Tag: Robert Reich

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.

Massholes Prepares to Elect a Masshole; Texans Reject An Idiot; Reich Has No Shame

A few more notes on the upcoming election.

First, the Massachusetts gubernatorial race is a tight one between Martha Coakley and Charlie Baker. I’ve mentioned Coakley before. I don’t generally like the term fascist but … gee, what do you say about a person who persecutes innocent people based on discredited testimony and junk science but thinks cops who rape toddlers with curling irons should be let out on their own recognizance? What do you say about someone who embraces trafficking hysteria and makes such appalling arguments for the destruction of civil liberties that she is routinely laughed out of court by hard-bitten conservative justices? If Massachusetts elects a power-hungry power worshipper like Coakley, they deserve what they’re going to get.

I’m starting to believe that the Wendy Davis campaign is a false flag operation by pro-life activists. How else to explain how it has become such a hilarious implosion. Last week, she accused her disabled opponent of not caring about disabled people. When criticized, she had a “some of my best friends are in wheelchairs” press conference. This week, she’s decided she can win because of dildos and interracial marriage.

I guess it makes as much sense as thinking you’re going to ride pro-choice sentiment into Austin.

That post criticizes Greg Abbott for not saying whether he would support a ban on interracial marriage and for arguing in the courts in favor of Texas’ restrictive laws on sex toys. What the author doesn’t seem to realize is that Abbott is talking about his role as attorney general. As attorney general, he won’t deal with an interracial marriage case because the Courts have already struck down anti-miscegenation laws unanimously. I seriously doubt that Abbott, who is married to a woman of another race, would support restoring the interracial marriage ban.

As for the dildos case … again, Abbott was acting as attorney general. As attorney general, he has to represent the state and defend those laws, whatever he thinks of them. I have argued in this space before that I don’t think the executive should defend laws that are blatantly unconstitutional, such as a ban on free speech. But (1) that decision is left to the President (or the governor, in this case). The attorney general pushes the President’s position, no matter what he thinks of it or he resigns; (2) Texas’ dildo laws, while stupid, aren’t exactly the suspension of habeas corpus.

Wheelchairs, mixed races and dildos. The Davis campaign think they are onto a winner. I think their offices need to be checked for nitrous oxide leaks.

Finally, I won’t post the video, but I will link you to Hot Air’s post on a Move On video, featuring Robert Reich, the Littlest Communist in Washington. Reich argues that Republicans are going to use a little known procedure called reconciliation to advance … well, the usual Left Wing mythical playbook: tax cuts for the rich, the end of healthcare, fossil fuel interests, deregulation and OMG, it will be the END OF THE FUCKING WORLD!

Those of you with memories longer than an episode of The Big Bang Theory will recognize this “little-know procedure” as the way Obamacare was passed. The hypocrisy of Move On, their belief that voters are stupid, their condescension … well, it would be surprising if it were someone other than MoveOn.

Right now, the Republicans hold a lead in the polls and look likely to take the Senate. Democrats, who two years ago mocked Republicans for claiming the polls were skewed, are claiming the polls are skewed. Maybe they are, but there is one indicator that tells me that the Democrat are about to lose the Senate and possibly the White House in 2016.


When I started blogging, way back in 2004, I noticed a pattern. If someone disagreed with me forcefully but respectfully, it was usually a conservative. If someone called me a fag, accused me wanting to suck George Bush’s dick, asked me how much money I was getting from the NRA and hoped I got beaten up in a dark alley, it was almost always a liberal (usually for something I’d written at Moorewatch).

That script flipped in 2006 and especially in 2008 after Obama’s election. Disagreements from liberals were … well, never respectful but better than they had been in 2004. It was disagreement from conservative that got nasty (although never as nasty as the liberals were in 2004). It was perfect illustration of Jane’s Law:

The devotees of the party in power are smug and arrogant. The devotees of the party out of power are insane.

It’s changing again. It has been for the last year, maybe longer. If I have the temerity to dispute liberal talking points on a liberal board, I get pilloried, called names and sometimes banned. Liberal tweeters are on a hair-trigger for screaming and blocking those who disagree with them. Meanwhile, the commentary on conservative boards has been growing steadily more constructive and upbeat.

The liberals are scared. They think they are going to lose power and, even worse, those evil evil Republicans are going to get it. Actually, it might be even worse: a Republican party with libertarian tendencies, if you can imagine such a thing. Talking to liberals, you would be forgiven if you didn’t realize that Republicans — a few, at least — are the one driving the bus on criminal justice reform, police demilitarization, civil liberties and the end of crony capitalism. No, it’s all about teh gays (which no Republicans care about any more) and teh guns and teh abortions.

We have a few weeks before the election and politics can change very fast. But from where I’m standing, it looks like a good year for the GOP.

I just hope they don’t fuck it up again.