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What the Trump WH and Congressional Republicans are doing is unprecedented merely in degree.

Trump reveals how he and other Republican politicians really feel toward their own voters.


Why support a Republican like Paul Ryan, who desperately tries to hide his otherwise painfully obvious Randian contempt for the "little people", when you could instead vote for a guy who embraces the fact that he's a corrupt, racist, misogynistic, arrogant, self-entitled piece of shit who cons the less fortunate for his own short-term financial gain? He's just acting transparent about it - which is more than you can say about the rest of the rich white pricks who make up the Republican Party leadership.

"Yeah, I'm Donald Trump, and I'm the biggest douche in the world. What are you going to do about it?"

When you get your ass handed to you so bad that you might as well give up now.


"Voter fraud" has been the justification for denying black Americans the vote since the late 1800s.

Excellent, righteous op-ed in NBC News by William J. Barber II that puts the recent Republican Right's suppression of black voters in historical perspective - and emphasizes the fact that this racist oppression and disenfranchisement ultimately hurts ALL of us. Excerpts below:

On the first Sunday in March, 1965, TV networks interrupted their regularly scheduled programming to show law officers on horseback chasing and beating unarmed Americans on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama. "Bloody Sunday" shocked the nation, exposing the extremism of Congress' Jim Crow caucus, which had resisted the expansion of voting rights for nearly a century.

52 years later, America is reeling from the political extremism unleashed by the first election in half a century without the full protections of the Voting Rights Act. In the midst of our present crisis, the blood of Selma's martyr's cries out as clearly as in 1965: America cannot suppress the vote of any one group without hurting everyone in this democracy.

Throughout the South in the late 1860s and early 1870s, black Lincoln Republicans (unlike today's GOP) voted with local whites to elect progressive state legislatures that challenged corporate interests, expanded public education, and sought criminal justice reform. These coalitions were violently attacked by the Klan, but they also faced a relentless propaganda campaign from Southern Democrats who accused black and white legislators of stealing elections through "voter fraud."

After the end of Reconstruction in 1877, unfounded accusations of voter fraud became the basis for literacy tests, poll taxes, and other voter suppression tactics. Though challenged in the courts under the 15th amendment, Jim Crow voting laws were upheld for decades because they did not deny the franchise based on an individual's race. But after Selma, the Voting Rights Act recognized that their intent and effect was the suppression of African-American votes and the destruction of the progressive coalitions that black political power made possible.

We cannot make sense of President Trump's unsubstantiated claim of 3 to 5 million illegal votes in last year's election apart from this history. "Voter fraud," though proven to be statistically irrelevant in modern elections, has been the primary justification for voter suppression bills in 22 states since the Supreme Court stripped the Voting Rights Act of its power in their 2013 Shelby decision. Though it is the responsibility of Congress under the 15th amendment to guarantee voting rights to all Americans, they have failed for nearly four years to restore the VRA.

Even more sinister than they lie of voter fraud is the lie that voter suppression only hurts black people. The policies of progressive coalitions that include African-Americans, Latinos, LGBTQ, poor and working people today are now, as during Reconstruction, policies that lift up the good of the whole.

Extremist attacks on these coalitions hurt all Americans. The dismantling of the Affordable Care Act, the DOJ, public schools, and the EPA, as well as attacks on immigrants and religious minorities, affect all of us.

The extremism that now infects the White House, Congress, and dozens of America's state houses would not be possible without the 21st-century voter suppression which has flourished in the absence of VRA protections.

"Bloody Sunday" doesn't only offer a diagnosis of our malady; it also shows us the way forward. Diverse coalitions of people who are willing to put their bodies on the line to expose extremism offer the greatest hope of reviving the heart of our democracy.


As we go forward in our efforts to resist right-wing power and nefariousness, we must continue to remember the words of this wise, beloved fighter for black Americans and furthermore, ALL people - not just Americans - who have been socially marginalized and spat upon by their fellow human beings who just happened to have more power and privilege than them:

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.

80% of White Evangelicals voted for Donald Trump against Hillary Clinton AND Barack Obama's legacy.

That's right. I'm talking about the same "family values" voters who were staunch supporters of a once-divorced B-list Hollywood actor who was estranged from a couple of his kids and rarely attended church services himself, an elite Ivy League family intimately tied to the Saudi Arabian ruling class (you know, the same crowd who brought us RADICAL ISLAMIC TERRORISM e.g. Osama bin Laden and most of the 9/11 hijackers along with wealthy donors to all of the viciously, murderously aggressive groups like al-Qaeda, ISIS, etc.), along with one Republican Speaker of the House who divorced two of his wives (one of which he cheated on while she was suffering from cancer, IIRC) and another who turned out to be a child sex offender. And as for Trump...do I REALLY need to explain this one?

