did someone muck with the backend here

Re: omg lead is to blame for Trump

1

I collapse
paragraphs all the time
and figure that
the meaning
has been
preserved.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 6:20 AM
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In my entire life I have never called another person a shitbag. I would never do it or think it.


Posted by: bjk | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 6:55 AM
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I'm the real tyrant here.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 6:58 AM
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2: You've never thought it? Are you up for the Nobel Peace Prize?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 6:59 AM
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It's just never occurred to me to call somebody a shitbag. Or a cockroach, or vermin.


Posted by: bjk | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 7:02 AM
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Buttbreath? Jerkface? Snot reject?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 7:03 AM
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I am familiar with Snot Boy, a popular Canadian culture hero.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 7:05 AM
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I collapse paragraphs all the time and figure that the meaning has been preserved.
Written like a math professor. Do that to me and I'll brave the racist shitbags of deepest Texas to exact a long a terrible vengeance berate you exasperatedly.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 7:13 AM
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Actually, I mostly do it in two situations:
1. I want two consecutive sentences which split across two paragraphs, or
2. The author is being annoying with multiple one-sentence paragraphs and I think I'm improving things.

I feel very territorial about where I split paragraphs in my own writing, but I generally get it right, so.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 7:15 AM
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Is colostomy bag better?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 7:18 AM
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Butthead was introduced into the English language by one Biff Tannen.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 7:18 AM
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Butt nugget. Potty head.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 7:21 AM
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I should have said, had anyone been so bored or naïve as to inquire, that America's coastal knowledge workers were vastly more anxious about being outside of and left behind by the accelerating, optimistic upper classes than about any lack of touch with the salt of the earth.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 7:26 AM
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Except during elections.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 7:28 AM
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I sympathize with 9, but berate nonetheless. Mostly I'm just a total quotation nazi.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 7:31 AM
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The American press is overwhelmingly made up of left-of-center white people who live in large cities and have internalized very strong anti-racist norms. As a result, it tends to be composed of people who think of racism as a very, very serious character defect, and who are riddled with anxiety about being perceived as out of touch with "real America." "Real America" being, per decades of racially charged tropes in our culture, white, non-urban America.

This goes off the rails right after the word "defect". In fact, when the American press have contempt and hatred for people because those people have a very very serious character defect, they do not then go on to treat those people with excessive leniency. Why, I bet Dylan Matthews himself has indulged in some of those "LOL, another person suffering from 'economic anxiety'" jokes (the precise liberal equivalent of the "LOL, Islam the religion of peace" jokes) that Matthew Yglesias has been doing every few hours for 12 months.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 7:40 AM
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"Real America" being, per decades of racially charged tropes in our culture, white, non-urban America.
Really it's high time somebody took this on and started the trope that "Real America" is mainly the 62% of the population that live in cities and secondarily the 38% that doesn't.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 7:41 AM
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Butthead was introduced into the English language by one Biff Tannen.

Causing real problems for lexicographers until recently - did nineties and naughties usages antecede 2015 Biff's?


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 7:44 AM
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People can be racist shitheads all the time but express it disproportionately when they're anxious about losing status, economic or otherwise.


Posted by: One of Many | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 7:50 AM
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||
The retaking of Mosul begins. Too much to hope they'll win before election day, but still.
|>


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 8:08 AM
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19:Except the point of the survey data is that status is not particularly related to Trump support, and racism is. I'd like to see a direct comparison of economic vulnerability and racial attitudes broken down by party.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 8:12 AM
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Re: the OP PS: Only if it changes the meaning.

16: Eh, generalizations are hard. When Dylan Matthews writes that, he's clearly not including himself, even though it's technically phrased that way. But early in the piece he provides links to three reporters who do seem guilty of romanticizing Trump supporters and, if not actually denying their actual motivations, trying hard to ignore them.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 8:17 AM
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19/21: It's true that actual poverty is not the same thing as relative loss of status, and Matthews talks about the former when the latter may be more salient.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 8:19 AM
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21: Look at the recent tweets from Matt Stoller summarizing a recent poll headlined "Anxiety Index".

Whether they have money or not, almost everyone is economically anxious today. Most people see themselves as going backwards or unlikely to ever go forwards. And even homeowners in the suburbs don't have job security or a secure retirement. Everyone sees themselves as economically vulnerable.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 8:25 AM
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Wait, I'm supposed to look at data now? (Anyway. even if moderately above-median income-earners are always the most racist, to the extent that they would therefore be most likely to vote for a Trump under any conditions, the whole income vs. Trump-support profile could be shifted in a pro-Trump direction by bad economic conditions.)


Posted by: One of Many | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 8:37 AM
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Also people with more money are more likely to vote, period, meaning they are more likely to vote Trump and equivalent people with less money will vote for nobody. Also old people have more money, thus a phenomenon that is basically "old people" comes out looking like "rich people", where parents and children in the same family who have the same economic status are categorized as upper-middle-class and poor respectively. Also young people are more likely to not vote or to throw their vote away. So many variables.

Another good response to Dylan Matthews from the always thoughtful Interfluidity blog.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 8:42 AM
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I don't think voting enters into it. But your other point is well taken.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 8:50 AM
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The writer linked in 26 is dry:

Vox is a wonderful publication along many dimensions. One of its virtues is that it provides constant exercises in how a few statistics or credentialed quotes combined with ones own authoritative voice can mislead bright writers into thinking they know the one scientific truth of things.

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 8:51 AM
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In my entire life I have never called another person a shitbag. I would never do it or think it.

Right. As we all know, they are "people of the land; the common clay of the New West."

As a person who has close friends and relatives who are going to vote for Donald Trump, it's just a basic acknowledgment of reality to say that there is something profoundly wrong with them and their contribution to the body politic. "Shitbag" is as good a one-word summary as any.

America's great failure occurred when it became acceptable to say shit like "Obama was born in Kenya," or "Lowering taxes raises revenue." Likewise in Europe: "The reason NHS is in trouble is because of European Union membership" or "The Spanish economy's trouble has nothing to do with European Union membership."

Western elites failed because they lost whatever interest they once had in enforcing a norms of basic accuracy and logic. When you can't call out bullshit, it's more or less inevitable that you're going to get inundated with it.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 9:03 AM
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Oops. 29 is me.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 9:12 AM
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I still prefer the two-word form of "shit bag".


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 9:14 AM
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Western elites failed because they lost whatever interest they once had in enforcing a norms of basic accuracy and logic. When you can't call out bullshit, it's more or less inevitable that you're going to get inundated with it.

They didn't lose their interest, they lost their ability to enforce any norms because the mainstream media collapsed in the Internet age.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 9:17 AM
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32, like, upvote, +1, etc.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 9:20 AM
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26: Note that Waldman goes on at some length about how it's wrong to say that Trump voters are more affluent than other voters, and every link he supplied suggests that ... Trump voters are more affluent than other voters (if a bit less affluent than other Republican voters).

I would be curious to know the actual truth of the matter.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 9:22 AM
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32: Except the problem long preceded the Internet age, and the mainstream media hasn't put up any significant kind of fight against it at all until, basically, these latter days of the rise of Trump.

