Now, with just 19 days before the election, is not the time for Democrats to start talking about corporate tax cuts

It’s being that Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer, in an interview yesterday with CNBC’s John Harwood, said that one of his top two priorities next year, if he and the Democrats take back control of the Senate, would be to push for a tremendous corporate tax cut. The following comes by way of The Intercept.

Speaking of himself in the third person, Schumer said that “we’ve got to get things done… The two things that come, that pop to mind — because Schumer, Clinton, and Ryan have all said they support these — are immigration and some kind of international tax reform tied to a large infrastructure program.”

American multinational corporations are now holding a staggering $2.5 trillion in profits overseas, refusing to bring the money back at the current tax rates until they get a special deal.

Revenue-starved Democratic leaders have broadly hinted they are prepared to cave, either for a “holiday” period or permanently.

In an exchange with CNBC’s John Harwood, Schumer confirmed that the latter is in fact in the works. When Harwood asked Schumer if “it would be a permanent lower rate, not a holiday rate,” Schumer replied, “Yes, you can’t do a one-shot deal.”

While the idea makes sense on one hand, as it would perhaps give us the revenue we need to fund an infrastructure bank, allowing us to finally address our nation’s crumbling highways, bridges and tunnels, putting American’s back to work in the process, it would, on the other hand, be a – to use the words of Senator Elizabeth Warren – “a giant wet kiss for the tax dodgers” who have taken advantage of loopholes for the past several decades to hide their profits oversees.

I suppose I should withhold judgment, as it might well be the case that President Clinton and the Democrats could negotiate an awesome deal for the American people to bring corporate profits back to our country, where they could fund projects that would lay the foundation for future American growth. I can’t help but think, however, that, we the Democrats win in November, especially if they win in a landslide, as some are suggesting, that there might be an opportunity to do something more ambitious than pass a corporate tax give-away. I mean, if Clinton comes to office with a mandate, and if we retake the Senate, do we really want our first order of business to be a tax cut? Again, I get the up-side, and I understand that it would be great if Clinton could get an immediate “win” that could bring conservatives to the table, but I don’t know that this is the kind of thing that you and I had in mind when we sent checks to her campaign. And that’s what concerns me. I’m afraid that talk like this will keep progressives from the polls on November 8, and we can’t afford to see that happen. So, yeah, I’m pissed at Schemer for bringing this up right now. Even if it just makes a small fraction of voters from coming out on election day, it could have a huge impact.

I should also mention that there’s some question, given the history of such initiatives in the United States, as to whether this plan of Schumer’s would even work. The following comes from former Labor Secretary Robert Reich.

A good idea? Congress’s last tax amnesty, in 2004, was a flop. Executives of large global U.S. corporations had argued that the amnesty would allow them to reinvest their overseas earnings in America. But a study by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that 92 percent of the repatriated cash was used for dividends, share buybacks, and executive bonuses. “Repatriations did not lead to an increase in domestic investment, employment or R.&D., even for the firms that lobbied for the tax holiday stating these intentions,” the study concluded.

Again, I’m hesitant to pass judgement at this point, as it could make sense, depending how how well we negotiate with these firms, but, on the face of it, something seems wrong about offering an enormous corporate tax break, which could come the American people tens of trillions of dollars over the next several decades, in order to repatriate $2.5 trillion that should have never left the country in the first place. What’s more important, though, I think, is the impression this gives to voters as we’re now just 19 days away from the election. I don’t mind having this debate. I just don’t want it now. I’m of the same opinion as Bernie Sanders on this. Job number one has to be to get Hillary Clinton into office. On November 9, though, we need to change focus and go at her from the left, keeping the pressure on her to serve as President for all the American people, and not just the corporate elite.

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39 Comments

  1. Lynne
    Posted October 21, 2016 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    If it makes you feel better, I don’t think the average voter pays especially close attention to the finer points of economic policy.

  2. Lynne
    Posted October 21, 2016 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    Oh and yes, those of us who do absolutely must pressure her!

  3. Demetrius
    Posted October 21, 2016 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    Mark,

    I hope you’re not suggesting that mainstream Democrats like Schumer should attempt to “hide” their support for lower corporate taxes, or legislation like the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), etc., until after the election.

