They are going to die:
Because of the ACA, Clyde’s visit is covered by Medicaid. Before the law, most West Virginians without children or disabilities could not qualify for Medicaid, no matter how poor they were. The ACA — better known here as Obamacare — expanded the program to cover more people, such as Clyde, who can depend on Keisha to fix his heartburn without having to worry about the cost.
As for the other problems in his life, he has put his hopes in Trump, who came to West Virginia saying he would bring back coal and put miners back to work. When Trump mentioned repealing Obamacare, Clyde wasn’t sure what that might mean for his Medicaid. But if he had a job that provided health insurance, he reasoned, he wouldn’t need Medicaid anyway, so he voted for Trump, along with 74 percent of McDowell County.
Tug River Health Association treats about 8,700 patients, resulting in some 20,000 visits a year to its five clinics. In 2016, 12,284 of those visits were from patients on Medicaid, up from 5,674 in 2013, before the ACA took effect here. Without the ACA, many of those patients wouldn’t be able to afford care. Will they soon lose their coverage? Will they stop coming to the clinic? Lately, Tug River’s chief executive has been telling his staff, “The key word going forward is uncertainty.”***
“Hi honey, how are you?” Tammy McNew says to each one. Over the past four decades, McDowell County has lost 60 percent of its population, so she rarely needs to ask their names. Instead, she asks what seems like the most important question in health care these days:
“Got your insurance card with you?”
If the answer is no, she will send them back to Keisha anyway, and the clinic will depend on federal grants to make up the cost. But more often in recent years, the answer is what a middle-aged woman with springy curls says as she passes her Medicaid insurance card through the window: “Yes, ma’am,” she tells Tammy, who slides it into a scanning machine.
In other parts of the country, the primary impact of the ACA has been requiring people to have private health insurance, but in poor and sick communities like McDowell County, the law’s dominant effect has been the Medicaid expansion, which has given more people access to the kind of health care that wasn’t widely available or affordable to them before. With an insurance card in her pocket, the patient at Tammy’s window can venture into the realms of medical care that are typically out of reach to those without one: blood work, immunizations, specialized doctors, surgery, physical therapy.
If she needs mental health counseling, the clinic no longer sends her to the next county over; last July, Tug River was able to hire a psychologist, who is now treating 180 people, many of whom are trying to overcome opioid addictions.
If she needs medication, the nurses won’t go digging in a closet of samples left by drug reps as they used to do for the uninsured. The medication will come from a pharmacy and cost no more than a few dollars.
“All right sweetie, I got you,” Tammy tells her, and the patient retreats to a chair to wait for her name to be called. The routine is repeated dozens of times a day as the phone rings behind the front desk. “For appointments, press one,” the callers hear. “Black lung, two.”
Meanwhile, our state is focused on more important matters- restricting SNAP benefits, voter id laws, etc. At least with a Republican President, House, and Senate, and a state run by Republicans, they won’t be able to blame Democrats, right.
Another patient comes in: Carolyn Hodges, 68, who tells Keisha that she’s been feeling dizzy. Carolyn has Medicare, the public health insurance for the elderly. Medicare doesn’t cover all health-care costs, which is why Carolyn is as worried about the price of her medications as the fact that she’s been bumping into walls.
The last time she went to pick up her husband Roger’s insulin, Carolyn tells Keisha, the pharmacist said it would be more than $600, instead of the $100 or so they usually pay. That was when she learned Roger was in the Medicare prescription “donut hole,” which means that the cost of his medications had exceeded his limit for the year, and he would be forced to pay far more for prescriptions until the year ended and the tab started over. One initiative of the ACA has been to close that hole incrementally, but Carolyn, unaware of that, sees the bills piling up and thinks she knows who must be to blame.
“Thank you, Obama!” Carolyn says, throwing her arms in the air.
So depressing. They aren’t going to get any jobs and now they will have their health care ripped away from them. And they made this happen.
It’s depressing alright. Depressing they get to fucking vote again next election.
ETA, if they, or any of us, live that long
This is batshit insane. And in Good Old Murca, it’s called “progress.”
Medical science, no matter how far it advances, will never be able to cure stupid.
Past caring about these idiots. Your gonna get exactly what you voted for. Deal with it.
I having difficulty seeing the point of continuing to spend blog space focusing on Trump voters. Let conservative blogs explore the nuances of their condition. I’d rather hear about the tragedies and triumphs of the victims of Trump voters.
@Baud: I am still wondering why they can’t seem to find one community that has a lower Socio Economic Status* (SES) majority population that know they need their health care and voted for HRC because they were scared to death, but not stupid about it.
ETA *poor people
God I hate, hate, hate this Terminix commercial. Creeps me right the fuck out every single time.
@Corner Stone: SES?
But I agree. People are traumatized and have PTSD because of what these voters did, yet they take up all the oxygen.
To be more accurate.
I just watched an imterview of Paul Ryan on Face the Nation.
Paul Ryan secured his position as captain of the All Overated Team.
He is a corrupt fraud.
It’s pretty depressing to read about these people, but they used to be reliable D voters and now they’re reliable R voters. It’s worth trying to figure out if there’s anything we can do within the bounds of what the modern Democratic Party stands for that would get them back on our side.
Thanks Obama indeed. Never gonna get out of that particular boat.
Это курам на смех
Here’s the key quote from that article:
I’ll get right on that right after I finish reconciling general relativity and quantum mechanics.
I for one am not so sure of that initiative. However, if we did try that approach I don’t think science has yet reached the ability to make a clone of a 1992 Bill Clinton to run in 2020.
I find myself having no sympathy for people who voted to take my health care away. Sorry.
As long as the DEEP STATE is purged, and America is made white again, all will be well.
@randy khan: That’s a fine thought, but all these folks have that makes themselves feel they have worth is the color of their skin. They have to break that mind prison themselves. Dems can’t help do it.
Josh Marshall has a tweet that Anne front paged last night about all the promises Trump made about the future of medical care. “Everyone will have coverage they can afford”, that sort of thing, no doubt uttered right next to “We’ll bring back coal jobs”.
Anyway, looking at that set of promises made me slightly more forgiving of the low-information people who thought Trump was saying he’d fix what was broken about Obamacare. Yeah, they bought a poke-in-a-pig (not the reverse, since Trump’s promises were wrapped in racism, sexism, and xenophobia), they didn’t see through the con.
But blaming people for not “seeing through the con” is the Republican thing to do. “They made their bed, let them lie in it”, is the Republican way to treat people.
I don’t know how to help people see through the con, but I think it’s what we’ve got to do.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
I wonder if these people, this stupid cow in particular, read the articles that feature them
Sadly, we’re all getting the government they deserve.
It’s crazy to me that people think Hair Furor can perform feats of economic necromancy or why he needs to. Why not go after the money where it exists now? Meanwhile, all he’s done so far is manage to lose money for other people, but steal enough to maintain a tacky, but ostensibly glamorous, lifestyle.
Besides, haven’t these people watched the movies? Necromancy never ends well.
@Это курам на смех: This is entirely what opposition to the law is based on: the idea that it’s welfare. And like other forms of welfare, white people benefiting from it either don’t realize they’re benefiting from it, or deny that they’re benefiting from it, or are ashamed to be benefiting from it. White people suck.
This morning, when I saw that article on the front page at WaPo, I thought, “Ugh, not another story about the fucking idiots who voted to screw themselves out of the few benefits and protections they still have.” And there is a lot of that in the article, just like the thousands of that ilk we’ve seen since the election. But this piece also features a heroic nurse, Ms. Saunders, who is actually the focus of it. It was worth reading to learn about her, IMO.
Wrong. The GOP creates divisions. We are simply respecting divisions that others have chosen to create for themselves. There isn’t a single Democratic policy proposal that is aimed at hurting these people.
Not gunna happen. To them, we are the Icky Party.
Lesbians! Bossy women who are lesbians! People of color who are lesbians! Stuckup college perfessors and pointy headed libtards and secular humanists and CITY PEOPLE.
That’s the drawback of a big tent. People like the woman quoted don’t want to be in it with Those People.
We need to re-establish the fairness doctrine, among the 1001 other things. Fox News and the talk radio is killing them first, me later. Also, there was an interesting article at TPM, an interview with Marshall Ganz, who says we should talk to them, but some of the Trump voters are scary!
Darwin you magnificent bastard!
Mind you, I don’t mind seeing the articles or the discussion, because it is so stupid I have trouble wrapping my mind around it, and I need repeated exposures.
@randy khan: No one policy of dems was meant to hurt these folks. And yet they repeatedly kicked the dems in their faces. Fuck’em.
@FlipYrWhig: Yet elsewhere on the internet, I see serious discussion of universal basic income.
@neldob: I’m considering watching the Wilmer town hall in West Virginia. I kind of want to see it for myself for once rather than hearing about it second hand.