To this day, you can talk about the wisdom of not raising the debt ceiling or the successes of supply-side economics and get little resistance from the mainstream media, and almost no suggestion that these views are just flat crazy.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 9:31 AM
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32 is true, but not the whole story. The Murdoch media have been lying for decades, and have been effective just because they are mainstream. What fraction of old white Republicans or brexiters are living in Twitter bubbles?


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 9:33 AM
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Here's Waldman:

The assertion that Trump's supporters are all racists has, I think, become partially self-fulfilling.

Waldman acknowledges that it's true that Trump's supporters are generally racists, but blames this in part on liberals who noticed the racism and said something about it -- just as calling people queer makes more people queer. (Or something like that. Go ahead, you try to make some sense out of that passage.)

If only coastal elites had been less dismissive of Trump's racism, more non-racists would support Trump. (Again, you try to make sense out of it.)

Waldman's piece is also very typical of a certain kind of white leftist who is entirely unable to acknowledge the existence of non-whites. If you notice racism, you are a cosmopolitan finance capitalist and not, you know, a person of Mexican heritage.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 9:52 AM
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In PA, Trump and and the RNC are running ads focused on Economic populism. They say the solution is to cut taxes.


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 9:52 AM
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Are they? All I ever hear from Republicans are are attack ads.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 9:55 AM
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Of course, I don't even own a TV.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 10:00 AM
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37: If you assert that Trump supporters are racists, only racists will support Trump. (Or at least the people for whom racism matters less than low taxes or whatever, which is close enough.) Because low-information non-racists (or at least people for equate decency with not appearing racist) will be embarrassed by being associated with racism, but they wouldn't have without all this asserting, due to their low-informationness? I guess?

38: I stopped paying attention to the ads once they stopped airing the cat video one. Which I can't find anymore, so perhaps it was just a fever dream.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 10:04 AM
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41.last to 39, not 38.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 10:04 AM
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here is one:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A6n3IV4xdio


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 10:08 AM
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If you assert that Trump supporters are racists, only racists will support Trump. (Or at least the people for whom racism matters less than low taxes or whatever, which is close enough.)

This parenthetical is exactly the issue! A majority of white people believe racism is not a major problem in today's society. Therefore it does not disqualify a candidate in their eyes, and other issues are more important. For Dylan Matthews, Yglesias, etc. the opposite impulse is dominant, they see racism as an absolutely disqualifying issue and thus in effect it is the most important issue. If Trump was running as a Democrat against Ted Cruz, they would vote for Ted Cruz.

Waldman's piece is also very typical of a certain kind of white leftist who is entirely unable to acknowledge the existence of non-whites. If you notice racism, you are a cosmopolitan finance capitalist and not, you know, a person of Mexican heritage.

I think he is just assuming that non-whites see racism as bad and are therefore not factored into the equation of why people would or would not vote for a racist.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 10:20 AM
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43: No cats. As a millennial, this doesn't speak to me. Guess I'm voting for Hillary!


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 10:23 AM
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A majority of white people believe racism is not a major problem in today's society

Is that right? I would guess it's just a plurality. The largest group of white people believes that racism isn't a major problem, the next largest group believes that racism against white people is a major problem, and the smallest group believes that racism against African Americans and other non-white groups is a major problem.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 10:28 AM
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44: So when he says we shouldn't call Trump supporters racist, is he including people of the various stigmatized "races" or not?

Or is "we" just meant to reflect white people, and he's saying that the opinions of the other folks don't matter?

"Black Lives Matter" was not an invention of white people. When Waldman says that Americans should shut up about that sort of thing, he's either including black people or not. Either way, it's incredibly ignorant.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 10:30 AM
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With 44 I have now painted myself into a corner, since it would probably make sense to vote for Ted Cruz over Trump, based on the confluence of racism as well as misogyny, narcissism, and the mental instability revealed by tweeting patterns. Would you trust Democratic Trump to even appoint the right Supreme Court Justices? No. The point is, white people think the problem of racism that existed long ago has now been solved. And the other point is, people in general convince ourselves that if someone on our side is bad, the other side is just as bad.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 10:34 AM
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47.1: For anyone to say support of Trump is equivalent racism is just unfair.

It merely indicates that you're ok with racism.

Just like supporting Hillary doesn't make you a feminist.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 10:37 AM
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47, the piece in 26 says this. I guess it's awkward to say "We, meaning white people, used to be the default Americans, but now we aren't". But is it wrong?

Through about the 1990s, more and more groups of people integrated into a community it is now offensive to describe as "American". We now refer to this community as "white", in order to emphasize by contrast the unfairness and horror of the United States' greatest shame, our failure to fully integrate descendants of the immigrants we involuntarily imported and then brutally enslaved. Since around 2000, in my view, the "white" United States has been fragmenting. Integration has been replaced by ethnogenesis. The communities from which Trump enthusiasts disproportionately arise may be increasingly white supremicist, but they are no longer unproblematically "white" in its meaning as "default American".


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 10:39 AM
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So when people used to say "That's might white of you," they were trying to be complimentary?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 10:43 AM
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+y


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 10:43 AM
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The linked piece is just--ugh.

Waldman--"But many not-unusually-racist "white" people who, fairly or not, perceive Clinton as an icon of a corruption, now see Trump as the only game in town."

No such group exists, for a non-disingenuous value of "many."


Posted by: (dammit jim) etc | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 10:43 AM
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The point is, white people think the problem of racism that existed long ago has now been solved

A fair amount of white people believe there never was a problem until recently when black people started to demand special treatment.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 10:44 AM
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Even on the merits, it fails. If you believe Clinton is corrupt but Trump isn't, I have a tower in Manhattan I'd like to sell you.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 10:47 AM
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50: I'm trying to work out how that's responsive, and the only thing I can come up with is that, in your/his opinion, the views of ethnic minorities are irrelevant in a discussion of racism.

I mean, surely that's not right, but I'm not getting it - part of the problem is that the quoted passage is gibberish, starting with the first sentence. In what scenario are the salt-of-the-earth types not understood to be "American"?

But good god, don't try to untangle that passage for me. I'm sure it has some meaning too deep for me. What I want to know is: What is Waldman's advice for minorities in talking about Trump and his supporters?


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 10:48 AM
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Also, do we timid, self-effacing Caucasian Poindexters of the coasts really regard the racism of Farmer John as a "character flaw"?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 10:50 AM
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I liked Waldman's take, particularly his Centrifugal/Centripetal formulation and last paragraph. But Matthews seemed to me to be making a compatible point. His careful statement of how anathema racism, now much more inclusively defined than it once would have been, has become to the pundit class. This makes the point at least implicitly that this view distorts analysis. And furthermore that the tension between that vision and the desire to stay in touch with and empathize with the people whom they may actually be related to or grew up with leads to an overemphasis on current economic hardship as the controlling factor.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 10:54 AM
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55: Sure Trump is corrupt, like any successful red-blooded American businessman has to be, but at least he's not a demon determined to destroy all that is good and true.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 10:56 AM
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Trump may be corrupt, but he never tried to provide health care to anybody under the age of 65.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 11:01 AM
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Only a true libtard could fail to be persuaded by the iron-clad logic of 59 and 60.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 11:16 AM
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Taking the OP seriously for a moment, to show that lead is responsible for Trump you'd have to do a study of lead levels in pro-Trump areas versus pro-Clinton areas. Probably, given that the iconic pro-Trump voter is a blue-collar middle-aged white male, you'd have to see what sort of lead exposure people in that demographic have, compared to typical pro-Clinton voters, and also check the confounding subgroups like typical Trump demographic types who are Clinton supporters.

