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Republican ‘Takers’ Take Down the Establishment

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Republican ‘Takers’ Take Down the Establishment

U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump points at a supporter at a polling place for the presidential primary in Manchester

Just as Donald Trump did a Super Tuesday stomp on the Republican establishment, the establishment showed why it deserved the rough treatment. The Republican Senate leadership yet again announced its refusal to consider anyone President Obama nominates for the Supreme Court until after the presidential election.

It is the job of the U.S. Senate to hold hearings on, and then accept or reject, the president’s choice. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley said they will not take on the work — while showing no inclination to forgo their paychecks.

Talk about “takers.”

Yes, talk about “takers.” That’s how Mitt Romney described Americans benefiting from Medicare, Social Security, Obamacare and other government social programs during his failed 2012 run for president. Never mind that most of the “takers” have also paid for some of what they have received.

Working-class Republicans have finally rebelled against the notion that everything they get is beneficence from the superrich — and that making the superrich super-duper-rich would drop some tinsel on their grateful heads. They were done with quiet protest and ready to take down the Republican bastille, stone by stone. And the angrier Trump made the establishment the happier they were.

The Bastille was the symbol of France’s Old Regime. The storming of the prison in 1789 kicked off the French Revolution.

Republican disrupters from Newt Gingrich on down liked to talk about a conservative revolution. They didn’t know the first thing about revolutions. This is a revolution.

Back at the chateau, Republican luminaries were calmly planning favors for their financiers. They assumed their party’s working folk would fall in line — out of both hostility to Democrats and through hypnosis.

So you had Jeb Bush amassing an armory of campaign cash over bubbly and hors d’oeuvres at the family estate in Maine. You had Marco Rubio devising a plan to do away with all capital gains taxes — the source of half the earnings for people making $10 million or more. You had Ted Cruz concocting a plan to abolish the IRS. (Without the IRS, only the working stiffs would be paying taxes, the money automatically deducted from their paychecks.)

Not much here for the alleged takers, who actually see themselves as “taken from.” Unlike the others, Trump wasn’t going after their benefits. He even praised Planned Parenthood, noting it provides a variety of health services to ordinary women.

Trump would be a disastrous president, of course. But he knows how to inspire the “enraged ones.” In the French Revolution, the enraged ones were extremists who sent many of the moderate revolutionaries to the guillotine. (The enraged ones also ended badly.)

As the embers of Super Tuesday still glowed, The Wall Street Journal published the following commentary by one of its Old Regime’s scribes:

“To be honest and impolitic, the Trump voter smacks of a child who unleashes recriminations against mommy and daddy because the world is imperfect,” Holman Jenkins wrote. Take that.

No responsible American — not the other Republicans and certainly not Democrats expecting strong Latino support — would endorse Trump’s nasty attacks on our hardworking immigrants. But large-scale immigration of unskilled labor has, to some extent, hurt America’s blue-collar workers, and not just white ones.

Democrats need to continue pressing reform that is humane both to immigrants already rooted in the society and to the country’s low-skilled workforce. Do that and the air comes whooshing out of Trump’s balloon.

Back in Washington, the Republican leaders will probably continue to avoid work on this issue or a Supreme Court nominee or anything else Obama wants. They should enjoy their leisure. After Election Day, many may have to look for real jobs.

Follow Froma Harrop on Twitter @FromaHarrop. She can be reached at fharrop@gmail.com. To find out more about Froma Harrop and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Web page at www.creators.com.


Photo: Donald Trump points at a supporter at a polling place for the presidential primary in Manchester, New Hampshire February 9, 2016.   REUTERS/Rick Wilking

Froma Harrop

Froma Harrop’s nationally syndicated column appears in over 150 newspapers. Media Matters ranks her column 20th nationally in total readership and 14th in large newspaper concentration. Harrop has been a guest on PBS, MSNBC, Fox News and the Daily Show with Jon Stewart and is a frequent voice on NPR and talk radio stations in every time zone as well.