Janice Phelps, a 60-year-old disabled factory worker in Evansville, Indiana, knows how expensive healthcare is.
Each month, shots for her severe asthma cost $3,000. Quarterly injections for knee pain cost $3,200. Medication for depression costs $900. She has had seven back surgeries, two shoulder surgeries, and two knee surgeries since 1985. The largest public health programs in America – Medicaid and Medicare, which aid the poor and the elderly – paid for nearly all of it.
Yet, those programs are now threatened by the men she voted for: Donald Trump and former Indiana governor Mike Pence.
“I’m all in favor of repealing it,” she said about Republicans’ push to do away with the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare. But, she said when you talk about cutting Medicaid: “I don’t agree with that at all.”
@Betty Cracker: Yeah. Somebody who prays for Trump and hopes he’ll make the right decisions. Call me crazy, but I think she’s going to be disappointed.
@raven: I’m getting to the point where I feel like it’s insulting to the Trump voters for the media to keep making them characters in some sort of modern Greek tragedy.
Oh no you don’t, young man! No reconciliation of general relativity and quantum mechanics for you until you finish trisecting the angle using only a straightedge and compass. Don’t make me tell you twice!
Imagine the ancestors of these people voting out Roosevelt for someone who promised to reverse rural electrification, because the man down the street wasn’t working and shouldn’t get electricity. That’s what decades of Republican propaganda and centuries of racist ideology do to people.
God forbid they give the black guy any credit. Or the party he led.
The key is that 100% of the Trump voters who cut their own stupid throats are convinced that they were only cutting mine.
They know that Obamacare (which regulates insurance companies so they have to sell their product to sick and well, rich and poor, at the same price) is welfare for people who don’t work.
What could Democrats have done to make families like mine–small business owners with 2 cancer survivors–the leading face of this policy achievement? Nothing.
After the attacks on the carpenter’s kids (injured in an accident) who were the faces of CHIP, included spying on their countertops, I wasn’t interested in being a news story. Right-wing nuts actually went over to their house, to police whether the children of a self-employed craftsman really needed medical care through a program forcing insurers in Maryland to offer low-cost coverage to families like theirs.
These moral midgets concluded that the family should be made to live in a box down by the river in order to ‘deserve’ the parents’ tax dollars getting them an option to pay premiums for health insurance for their maimed kids, even though they were no longer healthy and therefore ‘uninsurable’ by individual policy standards.
I wasn’t putting myself through that, because I underestimated the stupidity of West Virginians. My mistake. I will now pay for it with everything I might have ever owned, apparently.
“The last time she went to pick up her husband Roger’s insulin, …”
I assume (a safe assumption) that Roger has type 2 rather than type 1 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is an almost entirely lifestyle-related illness. But I accept that my tax dollars will contribute to the health problems caused by his self-indulgent life choices. Because that is the decent thing to do. Remarkably, Carolyn and Roger don’t seem very grateful.
I wonder if it can be framed like dealing with a crookity financial adviser. You were told you’d be taken care of, that this was a good product for you, and all you had to do was sign here, here, and here. It was a bad deal. Yeah, you screwed up and trusted the smooth talking finance guy. And some of your money is frankly gone. But the first step, moving forward, is not doing business with the conman and his company again.
For the ad, I see Paul Ryan playing the part of the smooth talking financial advisor, and a storefront campaign office with Repub signs as “the company”.
My parents are from that part of WV. Thanks to WWII and administrations from FDR thru Clinton they moved north in the late 40s, got good graduate degrees, worked hard and prospered in the postwar defense-driven northeast tech boom, retiring quite wealthy. (with great health insurance from Medicare, Soc Sec benefits plus fat pensions and millions in stocks and bonds) in the 90s. Their children all have advanced degrees from major universities, speak multilple languages, and have good jobs in the tech sector. But somewhere along the line of increasing wealth and success, they turned from thinking, tolerant, internationalist Dems who ridiculed the crazy Birchers into bigoted 24/7 Fox news addicts who gave way more attention and money to W’s campaigns than to their own grandchildren. In the last 8 years, my father took to accusing Obama of deliberately starting a race war. His opinions mirrored those of the poor white folks of North Fork, WV. I am grateful to my parents for escaping Appalachia and giving my siblings and me good lives, and aghast at their determination to descend, along with nearlyy half of the country, into precisely the cess pit that our society’s generosity saved them from over the last 70 years. The greatest irony of all is that, like Keisha the nurse practitioner in North Fork, and Obama, my parents kind health catetakers are black.
The Dems certainly can’t get all of them, but keep in mind that Manchin has gotten elected repeatedly in West Virginia, and that Alison Lundergan Grimes got elected to statewide office in Kentucky. I’m not convinced that we should just write off all of the poor white people.
Things I don’t want to read about:
T voters and their woes
Anything aggrandizing Bannon
Plenty of people, working class and white, even managed not to vote for TP but according to shitty MSM they don’t even exist.
@Librarian: Yeah, but god-bothering aside, she cares about her dumb shithead neighbors and works her ass off to take care of them. Call me crazy, but I find that admirable.
Yup. That blind hatred blinded them to the reality.
mai naem mobile
@randy khan: No the modern Dem party can’t do anything to get these morons back unless it want to give up all their non-white supporters,single women,environmentalists and gays.
I don’t give a shit about these people. They ll basically drop dead from their stupidity.
Harsh lessons are the only way some people learn. Sometimes.
I thought the after the fact voter analysis showed trump voters weren’t the poor, they were more middle class who called themselves working class but aren’t what is usually meant by that unless you use it as code for white IGMFY. I know there were some poor hick whites who voted Trump, but I don’t think the actual numbers were there.
The poor did not vote Trump is what I remember in actual statistics that weren’t opinion or anecdotes. I think framing and messaging and preconceptions are over running the actual facts. You can always find one example of good stories, the question is, is the Moran of the day story actually representative. If not, we will make mistakes again on election plans. Idiot Trump voters stories do get read. Of course a lot of the poor are actually minorities who weren’t fooled and voted Clinton. Maybe the poor whites voted Trump.
The election was impacted by the fact that republican politicians have been peddling lies that are appealing for some time. Can’t tell if they know they are lies because they deny reality so much they appear deranged to us. Democrats weren’t willing to lie so their pitches weren’t as appealing. If they start lying about reality, they will lose votes they have. I am not happy with this situation but don’t have any solution except let reality prove itself.
Big Ole Hound
@Parfigliano: I’m with you. They watch FOX news all day and listen to their evangelical ministers on Sunday….praise the lord.
@randy khan: Agreed.
As anyone who reviews the election night threads can see, I was shocked and flabbergasted that Donnie won. Like it or not, nearly half of the voters didn’t vote for the sensible candidate in November. If we want to make progress, and protect the progress that our parents and grandparents made possible, we have to find a way to fix this problem of people voting or dangerous candidates. Ignoring the problem won’t make it go away, and it won’t make things better.
If we don’t continue to point out that what’s happening with the federal government now wasn’t inevitable, that it was the result of choices that people made (or didn’t make), and that we can fix it, then we will be at the mercy of the memes pushed by the AM radio and crazy web cranks.
Sure, the stories can have a different emphasis (e.g. a story about someone who didn’t vote for Trump in these areas that flipped for Donnie), but we shouldn’t ignore these stories about the real consequences of people’s choices. They, ultimately, will help us reverse Donnie’s horrible actions and policies.
And I still maintain that lots of people voted for Donnie out of tribal reasons, not because they have evil hearts. They haven’t made the jump to stop listening to Fox News and their crazy e-mail forwards and insane Facebook “friends” yet. It’s a long, hard slog to get people to change their minds, but it’s not going to happen if we cede the field because we’re sick of slowly shaking our heads at them…
Democrats should have told Black Lives Matter to pound sand, after Sandy Hook they should have called out the NRA for being squishes on gun
controlrights and aligned with real gun rights groups like Gun Owners of America, after the murder of Trayvon Martin they should have kept their mouths shut and let local law enforcement handle, after the murder of Brown, in Ferguson, MO, Democrats should have stood with Officer Wilson, and the list goes on and on regarding all the things Democrats did to alienate once reliable Democratic voters, like those in West Virginia over the last four years.
Hell, Hillary Clinton even put a family of Islamo-fascist terrorists, the Khans, center stage at the Democratic nominating convention. Talk about a dumb move to alienate white people.
As long as Democrats keep doing things like those listed above, they will continue to alienate white voters in West Virginia.
@Another Scott: T voters have status anxiety not economic anxiety and are at least middle class or wealthy.
@Gvg: Good points. IIRC, stats showed that the swing state voters in places like Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, etc., were in fact folks who were doing okay financially. The dirt poor rural states went for Trump, but no one expected they’d do otherwise. These kind of pieces do tend to conflate the groups.
@Baud: what is progress is that the WAPO seems to have actually written an article about the real world consequences and effects of the ACA and it’s repeal.
If a Bubba clone did run, the Berniac shitfit would be visible from Mars. Let’s just run Sherrod Brown and be done with it. Almost as liberal as St. Bernie and he does ok with economically anxious Ohioans.
All Dems can do with these voters who keep voting to punch themselves in the face is show up, make their case as best they can, and see what happens. They can’t beat the GOP in the grievance and hate game and shouldn’t try because that’s despicable. Or deplorable if you will.
This. If there is a ‘story’ about Clinton voters, who were more, it’s a closed book to me. Fuck the msm.
What’s going to happen to them? Fuck ’em is what’s going to happen to them.
@Librarian: She probably will. She probably knows that.
Brilliant takeaway from an article about what she’s doing.
David Fahrenthold’s on Twitter asking people to please quit wishing ill on Trump voters and read the story…
… I think one person put it best when she said ” I understand the difference between empathy and sympathy and I have plenty of the former with none of the latter for these folks”
@raven: “I’m all in favor of repealing it,” she said about Republicans’ push to do away with the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare. But, she said when you talk about cutting Medicaid: “I don’t agree with that at all.”
It’s brainwashing. Which nothing fixes.
Aside from kidnapping and deprogramming all these Foxdroids, (and who is going to volunteer for that?) they are the only ones who decide when the massive wave of tsunami-like cognitive dissonance is too much to take any more. They have been told, over and over, that liberals lie to them, so if that woman was told the donut hole in her medicine support was due to W, she would reject it like a baboon kidney.
So it will not be easy.
In a more just world, the only people who would suffer from voting for Republicans would be Republican voters. But then again, in a more just world, Republicans would all be nailed to the crosses they want to burn in our yards.
@Jeffro: I don’t wish them ill. I am simply indifferent and don’t wish to read about them.
Cut your own nose despite your face? Insane logic leads to insane results such as dying for lack urgently needed health care. If pointing fingers at the “other” is more satisfying than access to decent health care, then folks, enjoy the show.
Isn’t this the county that Chris Hayes and Wilmer are having a town hall in tomorrow? The ad is a voice over saying that they “connected with (Wilmer’s) ideas but voted for Trump.”
Of course, this same county voted for a convicted felon in prison in Texas over obama in the 2012 primary. I kinda think this is less about voting for Wilmer and more about voting against Hillary, who ran on continuing the black guy’s legacy.
ayes irks me because he seems to think people like this are secret progressives who will vote for the perfect Dem candidate, but if said candidate makes one wrong move, will vote in any mouthbreathing Repub.
@Gvg: If I recall correctly, what pushed Trump over the edge in WI and PA was the exurban and rural vote. Rural voters are not necessarily poor. Many in fact are middle-class, but they identify strongly as blue-collar or working class voters. I’m convinced that economics was not the deciding factor in this election. (All my rural neighbors did really, really well during Obama’s presidency.) This was a cultural backlash, and I don’t know how we address this without totally compromising our values.
@raven: So this woman whose medical care is over $6000 a month paid thru Medicaid wants ACA repealed and doesn’t care about all the people on that plan losing insurance but doesn’t want Medicaid that she is on to be changed.
Ok..got it. So much for compassion for your fellow human beings.
@Baud: I am with you. I don’t care.
@glory b: White progressives cling to their fantasy of a quasi-Marxian workers revolution the way libertarians cling to Any Rand.
We live in an age when Capitalism, and its “free market” mythology, has simply rolled over any sensible balance between the private and the public sector. The plutocracy, including Trump and most of his cabinet, has simply won. Labor unions are in the toilet. Corporations are licking their chops at the prospect of tax cuts and deregulation. The investor class is in a bull market. Yet the white middle class rubes, who see themselves as “independent” and part of America’s righteous frontier culture, as more dependent on big government’s tit than ever before.
At some level they feel, and deeply resent, their vulnerability. Thus the nativist, protectionist, nationalist horseshit put out by Trump and Bannon and Fox News is a narcotic for their inner angst. Rather than admit that a decent health care system requires a lot of government involvement, they allow themselves to be deceived by Ryan and Limbaugh and the quacks on the religious right.
It’s essentially a national death spiral.
Enhanced Voting Techniques
So what’s the deal, all these dumb arsed boomer hicks are just going to have to die by their own hands before the nation can function again?
But Jesus Christ, these people have to both monumentally lazy and stupid if they’ve spent the last 60 years awaiting the return of the coal jobs.
@Это курам на смех:
I wonder if that’s what he said or if the reporter cleaned it up for him.
How does believing in universal health care coexist with the belief that some people deserve to lose their health care?
Don’t get me wrong. I’m furious, basically have cut off contact with people I know who voted for Trump or boycotted H.
Good education and nutrition matter for brain function and social skills (including voting). Republicans have been defunding those since the 80s. It’s criminal to choke school systems as they have.
Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes
I’m inclined to think we’re long term fucked, due to the deep and abiding cultural defects of white people.
Those defects are:
We actually are a center right nation, primarily due to the firehose of propaganda which perpetuates the cultural defects of that large lump of white voters. It takes grand failures to shake it, even for small bits of time. This time, it will take the squandering of American soft power and a catastrophically mismanaged military adventure to do it on a level which makes the Bush administration seem competent and measured by comparison. It will be as clumsy, cruel, murderous and violent as the GOP base has been demanding for years. They’ll be surprised at the results, and when the discontent erupts in violence here, will be exactly what we thought.
Basically, nowadays we can ALL see Russia from our house. Bigoted, clumsy, incompetently managed – a perfect reflection of the sainted WWC.
Here’s the thing, though: we don’t have to “wish” ill on them. It’s coming, and they voted for it theirownselves.
If we saw that they were about to be hit by a truck and called out a warning that they didn’t listen to, are we “wishing ill” on them when we don’t go to the hospital and sympathetically listen to their complaints about how it was all Obama’s fault that they got hit by a truck?
@James Powell: Says the guy waiting for federally funded coal mines to make him a working man.
There have always been low information voters that are pandered to at election time. They are told what they want to hear and because they want to believe it will ignore those that tell them otherwise. Even when (especially when) it contradicts what they believe. They will dismiss the messenger to dismiss the message. Click the heels of their boots thinking that wishing will make what they want so. But like always they are disappointed and will blame the messenger because no one ever wants to look in the mirror and blame themselves.
I feel bad but I don’t. These voters listened to the GOP and thir government and Clinton haterade for decades. A huckster and con man comes along telling them all will be well when he is in charge because he is so fabulous. They will have fabulous health care and those coal jobs their ancestors have will magically come back. Neither will happen because the huckster con man and the GOP don’t give too hoots about them and never really did. They just wanted to rile them up for their votes.
Healthcare and the politics/implications/ramifications of X choice over Y plan aren’t easy to understand for those that are more plugged in. So I can’t totally fault them for not knowing all then ins and outs, implications, etc. But I can blame them for deliberately voting for an obvious huckster and con man because those are easy to spot and nothing good ever comes from letting one into your house. So I won’t feel too bad that their lives won’t get better. Sadly they will hurt themselves more in the future with other votes because they are so focused on recreating the past where they were at the “top” of the heap – even if the heap was more molehill than a mountaintop.
@Enhanced Voting Techniques: For starters, these ‘hicks, could stop voting for the party that takes their votes and hurts them in return. They need not even vote for the ‘other’ party. I guess that is too much to ask of them.
Well, as we all know, these people were lied to, again and again. They should have known better, but wishful thinking is a powerful drug.
Half of my county are these people, with the the exception that they think the steel mills are coming back instead of the coal mines. How stupid and immune to reality are they? We have a new Shell cracker plant being built (Marcellus shale FTW /sarcasm). Most of the future jobs will require some specialized training, such as in welding or machining or robotics. I have heard numerous people say that they aren’t going to bother with that because, when the mills reopen, they won’t need that training. First, the mills don’t even exist anymore. They were torn down a decade or two ago, the land cleaned up and sold and most have been redeveloped. Second, even if by some miracle the mills were rebuilt, the factory floor would be nothing but robots with the jobs going to people who know how to run them. No discussion of this reality gets through their delusions. So, fuck them. The only way they will learn, if they can learn at all (which I highly doubt, having by dealt with these idiots all my life) is when they get screwed over. So time for them to pay the piper, IMHO.
It’s possible that I’m being misunderstood here – i’m not asking people to read these articles or philosophica i’m not asking people to read these articles or feel any sympathy. I just found it odd that a reporter who I normally respect is making a plea for these folks, and i’m glad to see that readers are having none of it
Enhanced Voting Techniques
Empases on “free [email protected]tobie:
I wouldn’t work anyway, because the extra burbs are the end of the road for white flight.
The lack of quotation marks is always a tell.
@Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes: You could be right. I vacillate between hope and despair these days, myself.