Leaded gasoline began to be phased out in around 1975 and wasn't fully banned until 1996.

In any case it's reductive and "othering" (and in many cases racist) to blame lead for every behavior you don't approve of.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 11:22 AM
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On topic: "I'm a big fan of Hindu."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 11:28 AM
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62: Yes, if there was a direct link between high levels of lead exposure and voting for Trump, I'm fairly certain Trump would be doing a lot better with minority voters.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 11:30 AM
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63: "See, there is an elephant--uh, I should correct myself--there is a camel in the room, which everybody is ignoring," Shalabh Kumar, the founding chairman of the Republican Hindu Coalition, which sponsored the Trump event, said at a press conference in India, apparently drawing on clichés about Arab culture and camels.

Props to this guy, who realizes halfway through that his cliché is insufficiently offensive.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 11:30 AM
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Maybe he didn't want to insult Ganesha?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 11:37 AM
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Who I guess is second in the Pantheon, after Hindu.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 11:37 AM
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But Matthews seemed to me to be making a compatible point. His careful statement of how anathema racism, now much more inclusively defined than it once would have been, has become to the pundit class. This makes the point at least implicitly that this view distorts analysis. And furthermore that the tension between that vision and the desire to stay in touch with and empathize with the people whom they may actually be related to or grew up with leads to an overemphasis on current economic hardship as the controlling factor.

His piece mostly makes sense, but I don't think it makes sense to say "OK, we have economic hardship. Well, what if we had a welfare state? Those places are voting for anti-immigrant populists too." That only proves that no matter how good your welfare state is, it doesn't make people immune to being upset when the economy gets worse. Which is unfortunate. People are irrational and always susceptible to loss aversion.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 11:38 AM
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That OP and LA Times article, jesus.

The national murder date from '14 to '15.

Offender data:

Whites total, 4367 to 4636, 6 percent increase
Blacks total, 5173 to 5620, 8.6 percent increase
Black under 30, 3230 to 3509, 8.6 percent increase.
Hispanic under 30, 783 to 793, 1.3 percent increase
Hispanic total, 1264 to 1312, 3.8 percent increase
"not hispanic" + "unknown", 7426 to 9006, 21 percent increase

Victim data:

Whites total, 5397 to 5854, 8. 4 percent increase
Blacks total, 6095 to 7039, 15.5 percent increase
Black under 30, 3414 to 3904, 14.4 percent increase
Hispanic total, 1871 to 2028 8.4 percent increase
Hispanic under 30, 985 to 1065, 8.1 percent increase
"not hispanic" + "unknown", 8677 to 10195, 17.5 percent increase


https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2014/crime-in-the-u.s.-2014/tables/expanded-homicide-data/expanded_homicide_data_table_3_murder_offenders_by_age_sex_and_race_2014.xls

https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2015/crime-in-the-u.s.-2015/tables/expanded_homicide_data_table_3_murder_offenders_by_age_sex_and_race_2015.xls

https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2014/crime-in-the-u.s.-2014/tables/expanded-homicide-data/expanded_homicide_data_table_2_murder_victims_by_age_sex_and_race_2014.xls

https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2015/crime-in-the-u.s.-2015/tables/expanded_homicide_data_table_2_murder_victims_by_age_sex_and_race_2015.xls


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 11:40 AM
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Not disagreeing with anyone, but having welfare isn't necessarily the same as having economic security or status security. Many (most?) of those European welfare states also have massive long term unemployment, especially among youth.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 11:42 AM
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I've got to go to work but FFS can we at least try to dwell in reality on this subject. Older white people are not driving the violent crime rate and the young brown ones are not all right.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 11:43 AM
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There's been a local epidemic of middle aged white guys slapping cars.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 11:44 AM
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And if any of you tries to entertain the fantasy that significant numbers of those "not hispanic" + "unknown" stats are middle aged white guys I might have to give you noogies.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 11:45 AM
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I don't think anyone had actually mentioned anything related to lead here before Gswift came in to do so, but yes, that sounds like self-parody on Kevin Drum's part.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 11:48 AM
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Swifty, are those figures showing ~12% increase in murders (or apprehended murderers?) in a year? Because that should be news, right?


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 11:51 AM
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There has been a substantial increase in homicides this year. It's still nowhere close to 90s-levels, but an increase is real and out there. I haven't even clicked through to Drum yet, but every other piece on this that I've seen suggests that it's mostly due to an increase in the lethality of drug gang warfare in African-American neighborhoods, mostly in a few cities like Chicago and Baltimore.


Posted by: R Tigre | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 11:55 AM
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Checking the numbers it's also ~12% for victims. Which strikes me as rather more than 'substantial'.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 12:00 PM
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Or are fluctuations of that size normal?


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 12:01 PM
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No, it's by far the biggest increase in homicide in 25 years. It's a real problem and not one (I think but haven't checked on whatever Drum is saying) caused by an increase in homicides committed by older white men.


Posted by: R Tigre | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 12:04 PM
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The statistics given in the linked article in the OP are for California only. And also for violent crimes including murder not just murder.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 12:07 PM
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Generally only homicide crime statistics are reliable, because everything else is so subject to classification. It wouldn't surprise me at all if in California in particular there's been a trend of (increasingly) charging older white men with the more serious version of whatever crime they're committing while doing the opposite to younger minorities. But regardless whatever Drum is talking about (I guess I do need to go and look) probably doesn't have much to do with the rise in homicides.


Posted by: R Tigre | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 12:11 PM
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IF RACISM IS OUTLAWED, ONLY OUTLAWS WILL BE RACISTS


Posted by: OPINIONATED GRANDPA | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 12:26 PM
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It wouldn't surprise me at all if in California in particular there's been a trend of (increasingly) charging older white men with the more serious version of whatever crime they're committing while doing the opposite to younger minorities.

It would surprise me that there was a trend of charging anyone with any less-serious version of anything; I thought the overall trend was to charge everyone with as many things as their actions could possibly be construed as falling under.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 12:30 PM
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For California prosecutors, there's been both (a) some countervailing pressure on racist under-charging in white rural areas, and (b) also some serious prison-population-reduction pressure on overcharging the traditionally overcharged minorities of the big urban areas (the latter particularly true in LA County, which obviously has a huge effect on statewide criminal justice trends). That's all I meant.


Posted by: R Tigre | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 12:57 PM
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48
With 44 I have now painted myself into a corner, since it would probably make sense to vote for Ted Cruz over Trump

And if my aunt had balls, she'd be my uncle. So what? I use that phrase a lot, but it's appropriate a lot. I mean, you seem to be trying to look at Trump like a fluke, but he's not.

