edward.luce@ft.com on Trump,Pelosi & The Young Radicals. Political Observer comments

To quote Henry Ford ‘history is bunk‘! An actual historical preamble, to Mr. Luce’s recitation of the commonplaces of the political present, awash in the corporate media ‘horse race mentality‘, might read like this:

From the mass migration of the Dixiecrats to the Republican Party in ’64 & ’65 in response to the passage of both the Civil Rights & The Voting Right Act’s, followed by Nixon’s ‘Southern Strategy’ to Ronald Reagan’s notorious Neshoba County Fair speech, that opened his 1980 Campaign: ‘I believe in ‘States Rights’!

I believe in state’s rights; I believe in people doing as much as they can for themselves at the community level and at the private level. And I believe that we’ve distorted the balance of our government today by giving powers that were never intended in the constitution to that federal establishment. And if I do get the job I’m looking for, I’m going to devote myself to trying to reorder those priorities and to restore to the states and local communities those functions which properly belong there.


Not to speak of his ’76 campaign’s notorious ‘Welfare Queens driving Cadillacs’, the full story on Linda Taylor ,that Welfare Queen: Here is a portion of Josh Levin’s insightful essay:

Headline:The Welfare Queen

Sub-headline:In the 1970s, Ronald Reagan villainized a Chicago woman for bilking the government. Her other sins—including possible kidnappings and murders—were far worse.

The plural of anecdote is not data. The plural of the craziest anecdote you’ve ever heard is definitely not data. And yet, the story of the welfare queen instantly infected the policy debate over welfare reform. Sociologist Richard M. Coughlin notes that in 1979, AFDC families had a median of just 2.1 children and a very low standard of living compared to the average American. In 2013, Bureau of Labor Statistics data continue to bear out the stark economic gap between families on public assistance and those who are not. Linda Taylor showed that it was possible for a dedicated criminal to steal a healthy chunk of welfare money. Her case did not prove that, as a group, public aid recipients were fur-laden thieves bleeding the American economy dry.

Even so, Ronald Reagan regularly dusted off the welfare queen’s lurid misadventures, arguing that rampant fraud demanded decisive government action. In pushing for welfare reform as president in 1981, he told members of Congress that “in addition to collecting welfare under 123 different names, she also had 55 Social Security cards,” and that “there’s much more of [this type of fraud] than anyone realizes.” The recent debate over cuts to the federal food stamp program, too, has featured Republican claims that we can save $30 billion by “eliminating loopholes, waste, fraud, and abuse.”

In truth, Reagan wrung savings out of the federal welfare program by slashing benefit levels and raising eligibility requirements. And with regard to today’s food stamp cuts, as Eric Schnurer explains in the Atlantic, “none of the savings actually come from fraud, but rather from cutting funding and tightening benefits.”


Bush The Elder’s ‘Willy Horton’ racist hysteria. Bush The Younger was just actively hostile. Juan Cole offers insight on Bush father and son here:

Headline:George W. Bush & GOP Lack Standing to Bash Trump for Racism

Sub-headline No racism and bigotry, no Bush presidency.


Mr. Luce frames his defense of the political status quo, Nancy Pelosi, by the weak rhetorical devise of ‘the younger radicals’ ,not just once but twice. Placing ‘The Squad’ , an example of American political thought, safely in the confines of its perpetual dull-witted political metaphors.

Never fear the New Democrats will nominate another Mrs. Clinton, rendering this pronouncement of Mr. Luce in the category of self-serving fiction!

He is literally pushing Democrats towards an extremist corner.

This reader can think of only one ‘radical’ currently running, that is Bernie Sanders,who remains a viable but unwanted candidate,by the Clinton coterie, who control the levers of power in the party.

Mr. Luce offer his final thought on Trump, not as what he is, the fulfillment of the de-evolution of the Republican Party, but a political creature who transcends the very facts of the history of the Republican party.

Such is the logic of Mr Trump’s interventions. They are incendiary, dangerous and un-American. But that is no guarantee they will fail.

The currently expressed political wisdom is that only a ‘Centrist’ can win against Trump. That ‘Centrism’ is represented by the current alliance between the New Democrats and the Neo-Conservatives: never has such a toxic alliance in American politics existed? Think of the alliance between the Nixon/Mundt/McCarren/McCarthy Republicans and the Cold War ‘Liberals’  Reinhold Niebuhr, Arthur Schlesinger Jr. and the ADA.

Political Observer




About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer. 'Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.' https://www.lrb.co.uk/v15/n20/perry-anderson/diary
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