@schrodingers_cat: We all know that people voted for Trump, or voted against Hillary, for lots and lots of reasons. “All generalizations are false.” ;-)
Of course we’re not going to flip Bannon and people like him to vote for Gillibrand. That’s not what (I think) we should try to do. We don’t have to fight them by only doing battle against their memes. We can push our own memes. And in doing so we can help people to change their own minds, and help younger people to rebel against their parents backward thinking (as kids naturally do ;-).
– Republicans have wanted to cut Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security for generations. They say that we – the richest and most powerful country on the planet – can’t afford it. I don’t agree with that. We’ve all paid into those programs and I’m going to make sure that the government keeps our commitments to you and your children, just as we did to your parents and grand parents. Social Security benefits need to be increased, not cut, and here’s how I will make that happen.
– Republicans always say that they should get tax cuts – no matter the state of the economy, no matter the state of the federal budget – while you and your family pay more and more. I don’t agree with that. We all have a stake in our economy and in our towns and cities and we all need to do our part to the extent we’re able. The rich are paying the lowest taxes in generations and things our parents and grandparents have built are in need of repair and replacement. We know that smart investments in education, infrastructure, and new technology pays dividends for decades to come – look at how much the economy changed between the 1950s and 1980s – a lot of that was helped along by government investments in NASA, the National Science Foundation, etc. All of that will create good long-term jobs, improve efficiency, reduce pollution, increase safety, and make all our lives better. Let’s get to work.
All those are things that just about everyone making less than $100,000 a year (and many making much more) (who isn’t a hard-core nihilist ) can get on board with. Fairness is a powerful motivator, and the GOP cannot win a fairness argument (so they always change the subject).
As with the rest of politics, progress in changing people’s minds is incremental. But that’s the only way progress happens.
These voters had a choice. They could vote for Hillary and keep their health care, or vote for Trump and lose their health care. They chose Trump.
They probably don’t deserve the consequences of their choice, but let’s not pretend they didn’t choose. The fact that they’re not going to like the consequences is not really our problem to solve at this point.
Someone once said that the arc of the universe bends toward justice. In this case, I wish that justice for the morons did not take down so many non-morons with them.
FSM, hear my prayer!
@Baud: I know, right?
I think our time, efforts and $$ are better served by investing in helping people who already agree with us to get ID and get to the ever-more-inacessible polling places by the next election rather than trying to figure out who in our coalition has to be shoved off the bus (cause believe me, that’s what it will take) in order to get them to sign on.
@Jeffro: I felt sorry for the nurse not her patients. She got out and got an education. She wants to help and do her job and quite possibly all of her patients just voted for a candidate whose policies are likely going to make their lives harder. And she will bear the brunt of this. At least until she has had enough and leaves. And they will still be there in that town wallowing in their grievances and thinking the coal jobs are coming back.
Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes
I find myself occasionally wondering what it would be like to receive some terminal diagnosis so I could feel free to indulge some dark fantasies about imposing some justice while brushing off and laughing at pleas for mercy….
@dm: No. Fuck them and fuck anyone who feels sorry for them or suggest we continue to try to reach them.
They’ve been this way for decades because they hate us. No matter what we do to help them, they hate us for being POC, female, gay, non-Christian, etc.
@Mnemosyne: They also had a steady drumbeat of cable news hosts and guests saying “Obamacare is a failure” for six years. The attacks on the program were unrelenting, and there was breathless reporting in October about the HUGE premium hikes. Tepid Democratic defenses of the bill, “Well, we know it has problems but it’s the best we could do for now,” didn’t help one bit.
Snarki, child of Loki
Once the GOP moves to repeal the “tanning tax”, and Dems insert an amendment to change the tax to a “refundable credit”, THEN we’ll start to see some progress!
Make America Dark Soon, put it on a hat.
Make White Americans Cancerous also, too.
Exactly. The only person in the article that I have sympathy for is her. The rest can just go wallow in their bigotry and ignorance until a perfectly treatable illness like Type 2 diabetes rids us of them.
Clueless morons are clueless. I don’t hate them but what do I hate is the celebration of stupidity by the mainstream political press. These endless paeans to WWC and their woes, lionization of Paul Ryan and his criminal stupidity, GGG and the entire BS campaign are all the manifestation of this fundamental problem.
Yes, that is how I see it too. They really cannot see where they fit into the Brave New World of tech, multi-culturalism, and men making their own dam sammitches.
@AxelFoley: Case in point for this is Elkhart, IN, saved by the American Recovery Act and the auto-bailout, but voted solidly for Romney and Trump. This article claims that Trump’s carrier deal was more meaningful for them than the auto bailout. Go figure.
Oh that’s good.
I have sympathy for Srinivas K’s wife and the students whose life is disrupted by T’s travel ban.
@randy khan: lol. Shut up.
I’ve checked my pockets, the pantry, the back of the fridge, under the sofa cushions and even called the Federal Reserve Bank. There just are no more fucks to give about these people.
@randy khan: Even ACA has no cure for terminal stupidity.
This sums up the issue quite well.
The Republicans exploit this sensibility by conjuring the scapegoat of the undeserving poor freeloader who would be able to buy health insurance if he or she would only get a job.
Then they dangle the fake carrot of a fantasy free market that will provide jobs and a bounty of competitive, affordable health care plans, if the government just gets out of the way of the insurance industry.
It’s interesting that the Republicans feel so confident about what they want to do that they don’t try to hide it. If you ignore the lies and the attempts to rush things before they can be analyzed by nonpartisan agencies, and the attempts to get things passed late in the night when no one is looking.
I remember back to the 1970’s, 1980’s, and early 1990’s, when urban America was struggling with a loss of blue collar jobs, high unemployment, drug abuse, and high crime rates, the good folks in places like the one in the article, had a very “fuck you, take personal responsibility for your shit” attitude and offered no help at all.
When I hear about opioids abuse, I want to break out the stern lectures of personal responsibility right-wingers were so fond of using in the 1980’s.
Fuck them. Let them die painfully in their fulminating ignorance.
@Enhanced Voting Techniques:
They keep getting told that it’s the Democrats, with their regulations and unpatriotic environmental policies that cost them their jobs.
It’s a lie, but for some people an easy lie is more comprehensible than a complex truth.
Killing off your electoral base doesn’t seem like a good plan to me, but what do I know.
@Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes:
Where did that boxed quote come from? I’d like to read the rest of it.
@PPCLI: I’m not sure it’s so safe. I’m a type II diabetic. It runs in my family and is linked to genetics. My brother has it, my mother had it and my grandmother had it. I could probably have exercised even more but I’ve never been a big fast-food or meat eater. I think this gets a little too into the same kind of judginess that the people in the article are doing. Diabetes is on the rise worldwide and while diet plays a role in it there’s lots of things going on so stop and think a minute before you speak or write as the case may be.
What irks me is the belief these people constantly advance the idea that the paradise they enjoyed in the 1950’s and 1960’s was ruined by political correctness and government regulation. As I recall there was a widely read book published about them and their paradise in the early 1960’s.
it was called The Other America.
@Mnemosyne: >The fact that they’re not going to like the consequences is not really our problem to solve at this point. < Agreed, seeing as it's not possible to solve. I voted for their their right to health care. Their vote is taking away their right to it. I still believe in their right. Republicans are trying to take away that right, and that's the story I care about. Maybe the WaPo is using the Trump voters, who supposedly won, as a way to get the most people to read it.
@Enhanced Voting Techniques: Which is hilarious, since the history of coal from its inception as an industry in the U.S. is for the mine owners to do anything and everything in their power to deprecate the workers and mechanize wherever possible. Hence the transition from manual deep vein digging to mechanized digging to strip mining, and once strip mining proved too delicate a proposition, mountaintop removal. Each increment reduced the labor necessary by an order of magnitude. If they couldn’t follow that trend line, they shouldn’t be allowed to handle sharp objects. Stockholm syndrome? Abusive relationship? At this point, what does it matter? Geography argues eloquently against the mountain hollows ever being redeemed by the future.
@geg6: Not long ago I read an article about a Siemens plant that opened in, IIRC, South Carolina. Several hundred new jobs, yay. But the plant’s operations are controlled by computers, so much so that a Siemens executive said there were no jobs at the plant for someone with only a high school education. Imagine the effect of that statement on the people in the WaPo article about health care in W. Va. As someone said down below in this thread, these are people who see no place for themselves in the new global, multicultural, etc., etc., world. And in economic terms they’re right. In no way do I discount the racism and the I’m-no-welfare-queen mentality, but underlying it all there must be sheer terror.
This is sort of a collective response to all of the dismissive comments above. I’m mad at these people, too, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want their votes (or whatever portion I can get) if they can be gotten without losing the key elements of the Democratic platform. This is not some kind of squishy sympathy – it’s the same cold-blooded analysis that the Republicans use. We could use more of that on our side. (I mean, really, it’s hard to imagine that a lot of Republican politicians don’t feel the same contempt for these people that a lot of us do; after all, the Rs know that they’re promising things they won’t do.)
