In a Tuesday post, Esquire blogger Pierce complained that Ronald Reagan’s anti-government rhetoric discouraged many from voting, thereby benefiting Republicans, but Donald Trump’s anti-government rhetoric encouraged many to vote, thereby benefiting Republicans. Pierce noted that Reagan, in his first inaugural address, declared “that government was not a solution to the problem, that government was the problem.” The government-bashing, Pierce charged, was meant “not just to convert voters to conservative policies that were otherwise unpopular, it also was [meant] to frustrate people into apathy and non-participation.”
Michael Lind thinks that movement conservatives are becoming a minor force in American politics, supplanted less by liberal Democrats than by what might be called Trump Republicans.
In a Wednesday article for Politico, Lind contended that growing “populist discontent” is bringing about “the gradual replacement of Buckley-Goldwater-Reagan conservatism by something more like European national populist movements, such as the National Front in France.” He also opined that conservative ideas never were all that popular, claiming that movement conservatism as well as “neoconservatism, libertarianism, the religious right…appear to have been so many barnacles hitching free rides on the whale of the Jacksonian populist electorate.”
Joan Walsh, who after a long tenure at Salon.com is now National Affairs Correspondent at far-left publication The Nation, is responding as leftists usually do when their favored candidates and causes are in trouble: immaturely, and by smearing recalcitrant people who, in their fevered minds, should be supporting them.
Walsh is a big fan of Hillary Clinton, whose legal and electoral situations seem to get more dire with each passing week. In Walsh-World, Mrs. Clinton is having problems garnering "white working class" Democrats because of racism. But of course, she won't directly say that. Instead, she issued the following passive-aggressive tweet, followed by the oh-so-predictable "Who, me?" response (HT Breitbart via Instapundit):
After serving as the virtual mouthpiece for the "there is no crisis!" crowd for at least a decade since George W. Bush's attempt to partially privatize Social Security in 2005, someone at the New York Times has finally recognized that there is one — but still won't level with readers about the system's true condition.
Eduardo Porter "writes the Economic Scene column" for the Times. Before that, "he was a member of the Times editorial board, where he wrote about business, economics, and a mix of other matters." As such, he may well have been the author of some of the Old Gray Lady's opinion pieces opposing any kind of meaningful reform of out-of-control entitlement programs while its reporters gave favorable treatment to demagogues like Harry Reid.
Crutsinger managed to note how auto-pilot entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare are bankrupting the country (not in those words, of course). That said, he somehow thought that highlighting a rare and small increase in year-over-year defense spending was worthwhile, while ignoring several other larger percentage increases in other areas. Most importantly, he failed to note that the national debt has increased by far more than Uncle Sam's reported deficits. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
The debate rages on as to whether Donald Trump represents the essence of the Republican party. Very broadly speaking, conservatives say he doesn’t and liberals say he does. One liberal, Michael Tomasky, claims that Trump, despite his left-of-center positions on several fiscal and economic issues, nonetheless embodies the “two qualities more than any others [that] have driven conservatism in our time.”
The first quality, wrote Tomasky in the September 24 issue of The New York Review of Books, “is cultural and racial resentment…The second is what we might call spectacle—the unrelenting push toward a rhetorical style ever more gladiatorial and ever more outraged…Trump is conservative resentment and spectacle made flesh.”
Carrying water for the left as their pet programs implode while pretending to be an objective reporter is a daunting task. The Associated Press's Stephen Ohlemacher was not up to that task Thursday afternoon. Twice, in relatively early paragraphs of his 31-paragraph writeup, the AP reporter claimed that the Social Security system has "money." He then separately quoted a Democratic congressperson who insisted that it has money, and that the mere act of correctly asserting that it doesn't "manufactures a crisis."
In his MSNBC show The Last Word Tuesday evening, Lawrence O’Donnell dedicated a segment to describing his opinion of what “good and bad socialism” looks like. Naturally his example of “good” socialism included the man and policies Bernie Sanders. It also included a 6 year old cover from Newsweek magazine that proclaimed “We Are All Socialists now,” which detailed how it's becoming normal (and good) for America to fund massive socialist policies like Social Security and Medicaid. Bad socialism is, of course, allowing the government to “socialize” the sports industry by subsidizing the construction of new stadiums for rich and greedy team owners and the millionaire athletes they employ.
Democratic President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act on August 14, 1935.
In anticipation of the New Deal-era program's 80th anniversary, the Associated Press's Stephen Ohlemacher presented as facts several unfortunately widely believed distortions. His worst offense against common sense was an item in his list of "modest changes" which could "save" the actuarially bankrupt (to the tune of at least $10.6 trillion) program. The AP reporter included in his list of what he claimed would be "modest changes" the idea of applying the 12.4 percent payroll tax to absolutely all earned income. Modest, schmodest.
A week after CNN's New Day aired a pair of pre-recorded segments focusing on an allegedly balanced group of New Hampshire voters who ended up displaying political views stacked heavily in the liberal direction, this week's batch of voters -- this time from Charleston, South Carolina -- appear even more slanted to the left in spite of suggestions of a balanced sample with equal numbers of Republicans, Democrats and independents.
In a surprising segment, ABC’s 20/20 highlighted several cases of freeloading by people looking to fraudulently claim disability. While the program did not get to the heart of the matter – just how easy it is to claim disability and the skyrocketing cost of the program – noting a major flaw in an expensive government program is rare for a liberal network like ABC.
Yahoo national political columnist Matt Bai – a former staff writer for Newsweek and The New York Times Magazine – wants to be impressed that Gov. Chris Christie is proposing Social Security reforms as he visits New Hampshire and flirts with a presidential campaign. "Chris Christie bets on bold" is his headline.
But Bai chided Christie for failing to raise the cap on Social Security payroll taxes, which would end the fiction that taxpayers are just contributing to their own retirement through the bloated federal government. Raising taxes? Bai said it creates “speaking-in-tongues madness” on the Right: