TRUST AND THE RATIONAL ANIMAL: Professor Hochschild discusses The Others!

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 24, 2018

Why don't The Others trust Us?:
It's a major question in American politics:

Why won't The Others trust Us?

We liberals keep telling The Others how they should speak, think and vote. Granted, we frequently start by telling Them what horrible terrible people they are. Still, we're willing to share our advice. Why won't The Others listen?

This became a large problem in 2016 when enough of The Others cast their votes for Donald J. Trump instead of for Hillary Clinton. (Starting in 1992, we'd sat around twiddling our thumbs while people like Chris Matthews conducted the wars on her person which continue to this very day.)

Despite losing the popular vote by 2.9 million votes, Trump ended up in the White House. Why hadn't The Others been willing to trust us when we told them how they should vote?

This is a major political question. Last night, we received a bit of an answer as we watched the first fifteen minutes of Tucker Carlson's Fox News show.

Overstating but also telling the truth, Carlson played tape of our various cable news stars and explained why The Other should hate them. We caught this segment at midnight Eastern. Minutes before, we'd watched Don Lemon lead a typically arrogant, unintelligent discussion in which The Others had been instructed in how they should think, speak and be.

Luckily, most people don't watch Lemon's show. This means that Dems may still have a chance to win the House next month.

Why don't The Others trust Us? If you've watched us in action and you aren't too far gone, you may have have some idea. If not, you might consider a book review from Sunday's Washington Post, in which Arlie Russell Hochschild discusses Ben Bradlee Jr.'s new book, The Forgotten: How the People of One Pennsylvania County Elected Donald Trump and Changed America.

Oof! Professor Hochschild made a substantial mistake right in her opening paragraph. We'll go ahead and produce the paragraph as it appeared in the hard copy Post:
HOCHSCHILD (10/21/18): A month after the 2016 election, Ben Bradlee Jr. began interviewing voters in Luzerne County, Pa. , where Donald Trump won 77 percent of the vote. The county, a working-class Democratic stronghold, hadn’t voted for a Republican president since 1988. Pennsylvania was one of three historically Democratic Rust Belt states that unexpectedly swung the election to Trump. By July 2018, Bradlee, a longtime reporter and editor for the Boston Globe, had talked to nearly 100 voters, most of whom felt that government and the Democratic Party had forgotten them. They had.
Say what? Luzerne County, a working-class Democratic stronghold, hadn't voted Republican since 1988, but Trump won 77 percent of the vote? This did sound like an amazing political story.

For better or worse, the story was false. As we learn in a formal correction, Trump won 77 percent of Luzerne County's vote in the 2016 Republican primary. That represents a very big win, but Clinton wasn't directly involved.

That said, Trump did win 58 percent of the vote in the general election. Hochschild went on to describe Bradlee's basic take on this state of affairs.

Why did Luzerne County flip? According to Bradlee, Luzerne's flip might help Democrats and liberals contemplate the reason for many lost votes:
HOCHSCHILD (continuing directly): Among the flood of books explaining how we got Trump, “The Forgotten” serves as an unintended companion volume to Thomas Frank’s “Listen Liberal: Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People?” Bradlee focuses on the impact of the growing income gap. If we ignore the taxes the government collects and benefits it distributes, from the middle of the Great Depression through 1980, the top 10 percent of Americans received 30 percent of the nation’s income growth, and the other 90 percent took in 70 percent of it. But from 1997 to the present, the top 10 percent took in all of the U.S. income growth, and the bottom 90 percent got none. This shift occurred partly under the watch of Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, and Trump surged into the void claiming leadership of what he called “the forgotten people,” Bradlee writes. “Trump connected strongly to his aggrieved constituency,” and nowhere more than in Luzerne County. Trump won the general vote in part because he captured Pennsylvania, with strong support in its northeastern corner. And within that region, Luzerne County led the way.

“It is not a stretch to say,” Bradlee writes, “that this single county won Trump Pennsylvania—and perhaps the presidency.”
It would of course be an absolute stretch—in the most literal sense, a falsehood—to say that Luzerne County "won Trump Pennsylvania, and perhaps the presidency." (Trump would still have won the electoral vote had Clinton won Pennsylvania.)

Beyond that, we're not sure why you'd want to "ignore the taxes the government collects and benefits it distributes" in making the type of income assessment Hochschild describes in that passage.

For our money, that's a lot of mistakes and peculiarities for the first three grafs of a book review. Still, Hochschild goes on to describe Bradlee doing The Thing Which Must Never Be Done:

She describes Bradlee trying to learn what The Others think about contemporary politics and government! In some circles, this has now been declared a subversive act.

Also, in what way have The Others in question possibly been "forgotten?" According to Hochschild, Bradlee tries to explore such important political and human questions in his book.

What did The Others think in Luzerne? Why did they cast so many votes for Trump, despite the advice we were willing to give them?

On cable, our corporate stars pleasure us with our standard answer to that question. But uh-oh! After describing a working-class county in headlong decline, Hochschild offers this assessment, presumably drawn from Bradlee's book:
HOCHSCHILD: During the 2016 campaign Hillary Clinton seemed deaf to the hardships of Hazleton. Residents wanted realistic hope, but what they got from the Democratic Party was suggested by its choice of a campaign theme song—the cheery Pharrell Williams tune “Happy” from the soundtrack of the animated film “Despicable Me 2.”

Clinton lost women like hairdresser Donna Kowalczyk, a crime-fighting activist whose mother worked in cigar and sewing factories. Her father was a disabled alcoholic, and her husband maintained the grounds of a local university. “I used to be the most liberal person you could imagine, fighting for everyone else’s rights,” she told Bradlee. Her neighborhood fell under the blight of drug dealers, car thieves and prostitutes. This lifelong Democrat was now very unhappy. She “switched parties to vote for Donald Trump,” Bradlee writes.
According to this assessment, Kowalczyk once "fought for everyone else’s rights.” Now, in deciding to vote for Trump, she apparently felt she was fighting for her own.

That, of course, was only one vote. Clinjton, who won the popular vote, lost the three states which cost her the race by some 78,000 votes. No author can account for all those decisions, even though cable stars can.

In a fairly brief review, Hochschild offers several other portraits of Luzerne County votes lost to Trump. She ends by offering this assessment, again drawn from Bradlee's book:
HOCHSCHILD: “The Forgotten” reveals the political impact not so much of poverty as of decline—and not simply decline in wages but in well-being and self-respect, especially among white blue-collar men. Research shows that these men have also become more socially isolated, less likely to go to church and to marry. They experience what Princeton professors Angus Deaton and Anne Case identify as “deaths of despair” from suicide, drugs and alcohol at a greater level than blacks and Hispanics of the same age. Along with their loss of self-respect has come a loss of faith that government run by either mainstream party could help them recover it. This is not a big-thesis book, nor a deep dive into new facts or ideas. But whatever the Russians did or the Koch brothers funded, this searing portrait shines a light on the disheartened voters the Democratic Party forgot.
In that passage, Hochschild explains why many white blue-collar men refused to take Our advice. Rribal leaders told them how to vote, but it looks like they just didn't trust us.

Are the "deaths of despair" of these blue-collar Others worth our tribe's attention? Bradlee seems to suggest that they are, and that the Democratic Party has brushed these "deaths" aside.

Have liberals and Democrats brushed them aside? If you watched Tucker Carlson last night, you saw that argument being made in real time, before your eyes. We'll suggest that you also saw that rejection being enacted if you watched the latest of Lemon's discussion, with the arrogance and condescension being quite hard to miss.

The Others are constantly told not to trust Us, especially over on Fox. On Monday night, without naming her name, Laura Ingraham explained why they can't trust you-know-who, a giant star Over Here.

Tomorrow: Our Rhodes scholar sells a fourth charge

93 comments:

  1. "We liberals keep telling The Others how they should speak, think and vote. "

    In politics, this is called "asking voters to vote for you because we believe our ideas are better than the other candidate's."

    Or, in other words, it's called "politics."

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    1. "I put them in what I call a basket of deplorables. RACISTS SEXISTS HOMOPHOBES XENOPHOBES ISLAMOPHOBES."

      Thats not asking and it isn't an "idea." It is, however, why Trump is president.

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    2. That's funny. I recall Trump saying all kinds of hateful things about Democrats. But I guess that's ok if you're a Republican.

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    3. Tonight Trump is winking and nodding to his crowd as he says "Tonight I'm being good and not going to say anything bad about Democrats." What a great leader we are blessed with.