It's not a coincidence that Trump and Cruz are in the same party. To the extent that Trump has beliefs or policies that are coherent or consistent, they're almost the same as Cruz's.

It's not a coincidence that the party of social conservatism and big business is also the party of racism and sexism. The motivations that lead to and policies that come them are basically the same, even if there's an anodyne way to describe them.

It's not a coincidence that the party with the problem with basic science and facts is the party that elected Trump. Iraq war intelligence reports? Global warming? Evolution?

On the other hand, all those trends were in place long before murder rates ticked up eight percent in some cities or some people had to be reminded that black lives matter.

It's good politics for Clinton to draw a line between the hardcore racists and sexists - let's call them by the blanket term "assholes" - who helped Trump win the primary and the other "good" Republicans, and in the long run drawing that line may actually help marginalize the assholes. But they're the key to how he got so far.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 1:17 PM
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26: I think Dylan Matthews has the better of it, frankly, snark notwithstanding. His evaluation of the situation actually takes into account the central importance of race to Republican electoral strategy -- the strategy shaped the American economy through the Eighties and Nineties and that has largely driven the rural disparities he mentions, and that was only possible through the coded racism of the Southern Strategy to begin with -- in a way that the Interfluidity analysis is not willing to do.

Also it's a bit late in the game to be decrying "shaming" as a response to a political movement whose goals are openly inimical to more than half of the American electorate. Never mind that "shaming" is one of the few things that has ever worked in beating back racism; the fact remains the Democrats and centrist / liberal America spent the past quarter century trying to temporize with, reach out to and triangulate around the racist voter, only to be confronted with a candidacy that is basically a bald demand to throw over all of their key constituencies to the requirements of a sexist, misogynistic, xenophobic and economically illiterate white nationalism. There were many detours before this particular exit and all the conflict likely still to come, but this isn't one of them.


Posted by: Lord Castock | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 1:18 PM
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I've been wondering all day: what does Peter Thiel expect to get for his money? Is there an obvious answer?


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 4:01 PM
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The horrors of President Trump will drive the image of Hulk Hogan's sex from his mind.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 4:23 PM
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Matthews' piece is interesting, but I find it unsatisfying in some of the same ways that Waldman does -- even if I find Waldman's response stupid.

It's possible that the important issue is something deeper than what Matthews is going for here. Sure, Trump is a racist phenomenon, but what's behind that phenomenon? How and why did the John Birch Society right become mainstream in 1980 and continue to intensify since then? I took a pass at answering that question in 29.

Waldman's answer - that Trump is, in some important sense, a result of people being called racist - happens to be very similar to Trump's own answer, and it's dumb as shit.

Now when I suggest that Waldman is "dumb as shit," it is not because I think this is persuasive language -- I don't think I'm going to change Waldman's mind or anyone else's. But it's important to call things what they are. This idea that we must pretend that Trump supporters aren't motivated by, or at least indifferent to, racism is not merely an error, but to my mind, it's an error that helped create Trump.

Hillary has started using the words "racist lie" to describe birtherism, and this phrase is unambiguously accurate. This should be common wisdom in all mainstream sources, because by any sensible mainstream standard, birtherism is a racist lie.

It's not the common wisdom. And that's a failure of our elites -- the same elites who crashed the economy and are okay with having it crash again.

If you want to find the roots of Trumpism -- and if, like Waldman, it's important for you to find Democrats to blame -- then I'd suggest you look at Clinton's Commodity Futures Modernization Act. One reason that the white folks lost trust in the elites is the elites became progressively less trustworthy, and the rest of us bore the cost.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 4:28 PM
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I wonder if Trump's tax plan might not be so advantageous for tech robber-baron types that that even with a small chance of their donation making a difference in getting him selected, their donations don't price out as positive on an expected value calculation.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 4:29 PM
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That's hilarious, and given the previous Silicon Valley post quite possibly accurate. (But there's a 100% certainty that Trump will be delighted to have found such a superficially intelligent mark with such deep pockets!)


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 4:41 PM
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Speaking of Gawker, maybe he wants in on Trump's possible post-election media project. That would be semi-rational. It seems poised to extract a lot of cash, unlike most other offshoots of the brand.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 4:46 PM
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65: Not to accuse an anti-Muslim bigot of spending money like a Saudi prince, but I wonder how many camels were at his son's wedding.


Posted by: Todd | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 4:48 PM
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I wonder if Trump's tax plan might not be so advantageous for tech robber-baron types that that even with a small chance of their donation making a difference in getting him selected, their donations don't price out as positive on an expected value calculation.

I hereby announce that I am running for President of every country on Earth. If I get elected to only ONE of those offices your generous campaign bribe will turn into a down payment on a unicorn.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 4:52 PM
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Or are fluctuations of that size normal?

No, it's by far the biggest increase in homicide in 25 years

Fluctuations of that magnitude appear to be not particularly unusual. But, as Tigre says, whats different is that its an increase after years of decrease. It could be the rate is now stabilizing after a long decline, and this is what year-to-year fluctuation looks like.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 4:57 PM
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Is there any mystery? Thiel is a racist sexist ideological nutjob for whom $1million is no big deal. Pretty much WYSIWYG.


Posted by: R Tigre | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 4:58 PM
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Putting aside the racism and the sexism, there seems to be a class of commentators who is so gutted that this wasn't finally the election where we begin doing something about inequality and helping poor people that they're willing to look anywhere and everywhere for evidence that their desired revolution might still have a chance. Thus, attempting to look past Trump supporters' racism and sexism for clues that they are really looking for less inequality and more social fairness and ignoring that fact that those supporters would actually be quite happy with inequality if only things were unequal on the correct criteria (race, sex).


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 5:16 PM
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Because of the other thread (I wanted to see if 'Pugwash' really had an obscene meaning), I went over to Snopes.
This seems relevant.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 5:18 PM
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$1 million buys Theil a nice down payment on participation in the post-election grift machine.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 5:38 PM
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93: "I'm contributing a lot to your GDP," he told the New Zealand Herald News. "I think the Department of Tourism should give me a commission."

It's amazing how quickly this man has led me to hate him. He has real talent.

94: That was my first thought, too, but thought it'd be fun to do the math. If we wanted to be fair we'd compare expected values of two scenarios, with and without the donation. We can mostly ignore scenarios besides Clinton or Trump winning (especially since we're subtracting means); assume the donation would have no effect on Clinton's tax policy, but that Trump might give Thiel some sort of extra bonus above and beyond his tax policy without the donation if he comes into office. For the differences in the expected values to be positive, it'd have to be:

bonus to Thiel > $1.25m - (differential increase to Trump's probability of winning due to donation)/P(trump wins with donation) * (expected gain of Trump's tax policy - expected gain of Clinton's)

The difference in probability of Trump winning given a $1.25m donation has to be almost nothing, especially given how poorly the Trump team has been campaigning. The probability of Trump winning is (using 538's models) maybe 1/5 now, and while Thiel can surely expect tax benefits relative to Clinton's policy (assuming it gets enacted) I think they'd still be swamped by that probability difference coefficient, so that second term would be essentially zero. So there's only a gain in expected value if he think Trump will specifically dote on him to at least the amount of the donation.