A Loeb Award finalist for economic commentary in 2004 and again in 2011, Harrop was also a Scripps Howard Award finalist for commentary in 2010. She has been honored by the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and the New England Associated Press News Executives Association has given her five awards.

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  1. Dominick Vila March 3, 2016

    The far right is rebelling against more than just the notion that the social programs that we all benefit from is coming from the super rich. They see in Donald Trump a reckless rebel capable of intimidating what is left of moderate Republicans, Democrats, and Independents. For them, that is an essential element in the successful pursuance of their goals, which include ending abortion, same sex marriage, equal rights, limiting immigration to certain ethnicities/cultures, punishing Muslims so severely that they will never dare threat a white “Christian” ever again, teaching the world the true meaning of what passes for leadership among right wingers, curtailing social programs and repealing some, giving more tax breaks to the super rich to ensure some of their prosperity filters down to the 98% that is struggling to make ends meet, and ensuring Christian values are imposed on everyone regardless of the preferences of the majority.
    The fact that what they are proposing is a form of totalitarianism that is inconsistent with the spirit of our Constitution makes no difference for those who believe the Constitution is relevant when it supports their goals, and a document to be ignored or twisted when it does not.
    To consolidate their hold on American society, the not so naive Republicans in Congress are willing to forgo their constitutional responsibilities and delay the confirmation of a replacement to Justice Scalia until they control the White House, knowing that there will soon be more SCOTUS vacancies and that filling them with far right ideologues guarantees the reversal of everything they loathe, and a return to an era when every American knew their place in society, and the world feared our military might.

    1. FireBaron March 3, 2016

      Overheard by a friend waiting to vote in a primary: “The reason we back Trump is so we don’t have to pretend to be ‘politically correct’ anymore.” That pretty much sums it up.

      1. dpaano March 3, 2016

        I’m not sure why they rebel so much against being politically correct,” it has to do with being professional and thinking of the other person and not just of yourself. People have NO concept of that any more….even our children have become “entitled” and think they don’t have to behave. People nowadays are rude, discourteous (same thing, I guess), and seem to only think about themselves and not others. It’s sad to see this attitude taking over what used to be a polite society. Trump just personifies this attitude to the nth degree!! And, the most interesting thing is that this used to be against what evangelicals used to preach….now they have bought into it also…..not what Jesus would have wanted!

        1. oldtack March 3, 2016

          I’m not sure I understand your position on “politically correct”.To me, being politically correct means choosing your words carefully so as to not offend anyone regardless of what your true thoughts are. In this respect Jesus was far from politically correct in his tenure. Witness when he chased the money changers from the Temple. Witness his actions at the well .. Devout Jews would go miles out of their way to avoid this area because they considered these people “unclean”. Jesus went into this country and proceeded to go to the well. Engage in conversation with a woman something that was not done in Jewish society. He then said I am thirsty could I have some water. He did not produce his “holy” vessel. He apparently drank from a vessel belonging to the woman, an abominable thing in Jewish society.. He and his apostles went through the fields and picked grain and ate it on the Sabbath. He healed people on the Sabbath. He was assailed by the Pharasies and the Sanhedrin but he offered no apologies for his actions. He upheld his actions. No – Jesus was not Politically correct. He did GODS work and defended his actions.

          Now, Jesus would fit nicely into a Polite Society but not a Politically correct society

          1. latebloomingrandma March 3, 2016

            But Jesus was about love, not hate.

          2. oldtack March 4, 2016

            I know that. But there is a big difference in being polite and respectful and being Politically Correct. Every day in Politics and on the entertainment talk shows posing as News we see people comprising their principles and true feeling and saying something Politically correct so as not to offend.anyone. Jesus would not and never did say anything just to be politically correct. He spoke the truth about his mission and his WORD that he brought to the world. I believe in being straight forward , honest and civilized in a situation but I would not compromise my thoughts and inner feelings just to be politically correct so as not to hurt someones feelings. Be polite but more importantly be truthful.

          3. Cloudherder March 5, 2016

            Obviously the people that rale on about “Political Correctness” have that term mixed up with “Politeness”. They think if they vote for Trump they won’t have to behave like a decent human being anymore.

          4. oldtack March 5, 2016

            I don’t see it that way. I do believe we need to be upfront and truthful in our handling of anything. sometimes the truth hurts. I am not going to skew my real thoughts and feelings just to avoid hurting your feelings. I’m not a Trump man . I am an independent and this whole debate system on both sides is just a show. Regretfully – one of these 6 people will emerge as President. That is unless the Inner Party excersises what hey adopted in 2008 and pick a “suitable” candidate from outside those in the running.

          5. tomtype March 7, 2016

            Actually the “politically correct” term usually the more correct term as well as the more polite one too. After all what is more ridiculous than a female male man. Caitlyn Jenner?

          6. tomtype March 7, 2016

            If you look carefully “politically correct” is usually about gender references imbedded in words as policeman. Since they are not all men, now, what is the correct term? Isn’t police officer a much more correct term? Isn’t Mail Carrier a much more correct term than mailman. When you say it, provided you carrier is a woman, what is more ridiculous than a female male man?

      2. tomtype March 7, 2016

        If you closely examine “politically correct” it usually has to do with gender references in jobs. So a policeman becomes a police officer, in part because there are also police women. So we face a choice to be technically correct. Since they are not all policemen, why not call them police officers, which is what they actually are. And the same goes for Chairman. He/she chairs a meeting, so why not call him/her “chair.” After all we are supposed to have only natural gender in English, which mean we also need a common pronoun, for when the gender is unspecified or both are represented. I have long advocated “en” as in en is a horse, he is a stallion, she is a mare, and it is a gelding.

        I will agree that adding person in all cases seems both silly and redundant. And the grammarians do have a point. The “-man” in many of those constructs actually refers to huMAN and not Male “man”. In German that is handled by adding an N so that Mann meas specifically the male, while man just means a person doing that. Since we don’t actually say “-man” (say the words fast, out loud) but rather more like mun. So we could change our spelling conventions also and produce a lot of -mun job names. Even humun, which is more like how we say it anyway. Since English is now rapidly becoming the universal language, we should also think about all those others who have to struggle with our spelling from the 1400’s.

    2. Aaron_of_Portsmouth March 3, 2016

      It’s probably safe to say that most of “Lord Fauntleroy” ‘s adoring myrmidons never heard of Cortez, Pizarro, Idi Amin, or Pol Pot. As for Hitler and Mussolini, they have a nodding acquaintance, but think of them as quaint oddities whose influences we need not be overly concerned with.

      1. Dominick Vila March 3, 2016

        I read an interesting article in the European press this morning about a statement made by a CNN talking head regarding Australia building a wall to keep migrants from Slovenia out of Austria. To make matters worse, the same talking head sent a tweet to a friend shortly thereafter repeating the same thing. Needless to say, Europeans jumped on this as evidence of the lack of familiarity with world geography exhibited by many Americans. What surprises me is that the editors did not catch the mistake before putting it on a teleprompter for the pretty face to read.

        1. dpaano March 3, 2016


        2. CPAinNewYork March 3, 2016

          C’mon Domenick: The guy just misspelled Austria to produce Australia.

          However, consider what the illegal problem has done for Trump: Americans don’t want the illegals here. Period. You don’t like that because you identify with brown people.

          Get used to it.

    3. CrankyToo March 3, 2016

      Another great post! You guys are at the top of your game today!

    4. dpaano March 3, 2016

      Boy are they going to be mad when Hillary or Sanders win’s the presidentency and will end up appointing not one, but two (remember Ginsberg is hanging in there until after the election) new Supreme Court judges. They’re going to WISH they had allowed Obama to make his selection now and not wait…..but, you get what you wish for!

    5. Frank Pig March 3, 2016

      What all of that will lead to, and I am surprised that it hasn’t happened yet, is the burning down of America not unlike but to a much larger degree than what happened in the late 1960’s.
      I was in Detroit during the riots and that would be nothing compared to what will happen under trump.

      1. CrankyToo March 3, 2016

        None of that matters to the roughly 30 million LIVs who will continue to support the malevolent GOP until they’re all working in sweatshops and sleeping al fresco.

        1. Cloudherder March 5, 2016

          What is an LIV?

          1. CrankyToo March 5, 2016

            A Low Information Voter.

          2. Cloudherder March 11, 2016

            Thanks. Are you sure it’s only 30 million? I think it is mostly everyone who votes, except for us political junkies who live in this bubble.

          3. CrankyToo March 11, 2016

            That was a wag (a wild-a$$ guess), based on the fact that 60.6 million people voted Romney in 2012. I figure only about half of those morons are actually “Turd Party” stupid. Roughly 30M.

            Thanks for asking.

    6. Cloudherder March 5, 2016

      Very well put Dominick.

    7. Cloudherder March 5, 2016

      Excellent post Dominick. You nailed it.

  2. Kurt CPI March 3, 2016

    This is a excellent analysis. It points out the frustration that is driving the Trump insurgency. It doesn’t condemn the working-class conservatives who absolutely do have reason to be weary of their so-called conservative represenative – the GOP. Many of the things Trump is championing (between insults, gutter innuendo, and social ignorance) are the very things people of all political persuasions have been touting for a decade:

    Taxing US corporations foreign earnings on profits from American consumers (taxes or tarrifs); Import tarrifs on cheap products from countries who’s prices rely on slave labor; Tax incentives for American investment in the US manufacturing sector; Tax incentives for repatriation of funds held outside the country as a result of inversion (a no-cost stimulus that would go directly to the bottom line of the US economy).

    This is what the Republican elite don’t want. The establishment cares nothing about the working class, they seek only to become more rich and more powerful – to hell with the consequences to society. When Mitt Romney condemns Trump, he might as well be writing a check to his campaign, it’s equivalent to an endorsement. As Froma Harrop points out, THIS is what a revoluton looks like!

    1. CrankyToo March 3, 2016

      Amen, Brother! Great post!

  3. Paul Bass March 3, 2016

    “poorly educated” old white guys feel betrayed by the GOP/TP? No! These yahoos have been conned into voting against their own self interest for years, I guess they finally realize they are the “fools” in the makeup of GOP being only “millionaires and fools”.

    1. dpaano March 3, 2016

      But, they’ll keep voting for these yahoos despite the fact!!! They continue to buy into the lies and scare tactics that the GOP uses to inspire it’s base! It’s really sad that they don’t see the forest for the trees, but that’s what happens when you are uninformed and listen only to rightwing news programs; i.e., FAUX News for one!

  4. dpaano March 3, 2016

    Unfortunately, the “enraged ones” are angry at the wrong people…..they should be looking at all the BS that the Senate and the House have caused due to their promise from Day One to block President Obama from doing ANYTHING to help the American public. They care more for their party and the corporations (and high-paid lobbyists who work for them) than they do for what Americans REALLY want. A vote from Trump would only continue that….so, if they’re angry now, they’re going to be even angrier if he’s elected!

    1. Kurt CPI March 4, 2016

      You’re still under the illusion that our senators work for their constituents. They don’t, they work for their party.

  5. Frank Pig March 3, 2016

    If a trade war is started American workers will lose. The first thing that will happen is that other countries, particularly China will slap a huge tariff on our goods so millions of Americans will be laid off and won’t be able to buy the products, from foreign countries, that now cost 40% more. In fact it would set off a world wide depression. Furthermore, trying to deport 11 million people will be impossible, which will also cause big problems in many labor markets since American do not do the jobs the illegals are now doing.
    So a Trump win will be a disaster of world wide consequences.

  6. Ekpe March 3, 2016

    Trump is popular with racists because he has provided a platform for them to express temselves publicly. The driving force of his success is racism.


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