Side note: if you or any family members are having trouble keeping your diabetes under control with diet and exercise, talk to your doctor about getting tested for adult-onset type 1 diabetes (sometimes called Type 1.5). It turns out to be more common than doctors originally though, and is not usually tested for up front when an adult patient presents with diabetes symptoms.
Chasing after Trumpazoids seems like an awful waste of time and energy. If I were really looking for a new group of voters to bring into the fold, I’d go after that 40+ percent of eligibles who didn’t vote at all. Either major party that picked up a significant fraction of those votes would be winning by landslides.
Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (Formerly Mumphrey, et al.)
As much as I feel like saying, “Fuck these assholes. They made their choice and now they can live with the fallout,” I can’t do that. I can’t do that because I’m a liberal, and I don’t want to see anybody, even people as willfully clueless and frustrating as these losers are, suffer. And I’m going to keep voting for candidates who work to help these thankless bastards, and speaking up about the need for policies that help these thankless bastards. I do this, we all do this, because, well what else can we do? We have to be what we are.
But why didn’t they vote? Some are lower info than the low info voters, thye may not care or feel qualified to judge. Hell, I knew people who were paying attention to the ’16 election beginning to end who didn’t feel like they knew enough to cast a vote. You have Libertarians who don’t vote on principle, not only a way to avoid empowering an overbearing government (yeah right) but also away to perpetually nurse grievances about perpetual lack of representation (though the Republicans tend to spot a lot of the same BS, I guess they don’t really mean it.
Every one in the world is economically anxious. It’s not a issue of snowflakes alone. They just think they are entitled to be well off, screw the others. Screw them.
@Booger: I tend to think that the vast majority of people who vote Republican don’t want to work in steel mills and coal mines _themselves_, because those jobs suck suck suck, but rather want steel mills and coal mines to be open to give their struggling able-bodied neighbors and their worthless kids something to do. That’s another twist on the “welfare” argument: they want the aid they think they’ve already worked hard to deserve, and they want jobs for other people so that those other people will know what it’s like to work hard. I don’t know if that’s a sort of misfiring empathy or more of a crab bucket syndrome.
@Mnemosyne: Interesting–I’ll check it out.
Are you posting while flying? Are you on the ground?
@SiubhanDuinne: Too late, I am, in fact, working on that exact issue (and might have a valid approach …in a few years I should know one way or another.) So, I guess after that project, I should take on this one …uh, on second thought, no way; fixing relativity so it works with quantum mechanics is far and away easier.
@Jeffro: I haven’t read the whole thing but if the reporter is imploring readers to not comment on the subjects but focus on the bigger picture…ie, quit punching down…he’s got a point. (Side note…has anyone put together a map of AM radio rightwing hate talkers, FOX news, ECT..ie re propaganda feeds and how they correlate to voting patterns vs the same overlay and availability of other sources of not rep propaganda news?)
Everybody, except a few special snowflakes, is going to be hurt and hurt bad by this piece of garbage. It does no good to rail against the people who have been fed a diet of rightwing garbage for decades, have been forgotten / excluded from programs designed to look good but help only a few. Have been shortchanged in the education department ECT. The rightful targets of the anger should be at the politicians and their mouthpieces and facilitators who have happily attacked and shredded, at every opportunity, the safety net.
@Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes: I’ve heard a couple of folks in meat space express similar sentiments. I don’t remember hearing any talk like that when Bush was president, as awful as he was and as disastrous his presidency was for this country and the world.
This election has laid bare a stark divide. I grew up in rural FL, so I didn’t have any illusions about conservative white evangelicals or redneck shit-kickers — or so I thought. I was wrong. Things are much worse than I realized. Some days I think we can come back without violent upheaval. Some days, I’m not so sure about that.
They won control of the government. We are not punching down.
@Mnemosyne: How’s the knee?
@sukabi: Oh, please. The rethugs control the majority levers of power at every branch of government at both federal and state levels, all enabled by their voters. They are the ones punching down others below them. Reserve your sympathy and empathy for people who need it.
eta: baud was pithier.
My own pet theory of the politics here is that the people who are voting Republican because they feel like they’re getting screwed should pressure the Republicans they’re electing to do things that un-screw them.
If they’re not going to vote for Democrats because to them that’s the party of Negroes, illegals, and queers, so be it — but at least get the Republicans to _take care of them_. I could live with an alignment where the Republicans were the party of retro white populism and the Democrats were the party of diversity and progress. Those two parties could achieve points of consensus. Right now the Republicans are the party of punishing Others. You can’t eat hate. The people in this article should demand that Republicans HELP THEM.
They will be hoist by their own petard.
@FlipYrWhig: This. Their refusal to join Democrats does not explain why they can’t hold the GOP accountable in economic matters.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
I’m seeing an anti-O’Care ad in heavy rotation on MSNBC. I’d like to see one of the 87 reporters on the “Why they voted Trump” beat do an analysis on this family who was “kicked off” their policy. The woman says she can’t see her OBGYN, even though she’s pregnant with her fourth child (so they clearly think they have some extra money) and her oldest looks like he was born after 2009
We’ve got some reasonably smart people here and I see regularly a post that David does that explains a segment of our health care system (such as it is) and lots of comments about his explanation being very understandable about a rather complex and shitty system. How do you explain why something is the way it is, which makes no logical operational sense but does make sense if the goal is very well paid insurance executives, to people who maybe can’t even do basic math or for sure aren’t going back to community college (if there even is one) to attempt to learn a skill for which there are no jobs in their area?
What I’m saying is that no amount of explanation is going to fix this for a lot of people. They can be easily lied to because of their distrust of government, which let’s face it has failed them, and their racism. If you are a racist, the democrats failed you when the repubs adopted the southern strategy, if you are a democrat, same result. There are so many broken pieces of our political process that require checks and balances that no longer exist, it’s a wonder to me that we will be able to hold any of this together.
Hi everyone, just having a normal 2017 morning.
@Baud: The people who voted for Trump because they believed what he said about replacing Obamacare with something cheaper, better, and more universal – those people don’t control the government… :-/
Punching down is something Republicans do. We shouldn’t.
@Baud: Republicans could be saying something like “the global economy has ravaged coal country and the industrial Midwest. We give generous foreign aid to troubled nations — it’s time we had a generous aid package for the American heartland.” Democrats say things like this, but they don’t vote for us because they don’t trust us. Republicans who said it would be massively popular. Their political theology is so overwhelming that they won’t even consider it! Trump is savvy enough to make the promise yet apparently too stupid, or too easily distracted, to figure out what it would be as a program. Just do a stimulus for white America, dumbass.
Always has been, remember when Obama went to the GOP retreat, and they all salivated over “finally” getting the opportunity to ask him tough questions? The media set it up as Obama facing a real policy wonk in Paul Ryan who knew this stuff inside out and would know the questions to ask to expose the weaknesses of the ACA, and Ryan like the rest of them just spouted right wing talking points with no basis in reality. Just like Spicey, the GOP and Ryan brought nothing but props and nonsense to the Health Care Summit at Blair House.
The problem is the refs haven’t got a clue about policy so they buy the hype.
You may be missing the entire point of republicans.
They have spent decades now lying to people that the government is the problem, while it has been republicans that have created most of the problem. Not that there haven’t been issues with some democratic politics, there have been. But not anywhere near the level of the republicans lying, hate and general fuckage.
@Another Scott: I’m sorry. They do. Trump is an obvious con man. They chose to believe a con man over us. I think it’s condescending and elitist not to treat them as part of the current governing minority.
@FlipYrWhig: Yes, agreed. Thankfully for us they are ideologues.
@Ruckus: It makes plenty of sense if the goal is to tinker with the individual market while touching the employer-based system as little as possible because that way fewer people will have to do something new and scary. IIRC from Kevin Drum, the individual market is like 7% of the system. Think about how much fuss we’ve endured over 7% of the system, then scale up to what changing 100% of the system would unleash. It might be easier to explain but not everyone wants the easy new uncertain thing over the complex confusing thing they’re accustomed to.
Of course it isn’t just the refs who have no idea. People like to have someone else to blame. Hell if you have two dogs and one digs in the trash he’ll sit there with puppy eyes and blame the other one. Kids learn this very early as well. People don’t like to feel guilt for being wrong or stupid, so they blame anyone/everyone else. Knew a guy who got a ticket for tailgating a buddy. He told the cop that the guy in front was leading too close. Republicans have spent years giving people someone else to blame for their cockups. It is really coming home to roost now.
@Ruckus: Right, but what their voters hear from “government is the problem” is “lazy black people have all the luck.” It’s not some late night dorm room bullshit about the nature of individual liberty. Republicans are getting away with not having to do anything for their voters. I have much more hope that Republican voters will one day demand that Republican politicians will help them than that they’ll one day start voting for Democrats. They can demand help without changing any of their deplorable attitudes. To vote D they’d have to rethink too many cherished myths. I’m giving up on that.