But he's probably just a bigoted ass with money to burn.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 5:40 PM
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100 is just 99, less well put.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 5:42 PM
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Maybe, for irony, Theil's donation is taking the form of a 3rd party check from Nick Denton?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 5:49 PM
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96: so you think he thinks Trump just needs another million to win, or he's throwing the money away as a form of ideological signaling, or he literally doesn't give a shit? That's the thing: there's a plethora of dumb explanations.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 6:20 PM
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What's he donating to exactly? You can't give that amount to a candidate directly. Maybe the idea is to fund Trump lawsuits of news organizations.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 6:43 PM
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104: Super PACs, mostly.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 6:46 PM
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After reading through some two hundred Post editorials and op-eds about Sanders, I found a very basic disparity. Of the Post stories that could be said to take an obvious stand, the negative outnumbered the positive roughly five to one.2 (Opinion pieces about Hillary Clinton, by comparison, came much closer to a fifty-fifty split.)http://harpers.org/archive/2016/11/swat-team-2/

This is very good although not news to Bernie fans. Still it is nice to see someone with some recognition at a venue like Harper's say these things.


Posted by: roger the cabin boy | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 6:51 PM
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96 is Theil's razor, which is like JMM's Trump's razor except it's used to slit the throats of young people so Theil can harvest their rejuvenating blood.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 6:54 PM
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Gah, Thomas Frank.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 7:38 PM
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106 is another great example of what I was talking about in 97. The number of voters who is interested in making things actually more equal is 20% max. Everyone else doesn't care or simply would prefer to be the recipient of inequality. This is America, dammit.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 7:41 PM
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I've been wondering all day: what does Peter Thiel expect to get for his money? Is there an obvious answer?

He lives on the blood of virgins and the hatred of the general public.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 8:21 PM
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And sleeps curled upon a bed of bitcoin.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 8:23 PM
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108-What do you have against Thomas Frank?


Posted by: roger the cabin boy | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 8:28 PM
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It's as soft as the cloud.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 8:28 PM
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109- Inequality isn't my top concern either. Corruption is a much bigger problem. They often go hand in hand though.


Posted by: roger the cabin boy | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 8:30 PM
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113 to 112.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 9:31 PM
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What's the Matter with Thomas Frank?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 9:36 PM
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115 to 116.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 9:36 PM
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I think pf is misreading Waldmann but I'm too tired to argue coherently. Or even how I would normally.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 9:44 PM
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I'm amazed people read past the first few paragraphs of that Waldman post, dear readers.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 9:57 PM
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Besides his Green Lantern theory of government? Or his delusion that if only the Democrats would abandon their social liberalism and become even more economically liberal that they'd somehow win more elections, despite the fact that social liberalism is becoming increasingly popular and economic liberalism is not?


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 10:20 PM
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I don't think he does subscribe to Green Lanternism in government. I also don't think he is calling for democrats to abandon social liberalism. If you are right that no one cares about economic liberalism it would be a problem. There might be some truth to that, but the fact that people are apathetic about justice doesn't make it unimportant. So much the worse for democrats and for that matter for America if people refuse to see that.


Posted by: roger the cabin boy | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 10:32 PM
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"The subject of my new book is the Democratic Party's failure over the last few decades to do anything really meaningful about income inequality."

Democrats have controlled all three branches of government for 4 of the last 36 years.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 10:39 PM
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Not 3 branches, but House, Senate and Presidency.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 10:42 PM
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You don't need control of all three branches of government to get some things done. Recently President Obama raised the minimum salary necessary for companies to avoid overtime pay.

https://www.dol.gov/featured/overtime

Obama deserves credit for this, but it is something he could have done on day one.


Posted by: roger the cabin boy | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 10:46 PM
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Economic views, 2015

39% conservative
42% moderate
19% liberal

Economic views, 1999

44% conservative
40% moderate
16% liberal


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 10:47 PM
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If you make a bold enough claim to be interesting as a popularizer someone is going to be able to show that it doesn't quite hold, which I think you've done here.

I'm really more interested in thinking about your proposition that people don't much care about inequality. I think that might be right, but I'd be interested in what evidence you have that that is true.


Posted by: roger the cabin boy | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 10:51 PM
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You can't pivot from "if only Democrats would be more economically liberal they'd win more votes" to "more people should care about this". The latter being true doesn't make the former true.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 10:52 PM
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On the other hand there has been a major shift to socially liberal.

Social views, 2015

31% conservative
38% moderate
31% liberal

Social views, 1999

39% conservative
40% moderate
21% liberal


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 10:54 PM
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125- Looks like a significant shift for the better to me. Some people in all three of those groups would be likely to agree that Wall Street was out of control and should be reigned as well. Belief in economic justice isn't just about help for the poor.


Posted by: roger the cabin boy | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 10:55 PM
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127- I'm not sure I made that claim recently, but I do think that by being dishonest/two faced in their claims to economic liberalism democrats lose votes by being untrustworthy.


Posted by: roger the cabin boy | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 10:57 PM
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Frank has always confirmed good liberal's biases without actually having to show he's right. I really do wish he was right, but there's no evidence for it.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 11:00 PM
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For example Obama promised a substantial raise in the minimum wage. It is true that the actual window he had to try to pass that was narrow, but in the event he didn't try.


Posted by: roger the cabin boy | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 11:00 PM
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3% is not statistically significant. 10% may be.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 11:01 PM
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Didn't. Even. Try.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 11:02 PM
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Pure anecdata, but everyone I hear from about HRC's flaws talks about how untrustworthy she is. The few I know who are voting Trump excuse it on those grounds 'they are all the same, you can't trust any of them.'


Posted by: roger the cabin boy | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 11:03 PM
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There's a minimum wage increase on the Washington ballot this year. I hope it passes.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 11:05 PM
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A reputation she got from which actual dishonest activities or votes?


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 11:07 PM
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Checking the numbers it's also ~12% for victims. Which strikes me as rather more than 'substantial'.

It's fucking huge and we're on track for another double digit increase this year which would put us at something like a 25 percent increase in a two year period. Even Richard Rosenfeld has been having second thoughts.

It would surprise me that there was a trend of charging anyone with any less-serious version of anything

Come on nosflow, pay attention to your own state already. Prop 47 you noob, and we've done something similar here. I may have had a a rant or two on this topic last year. Which brings me to a recent local article, "Utah's prison population has dropped but treatment hasn't increased under new justice initiative". Man, I was WAY off. Our Compstat numbers are claiming reductions in property crime (which I've giving the Skeptical Hippos gaze) but year to date numbers for 2016 are showing solid double digit increases in homicide, robbery, and agg assault.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 10-17-16 11:49 PM
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Double digit increases in Utah? I can't find any national figures that support a 10%+ increase. Or that say much of anything except for looking at specific cities.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-18-16 5:19 AM
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114. I'm really only interested in inequality insofar as it increases or is caused by racism or corruption. So, help victims of racism (finish weaving an actual social safety net bigger than a butterfly net, for example) and go after corruption (literal thievery or sanctioned thievery like targeted tax breaks for the already wealthy). I don't mind if people get super-rich.

