Tag: Liberal Hacks

Reich and the Tribes

I thought I’d move this above the comments section since it’s been a while since I attacked a liberal hack and I need to keep my claws sharp.

Liberal hack and diminutive Marxist Robert Reich, last seen in this space lamenting that the Republicans might use this “little known” procedure called reconciliation to do stuff, has a piece up about the collapse of the GOP. Now, never mind that this fractured warring collapsing party now holds a significant majority of states houses, governor’s mansions, the House, the Senate and, after November, possibly the White House. No, according to Reich, the Party is completely falling apart, careening toward destruction because it is being torn apart by six warring tribes.

Evangelicals opposed to abortion, gay marriage, and science.

Libertarians opposed to any government constraint on private behavior.

Market fundamentalists convinced the “free market” can do no wrong.

Corporate and Wall Street titans seeking bailouts, subsidies, special tax loopholes, and other forms of crony capitalism.

Billionaires craving even more of the nation’s wealth than they already own.

And white working-class Trumpoids who love Donald. and are becoming convinced the greatest threats to their well being are Muslims, blacks, and Mexicans.

Each of these tribes has its own separate political organization, its own distinct sources of campaign funding, its own unique ideology – and its own candidate.

This is as opposed to the Democrats, who … want to divide the whole damned country into warring tribes: men against women, black against white, gay against straight, rich against poor. The Democrats have opposed bailouts, subsidies and special tax loopholes by … creating more of them. The Democrats opposed gay marriage until about last week. The Democrats gleefully embrace anti-GMO horse manure. And it’s not like the Democrats lack for for billionaires and rent-seekers. Those guys’ chosen candidate in Hillary Clinton.

Look, any functional political party is going to cover a broad range of political philosophies — from Rand Paul’s libertarians to Lindsey Graham’s neocons to John Kasich’s moderates. Eventually, those factions find a candidate that is acceptable to all of them. The GOP functioned this way for decades, uniting free-market libertarians, staunch anti-communists and the Religious Right. This is not weird or unusual. It takes someone of Reich’s unusual hacking skills to turn it into something sinister.

Notice that in his paradigm, none of the GOP factions is any damned good. Every single one is motivated by base desires: greed, hatred, ignorance, fear, racism. There is not a single redeeming feature in that entire list.

Even assuming he’s right about the factions (and he isn’t), why not see them the way they see themselves?

  • Evangelicals concerned about the decay of our culture and morality.
  • Libertarians opposed to the gradual encroachment of government into our civil liberties.
  • Free market types who oppose crony capitalism and worry that no one has a real chance anymore.
  • Corporate and wall street titans trying to protect their industries from regulatory destruction.
  • Billionaires tired of being demonized for being successful in life.
  • White working class people who’ve seen jobs disappear and wages crash.

What’s more, there is a lot of overlap between those groups. This can be seen when you try to peg Reich’s tribes to specific candidates. Who is the candidate of evangelicals? It might be Cruz. Or maybe Carson. But Trump draws a lot of support among evangelicals too (in fact, Trump’s support is a lot broader than most pundits want to admit). Libertarians don’t really have a candidate anymore, but Cruz and Rubio have occasionally moved toward civil liberties All the candidates are in favor of the free market and deregulation. And where do the neocons fit into that?

Even when I was a Republican, I didn’t agree with everyone in the Republican tent. And if I ever go back to the GOP, I won’t agree with everyone. That’s OK. People vote for a party because they think it has more good points than bad, not because it’s perfect.

And let’s not imagine for one second that Robert Reich really wants a functional GOP. What Robert Reich wants is a liberal GOP and socialist Democratic Party. These “tribes” appear to be tribes to him because the ideas of religious values, free markets and secure borders are so alien to him. The Republican debates sound like the chattering of barbary apes to someone as lofty as Reich.