    And regarding your point about “job number one” – at what point does electing a certain party or candidate become more important than the policies they actually believe in and plan to enact?

  4. Jcp2
    Posted October 21, 2016 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    As we do not have a parliamentary system of government, but one that is strongly structurally biased by the constitution to be a two party system, I suppose one could vote third party and feel good about not accomplishing anything positive while potentially having negative spoiler effects for the least worst choice. The alternative could be redirecting this political energy towards voting in the primary for the candidate that most reflects ones views, or if you are feeling really motivated, run a candidate in the primary that best reflects your views. If you are really really organized and clever, you could run candidates in primaries at the state or local level, or even in nonpartisan elections like school boards, library boards, etc. You know, like the republicans do. But I’m just a lazy centrist voter, just like most voters, so my advice is worth what you paid for it.

  5. Jean Henry
    Posted October 21, 2016 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

    I researched this a bit, since you seemed to think that you were only obligated to read an intercept article and a Reich column linked there to get the full picture. (Confirmation bias 101)

    The highway trust fund is facing insolvency. It was out of money last September, but bailed out in with 8 billion in emergency DEFICIT spending. The fund will be bankrupt again in the third quarter of this year– meaning now. Hence the sense of urgency. It’s a first priority because it’s on the table now because it’s a problem that must be solved one way or another immediately.

    So last fall, Shumer Ryan (who you may hate politically but who is very good at budgetary analysis and process) and Portman devised this ONE TIME tax policy adjustment plan to solve two problems–the Highway Trust fund and corporate profits being held overseas because of shitty tax plans. It couldn’t pass then because Mitch McConnell wanted to leverage the urgent need to get long term multinational corporate tax breaks rather than one time. If HRC wins and the senate turns, this bill can pass and create positive momentum for real policy cooperation instead of obstructionism. The Right wants this. We need to fund the highways, but mostly we want to be able to pass meaningful legislation.

    And the fact that they don’t care how it looks politically, because it;s important, seems like a positive to me. Judging books by their partisan covers being a problem not a mark of integrity in my view.

    So this plan offers multinationals a ONE TIME tax reduction (unlike the last one offered under Bush referred to by Reich) BUT in order to partake, they must invest a percentage of the funds repatriated into Highway Trust fund bonds . So Reich’s principle objection of the the funds not being used for the benefit of the people is addressed.

    Reich’s other objection is that this is rewarding tax avoidance. But tax avoidance was already awarded by allowing the international loophole. That absolutely needs to be closed via international agreement. Which will take an incredibly long time. And we need the money. So basically this is an opportunity for corporations to bring that money back before the code is changed via international agreement– which it seems is an inevitability. If they don’t take advantage, they will look stupid when it changes. And they can’t complain later that they set up business overseas understanding one set of conditions only to have that changed overnight.

    It doesn’t seem crazy to me. It’s not a long term giveaway. It may offer an alternative to raising taxes on the rest of us via a gasoline tax hike– which is the other path to fund the Highway Trust. Or that is the thinking.

    so you ould frame this plan as: Do you want the working class to pay for infrastructure or multinational corporations? But that doesn’t play to partisan righteousness, does it? (For the record I support a gas hike to fund renewable development as does HRC)

    Notably while Warren objected to Obama’s proposal last year to reduce the multinational corp tax rate on repatriated funds to 14% one time only, she offered no alternative to funding the Highway Trust Fund. I love Warren, but her job is to be whistle blower– which is important to build momentum towards closing multinational tax loopholes– but not about solving immediate policy problems.

    I hesitate to post this here. The proposal is not at all fleshed out (summary here: http://www.portman.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/files/serve?File_id=146abc53-1763-4a0a-93ee-3d4eecf2a61c ) It will change over time. Many voices will weigh in. It is opposed by all the major unions (who take a protectionist, anti-globalist stance I disagree with, even though I believe very much in the importance of strong Unions.) I believe they object the tax relief out of hand in part to be given a voice in the process. The function of unions being collective bargaining… I’m sure I will be called a conservative or tone deaf to the needs of the people or somehow hypocritical or condescending for providing my best assessment of the fuller picture on this policy.

    It would be much easier to simply express outrage and have everyone pat me on the back and agree that THOSE people are bad and stupid and corrupt while we are good and smart and decent and never do any further examination of this issue.

  6. Demetrius
    Posted October 21, 2016 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

    I can’t wait for this election to to be over.

  7. Demetrius
    Posted October 21, 2016 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

    I can’t wait for this election to be over.

  8. Jean Henry
    Posted October 21, 2016 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

    This proposal is a proposal for all the people not just the corporate elite. That’s why it is receiving opposition from both wings and also likely to pass.

    One way or another, the coffers of the Highway Trust fund must be replenished. Getting money out of corporations offshore accounts in a one time only deal as a transition to a new international tax code (which you may or may not approve of, but seems necessary) seems like a good way (not terribly disruptive) to accomplish that quickly.

  9. Demetrius
    Posted October 22, 2016 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    Let’s look at the bigger picture.

    If Democratic leaders are “revenue starved,” and/or the Highway Trust Fund is in “crisis” it is because for 40+ years, many leaders in both parties have bought into right-wing propaganda that insists the answer to all our problems lies in more tax cuts, less regulation, and “free” trade.

    Therefore, is it any surprise that these same leaders would suggest the answer to inevitable budget shortfalls is even *more* tax cuts?

    How about – instead of lame attempts to entice major multinational corporations to pay a small portion of their record profits to help pay for public infrastructure that ultimately helped make those profits possible – our legislators proposed legislation to force corporations that do business (and make substantial profits) in the U.S. to actually just pay their fair share? Perhaps they could even propose something really radical … like requiring businesses to pay even HALF the rate they routinely paid in the 1950s and 60s?

    At this point, our national political “Overton Window” has shifted so far to the right that I think most people don’t even realize that in most political debates (or even elections), people are now largely disagreeing over shades of policy differences that range from moderate- to extreme-conservatism (and lately, even neofascism).

  10. jean henry
    Posted October 22, 2016 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    How about we deal with the political realities of living in a very divided democracy with some very real work that needs to get done. I agree the crisis should not have happened, and there is a cycle of penny wise pound foolish in congressional budgeting–or more like save a penny now, pay a pound later. On the other hand, changing the international tax code is not simple or quick even if we could change congressional hearts and minds.. And we need the funds. So would you prefer a gas tax, a one time multinational corporate tax break, or 8 billion in deficit spending each year until a solution is crafted.
    I’m not sure what the function of bellyaching about political realities is on the left, but it seems at minimum, we should try to understand the current dilemma faced as well as the larger picture when assessing our representatives integrity. Sometimes I think that most on the left must not work in situation that require compromise solutions and sometimes participating in things with which they are not values-aligned. Places where in order to get the job done, you make difficult choices. Or maybe they are, and that’s the problem.

  11. Demetrius
    Posted October 22, 2016 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    Political “realities” are the result of what the mainstream sees as the acceptable range of choices. If people become trained to believe that the only available choices are those that serve the rich and powerful corporate interests – then I agree all that’s left to do for some of us is “bellyache” about the resulting, so-called political realities.

    Likewise – compromise is a great thing … and it is a very necessary part of politics, society, relationships, etc. But when only one side is consistently doing all the compromising, what’s the point?

    All I’m trying to say is this: It is easy to look at any individual problem – the Highway Trust Fund deficit, for example – and consider narrowly-focused solutions to address it. What this ignores is the larger political context – the 40+ year-long shift in wealth and power away from ordinary citizens and the public sector toward the rich and large corporations – and the politicians in both major parties who have aided and abetted it.