@amk: OT but “Baud, The Pithy” would make a great pope moniker.
@Baud: “Obvious” is doing a lot of heavy lifting there.
You and I can see it, but I can see that, for example, Genesis is “obviously” a collection of old myths that have little or nothing to do with actual reality. Not everyone agrees. My saying “it’s obvious” won’t convince them. One needs a different approach if one wants to change (at least some of) their mind(s).
If you only listen to Rush and Fox for whatever reason, then you’re not going to see what we see is “obvious”. This isn’t all on the viewers – the liars who start and push these memes need to be held accountable, as I’ve argued above and earlier… Similarly, if you only read Greenwald or Hedges or Mensch or BiP about contemporary US politics, then you’re going to have a warped (IMHO) view of reality as well (and they should be called out as well).
Like it or not, adults (meeting a very few requirements) can vote for the people who will determine the direction that the government takes. I don’t believe that all Trump (or anti-Hillary) voters are unreachable, and I don’t believe that stories in the mainstream press that talk about the impact of the choices that Trump voters made are counterproductive in our efforts to increase Democratic majorities in the future. At the very least, it gives little less space for Teabagger memes for a while. It’s a very long process, but sometimes people’s attitudes do change (or they are replaced by people with different attitudes). Helping that process along for people at the margins is a good investment.
@FlipYrWhig: You make an excellent point.
I actually live in very rural (actually considered “frontier”) white America, and I can say that while I may – and do- like individuals here very much, that as a class, we white rural Americans suck. We suck up resources from the federal and state governments – hell, from government at every level – but we’re such goddamn hypocrites about it. Without government enablement at every level, we couldn’t last out here – have NEVER been able to last out here. And you won’t meet a one of us who will admit save the liberal enviro squishes who everyone else KNOWS are responsible for enabling the evil government to take away everything good from hard-working rural white America so they can squander it on the worthless Other. So, will I feel sorry for my neighbor dying of some treatable disease because his or her Medicaid got cut? Probably. Will I be able to hold myself back from saying, “you dumbfuck, this is what you voted for?” Probably not.
Well of course that is part of the ideal. Why should you have health insurance if you aren’t earning it?
That statement is a basic one of republican ideology, you should never have anything you don’t earn. (Their ideal of earning is rather, how would one say it, completely fucked up)
The idea that you earn healthcare by being a citizen or better just being born is against everything they hold dear. It’s why they don’t give a fuck about your health once you are born, if you aren’t earning your keep. It’s why they don’t give a fuck about child labor laws, those little fuckers should be earning their keep. Their entire world is about working to pay their masters, and there are of course always masters. (They expect that the masters will agree, which of course many of them do) Free black people? That’s blasphemy, is what it is. Allow immigrants? They are taking away jobs from someone. (Hard to see how they aren’t if the entire world is a zero sum game, which they see it as, because basic math is too hard so they for sure aren’t going to be able to figure out anything from any higher level) They are stupid, it’s one of their defining traits. They are obedient to their masters, that’s just the way the world is supposed to work.
@Another Scott: Under that theory, no one can ever be held accountable for anything.
I’m not going to protest anyone who wants to implement a strategy for reaching these voters. Just don’t ask anything of me, don’t expect me to be silent if the strategy involves throwing Democrats under the bus, and don’t try to blame me if that strategy fails. On the upside, if the strategy succeeds, that person can and should be recognized as a hero.
West of the Rockies (been a while)
@Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (Formerly Mumphrey, et al.):
Sounds like you’re advocating a “when they go low (or stupid), we go high” approach. I can admire that. There IS a part of me that wants to say burn ’em to learn ’em, too.
I get nervous about over simplifying things. There are Democratic Party politicians and voters who are short sighted, greedy, misinformed, etc. We’re not all perfect. BUT… as a party, liberals are thoughtful, compassionate people who value science and a more global society. Conservatives, as a lump group seem to fear, resent, distrust, and diminish their fellow humans.
How we tip the scale, I don’t know. Focusing on the irretrievably stupid seems a waste of time. Motivating people to vote who would vote our way — when those people can’t be arsed to friggin’ vote NO MATTER WHAT — also seems rather pointless.
@Baud: I’m not talking about Democratic policies, I’m talking about people’s reactions here. You’re all acting like Republicans when you say “these people made their choice, let them suffer the consequences.”
When what happened was at least some of these people were conned. Trump promised them he’d fix the problems with “Obamacare”. They heard nothing about Obamacare for years except about its problems. “Never mind the wonderful Affordable Care Act that meant they could get health insurance — that’s great, but please get rid of that horrible Obamacare (and give me a pony, too).”
Diagnosing these people as racist is true for some, but not for all. When they talk about “people who don’t work getting free medical care, while here I am working and look at the damned copays I have”, you think they’re talking about Black people in far-away cities, when some of them are talking about their asshole brother-in-law who they think has been gaming the system for years.
Some of those people might be reachable without abandoning Democratic principles in the way that @gene108 suggested doing (sarcasm, I presume). And we only have to reach a few of them (100,000 in three states, as it happens).
Or reach their neighbors who didn’t bother to vote.
I think that means figuring out what about the Republican propaganda worked, and come up with ways to counter the effect of that propaganda.
ETA: I see that Another Scott is saying this much better than I am.
No, you are wrong again. Put a solid Democratic government in place and leave them there for more than one election cycle, and we will enact policies so that these people don’t have to suffer the worst consequences of their own decisions. The Republicans will never do that, and it’s insulting to us that you can’t tell the difference.
@Kathleen: Thanks! I feel like Democrats can contribute to hastening this moment by, when they run underdog campaigns in inhospitable places, just saying “you’ve been voting for Republicans for a long time now. What do you have to show for it?” I just want Republicans to have to do Huey Long kinds of things to keep themselves in power. More tax cuts for the wealthy? Come on, man, that’s just absurd.
You know what? I’m hereby forgiving all of Wall Street because they obviously were given the wrong information about the nature of greed. Maybe we can reach out to some of them if we are just a little nicer.
I don’t understand why we all can’t agree that Balloon Juice is a designated safe space in which we can freely express our contempt for Trump voters. It’s not like any of them are reading this blog. It’s not like we’re demanding that the DNC insert “Trump voters are stupid poopy-heads” into the official party platform.
I think my reply to you at #146 really does answer both questions/points that you have made.
And I think that you are right. in both of your responses. I don’t see a way to capture back the lies and bullshit that republicans have come to believe, that they can listen to a pure bullshit artist such as drumpf and agree lock, stock and barrel. They buy the entire ideal, they have little value for themselves and so there has to be someone with less. This strategy that the republicans have wholeheartedly grabbed onto will be their downfall, unfortunately I think it will take us all down. It is unsustainable as a political ideology, at some point it implodes. My fear of course is that implosion is happening now.
They just have no understanding that as bad as government can be, life without one is far worse. Of course that may not be their worst example of a lack of understanding but it is close.
@Baud: it _is_ a Greek tragedy. The tragic flaw is their fucking stupidity.
@Ruckus: IMHO that’s what the Republican Party believes, but a huge segment of Republican voters are mostly just pissed off that Others are living it up on welfare. They don’t think they themselves should be working harder to get benefits; they think they’ve already worked hard enough and are getting hosed. The things Republicans say flatter their sense of cracking down on the moochers, and that’s been good enough so far, but I have to think that help for the hardworking/deserving/etc. would be even more popular. Like rural white “enterprise zones” or something.
Agreed, it is human nature to not want to take responsibility, and yes as a nation we are more loath than others to be reflective. That’s why even after all this time, we are still debating the reasons for the civil war, the pros and cons of slavery and so many other sins. Ignorance is our biggest flaw and it is destroying us. People are ignorant, and in many cases willfully so, but that does not excuse the fact that most of the punditocracy is ignorant too. This is a major failing because they are supposed to inform us, they are so consumed with keeping score of the trivial that they completely ignore the policy, how it works and what the consequences will be. Their failure perpetuates our ignorance.
@Another Scott: Obvious is accurate, the evidence was right in front of them, willfully disregarding it was their choice. Pointing this out may not be the best way to begin a dialog, but it does need to be pointed out. This is part of our problem, “facts” have become debatable, this makes any conversation about reality with a person steeped in right wing media impossible. Facts have had a liberal bias for a while now because the right has ceased to be a serious party, converting these people may not be possible. We need new recruits, converts will be very few and far between, it’s hard to get a member of a cult to leave.
@Gvg: i thought Nate Cohn in the NYT had those graphics showing the change in 2016 compared to other elections, and what stood out was that lower education folks voted more republican than before, folks with more education voted more dem than before.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@Betty Cracker: thank you, we’re blowing off steam amongst ourselves. No one is saying the 2018 platform, or policy, should be “You’re all fucking stupid, and future health care and social security will be limited to non-Deplorables”
@Turgidson: Brown is great in many ways, but he’s way older than he looks.