For the relentless Republican opposition to President Barack Obama and his administration from the moment he was elected (or rather, the moment he was nominated) it really says something that there was never any kind of personal, family-related, marriage or sex scandal surrounding President Obama or any member of his family. Since they couldn't go down that route like they did for Bill Clinton, they just flat-out rejected our first Black President (who TR, was ALL Americans' President, - whether they accepted that fact or not), seeking to de-legitimize him in every which way, using thinly veiled (if that) racism and racist insinuations that he wasn't "legitimate" or that he wasn't "really American." And the man who - above all others - ranted and raved on and on with those disgusting, revolting, and utterly SHAMEFUL and deeply racist accusations - who launched and built his contemporary political career within the Republican Party by his deeply personal racist assaults on President Obama and by extension, all black Americans, and all Americans of color, and even all of us white people who have supported Obama against the racist bullshit coming from our fellow "tribesmen" - THAT man was richly rewarded for it by being nominated by the Republican Party and being narrowly elected (with a little help from his friends in the FBI and the Russian government, of course ) in spite of losing the total number of votes overall to Obama's would-be Democratic successor by literally millions of votes. Yet he still became President of the United States; and in terms of votes, White, self-identified "Christians" contributed in a very out-sized way to his overall total.

I would say that this makes me ashamed to be a "Christian" if I didn't believe that for these people, "following Christ" is just a self-justifying slogan for the sanctification of White American Supremacy, and of the self-entitlement, hatefulness, bigotry, and discrimination and violence directed against black people and other people of color (not to mention, immigrants, women, LGBTQ Americans, Muslims, Jews, atheists, agnostics, and other religious "Nones", and potentially even the "liberal heretics" who have the gall to say that they, too, follow the example of Christ Jesus ). But I refuse to let them define "Christianity" for the rest of us, and I know that I'm not alone here.


Obama had more support among white voters in years of popular anger directed specifically at the GOP

Some of these people - specifically outside of the South along with certain parts of the Interior West, the Lower Midwest, and Appalachia (I'm looking at you, West Virginia) were willing to vote for a black Democrat - the first black presidential nominee and President of the United States, mind you - in years in which John "The fundamentals of our economy are strong" McCain and Mitt "The 47 percent are lazy 'takers' were the Republican nominees.

But for a Republican candidate, Trump was unusually appealing to less educated, modest-income white voters. And it really didn't help us, unfortunately, that Hillary Clinton was widely perceived as the epitome of the "Beltway Establishment", especially in a year in which a lot of voters were really wanting an "outsider" who would "go in there and really shake things up." (Careful what you wish for... )

Also, Hillary simply didn't receive the turnout boost and enthusiasm among black voters and other voters of color along with young voters that Obama benefited from so much in both 2008 and 2012. And the presence of Jill Stein and Gary Johnson on the ballot certainly didn't help matters, either. And yes, voter suppression in certain Republican-controlled states (Wisconsin being a pretty fucking blatant case, IMHO) was also a real factor.

All of this needs to be factored in even BEFORE including Comey's unprecedented actions and "Emailgate", the alarming amount of influence from Russia, the self-serving assholes at WikiLeaks, the Great White Backlash at Black Lives Matter + other social justice movements along with the heightened sense of unease and fear among white Americans from the advent of black political power during the Obama Presidency and the recognition of demographic decline (proportionately speaking) among white Americans in general (which seemed particularly relevant this past year among many rural and working class white Americans), anger at Clinton and the DNC from Sanders supporters, a disgustingly negligent and dangerously careless mainstream/corporate media that cynically profited off of both Donald Trump's constant barrage of bullshit as well as any whiff of controversy or scandal - manufactured or not - involving Hillary, the backlash from Black Lives Matter and Obama, and yes, all of the misogyny, sexism, and long history of "baggage" and "scandal" that has followed Hillary Clinton like a crowd and has been created in many ways and constantly exploited by the "Vast, Right-Wing Conspiracy" (which yes, IS real, well-organized, and ruthlessly disciplined and persistent) that Hillary so aptly described back in the 90s.

And even with all of this, Hillary Clinton STILL got more votes overall than Donald Trump (On behalf of the great state of California: "You're welcome!" ), and is still objectively more popular than Trump and the Republican Party as a whole. So yeah, we must keep this all in perspective as we discuss these things.

Reminder that these two men defined the first decade of this century in horrible, yet lasting ways.