  12. Posted October 22, 2016 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    I was on the road when I wrote this post, so maybe I didn’t spend as much time on it as I might like. I’m sorry if I disappointed anyone. It just got me wondering, when I heard that Schumer was talking about corporate tax cuts, whether or not this might put off any of the Bernie folks who had gravitated over to Hillary. Having lived through the 2000 election, which the Democrats lost in part because of the fact that Ralph Nader drew votes away from Gore, I don’t want to see it happen again. And I’m afraid that comments like these will cause some to gravitate to Jill Stein. Like I said, I don’t know what this deal might look like, and I don’t even know that I’d be against it, as we need to find a way to bring the money back into the country to address our infrastructure, but that’s beside the point. My main issue was that this does not help Clinton get elected. And that should be our only job right now. As Bernie said when he was here a fe weeks ago, let’s get her into office and then start organizing to both push her in a more progressive direction and give her the support she needs as she sets out in pursuit of her agenda.

  13. jean henry
    Posted October 22, 2016 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    Is it really legitimate to say that we are ignoring wealth inequality anymore? Is this really a one sided deal? Do we want our politicians to lie about their intentions to cowtow to the left? Do we want them to cater to a group of people who insist on being told what they want to hear rather than what the truth is? Is it only politically expediant to cater to the left? What about Republican moderates? Do their interests not deserve representation too? Don’t their votes count? Isn’t catering to a simplistic narrative the basis of our post-factual democracy now? Why do we only decry it on the right? Shouldn’t we hold our selves to higher standards. Reich and Warren and Sanders are more trustworthy than HRC or Shumer because they confirm our narrative? Reich and Warren clearly knew and could tell the whole story here, but chose to spin it into polemic. One we do not question. Personally I expect more of the left. I hold little hope for the far right to be anything but biased and simplistic. We have a lot of problems to address in the next few years. time to get real and stop mourning the fantasy that was peddled. If you think the left is immune to bias, I leave you with this: http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/us_580aa5abe4b099c4343195f4

  14. Jcp2
    Posted October 22, 2016 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    Demetrius, it sounds like either the mass electorate is either too stupid, too lazy, or too ignorant to see what needs to be done to improve society. Clearly, as time is of the essence, we need a strong individual to make those decisions on their behalf, as they are uneducable. My contribution will be to suggest the color blue for the publication of your manifesto. The red book and green book have already been taken.

  15. Jean Henry
    Posted October 22, 2016 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

    The delusion that ‘the people’ speak with one voice, or that the interests of ‘the people’ are represented by one political group and not the others, is fundamentally flawed. Participatory Democracy isn’t monolithic, so it isn’t exclusively leftist.
    People who share a common goal may differ on the means. Working through that is where the good answers emerge,– not from some purist ideology that rejects the perspective of half the country. The left needs to grow up and start playing well with others if they want to get anything done. (the right does too, but I’m not holding my breath waiting for them)
    “We need to get better at finding ways to disagree on matters of policy while agreeing on matters of decency and civility– How we talk to each other, treat each other, respect each other matters.” –HRC

  16. Posted October 23, 2016 at 2:12 am | Permalink

    Interesting perspectives on a complex and divisive topic.

  17. Jean Henry
    Posted October 23, 2016 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    “…what kind of government would the constitution give us? And Franklin’s answer was “A republic, if you can keep it.”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VslCHyJlOlc

  18. Anonymous
    Posted October 24, 2016 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

    Did you see this? http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/us_580bc082e4b02444efa3d387

  19. Westside
    Posted October 25, 2016 at 6:26 am | Permalink

    Yes. There will be a lot of “tension ” between Clinton and Warren. Will one of them be accused of being sexist?

  20. jean henry
    Posted November 2, 2016 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    Ah now I see, Westside, you see feminists as deluded by anger. I get it. That’s your narrative. Fine. If so, you’ve got a bit of a problem on your hands, because I’m not the only one out there pointing up gender inequity and the confines of gender norms. There are a whole lot of us. It may just be that if a mass of people see a problem, that problem is real and in need of attention.
    I sincerely doubt that Warren and Clinton will exhibit sexism towards one another because they are aware of sexism (not in denial) and understand how it works. You on the other hand tend to respond to any idea that grates by going straight to the personal. It took me until now– after three or four personal insults– to realize it was my feminism that gets under your skin. That’s how vague your comments were.
    So to clarify, not all criticism is against HRC are sexist, but the attacks that rely on misinformation and innuendo and hyperbole, that quickly leap to some version of she’s x, y or z without meaningful substantiation– (like yours against me) are fueled by sexism. The attacks that rely on sexist assumption or fear of a woman in power or that degrade her physically are more obviously sexist. The narrative forged by the right about her as corrupt and evil was accepted because of ideology and sexism on both the left and right. This is well established. Women can be sexist. Most of us have internalized some shitty ideas and we take it out on one another. Feminism is the journey of correcting internalized and external sexism, of achieving full agency and freedom from gender norms. Since Warren and HRC are committed feminists, I think they’ll work well together and in opposition depending on the issue. They are broads who get things done.