@dm: They voted to take health care benefits away from other people. They can try to dress up their vote all they want, but that is what they were doing; the GOP was clear about repealing ACA. Why should anyone have sympathy for people who wanted to strip health care from others?
@Baud: There’s a whole mess of talking past each other in this thread.
The GOP in Congress and the White House told their voters they were going to Repeal and Replace Obamacare with “something great!” – remember? You and I may think that it was “obvious” that that was wrong, but the people who voted for them based on what they said they were going to do about Obamacare are not the bad actors here, they’re not the ones writing the legislation, and they’re not the ones who need to be “held accountable”.
If we want to change the outcome of the November election, we need to replace the people who were elected. We do that by changing minds, by getting our voters out, and by fighting against the bad things that Donnie and his Minions are doing and come up with good explanations why we’re fighting them and why they’re wrong, and doing it in places where those voters will see it.
Beating up on Donnie’s voters doesn’t help the goals of improving the country that we all share.
One of Atrios’s hobby horses is the necessity of trying very hard to persuade voters to turn out and vote Team D and not to punch down. Like a lot of things, he’s right on target there.
Sheila in NC
@Another Scott: Scott for President
Really, what is the point of arguing among ourselves about how stupid or how racist are drumpf voters? That we can change them? That we can convince them that going through life stupid as a fence post is not best for them? As a group they seem to want to be taken advantage of, they seem to like being lied to, they seem to like being racists……. I’d like them to see that it doesn’t work but they seem to like their world and the only way to change that is for them to see that living in a world of shit is not all that it’s stacked up to be. John saw that, others can as well but like addicts of any substance or ideal, they have to make that realization in their own time.
@dm: What @Baud: said, our policies help everyone, republicans only their paymasters. Why is it always up too us to reach out to them? They keep trying to screw us over, they refuse to listen to the truth, but it’s up too us to keep groveling? Hell no. I keep using the analogy of the drug addict you keep taking to rehab and helping get cleaned up who keeps falling off the wagon, this is fine, you want to help them, but when they break into your home and threaten your family, that’s it, that’s when it’s time to cut them off, and take care of your family.
You did your best, but you can’t help someone who refuses to be helped.
@Another Scott: I don’t like Atrios much, and it’s not punching down, as I’ve explained above.
The fundamental problem is that these Trump voters hate good people who are the Democratic base. No one has figured out how to reach Trump voters without sacrificing good people in some way. And if hating Trump voters makes even one good person feel a little less alone after Trump’s election, then it’s all worth it in my book.
@FlipYrWhig: Yup. New Dem message: If you don’t want to vote for us, at least make sure that Republicans provide affordable health care, safe bridges and roads, uncontaminated water and listeria free peanut butter.
@Betty Cracker: Amen!
@Baud: it’s condescending not to grant them agency. No one forces them to listen to Fucks News, to vote a Republican, etc.
If Trump were smart he’d have said that Paul Ryan’s plan sucks and he’s demanding that Republicans in Congress keep at it until they figure out a way to cover more people and to cover better the people who are covered. He can’t even populist properly.
@Kathleen: Exactly. Make the current Republicans at least _deliver_ like Dixiecrats did. They can still be as racist and resentful as they like! We can still have all the same fierce fights about equality and pluralism and abortion and immigration, too!
@Baud: really? Drumpf voters won control of the government? There are a whole passel of slack jawed incompetents just installed, but pretty sure they’re from the wrong socio-economic demographic. Also sure the policies they are enacting will only benefit the top 1% and higher.
We’re all in the same fucking boat and it isn’t the luxury liner Drumpf is driving. It’s the lifeboat that’s been left out to rot.
I don’t know if anyone else pointed this out, but a lot of other people are going to get exactly what they don’t deserve. And they too will have to deal with it.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@FlipYrWhig: I think he fell into his last-person-I-talked-to trap, and in this case that person was Pence, and then Trump told the press he was on board, and he can’t back down from anything. But saying “just let it crash and I’ll blame the Democrats” must make it harder for Ryan to whip already skittish, and not very bright, critters.
Yes, they did.
Trump didn’t lie about that. It’s what his voters wanted. Don’t ask me to explain why.
No, we’re not. And it’s horrible to the true victims of Trump and his supporters to suggest otherwise.
@Baud: There’s a theory, whose most prominent proponent at the moment is probably Bernie Sanders, that talking in terms of economic populism is the key. I don’t think it’s going to win votes for Democrats, though; tax and spend and welfare stereotypes are just too deeply rooted. But if economic populism is so appealing to Republican base voters, let’s have someone getting to work converting the Republican Party into a vehicle for economic populism. If Republicans in WV like what they hear from Sanders, opportunistic Republicans should be trying to sound like Bernie Sanders. To a degree, Trump himself did that. Where are the mini-Trumps?
@liberal: Every time I hear Sherrod Brown speak, I worry that he’s two weeks away from a cancer diagnosis, throat or lung or something. Great speaker, he just brings out the mother hen in me.
I think you answered your own question. The media is made up of people of our culture. And that culture is just as you describe. Those in the media are going to follow the culture that they belong to. They are not some exalted higher level group living outside of the culture around them, they are us, or at least some of us. And look who their bosses are. They are from the group that media bosses have always been from, opinionated, wealthy owners/(masters) and they hire and shape what their employees say and do.
I do believe that there really are two distinct cultures in the US. Our politics is now arranged around those two cultures and because they are so distinctly different, they are going to be at odds for control.
Your last line, “it’s hard to get a member of a cult to leave.” is very, very true. A member of a cult is like any other addict, the substance is different, it’s their understanding and independent thinking. And any addict has to recognize the addiction, recognize what they are getting out of it, recognize that what they are getting out of it is too costly to continue and then and only then can they find a way to escape the addiction. That they will most likely need help with that addiction is true but that is the last step, not the first.
@Baud: simple answers to complex questions? Sure if it makes you feel better. Doesn’t change that with the exception of a very few people we’re all screwed…some more than others..screwed is still screwed…
@FlipYrWhig: I agree. I think the problem for the GOP is that the influence of money is so much stronger than it is for Dems. It would be hard for an economic populist Republican to overcome that (assuming one existed who was not himself corrupted by the lure of money).
@amk: Comment #30 was the first use of “fuck ’em”? I had #3 in the pool. You jackals are much more refined than I expected.
@sukabi: What I said is that we’re not in the same boat. Some people are in leaky boats they put themselves in, while others have been forced into boats by others.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
also, as to the whole idea of winning these voters back: WVa is probably gone for the next few cycles. Clinton’s loss in states like PA and MI was, I believe, very specific to her and to this cycle, for reasons that were mostly bullshit. She won’t be on a ticket again, and while the next candidate and cycle will have other problems, it won’t be James Comey and the Iraq War and “she’s not BERNIE!”. I don’t have data but my take was we lost two Senate seats (CO and NC) in ’14 to Ebola and ISIS terror porn, maybe a couple more this last round to “we’ll need Republicans as a check on Hillary”. Candidates are not interchangeable and background events are not a constant.
Joe Mancin might very well win in ’18, because while he doesn’t know much it seems he knows local politics, and there just might be enough trump backlash to help him along. I despise him, but he’s better than any GOP hairball that state’s gonna hack up.
Generally I rank high on psychological empathy scales
I can’t find any empathy for the self centered haters who voted like cultists for KKK endorsed dumpster. The haters want me dead and all liberals dead, they believe GOP fed lies from fox news.
About 6 weeks ago I almost did die. Turns out I have a leaky valve in my heart. I was in the hospital for a totally different reason and suddenly couldn’t breathe. Tests (expensive) found the cause for the shortness of breath.
I sent emails to all the tea baggers I know and told them without medicare I would be dead. None understood that in another year they probably can’t afford hip replacement or heart meds because of their hate cult.
These people want to be lied to — they belong to the cult of truth deniers.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: The “last-person-I-talked-to” theory sounds plausible. Truth is, Trump doesn’t give a shit about healthcare or any other topic that isn’t Donald J. Trump. He’s only interested in policy to the extent he believes it reflects positively or negatively upon himself.
And what’s more, they are hurting people out of bigotry and spite.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: I think I agree with virtually all of this — but Republicans and the media sure know how to whip something out of nothing, the Ground Zero mosque, Ebola, and the Central American children being three cases that people tend to forget. Let alone EMAILS! ABOUT WORK! I feel like we’re never too far from something stupid like those determining an election.
Cult and Mob psychology goes a long way to explain what drives dumpster’s voters.
The book “Snapped” about cults is a must read. Newest edition.
Are you going to try to convince us that these people voted for Trump over Clinton because they believed he’d fix the problems with Obamacare? You really have your work cut out for you.