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  2. It frustrates me that liberals can make up new rules of behavior on the spot, often ex post facto. E.g., the old rule was that behavior as teenager doesn't matter. That's why youth crimes are kept confidential. That's why Barack Obama's probable use of cocaine didn't matter. But, suddenly Judge Kavenaugh alleged alleged single incident of drunken misbehavior as a teenager was disqualifying.

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    1. Take it up with SCOTUS Merrick Garland.

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    2. @12:06 Just a weak rationalization to justify despicable behavior.

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    3. @david: Using cocaine and attempted rape are rather different I would say. And, Obama, like Trump, was ELECTED; Kavanaugh was confirmed. Different standards apply. Also, "liberals" didn't make up new rules. Dr Ford came forward, and the Senate Dems on the committee thought her claims ought to be investigated, since, you know, attempted rape...kind of not ok.

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    4. @12:26 -- the old liberal rule, as applied to Bill Clinton, was that a credible accusation of actual rape as an adult doesn't matter.

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    5. David, Have you ever read a blog called The Daily Howler? Broaddrick's claims were vehemently debunked by none other than...Bob Somerby. Also, someone named Kenneth Starr refused to pursue those same allegations. So take it up with him if you wanted to see "justice" done. And what part if "Clinton/Obama/Trump were elected while Kavanaugh was appointed" don't you understand? Or will you call for a full investigation into Trump's pussy-grabbing, just so you won't seem to be creating a double standard here?

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    6. @12:55 the liberal Vox reported,
      And indeed, the Juanita Broaddrick case is the hardest one for admirers of Bill Clinton. Her allegation has never been definitively refuted. Only she and Bill Clinton know what the truth of the matter in the case is. But if one generally believes it's important to believe the victim, it's hard to argue that this case should be an exception.
      https://www.vox.com/2016/1/6/10722580/bill-clinton-juanita-broaddrick

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    7. David, You are quoting current liberal voices who are reexamining this matter. Michelle Goldberg was one of those voices, whom Somerby pulverized recently. You should ask yourself why conservatives were outraged at Clinton's behavior, but now have "made up new rules" whereby people like Trump and Kavanaugh get a pass.

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    8. 12:16,
      Yes. i probably should have taken into account I might hurt your fee-fees, when I point out Right-wing hypocrisy.
      I'll work on it in the future.

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    9. David's assignment: an incident of sexual assault vs. an incident of cocaine use. Please, compare and contrast.

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    10. Ilya, thanks for the question. IMHO both should be ignored. Neither one tells us anything about how the man will behave today.

      OTOH Clinton having sex in the Oval Office was truly shocking. An ordinary CEO who was caught having sex in his office during work hours would surely be fired.

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    11. "An ordinary CEO who was caught having sex in his office during work hours would surely be fired."

      Don't be so sure. Jamie Dimon oversaw such fraud at JP Morgan Chase, that they were fined $2 Billion, and he didn't get fired.

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    12. It's 2018 and Comrade DinC is still pounding his meat fantasizing about Clinton's dick and the unauthorized blow job. Meanwhile, President Chickenshit is lying his fat treasonous ass off 100 times a day, TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WHO HE WORKS FOR - about serious policy issues that affect millions, and inciting violence and hate wherever the fat lying fuck goes, and David applauds him.
      Fuck you, David, you sick cretinous bastard.

      I remember there was a time when you though lying about the baseball team you routed for as a kid growing up was a national crisis.

      And by the way, asshole, the President was "caught" having sex, you and your fucking treasonous perverted party couldn't beat him politically so you had Ken Starr and "Tits and Clits" Brett Kavanaugh hound him until they were able to entrap ML. It was not then and never was any of your fucking business, traitor. Cretin. Phony fucking lying sack of shit.

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    13. IMHO both should be ignored. Neither one tells us anything about how the man will behave today.
      Interesting perspective. I would have to respectfully disagree. First of all, these are qualitatively different behaviors. Assaulting someone is just not the same as using a substance, which, albeit is illegal, harms no one. I think quite a few people managed to get through their unstable teenage years without assaulting anyone.

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    14. DinC, you are a lying sack of shit.

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    15. Yeah, refusing to fuck the girl after making out with her is cruel.

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    16. .. but maybe he had extenuating circumstances? Her unpleasant body odor? Who knows.

