize for a speech he delivered this week slamming the “cosmopolitan elite” who “look down on the common affections that once bound this nation together—things like place and national feeling and religious faith.”

Hawley, during a keynote address at the National Conservatism Conference on Tuesday, said the “cosmopolitan agenda” drives politics on both the left and right.

“The left champions multiculturalism and degrades our common identity,” he said. “The right celebrates hyper-globalization and promises that the market will make everything right in the end, eventually … perhaps.”

He decried the “cosmopolitan consensus,” “cosmopolitan elite,” “cosmopolitan class,” and “cosmopolitan economy,” and argued that the “cosmopolitan agenda” has broken America’s national solidarity.

Karen Aroesty, regional director of the Anti-Defamation League in St. Louis, said Hawley may not have intended to offend anyone with his speech. But terms like “cosmopolitan” and “globalist” have a sinister history as anti-Semitic dog whistles, and she said Hawley should apologize.

Hawley’s speech, “raised real concern for members of the Jewish community who are and should be acutely sensitive with increased incidents of antisemitism in the US and beyond,” Aroesty said. “We have asked the Senator for an apology for even unintended harm caused by the speech. For the Senator and all who have a public platform that comes with power, context matters. Words matter.”…

From the NY Review of Books, “Retrofitting Trump’s GOP with a Veneer of Ideas”:

Perhaps the most evocative and conclusive sign of Trump’s sway over the conservative movement came this week, however, when the recently established Edmund Burke Foundation in Washington held a meeting titled “National Conservatism” at the Ritz-Carlton. The conference aroused a good deal of controversy before it took place, but attracted a formidable array of conservative figureheads, including Peter Thiel, Tucker Carlson, John Bolton, and Senator Josh Hawley. The panelists included Rich Lowry, the editor of National Review, Chris Buskirk, the publisher and editor of American Greatness, J.D. Vance, the author of Hillbilly Elegy, Michael Anton, a former Trump administration National Security Council official who has inveighed against “birthright citizenship,” and Chris DeMuth, a former president of the American Enterprise Institute and now a distinguished fellow at the Trump-friendly Hudson Institute. The latter has recently extolled Trumpian nationalism in a lengthy essay in the Claremont Review of Books. “Harnessing today’s nationalist impulses,” DeMuth wrote, “is a task for conservatives and libertarians, who stand in the shoes of the liberal reformers of the middle and late nineteenth century.”

The event tried to do that. A July 14 invitation letter signed by David Brog, the president of the Burke Foundation and the former executive director of Christians United for Israel, noted that the conference was intended to help bring about the “revival of the unique national traditions that alone have the power to bind a people together and bring about their flourishing.” It was supposed to provide, Brog went on, “an intellectually serious alternative to the excesses of purist libertarianism, and in stark opposition to political theories grounded in race.” If nothing else, a consanguinity of thought quickly emerged.

This was a Trump-inspired counter-revolution, a conservative colloquy that aimed at creating a catechism purged of the verities of the Reagan era: a crusading foreign policy and an idolatry of free-market economics. Usually, intellectual movements precede the rise of political ones, but in this case, Trump’s camp followers are reverse-engineering an intellectual doctrine to match Trump’s basic instincts. The new national-conservatives want to form what Burke called “little platoons” to ground conservatism in what they referred to as Anglo-American traditions…
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Everything is awesome until there are trade-offs

Early this year, Kaiser Family Foundation released a poll showing Medicare Advantage was popular:

(56 percent) favor a national Medicare-for-all plan

There is a fairly typical partisan split on all of these proposals. Buy-ins are more popular than replace the entire system plans. Incidentally that is why I think a Medicare/Medicaid buy-in approach is what will be on a Democrat’s agenda if there is a blue trifecta.

However, Kaiser then did something interesting. They offered trade-offs and support for Medicare for all sank:

This is the political problem for Medicare for All proponents. It is a massive change to the system which will produce winners and losers. It upsets the status quo bias that worked against the ACA 2009-2016 and it upsets the status quo bias that worked for the ACA in 2017 to present.

Managing the transition so that there is no fear that anyone could, in anyway, be worse off or perceive themselves to be worse off is impossible. The challenge is minimizing both the number and the power of people who are worse off or perceive themselves to be worse off. And that is a tough challenge if one assumes that healthcare is, to some degree, a positional good.

Trade-offs are tough. Passing out free ice cream is easy.








Late Night Open Thread: Nice “Work” If You Can Get It…

Jon Chait, NYMag, “Why Are Republican Small Donors So Easy to Swindle?”:

Republicans have long complained, usually in private, that their fundraising apparatus is overrun with fraudsters. National Review’s Jim Geraghty has a column, “The Right’s Grifter Problem,” saying what many of them have been whispering. Many of President Trump’s most publicly strident loyalists are in the business of raising money for political projects that spend virtually all their funds on operating expenses…

Grifters go where the marks are:

A former pro football player who serves on the National Rifle Association board was paid $400,000 by the group in recent years for public outreach and firearms training. Another board member, a writer in New Mexico, collected more than $28,000 for articles in NRA publications. Yet another board member sold ammunition from his private company to the NRA for an undisclosed sum.

The NRA, which has been rocked by allegations of exorbitant spending by top executives, also directed money in recent years that went to board members — the very people tasked with overseeing the organization’s finances.

In all, 18 members of the NRA’s 76-member board, who are not paid as directors, collected money from the group during the past three years, according to tax filings, state charitable reports and NRA correspondence reviewed by The Washington Post.

The payments received by about one-quarter of board members, the extent of which has not previously been reported, deepen questions about the rigor of the board’s oversight as it steered the country’s largest and most powerful gun rights group, according to tax experts and some longtime members…

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Monday Morning Open Thread: Building the Grift Waaaahl


 

The now-famous border wall GoFundMe was conceived by Purple Heart recipient Brian Kolfage, who wrote at the time he was upset by “too many illegals . . . taking advantage of the United States taxpayers,” and the “political games from both parties” when it came to border security. Kolfage, a triple amputee, pressed onward despite falling short of his $1 billion goal — launching a nonprofit to build portions of the wall on private land for a “fraction of what it costs the government.”

While the majority of donors continue to believe in Kolfage’s efforts, the nonprofit’s clandestine operations and assurances of progress are insufficient for others. Some have taken to social media, seeking photos, videos — anything — for evidence they aren’t being misled…

Reporting on the apparent lack of progress on the private wall, published early Friday by the Daily Beast, drew criticism from Kolfage. The veteran called out the story’s author, Will Sommer, who indicated he’s repeatedly asked Kolfage for proof they were close to a groundbreaking.

“Omg this is PERFECT timing by the liberal rag news site. They are about to look more stupid than @hillaryclinton on election night 2016!” Kolfage wrote. “I guaranteed we would build the wall . . . and I’ll leave it at that!”

Kolfage did not respond to an email and message from The Washington Post requesting comment Friday. While the nonprofit has floated various groundbreaking dates in the past, it’s not exactly clear when, or if, construction will begin…

This might be excused as a classic example of a well-intentioned amateur getting involved with something beyond his capacity to execute, except… Kolfage’s prior record is less than reassuring. Per NYMag:

As the Daily Beast reports, Kolfage “was a prolific operator of hoax pages on Facebook, and money he raised in the past to help veterans’ programs in hospitals never actually went to those hospitals.” The vet, who lost three of his limbs in a rocket attack in Iraq in 2004, founded sites including FreedomDaily, which ran headlines like “Obnoxious Black People Lose Their Minds When Victoria Secret Models Say This 1 Word On Live Video.” The site was shuttered after it was sued for misidentifying a Michigan resident as the driver of the car that killed a protestor in the Charlottesville riot.
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