Even as Trump, Bannon, Putin, and all the rest of the nationalist, far-right, and white supremacist assholes of the globe march forward with their nefarious schemes, we must ALWAYS remember the damage that the Bush-Cheney administration (and yes, the Reagan-Bush and Nixon-Kissinger eras before them, as well congressional Republicans from the era of Newt Gingrich, Dick Armey, and Tom DeLay up to and including the present moment) did - damage that we are still paying for, and will be for a long, long time.

Of course, we can't leave out Karl Rove, Grover Norquist, the Koch Brothers, ALEC, the war-loving neoconservatives, the Religious Right assholes, Fox News, talk radio...and so on and so forth, ad nauseam. They are all guilty as sin here. And what's worse, the rest of the country - including us Democrats, liberals, progressives, and left-wingers, sad to say - have essentially let them get away with murder.

Now, I'm not the kind of person who wishes bad will on anyone, generally speaking, but when I think about all these cruel, mean-spirited, cold-hearted, ugly-souled people on the Right, and the business elites whom they eagerly and faithfully serve - for which they have been rewarded handsomely, of course - well...


And Democrats would be more consistently to the Left if there were more working-class/poor voters...

And if they voted (or rather, were able to vote) consistently.

None of this is a coincidence.

This is why Republicans don't want more people voting.

It's not just about hating poor people and ethnic and racial minorities, although there's obviously a strong element of that. It's what higher levels of voter registration and turnout among poor people and ethnic and racial minorities would mean in terms of public policy.

Nonvoters are more liberal than voters

A 2012 Pew survey found that likely voters were split 47 percent to 47 percent between Obama and Romney while non-voters preferred Obama 59 percent to 24 percent, a 35 point margin. A 2006 Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) study found that non-voters were more likely to support higher taxes and more government-funded services. They were also more likely to oppose Proposition 13 (a constitutional amendment which limits property taxes), dislike then -Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and support affordable housing.

It so happens that the gap between voters and non-voters breaks down strongly along class lines. In the 2012 election, 80.2 percent of those making more than $150,000 voted, while only 46.9 percent of those making less than $10,000 voted. This “class bias,” is so strong that in the three elections (2008, 2010 and 2012) I examined, there was only one instance of a poorer income bracket turning out at a higher rate than the bracket above them. (In the 2012 election, those making less than $10,000 were slightly more likely to vote than those making between $10,000 and $14,999.) On average, each bracket turned out to vote at a rate 3.7 percentage points higher than the bracket below it.

This class bias is a persistent feature of American voting: A study of 40 years of state-level data finds no instance in which there was not a class bias in the electorate favoring the rich—in other words, no instance in which poorer people in general turned out in higher rates than the rich. That being said, class bias has increased since 1988, just as wide gaps have opened up between the opinions of non-voters and those of voters.

Recent research tells us that this voting disparity—in class and in opinion—has tremendous impact on policy. State-level research suggests that higher voter turnout among the poor leads to higher welfare spending. A 2013 study found that turnout inequality directly predicts minimum wages, children’s health insurance spending and anti-predatory lending policies. And studies at the state level have found that a higher class bias in the electorate actually leads to higher levels of income inequality.


I think that what sometimes gets lost in the "economics vs. racism" arguments re: Trump voters...

...is that most people - in fact, I would argue, the vast majority of American voters - have at best, highly idiosyncratic and deeply inconsistent/contradictory political views, and that this tends (though by no means universally) to be more true with lower levels of education, income, and of course, civic engagement.

And considering that Trump, while he won among every level of education and income in the Republican primaries, disproportionately won among Republicans with lower-than-average education and income (compare his numbers among primary voters without college degrees with those of, say, Kasich, Rubio, or even Cruz - it's ridiculous), and also, considering the fact that Republican voters (especially, Republican primary voters) have higher-than-average levels of income and (to a lesser extent) education (but only on paper, of course ) compared to the general population and that Trump picked up a lot an alarming number of votes in the general election among working class, relatively modest-income white voters...well, you begin to see a pattern here!

The reality is that Trump's voters are motivated by all kinds of things, ranging from racism, xenophobia, sexism, misogyny, anti-Semitism, homophobia, transphobia, fear of terrorism (specifically, that from Muslims), and hatred of liberals and "political correctness" to resentment of the "welfare cheats and bums", "bad trade deals", the university-educated, Wall Street bankers, the "lyin', dishonest media", and "the swamp" in Washington D.C., and anything and everything else. His support is based on a constant litany of fears, resentments, and grievances that are hopelessly confused, schizophrenic, contradictory, authoritarian, and alarmingly proud in their illiberal, reactionary content - yet at the same time, are very often deeply and sincerely felt, at a gut, emotional level. It's a fucking mess!

There's no reasoning with the irrational. If anything, reason and logic backfire in this context. Sad, but true, IMHO. Not sure if there's a way to effectively fight it.
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