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    17. Bob, I'm surprised that after several Democratic politicians were sent bombs in the last several days that your focus today wasn't on Aristotle and/or Wittgenstein. Maybe in your mind Trump's emulation of Kim, Putin and The Saudi Prince are justified. Lock them up in the US embassy. And
      then murder them.

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    18. Mao and DinC would approve.

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    19. @2:12 PM. You sound constipated, mm. Drink plenty of water and eat foods rich in fiber.

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    20. Bathroom taunts? Are you 8?

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    21. Mao, Eat shit.

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    22. "Are you 8?"

      8? Someone is a starry-eyed optimist.

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    23. 8 algorithms at most.

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  3. "Now, in deciding to vote for Trump, she apparently felt she was fighting for her own."

    The Democrats forced a choice during the Obama years and the Clinton-Trump campaign. White vs black, men vs women, religious vs nonreligious. Under the new dividing lines that eliminated the idea of shared interests, voters who once fought "for everyone else's rights" now understood they couldn't continue without hurting their own rights, as members of one or more vilified groups. By virtue of their maleness, whiteness, religiousness, conservativeness, views on vetting Islamist migrants, they were placed in Hillary's basket. RACIST SEXIST was screeched at them and they were told they must denounce their race and sex and vote for the (racist, sexist) party that despises them.

    They make a choice now, because Democrats forced them to. A formerly false dichotomy turned into a real dichotomy and when the choice is forced, smart people will choose their own tribe. That's why Trump is president.

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  4. "Why hadn't The Others been willing to trust us when we told them how they should vote?"

    Because you're a fucking zombie death-cult.

    Or, if I wanted to be unreasonably charitable to you, just a bunch of idiots living in a bubble, far removed from the main population. Economically, culturally, and spiritually.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Or, if I wanted to be unreasonably charitable to you, just a bunch of idiots living in a bubble, far removed from the main population. Economically, culturally, and spiritually.
      One could write a full master's thesis on the depth of irony of the above statement.

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    2. Mao, Eat shit.

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    3. Ilya,
      Every Right-wing accusation is a confession.

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  5. A far more generous and thoughtful view of the problem that Somerby pretends to discuss:

    http://www.boomantribune.com/story/2018/10/23/131255/96

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  6. "Kowalczyk...lifelong Democrat"

    First of all, Kowalczyk wasn't an "Other", at least not according to her own account. (Is her account true? Who knows).

    Second, the notion that "the Democratic Party has brushed these "deaths" aside" is worth debating, but it is not completely borne out by the facts. That Hillary or the national Democratic Party "turned a blind eye to Hazelton" is a common theme with Democratic critics and the mainstream media. For that reason, it deserves far more scrutiny than Somerby is willing to give it.

    Also, Somerby keeps repeating this ludicrous claim: "She describes Bradlee trying to learn what The Others think about contemporary politics and government! In some circles, this has now been declared a subversive act."

    This has to be the millionth foray into Trump country by the msm to find out what they think. It's constant fodder there.

    Lastly, it's revealing when Somerby says this: "Carlson played tape of our various cable news stars and explained why The Other should hate them." Right-wing media personalities are corporate careerists whose agenda is precisely to promote tribal hatred, just as Somerby accuses left media of doing. Carlson should only be viewed with skepticism or distrust. But here we have Somerby buying into the Fox narrative.

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  7. Topic: Democrats have abandoned blue collar workers.

    It's worth discussing.

    But Somerby wraps this complaint in vicious attacks on Democrats. He simply excoriates them. He does not pay attention to currently ongoing campaigns around the country, nor to the voices within the Democratic Party that are grappling with this issue. His blog represents yet another forum where right wingers can find validation for their tribal prejudices. And yet, his discussion ought to be geared towards making every reader, liberal or conservative, examine their tribal beliefs, and at the same time, Somerby, as a self-professed liberal, ought to encourage the good in liberals. He seems to have lost faith. Well, fine. But in his small way, he is being unhelpful to Democrats.

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    1. "But Somerby wraps this complaint in vicious attacks on Democrats."

      Oh dear. Persecutory delusions are the sure sign of paranoid schizophrenia.

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    2. Somerby is not framing the issue in any way that can be discussed with any nuance. You either agree with his characterization or you disagree. He provides no evidence to support his views anyway.

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    3. He supplies long quotations where he highlights the important parts for your convenience. If that's not evidence, what kind of evidence do you require?

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    4. Those are not his views. He is repeating someone else's views verbatim. He could do better than cut and paste.