138 et al. Is there evidence the opioid "epidemic" is a significant contributor to drug-related violence? A lot of violence accompanied the previous drug "epidemics" as gangs sorted out who owned what turf. At least in my home area (Boston) many reports of shootings and murders appear to be tied to the drug trade.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 10-18-16 6:28 AM
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137- I think most of HRC's bad reputation is undeserved. I'm not interested in arguing about the remainder right now. Ask me again in a few weeks.


Posted by: roger the cabin boy | Link to this comment | 10-18-16 7:10 AM
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I don't mind that some people (heart surgeons, say) make more money than me, but I find the idea that some people get super-rich outrageous. At the level of inequality we see, it's clearly zero-sum. More for them means less for the rest of us.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10-18-16 7:29 AM
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I'm really only interested in inequality insofar as it increases or is caused by racism or corruption.
You know there are white people living in hereditary poverty, right?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 10-18-16 7:32 AM
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142: That's not necessarily true, is it? There's no limit on the amount of money in the world.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-18-16 7:35 AM
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Poverty != Inequality


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 10-18-16 7:36 AM
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144- The money is unlimited. The actual resources money makes claims on are finite.


Posted by: roger the cabin boy | Link to this comment | 10-18-16 7:43 AM
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142: The way these conversations get framed in this country always amazes me. Bill Gates -- whose entire fortune is based on a government-granted monopolies -- is held up as an example of a guy who earned his fortune, and whom we need to incentivize in this fashion.

Betcha he would have made an identical contribution to society if his windfall had been limited to a few billion -- or even a few hundred million -- dollars.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10-18-16 7:44 AM
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Waldman acknowledges that it's true that Trump's supporters are generally racists, but blames this in part on liberals who noticed the racism and said something about it...
Nope:

Regular readers will be unsurprised that I think economic stratification and differential stagnation are the deepest sources of fragmentation and the first that we should address.

In the part you can't make sense of, he's arguing that dismissiveness regarding economic grievances and a failure of the Democrats to offer a strong break with current economic policy lend legitimacy to the entirety of Trump's movement, encouraging the breakdown of the taboo against open racism.
If it becomes the mainstream view that Trump voters are simply racists, it leaves those who are already committed, those who are unwilling to abandon Trump or to stomach Clinton, little choice but to own what they've been accused of. Racist is the new queer. The same daring, transgressional psychology that, for gay people, converted an insult into a durable token of identity may persuade a mass of people who otherwise would not have challenged the social taboo surrounding racism to accept the epithet with defiant equanimity or even to embrace it.


If you want to find the roots of Trumpism -- and if, like Waldman, it's important for you to find Democrats to blame -- then I'd suggest you look at Clinton's Commodity Futures Modernization Act.
I'm not sure he'd disagree (though I can't remember his stance on this; I've learned quite a bit from him and agree with much so I have trouble disentangling his views from my own).


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 10-18-16 8:02 AM
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I don't think I agree with Waldman anymore about the primacy of economics in explaining the rise of white nationalism anymore, not after the Vox "White Riot" piece, but I think pf, whom I usually find quite astute, is reading him correctly. There is still some evidence that economic stagnation has encouraged people to vote for less established candidates, and 40 years of poor economic growth may have some diffuse effects that are hard to detect and likely underestimated by statistical methods, but the "racial last-place aversion" narrative seems pretty well supported.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 10-18-16 8:14 AM
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"Bill Gates -- whose entire fortune is based on a government-granted monopolies -- is held up as an example of a guy who earned his fortune, and whom we need to incentivize in this fashion."

Isn't everyone's fortune based on government-granted monopolies? Property is a government-granted monopoly. Ultimately the only thing that makes a rich man rich is that the government is prepared to defend his exclusive use of certain assets, if necessary with armed force.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-18-16 8:16 AM
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145: I'm sure I'm not understanding you correctly, but I read you to say that the inequality between racial groups bothers you and should be addressed by public policy because it is caused by racism, but the hereditary inequality that exists between, say, urban whites and poor, rural white communities doesn't and shouldn't be?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 10-18-16 8:23 AM
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That liberals ignore the problems faced by white people on the margins in favor of catering to minorities is a resentment universally held by conservatives and is fostered by various demagogues. It's obviously false, but I have noticed a tendency for liberals in public discussions to racialize what might otherwise be more universal economic problems, and to dismiss legitimate complaints of Trumpets because of their numerous pathologies. For a recent, unsourced example, I heard someone on NPR criticize them for feeling entitled to good paying jobs. They have a lot of unearned feelings of entitlement, but that shouldn't be one of them!


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 10-18-16 8:35 AM
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148: I was trying to give Waldman the benefit of the doubt here. He says:

Now, it is obvious that racism and nativism and neofascism are an important and particularly disturbing aspect of the Trump phenomenon ...

But yeah, Waldman certainly tries to minimize racism of Trump supporters, and he does suggest that we ought not call it racism if it's racism triggered by economic factors. Still, although the piece is badly written, I don't think Waldman is trying to deny the racism of Trump supporters.

Your reading is plausible, but it's much less charitable than mine.

You quote Waldman thusly:

If it becomes the mainstream view that Trump voters are simply racists, it leaves those who are already committed, those who are unwilling to abandon Trump or to stomach Clinton, little choice but to own what they've been accused of.

There's a considerable amount of strawmanning in here. Who is it who says that Trump voters are "simply" racist?

If Waldman wants to contend that Trump voters are motivated by their relative poverty (relative to either nonracist Americans or to their former wealth), then he needs to actually make that case. Instead, he mocks Vox for actually supplying data, and then misreads that data to suggest that Trump voters are poorer than non-Trump voters. That seems ludicrous.

I'd like to see an answer to my previous question. It seems that in Waldman's worldview, ethnic minorities ought to downplay racism as part of the Trump phenomenon. The only other possibility that I can see is that the existence of ethnic minorities as players in the body politic isn't being acknowledged by Waldman at all.

Is there something I'm missing here? What is Waldman's guidance for people who think Black Lives Matter, or who (like Paul Ryan!) think it's racist to say that a native-born American of Mexican heritage is 1.) a Mexican and therefore 2.)unqualified to be a judge. Should they just shut up?

Waldman is just fancying up Trump's own racist explanation for his success: It's a legitimate backlash against the politically correct.

Trump has to be defeated. That's all. It's just flat wrong to decide that racism must be downplayed when white people feel put-upon.

It's a good rule of thumb to be extremely suspicious of people who tell you that you need to adopt a false story in order to sway people to the truth. Let's repeat that quote again:

If it becomes the mainstream view that Trump voters are simply racists, it leaves those who are already committed, those who are unwilling to abandon Trump or to stomach Clinton, little choice but to own what they've been accused of.

This is, of course, demonstrably wrong. We've seen Trump accused of gross sexism and racism, and as that's happened we've seen Trump's support drop. And, contrary to Waldman, once passions have cooled and Trump's sexism and racism have led to his defeat, more people will abandon Trumpism.