    This is the last time I will respond to any of your ‘She’s angry’ tropes about me. Mystery solved. I don’t accept the status quo for women. If that makes me angry so be it.

  21. Lynne
    Posted November 2, 2016 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    Yeah. I imagine that if Warren does ever criticize Clinton in a sexist way, she will be open to the feedback. But fwiw, I have not seen her say anything that make me worry that she was attacking Clinton based on sexist reasons. There absolutely are valid reasons to be critical of Clinton. It is just that right now, they ALL pale in the face of Trump. Whatever Clinton had done that is worthy of criticism, we can bet that Trump will be far worse. So yes, it is fair to be critical of how HRC is not as transparent as people would like but when someone makes that criticism while giving Trump a pass about his tax returns, it seems like there might be something else at play.

  22. kjc
    Posted November 2, 2016 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    “It may just be that if a mass of people see a problem, that problem is real and in need of attention.”

    not Sanders supporters though. they’re mere idiots.

    i really gotta stop reading Jean’s blog. Mark, you gonna start one? And if so, will you stop writing stupid shit? Jean is exhausted from reiterating your offenses.

  23. Frosted Flakes
    Posted November 2, 2016 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    Jean,

    I don’t know if you are aware but when you were gone westside had a lot of weird posts that seemed to mock you. I could never figure out what the hell Westside was trying to say…..if you like detective work then you might want to check out posts from when you were gone. Or, westside could just talk straight.

  24. Jean Henry
    Posted November 2, 2016 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    KJC– I was an early Sander’s supporter. I never suggested that income inequality was not an issue. Ever. I have, like many of you been talking about that issue for years. I have said repeatedly that the Sander’s campaign following on the lead of Occupy and Robert Reich, moved the political conversation to a place where it needed to be.

    I turned from Sanders when I looked into his actual policy plans– specifically the college plan– and realized it was really really problematic. And actually likely to increase the gaps between the haves and the have nots. The Clinton plan now copies the Sanders plan in that it relies on state by state approval AND buy in at about 50% of costs. So it’s not going to happen in Michigan. U-M would fight it as would State. They would otherwise see their annual budgets become dependent on the annual State budgetary process. I could go on and on, but not a single Sanders supporter I talked to had actually looked at the plan or was willing to talk about it. Then the FP debate. He was just so full of shit. The health care plan and the bad numbers. And then just before NY his campaign went super dark– implying that the elctoral process itself was rigged– not just systemically– but actually rigged intentionally against… his white supporters. I loved Sanders at first because he said things I wanted to hear. Then I liked him because at least he was moving the dial on the conversation and engaging the youth. But I was apprehensive because I thought his false promises would lead to disaffection. Then I started to hate him what I saw as his form of campaign corruption. I didn;t like what he brought out in his followers. They thought it was beautiful. It was ugly if you didn’t join in. It looked like any other kind of evangelical fundamentalist belief-based movement I’ve ever come in contact with to me. You are welcome to your own experience.
    But I never said his points were not legitimate. I said that we should be more skeptical of people saying everything we want to hear. Part of my thinking behind being open about hating him, was to provoke some (any?) questioning of Sanders’ campaign tactics. It worked for some people. Not for you. I don’t care.

    I’m sorry you don’t like my contributions to this blog. I’m fading away even as we speak. And you don’t need to read them. Unlike Alan, I really don’t care.

    If you want more diverse content on this site, I would suggest you post something that’s not about me.