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    5. The article he quotes is not itself well-founded. He accepts its premises and its conclusions uncritically. Not cool for a media critic.

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    6. Hello? He analyzes what goebbelsian establishment journoes write. He quotes them, and then he explains why their drivel is bs.

      What's your problem? No one forces you to read.

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    7. He is quoting from Hochschild approvingly. He agrees with the theory that Democrats have abandoned those people in Hazelton, PA etc. That is a debatable theory, but Somerby agrees with it. He is not being critical of this particular piece of drivel. He is spreading narratives. Falsehoods.

      And no one forces you to read or respond to comments.

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    8. Conservatives understand the liberal POV better than the reverse. That's an advantage when trying to convince people to vote for you.

      “In all analyses, conservatives were more accurate than liberals.” Asked to think the way a liberal thinks, conservatives answered moral questions just as the liberal would answer them, but liberal students were unable to do the reverse. Rather, they seemed to put moral ideas into the mouths of conservatives that they don’t hold. To put it bluntly, Haidt and his colleagues found that progressives don’t understand conservatives the way conservatives understand progressives. This he calls the ‘conservative advantage,’

      https://quillette.com/2018/03/10/psychology-progressive-hostility/

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    9. Here's a video making more or less Bob's point. https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2018/10/stuck-on-stuckey.php

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    10. Do people still read Robert Burns?
      “O wad some Power the giftie gie us, to see oursels as ithers see us!"

      Bob is trying to gie this giftie to liberals, but his critics do not want to hear him. They do not want to know how others see them.

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    11. "they seemed to put moral ideas into the mouths of conservatives that they don’t hold"

      That sums things up pretty well. Note that students think better of conservative morals than they deserve.

      Is it a fair advantage that democrats consider republicans moral but they aren't actually moral? That describes every con artist and crook. I can see how having fewer moral principles would be an advantage over the more honest person, but I don't see why David is crowing about this.

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    12. @6:34 - if you're joking, good for you. :) But, if you're serious, that's not what the studies showed.

      Haidt’s research echoes arguments made by Thomas Sowell in A Conflict of Visions and Steven Pinker in The Blank Slate. Both Sowell and Pinker contend that conservatives see an unfortunate world of moral trade-offs in which every moral judgment comes with costs that must be properly balanced. Progressives, on the other hand, seem to be blind to, or in denial about, these trade-offs, whether economic and social; theirs is a utopian or unconstrained vision, in which every moral grievance must be immediately extinguished until we have perfected society. This is why conservatives don’t tend to express the same emotional hostility as the Left; a deeper grasp of the world’s complexity has the effect of encouraging intellectual humility. The conservative hears the progressive’s latest demands and says, “I can see how you might come to that conclusion, but I think you’ve overlooked the following…” In contrast, the progressive hears the conservative and thinks, “I have no idea why you would believe that. You’re probably a racist.”

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    13. Haidt, who I know personally, is conservative. That makes his generalizations about liberals suspect. A grasp of complexity is an individual difference. Among both liberals and conservatives, some have it and some don't. If it were the province of Republicans, more of them would be academics, since it is their job to grapple with complexity. I am liberal and I know why some people are racist and others not, and I don't reflexively call people names. I've read Haidt's book and I found the info about conservative values interesting, but I don't think any of it explains or even applies to Trump supporters or folks like McConnell, Ryan, or any of the unprincipled shits in Congress and Trump's cabinet.

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    14. Democrats are upset about the bombing incidents today while Republicans are gleeful and think they are the funniest thing ever (between calling it a false flag). There -- that's the sophisticated complexity David is talking about. If you think domestic terrorism is funny...you just might be a conservative.

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    15. @4:42 PM "And no one forces you to read or respond to comments."

      But (unlike you via-a-vis Bob) I love dembot comments, my dear. This is why I'm here.

      Bob's agonizing over the failings of his zombie 'tribe' has a limited entertainment value. Long past its expiration date.

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    16. D In C - Your claim that conservatives are the rational and objective ones seems absurd, even Orwellian. What about the large percentage of Republicans who carried on so long (some still do) that Obama was born in Kenya, or is a Muslim? The chants of "lock her up" at the convention and rallies? There are countless examples of craziness and mendacity on the right. I looked at the Fox website just now about the bomb situation - the first few commenters offered these views: "anyone can see this is a seriade {??]probably done by a liberal"; "alternate radical liberal loony can't even make bombs correctly;" "America fighting back is all;" "Fakebomb" - (as always a sprinkling of attacks on Trump as well. Unfortunately, I have to agree, a lot on the liberal/left say crazy things, have gone off the rails on identity politics, Russia - but not by any stretch of the imagination is the right the tribe of self aware realists, including, apparently you.

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    17. And what's so irrational about someone being born in Kenya and/or being Muslims?

      Your demigod Barry played the game well, refusing, for a very long time, to produce the long form of his birth certificate, and thus feeding suspicions. He and his handlers were perfectly rational, of course.

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    18. Mao, Obama is not my "demigod," by any stretch of the imagination, though you seem, bizarrely, to worship Trump. I would expect something better from you than this disingenuous, Goebbeleseque piffle.

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    19. Tsk, tsk, tsk.

      But I'm glad we agree that Kenyan-born humans and Muslims really do exist...

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    20. Yes dear if it makes you happy

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  8. I know Luzerne County pretty well, although I won't pretend to try to explain why every person who voted for Trump did so. I will say, however, that what happened is a result of a number of complex factors.

    1. The decline of coal over the last 60 years. The truth is that there's very little reason for Luzerne County to be as developed as it once was, now that the main industry is gone.
    2. This decline of coal is a long-term factor. It didn't happen under Obama, or under Clinton, or anyone else in particular. It's not even the "fault" of anyone other than the coal mine operators, who ignored safety and caused a disaster in 1959 that effectively ended the mines in NE Pennsylvania.
    3. It's certainly true that the "MSM" has been awful forever, and perhaps particularly in the last 30 years. Bob knows this because he's been the most acute observer of this poor performance. So he should know that it's not that current little-watched cable-news anchors are arrogant or condescending, but the decades-long propaganda campaign against the Clintons that paid off better than conservatives could have imagined. We need to look to David in Cal on this very blog to see what that propaganda has produced - someone who isn't unintelligent and appears to be engaged, but who literally can't see things except through the prism of the right-wing talking points.
    4. Finally, racism is a huge part of Trump's victory, and the fact that some Trump voters also had voted for Obama doesn't negate that fact, because Trump explicitly made racism/xenophobia a campaign issue - maybe "the" campaign issue - which it wasn't in Obama's 2 wins.

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  9. Let's see: here's how Trump showed his concern for those blue collar workers: He put on a ridiculous hard hat, mimed shoveling, said "Trump digs coal", and then raised his power fist. Perhaps he also promised to bring back the horse and buggy; who knows?

    Clinton opined that coal jobs might not be coming back to the levels of decades ago, because, well, REALITY, then she proposed offering new career training and the creation of new job opportunities.

    And yet, she was the one accused of not caring. Funny, that.

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  10. I resent the idea that conservatives need to be schooled in this by Tucker Carlson.

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  11. Jonny - Maybe the reduction in coal mining was mostly economic, but Obama was viewed as making war on coal. E.g., Time Magazine 2014 headline, New Carbon Rules the Next Step in Obama's War on Coal


    And Hillary doubled down. Clinton told a town hall audience in Columbus, Ohio in March, 2016 that "we're going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business."

    Trump OTOH claimed he'd bring back coal mining. The difference could not have been more stark.

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    1. He isn't bringing coal back. That is fantasy.

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    2. Trump lied to a bunch of desperate people. That is no way to campaign. After Trump is gone, maybe voters will look back and say they've learned something about the dangers of not vetting a candidate. We learned things from Nixon.

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    3. Trump promised jobs. The low, low unemployment rate shows that he succeeded. As for coal, Politifact reported last November
      Recently, Trump tweeted some good news for the industry.

      "Coal production up 7.8% in past year," Trump wrote in his Oct. 31 tweet. "Down 31.5% last 10 years. #endingwaroncoal."

      Attached to the tweet was a Fox News report that had precisely that figure. The stats played across the screen, and the reporter wrapped up with "the war on coal is over, and good news for coal."

      Fox News told us they drew on the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s Short-term Energy Outlook report for October. There are actually a couple of numbers there. The one Fox News used was a forecast for 2017. It predicted that coal production would go from 728 million short tons in 2016 up to 785 million in 2017. That amounts to a 7.8 percent rise.