Trumpism will remain a threat because sexism and racism are strong traditions in this country. But the only way to defeat them is to fight against them, and the only way to do that is to acknowledge them.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10-18-16 8:36 AM
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152: It's too easy to go from "they shouldn't have good job that rely on destroying the environment" to "they shouldn't have good jobs, period," especially given that it isn't obvious how those non-extractive rural jobs could happen.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 10-18-16 8:38 AM
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150: Oh yeah, absolutely. I just find the Gates example to be both particularly common and particularly galling.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10-18-16 8:39 AM
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I was coming back to say a little something, but 153 already has it covered. Thank you!


Posted by: Lord Castock | Link to this comment | 10-18-16 8:41 AM
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155: his company produced something that was wildly successful and sold hundreds of millions of copies of the thing all around the world. That's why he's rich; and I'm not sure why it is more galling that the thing was software rather than, say, motor cars or mousetraps, because in both those cases his fortune would have been just as dependent on government-enforced monopolies. The only difference is that it's much easier in practice to alienate the source of Bill Gates' fortune than it would be the source of, say, Henry Ford's, because software can be copied effortlessly by anyone and the Dearborn plant cannot.

That's not denying your second and much better point about "Betcha he would have made an identical contribution to society if his windfall had been limited to a few billion -- or even a few hundred million -- dollars". Yes indeed.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-18-16 8:46 AM
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It seems that in Waldman's worldview, ethnic minorities ought to downplay racism as part of the Trump phenomenon.
This is nowhere in the post. Waldman doesn't buy racism as the only or underlying cause; he isn't, as far as I can tell, dismissing concerns about racism or offering guidance on how to respond to specific racist incidents.
Is there something I'm missing here? What is Waldman's guidance for people who think Black Lives Matter, or who (like Paul Ryan!) think it's racist to say that a native-born American of Mexican heritage is 1.) a Mexican and therefore 2.)unqualified to be a judge. Should they just shut up?
No? Such guidance isn't really the point of this article so assuming its absence implies he thinks they should shut up is uncharitable.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 10-18-16 8:49 AM
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If Waldman wants to contend that Trump voters are motivated by their relative poverty (relative to either nonracist Americans or to their former wealth), then he needs to actually make that case. Instead, he mocks Vox for actually supplying data, and then misreads that data to suggest that Trump voters are poorer than non-Trump voters.
The data is addressed in, among others, the Kwak post he links in a footnote.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 10-18-16 8:52 AM
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There's a considerable amount of strawmanning in here. Who is it who says that Trump voters are "simply" racist?
Yglesias, Vox, and several people in this thread.
Waldman is just fancying up Trump's own racist explanation for his success: It's a legitimate backlash against the politically correct.
That they have legitimate complaints doesn't mean their movement is legitimate.
We've seen Trump accused of gross sexism and racism, and as that's happened we've seen Trump's support drop.
His support has dropped among most, risen among some. We've also seen a rise in overtly racist and sexist rhetoric. Economic populism and white nationalism are an appealing package to some, and Waldman is lamenting that we have not done more to cleave the two.
And, contrary to Waldman, once passions have cooled and Trump's sexism and racism have led to his defeat, more people will abandon Trumpism.
Waldman doesn't take a position on the electoral effects of Trump's sexism and racism.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 10-18-16 9:00 AM
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Politicalfootball is essentially fulfilling one half of the dynamic described in that Baseline Scenario post: Probably the economic anxiety deniers think that explaining Trump in (partially) economic terms amounts to excusing or ignoring racism, while the economic anxiety believers think that the racism-only story ignores the erosion of the middle class over the past thirty years.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 10-18-16 9:03 AM
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Keep in mind that Trumpism is largely an older person phenomenon. Primarily it's the last generation for whom racism and sexism were actually socially acceptable. How do you deal with your racist/sexist 60 year old uncle? Do you ignore it or do you call him out on it?


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 10-18-16 9:04 AM
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My uncles are fine. It's my parent's cousins you have to watch out for.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-18-16 9:04 AM
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My extended family includes an aunt who hated Giuliani and W Bush so much that she literally wouldn't say their names. They were the "so-called mayor" and the "not my President." AFAIK no Trump voters in the whole crew.

There is a branch that's probably super racist (whote people who left Southern California to move to Idaho, so) but I don't think anyone in my immediate family has spoken to those guys in 30 years.


Posted by: R Tigre | Link to this comment | 10-18-16 9:21 AM
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No? Such guidance isn't really the point of this article so assuming its absence implies he thinks they should shut up is uncharitable.

Yeah, see, I'm not getting it then. It seems to me that Waldman's essential point is that people shouldn't emphasize the racist basis for Trumpism, but should soft-pedal that in favor of economic explanations.

Like you, I assume that he's not talking to the Black Lives Matter folks (for example). I think he's uncomfortable factoring them into this discussion, and he solves that problem by ignoring their existence as actors.

I pick Black Lives Matter as my example because they seem to embody everything that Waldman objects to here -- they make white people feel defensive; they ignore the economic basis for racism, etc. It seems obvious to bring them up in this conversation, and I find it telling that Waldman is unable to do so directly.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10-18-16 9:26 AM
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In the economics and Trump thing, I'm so exasperated by Thomas Frank style analysis at this point it doesn't seem worth it. But broadly speaking:

1. Is "the economy" or "inequality" somehow connected in a loose way to the rise of Trump? Probably! But that's because the economy and inequality are connected to literally every social trend.

2. Is it true that a more-committed-to-a-social-democratic-welfare-state Democratic party could persuade a substantial number of Trump's Republican primary voters to back ot because of attention to economic issues? Almost certainly not. We know this because these guys have shown zero interest in voting for more social democracy for years. And the Trump voters are generally not the poorest stratum even of whites and have made very very clear that they prioritize anti-immigration and other basically racist policies over a welfare state. Answering this question "yes" is delusional.

3. If we had more social democracy, would "Trumpism" i.e. racist nationalism as a political force, go away? Almost certainly not. We know for a fact that Western Europe combines a huge welfare state and parties based on racial resentment. Indeed, a welfare state makes these issues even more salient, since it is so easy to see "them" as "unfairly" taking advantage of "our" tax money. There is absolutely no reason to think (except maybe in the very very very lomg term) that if you literally imposed the governmental and economic structure of Sweden on the United States that this would "solve" the concerns of Trump's primary voters.

I'm gonna leave out my psychological exegesis of why the "take Trump voters seriously" thing is so important to a subset of (mostly white, mostly men, mostly well educated) self-identified "leftists." It's mostly a rearguard action designed to "make the Left great again" with people like Frank in charge instead of supposed cultural-studies sellouts.


Posted by: R Tigre | Link to this comment | 10-18-16 9:39 AM
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Like you, I assume that he's not talking to the Black Lives Matter folks (for example). I think he's uncomfortable factoring them into this discussion, and he solves that problem by ignoring their existence as actors.

I think this is an important point. I've been saying to many people that Black Live Matter is the successful grassroots social/political movement on the left that I can remember. Is it perfect, no, but I think it has succeeded in changing the conversation in really positive ways (see Heebie's recent post).

I would add something else, which is that I say a comment (I think by Kevin Drum) fairly early in this election cycle which has stuck with me. He pointed out that both the median Democrat and the median voter is not a white man, and that this caused a lot of frustration from some (older, white, male) who felt like nobody was giving them the respect they expected.