    FF– Thanks for the heads up. I’m not going to bother. I kept up with the site while not commenting, but had, naturally, more distance. I don’t know who Westside is but he likes to drop hints that he hangs out at Argus where I get my coffee. It’s super creepy, but I just don’t care. If I were to meet him, I’d be friendly. Politics is not personal to me. It’s zero sign of personal character. Any time in A2 will teach you that. (worst tippers: leftist academics/ most sexist: ex hippie dudes) There are a lot of anti-growth people in my neighborhood who feel offended that I think their agenda is regressive and anti-liberal. They can be as angry as they want to be. I don’t care. The whole feminist as angry woman thing should be long past. But pettiness has no end. Feminists may draw out anger in others, but mpst don’t live in it. If they do, they usually have good reason.

    I’m free of believing my expressed values or politics make me a good or not good person. I ran away from that when I was 16 and found the punk scene in the East Village, and I’m not ever going back.

  25. Demetrius
    Posted April 19, 2018 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    NYT: The Democrats’ Gentrification Problem

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/19/opinion/democrats-gentrification-cities-voters.html

  26. Jean Henry
    Posted April 19, 2018 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    Excellent link Demetrius. But it’s more convoluted, at least locally, where the NIMBY’s and the radical anti-capitalist left have linked arms. DAY members chose to advocate for the A2 local counsel candidate faction who resist multi-unit development (including affordable housing) at every turn, except as in the old YMCA lot, where they take campaign donations from the local developer, who has left that site empty. Someone needs to write a book about Alan Haber’s embrace of this crowd and his transformation from the writer of the Port Huron Statement to someone obsessed with creating a park downtown, right next to a transit hub btw, to serve the few who can still live in A2. He has questionable but equally paranoid allies in this cause. Most fundamentally conservative, advocating constantly for the concerns of single-family homeowners and historic districts. I recently attended a UM panel on free speech on campus and waited for Alan to address the panel, only to hear him go on again about the proposed local ‘people’s park’ without any context for those unfamiliar or even linking it to historic free speech movements in which he was integral. He did have his petition handy.

    “Upscale liberal whites “who consider themselves committed to racial justice” tend to be “NIMBYists when it comes to their neighborhoods,” Cain wrote, “not living up to their affordable housing commitments and resisting apartment density around mass transportation stops.”

  27. Jean Henry
    Posted April 19, 2018 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    PS I lived in Marin County for 3 years, (far West, beyond the lifestyle yuppies at that point) and I have never encountered such couched and coded racism and exclusivity. They were obsessed with preserving their views (and rapidly rising property values) where I lived and were staunch conservationists re. development but failed to adequately upgrade or manage their septic systems in a critically sensitive watershed. And then there’s how they treated the help (me, sure, but mostly latinx immigrants…). I was so happy to return to the Midwest, only to find the same self-congratulatory lifestyle liberalism and property-based affluence overtaking this area.

  28. wobblie
    Posted April 19, 2018 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    Jean, they used to call the people you are describing as Republicans. Now that the Democratic party is a mirror, they are called Democrats. Same types of folks, same types of beliefs. Just using a different party to advance their interest. Rick (the killer) Synder can feel right at home in Ann Arbor for a reason.

  29. Jean Henry
    Posted April 19, 2018 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    He’s not too at home. Susan Fecteau, with her bag of chalk, her wit and persistence, managed to scare him right out of A2. First he doubled his security and then he rented a ‘country house.’ She gets my Diogenes award for A2. Be a pest. Be amusing and persistent and entitled to your place and your voice. Oh but she’s an active Democrat so she must have sold out in your mind. It’s easy to decry everything while sitting in your overstuffed armchair or mowing your lawn.

    Wobblie- I’m sure you will read this as a condemnation of the Dems but I would encourage you to be a little more self-reflective:
    “Caution in handling generally accepted opinions that claim to explain whole trends of history is especially important for the historian of modern times, because the last century has produced an abundance of ideologies that pretend to be keys to history but are actually nothing but desperate efforts to escape responsibility.”
    — Hannah Arendt , Origins of Totalitarianism

  30. Lynne
    Posted April 19, 2018 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    The thing is that the Democrats are a “big tent” organization with lots of people with many different views. I think maybe this is where third party voters have the most influence. The more on the far left who leave the party, the more it tracks to the center. Then you have the GOP where instead of jumping ship, you have the tea party types who have stayed in dragging that party further to the right. The more that happens , the more you find moderate Republicans moving over to the Dems. In the past, there actually was more diversity in ideology in both parties.