      Fox News could have gone with a higher number based on actual rather than predicted output. The government report said that in the first nine months of the year, production was 12 percent higher than at the same point the year before.

      So if anything, Fox News understated the increase.

      As for the drop over the past 10 years, that might be an understatement, too. The government numbers show a decline closer to 33 percent.


      https://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2017/nov/06/donald-trump/trump-pairs-recent-rise-coal-output-ending-war-coa/

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    4. However, U.S. Energy Information Administration predicts small deceases in 2018 and 2019.
      EIA forecasts U.S. coal production will decline by 2% to 756 MMst in 2018, despite a 12% (11 MMst) increase in coal exports. The production decrease is largely attributable to a forecast decline of 4% (26 MMst) in domestic coal consumption in 2018. EIA expects coal production to decline by 2% (13 MMst) in 2019 because it forecasts that coal exports and coal consumption will decrease by 7% and 5%, respectively.

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    5. The U.S. Energy Information Administration is predicting that bringing back coal will be yet another Trump failure. What have they been doing over there, paying attention?

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    6. Oh, shit, Comrade DinC.

      Who will you and President Chickenshit FlimFlam blame this on now?

      ****************
      CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A West Virginia coal mine that employs about 400 workers is closing after a deal to sell it fell through.

      Gov. Jim Justice issued a statement saying the closing of the Pinnacle Mine in Wyoming County will displace a lot of miners. He says he is hopeful the mine "has not seen its last days."

      WVVA reports workers at the mine, which is owned by Mission Coal, said this week negotiations to sell the mine fell through. The mine is largest employer in Wyoming County after the school system. Workers were moving equipment out of the mine this week, a sure sign of its imminent closure.

      Justice also mentioned the recent closing of ABB control systems in Greenbrier County, which employs about 150 workers.

      Justice said in the Friday release that "it's not a good day."

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  12. Dave, are you a sock puppet? Where you in Baltimore this week? How did you see a play that premiered at Everyman if you live in CA?

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    1. It was showing at American Conservatory Theater in SF.
      http://www.act-sf.org/home/box_office/1819_season/sweat.html

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    2. "Sweat" originated at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and played on Broadway in 2017.

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  13. Frankly, I question the narrative that the Democratic party, and Democratic politicians, forgot the working class. This, like so many narratives, as Bob has pointed out over the years, as well as Herman & Chomsky in Manufacturing Consent, is propaganda. Unfortunately too many people are too lazy to do any research, and gullible. The Democrats who held the executive branch from 2009 to 2016, were confronted with an unmovable opposition in the legislative branch, preventing any meaningful progress in the economy.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Pinetop's Boogie-Woogie

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kjx_W5dFUPs

    ReplyDelete
  15. When I was in my 20s in Daley's Chicago, I was a precinct worker. I was given a list of the people who had voted Democratic in previous elections and instructed to knock on doors and talk to people about the importance of the coming election, to find out if they were supporting our candidates. I asked, what about the people who voted Republican? They said, don't both talking to them. They are a waste of your time. Elections are won by energizing and mobilizing the people you know already support your party.

    Yesterday, in my bridge club, a woman I like told me that the world was being run by a child prostitution ring. I said "That is total nonsense and I don't believe that." She said "I believe it." I said "We have nothing to talk about if you believe stuff like that." She said, "Why not? I am happy to talk about my beliefs." I said "We have no place to start."

    As I said, she is a nice person, but how do you begin to address a topic like that? I know it comes from the Q-Anon and Infowars websites and is part of right-wing mythology, but I don't know how you prove a negative and I don't know what you say after you say that Alex Jones is wrong.

    This is the problem with talking to everyday Republicans too. They have lived a lifetime and have a set of values and views that you aren't going to rearrange by chatting. If they don't see what's wrong with putting children in cages, what can you say to them? If they don't see what's wrong with all the stuff Kavanaugh did in his career, what can you say to them?

    But I'm not sure politics was ever about convincing the other party to switch to your candidate. I believe it is about answering questions for people who are on the fence, and getting your supporters out to the polls. At the local level, it is about specific programs. At the national level and in today's image-driven, meme-driven media environment, information about candidates is beyond the point. I told lots of people about differences between Hillary and Obama's plans for education, their support for science, which truly differed, and I didn't change a mind. People either cared about Hillary's dedicated public service and earnest desire to help people or they thought Obama was a rock star. The facts didn't change any of that.