It’s OK if you’re not planning on having elections.
Sorry about your health issues and glad you got help that you needed.
I’m not sure they want to be lied to. I am pretty sure they look at life differently and believe that hard, demanding, and most likely physical work is what makes everything happen. That is an old cultural ideal, it only covers those who have to work with their backs, as was done by almost everyone 100 or more years ago. Until the industrial revolution advanced past about the 1930s most work was hard. Today I’d venture to say that at best no more than half of it is and at that a lot of that isn’t as tough as it was just 50 yrs ago. It is also the basis of our culture and some of our founding fathers religions. Hard work is what you do. But many people don’t recognize that the world has changed around them because in a lot of ways theirs hasn’t changed in their lifetimes. We are going through many changes in cultures, how and what we do for a living, how and what we do for healthcare – including paying the for the huge increases that we see for things that would have killed us, during the lifetimes of people writing on this blog. I am not the oldest here and I was born before polio and all the other vaccinations that have massively changed childhood and beyond, all machine tools were manual as the computer as we know it had not been invented, so making stuff was all manual labor. There were no seatbelts/airbags, crush zones weren’t. Pollution was massive and horrible in many cities. I just went through cancer treatment in a machine that cost about 5 million dollars and takes 2 people to run. I know of someone who had the same cancer and went through the old treatment. It was brutal, mine was annoying. The point of all of this is that the world has changed rapidly for us all and some/many don’t get or understand or desire that. Has it all been for the better? Some of it has for sure, some not so much. But how many people want an easier time, a time they understand, one they can live in like they did decades ago? I’d bet more than a few.
You want me to feel sorry for these people?
Sink a billion dollars into propaganda that supports our side and casts them as unpatriotic traitors and lose money on said network for a generation?
Because it’s time.
I feel sorry for people who are stupid (can’t learn) more than people who are ignorant (won’t learn), but I do feel sorry for people whose brains and motivation are below average.
On the other hand, these people helped elect a “thing” that could seriously damage not just this country, but much more.
In a way, yes.
Not in, they voted to kill a lot of people, fuck them for that.
But they are in many ways creatures of the world they live in, it takes time and desire to find out that a whole lot of the world you believe you live in is bullshit and even longer to accept that. Many people are probably not capable of making that leap and I feel sorry for them that they have been taken advantage of for power and money. Because not all of us are capable of seeing the bigger picture and of course you have to look for that, almost no one ever shows you that in a manner that more than a few can see. I feel sorry for them that time is passing them by, not that they are throwing sand into the gears of progress.
This is the problem, when you go to a doctor, they are of us, but they have acquired expertise, they are trained, the same with every other “profession”, they are professionals, we don’t go to the woman or man next door, journalism is supposed to be a profession, but it’s not. These people know about as much as I do, or actually less in most cases. On TV the “pundits” they bring on know almost nothing, the emphasis is on the fact that they worked for an administration, even if they had no business being in the position in the first place. FFS they brought Brownie on for some crisis back in the Obama days, I can’t remember which, maybe the Gulf oil spill, but why put him on TV, what expertise did he have? The media are actively trying to make America dumber. Idiots like Chuck Todd and Chris Cillizza don’t care about the truth, they just care about who’s winning, to them this is entertainment not a vocation, and until we get back to journalism as a vocation, not access and or sport, we all lose.
The internet is forcing them to adjust, I get more valuable information from someone like Adam here than I do from MTP, it’s true that he and others with expertise like him get their information from the media, but for the majority of people who don’t have the time, expertise or inclination to seek out the information from reliable sources, they are being failed by the focus on the latest tweet or bullshit conspiracy they focus on. Rachel and Joy are bright spots but not the norm, hopefully the bosses will realize that there is a market for that, and adjust to help their bottom line. I’m not hopeful, as you say the media is a reflection of our ignorance and vapidity. Sorry I got a little rambly, multitasking.
I am so on board to work on
We can still be the party of empathy, but we can do so while prioritizing. We put the weak and children in the boat first, then those who can help row the boat, lastly the idiots who blew up the ship and drilled the holes in the boats can get on if there’s any room left. You don’t get to put everyones life in danger and then demand to get off first. Consequences, personal responsibility is supposed to be the bedrock principle of conservatism, so how about showing some.
@frosty: This is the Hang Her scum mob we are talking about. Fuck’em
Rambling is OK. In fact I applaud it. For many of us rambling is how we formulate ideas, it’s how we make a point. I know because just look at my posts! Anyway…..
The media is no different than it has been long before either of us was born. It has always been owned and run by people with agendas. Always. They were and are opinionated people and to own a media company, be it print or electronic it takes money. It’s only been in the last few years that places like this blog have been able to make any dent in that media model and then it’s a tiny dent. Media moguls have always tried to shape the cultural and political landscape. Faux news is no different, not in the least. As well, all of the big media companies are in competition for eyeballs, every last one of them. Eyeballs pay the bills and add to the bank account. And anyone in business who tells you they are not in it for the money is fucking lying. Every single time. Take it from someone who has owned two businesses and know lots of other people who also do. IT IS ALWAYS ABOUT THE MONEY. ALWAYS. Now there is nothing wrong with that, you work for money, I work for money, the kid flipping burgers is doing it for money. Money is the lubricant of society. Without it we still be raising chickens to barter with. How you make money may be rational, normal, legal, etc or none of those. Media moguls make money by shaping opinion, and shaping it in a direction that they hope will benefit them. That is the basis for what they do, no matter what else they may or may not claim.
You want media to reflect your values, you have to show media moguls that your values will benefit them better than what they think now. They will never be on your side until that happens and yet if that can happen they will flock to shore up your values. You want media on your side you have to show them that it’s in their best interest to do so.
1. Healthy people can earn more so they will have more to spend (on media).
2. Healthy people enjoy life more and will be able to follow special interests, so an advantage for media to support those.
3. A fairer tax system will actually save them money in the long run and make their lives better.
4. A fairer tax system will make a lot more people have a better life and allow them to spend more money, so your higher taxes will mean you are making more and in the end you will be wealthier.
5. Fewer people in prison for bullshit means more productive people who can increase your bottom line.
6. A happier, more productive, better educated population will add to your bottom line faster and in higher amounts than your bullshit political aspirations.
Hows that for a little spitballing?
The problem is it’s been true forever. Henry Ford built his company on the principle that if he paid his workers well they would be able to afford his cars, thereby helping his bottom line. The big problem is that America has become the land of instant gratification, we all want it now. Corporations to build their business by making or providing a better service or products, now they just slash the workforce and demand more productivity. Pay used to grow in tandem with productivity and growth. Now it’s all about extracting as much money as quickly as possible instead of re-investing to grow the company. Liberals just don’t consume talk radio and cable news the way the right does, we need to come up with a different model, MSNBC is wasting their time trying to compete for that audience, they’ll never be trusted, hell FOX is now being MSM. you say partisan news has always been there, I thought/ hoped we were beyond this.
They keep us fighting one another for the scraps while they divide the wealth amongst themselves. One would think that 2008/9 would have been a wake up call, but I guess we need another depression for people to wake up and say enough .
@Vhh: Same here – my 87-yr-old, relatively well-off NY Mom rails against Obamacare and all the unworthies who are getting Obamacare and how it’s ruining the country (well, this was the last time I saw her, in Oct./Nov. – phone calls are strictly non-political). I’m due to see her again later this month (I live across the Pond) so we’ll see how she rolls this time. Her aide (who will remain nameless here ) is a wonderful, PATIENT (gawd, she needs it), black woman – Caribbean, with US citizenship – whom my Mum adores – but anyone else with a melatonin challenge? Nah … I was there for the Trumpocalypse in November – Mum’s aide came in the morning after the result and said to me, quietly, ‘I cried on 9/11 and I’m crying on 11/9’ and I cried with her, till Mum woke up.
@Brachiator: I was looking at the movie October Sky to try to get a clip for a friend. It’s the story of Homer Hickam who left the coal mines that his dad worked in to become a rocket scientist. The movie was made in 1999 and was set in the late 50s and even then, the kid knew the coal jobs were leaving and weren’t going to come back. It was startling to see it known even then and immortalized in the movie.
No One You Know
@Corner Stone: And no one questions it, or tells her who’s actually responsible.
“Thank you, Obama!” Carolyn says, throwing her arms in the air.
No One You Know
@Another Scott: I disagree. I think it’s the lack of critical thinking and the willingness be conned, as measured by a failure to ask the simplest of questions:
1.What are you going to change?
2.How are you going to change it?
3.How will this affect me?
Not being interested in these questions is agreeing to the con. You can’t cheat an honest person, and, as research does show (see Pamela Myers on TED, for instance), you can’t be led to if you aren’t willing to lie to yourself. It begins in self-deceit. Not in clever tag lines.
No One You Know
And FYWP, I edited this already!