    FWIW, I don’t think it is anything new. I noticed the whole racism thing among white liberals from the moment I moved to Ann Arbor in the mid 80’s.

  31. Jean Henry
    Posted April 19, 2018 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

    “FWIW, I don’t think it is anything new. I noticed the whole racism thing among white liberals from the moment I moved to Ann Arbor in the mid 80’s.“
    Me too.
    It was worse.
    But at least they still could afford to live here.

  32. stupid hick
    Posted April 19, 2018 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

    Republicans who worship or even tolerate Trump are way more of a threat to America than any Democrat. Which is sad to say pretty much all of them. If you are a Democrat the most valuable, meaningful, impactful thing you could do to try to save the country would be to register as a Republican, donate a token amount to them as an initiation fee to buy some cred, then do whatever you can to divert them from their ruinous, depraved, trajectory. The Republicans will not be changed from outside, only from within. Ally with the few remaining reasonable Republicans. Help them pull their decrepit party subtly but persistently to the center by day, and multiply your impact by sabotaging their most rancid, unredeemable, deplorables by night, any chance you get.

  33. Jean Henry
    Posted April 19, 2018 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

    “Which is sad to say pretty much all of them.” — not even remotely true in my experience. How many Republicans do you know IRL Stupid Hick?

  34. stupid hick
    Posted April 19, 2018 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    Jean, you are so insufferably earnest. But I love you so much I’m not falling for that bait.

  35. Jean Henry
    Posted April 20, 2018 at 12:32 am | Permalink

    Hmmm… How is being earnest bait? I won’t argue my insufferability though… I think most liberals grossly over-estimate the amount of faith and trust GOP have in Trump. Most just hated HRC.

    PS I crossed over in the 2004 primary to vote for McCain to stick it to Engler (who promised MI to Bush).That’s all it took to get on the GOP mailing list, including regular phone surveys. No registration required. It was fun while it lasted.

  36. stupid hick
    Posted April 20, 2018 at 6:24 am | Permalink

    A hick never tells, but let me assure you, I surround myself only with the best and most serious Republicans, okay?

  37. Jean Henry
    Posted April 20, 2018 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    I’m no fan of the GOP, but the assumption that none are reasonable or intelligent and have nothing to offer in terms of governance or policy solutions is extremely short-sighted. The right has legitimate criticisms of the left, just as the left has legitimate criticisms of the right… and everywhere in between. Many of the working class conservatives in Whitmore Lake, where I live now, sound just like the Black working class people I know in Detroit when talking about White affluent liberals and white working class liberals. Everyone’s political perspective is limited and we benefit from listening to others with respect. The left’s insistence on attacking the average Republican as stupid and bigoted (more so than they) is ridiculous and embarrassing, and simply a means to over-inflate their own righteousness. As far as I can tell the majority of us are equally stupid and bigoted, and bias against conservatives demonstrates that. The party as a whole is different. Not every Dem subscribes wholeheartedly to the actions of the party or its representatives, and neither does every Republican. I can’t believe I’m spending my time defending Republicans, but this idea that Dems are better overall, well it’s bigotry… and also wrong. By wrong, I mean inaccurate. And the shitty results in our Dem controlled cities demonstrate that amply.

  38. stupid hick
    Posted April 20, 2018 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    Oh, you’re good Jean, but I will bite my lip and resist the urge to prove my conservative credentials in this forum. Hyperbole, sure, but I have earned the right to say “pretty much all of them”. Although I admit I have misdirected before to preserve anonymity, so it’s up to you whether or not you should believe an anonymous hick on the internet.

  39. Jean Henry
    Posted April 20, 2018 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    I really don’t care who you are Stupid Hick.

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