I do think that politically active white men aren't used to being treated as just one element of a coalition. They're used to being the primary agenda-setters for their political parties.

I think that, of course, the Democratic party should be doing more to address economic inequality and uncertainty. But even if it does, it still won't (and shouldn't) be offering white men the same sort of cultural weight that (many of them) are used to having. That's a psychological transition that has to happen at some point.

[I think 166 is generally correct and more specifically addressed to this conversation -- but I think it's worth saying explicitly that there is a natural shift in the center of gravity of the Democratic party, which will affect both what issues it prioritizes and how those issues get framed. If some people think, "this framing isn't targeted to appeal to white men" that's also something which is going to happen.]


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 10-18-16 10:22 AM
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158: he isn't, as far as I can tell, dismissing concerns about racism or offering guidance on how to respond to specific racist incidents.

Making a claim that shaming people as "racist" is a dangerous practice that might move them to be more racist to spite you is offering guidence on how to respond to racism. "Specific racist incidents" in that context is kind of a meaningless weasel-phrase, it would seem to me; or something worse if that amounts to a claim that one should only address "specific" incidents while ignoring any possible connection to the wider dynamics of Trump's "movement" and rhetoric as a whole.

There is little in the way of meaningful "economic populism" in Trump's platform. He does not actually combine economic populism with racist nationalism; at best he gestures vaguely at economic populism in ways that people actually concerned with it ought to have noticed (indeed in ways that many did notice, which is why Sanders became a thing). Indeed his proposed policies are a fog of nonsense and contradictions just generally; the only really consistent part of his campaign is the racism.

This, by the way, is a key part of how proto-fascism works. The central message -- and the sole consistent message -- is always the spell of a return to a lost golden age under the guidance of a Great Leader, and the centrality of hate and scapegoating combined with the rejection of rationality and consistency are features, not defects. The rest is chaff, thrown out as convenience requires to keep people guessing or to distract the gullible. There are a few of the gullible in the crowd following Trump, but at least twenty-five points' worth of his support AFAICT is the people who came rushing to join him when he made his famous Mexican rapist and Muslim-banning speeches. Why those speeches? Why did so many of them flock to join Stormfront or the Klan instead of trade unions or farmers' cooperatives? What Waldman is engaged in, in face of these realities, just looks like wriggling and denialism.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 10-18-16 10:25 AM
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168 is me and I approve this message.


Posted by: Lord Castock | Link to this comment | 10-18-16 10:26 AM
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(I mean for Christ's sake, the guy's campaign manager for the home stretch runs an online haven for literal neo-Nazism and has him delivering speeches packed with anti-Semitic code that goes back to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and here we're supposed to be debating whether the campaign is racist, or whether it's okay to call it racist. Fuck off.)


Posted by: Lord Castock | Link to this comment | 10-18-16 10:29 AM
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(The "fuck off" is for Waldman, not Eggplant.)


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 10-18-16 10:43 AM
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Also for the "Remember personal info?" box.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-18-16 10:58 AM
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If you believed this: https://www.bostonglobe.com/ideas/2014/10/18/vote-all-you-want-the-secret-government-won-change/jVSkXrENQlu8vNcBfMn9sL/story.html

Thomas Frank would come across as a Green Lantern type, but so would everyone else. Hell if its true you might just as well elect Trump.


Posted by: roger the cabin boy | Link to this comment | 10-18-16 4:20 PM
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Delightful as always: https://theintercept.com/2016/10/16/i-am-fully-capable-of-entertaining-myself-in-prison-for-decades-if-need-be/


Posted by: roger the cabin boy | Link to this comment | 10-18-16 8:02 PM
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166 is probably all true, but it's not inconsistent with the likelihood that if the Great Recession hadn't happened, Trump wouldn't be getting anywhere electorally. You can argue that without trying to excuse racist shitheads - just as saying that Hitler probably wouldn't have been elected if Germany had been prosperous in the 20s and early 30s doesn't require downplaying the role of antisemitism. Racism and economic instability might both be necessary for Trumpism to metastasise. (Or, you know, not - I'm not sure, myself. Maybe Obama getting elected and the possibility of Clinton would have been enough all by itself.)


Posted by: One of Many | Link to this comment | 10-18-16 10:45 PM
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I think an important point some people are missing here is that Enlightened Topless Europe may have a welfare state, but it also has had brutal Hooverite macroeconomic policy for getting on for 20 years now, and in some places, longer.

France, for example, swung to deflation in 1983 and doubled-down from the early 90s in order to hit the targets for joining the Euro. It is absolutely no coincidence that the FN's breakthrough was in 1987 or thereabouts. Italy hasn't really had material economic growth since joining the Euro. Wonder why it has three different versions of populism/neo-fascism... The UK dodged the € bullet but has since managed to impose its own entirely self-inflicted troika program and now look at us.

Even Germany has been under one sparpaket or other since finance minister Hans Eichel coined the phrase in 1995 (and of course a significant chunk of Germany was in the less enlightened and significantly less topless Europe before 1991).


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 10-19-16 3:44 AM
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Shorter me: a welfare state is pretty great but having to rely on it for years at a stretch sucks.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 10-19-16 3:45 AM
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It's amazing how terrible the macroeconomic policy in Europe is. There's a whole social class of incompetent finance ministers who are slowly destroying Europe.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10-19-16 5:21 AM
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I have just been on a trip to one of the closemouthed, Germany-with-better-threads bits of northern Italy and it's astonishing how obvious it is that there's basically been very little investment in anything since about 1993. Everything looks like that era of Lancia Integrales, destructured linen suits, and export-oriented medium manufacturers....just without any maintenance for two decades.

Lots of said medium manufacturers who obviously put up a shiny new headquarters in the exciting new postmodern style of 1992! to celebrate the European future...and went bankrupt. If you wanted to start a postmodern architecture nostalgia rave you'd have plenty of choice.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 10-19-16 5:49 AM
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Of course, despite that, everything civic works very nicely because northern Italy. but it's fairly obvious you'd bugger off to London like a shot if you're under fifty.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 10-19-16 5:50 AM
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I've read my Sherlock Holmes. I know that Italians in London basically exist for purposes of stabbing people.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-19-16 6:01 AM
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Would you bugger off to London if the banks decamp to Frankfurt or Dublin and leave only the property speculators in charge?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10-19-16 6:03 AM
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Other metropoles are available!


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 10-19-16 6:08 AM
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(and of course a significant chunk of Germany was in the less enlightened and significantly less topless Europe before 1991).

I don't know about enlightened, but the DDR was for the most part more topless (and bottomless) than the BRD ever was.


Posted by: real ffeJ annaH | Link to this comment | 10-19-16 6:24 AM
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Lots of said medium manufacturers who obviously put up a shiny new headquarters in the exciting new postmodern style of 1992! to celebrate the European future...and went bankrupt. If you wanted to start a postmodern architecture nostalgia rave you'd have plenty of choice.

Goes along with all the football stadiums that were built/remodeled for the 1990 World Cup, which happened just before the trend of building/remodeling football stadiums to actually be nice.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10-19-16 6:54 AM
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