    So Somerby's belief that we can change the Other if we are nice to them makes no political sense. If you want to be friends and coexist with The Others, just don't talk politics.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Ironically, after the election, the Clinton Global Initiative funded placement of naloxone kits in every high school in the US. (Naloxone blocks opioid overdose.) Bill Clinton went around talking to audiences on talk shows and in person, about the dangers of combining opioids and alcohol, which results in overdose.

    But we're supposed to believe that Hillary didn't care about the opioid problem and that's why she lost PA? Maybe PA doesn't care about is opioid problem and that's why they didn't vote for Hillary.

    How on earth can anyone talk about the election without acknowledging the hacking and Russian interference, manipulation of social media, Russian funding channeled through the NRA, and Comey's interference?

    Somerby says: "Clinjton, who won the popular vote, lost the three states which cost her the race by some 78,000 votes. No author can account for all those decisions, even though cable stars can."

    So can Nate Silver. Analysts have shown the direct impact of Comey on Clinton's numbers in those three crucial states. There are similar estimates of the impact of Russian interference. It was not, as the Republicans claim, insignificant or unmeasureable. That interference was targeted and it did its job. But we keep pretending that Hillary lost because she was deaf to constituents, said or did the wrong things. We blame the victim of a conspiracy to corrupt our election. We should be angry -- and not at Hillary. And Democrats should be angrier than Republicans and they should aim their anger at the proper targets: (1) Trump, (2) Russia, (3) the media, left right and middle, (4) social media, and (5) The Others and the craven GOP who enable them (if not an active part of the conspiracy).

    Crimes are being committed. And not in some county in PA.

    ReplyDelete
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  18. Democrats can't even stage an unsophisticated False Flag operation without hilarity ensuing over their ineptitude.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Since this used to be a media criticism blog, I'm reminded about the Anthrax Scare (False Flag) in 2001, which was out of the news as soon as they found out it was from the U.S.
      Unfortunately, the Republicans had already pushed through the Patriot Act by that point.

      Delete
    2. Pushed through with nearly total "liberal" (ie., clintonite) support.

      Delete
    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
  19. Somerby is wrong. And he is full of shit.

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  20. Pray that the connectivity gods zap The Howler back to a blissful pre-Internet pre-social media age when people were either more rational or were controlled by their benign gatekeeper-masters. That was an idyllic age, despite there being a Vietnam War, assassinations, Jim Crow, McCarthyism, WWII, WWI, slavery, disenfranchisement, Civil War. So much better than the last horrible 30 years, wouldn't you say, Guv'nor?

    ReplyDelete
  21. You know what, fuck you to hell, Bob Somerby. As a gay person who grew up with immense onslaughts against myself as a gay teen in the 80s and a child, being viciously attacked by the Republican Christian Right Wing party of aggressive and well-funded assholes, as the AIDS crisis killed thousands while Republicans laughed..yeah , it was frightening to me as a young person. They wanted me dead, and would laugh when I died. Never mind the misery to families with gay sons who awfully sickened and died. Your right wing Republican Party, that Bob Somerby loves so much lately. How about fuck you Bob Somerby?

    Now they they are going against trans people. Attacking them and their humanity and being and citizenship even. Bob Somerby could not give less of a damn as Republicans attack a vulnerable minority.

    The Daily Howler is a right-wing website now. Fox News approved, white supremacists and Nazis welcome.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hating the Christians, eh?

      You should be announcing your credo loudly and more often, my dear. Shout it from the rooftops, please. Don't be shy.

      Delete
    2. What is your basis for claiming he loves the Republican party.

      Delete
    3. I hate the Christo-zombies, and their brain-dead votes for Republicans.
      Bob posted Kristof's quote about their religion in a more recent post.

      Delete
    4. Noticing that two sexes exist and are biologically determined is not an "attack."

      Delete
  22. The "others" won't listen to us because they have chosen to tune out fact, logic, and reason.

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  23. But it is quite false that there are only two biologically determioned sexes. There is a statue in the Louvre entitled "Hermaphroditus" proving the contrary. Moreover, Christians at least should recognize that Jesus said some eunuchs are so by nature (ie., biologically determined). Anyway, I've never been able to figure out how a linguistic category (gender) would have anything to do with a biological category (sex).

    ReplyDelete
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