The GOP Is Now The Party Of Putin

Much like the President they obsequiously defend, Republicans have become useful idiots in Russia's war on Western liberal democracy.

Writing in The Washington Post, Max Boot makes note of the extent to which the Republican Party and Trump-supporting conservatives have become defenders of Vladimir Putin and Russia even to the extent of endangering the interests of their own country:

Today, we have a Republican president who, while reluctantly acceding to sanctions against Russia, incessantly praises its dictator, Vladimir Putin (“a terrific person“); tries to bring Putin back to the Group of Sevenconceals the details of their meetings; undermines Ukraine, a victim of Russian aggression, by harping on its corruption while ignoring Russia’s own kleptocracy; allows the Russians to take possession of U.S. bases in Syria; and propagates Russian propaganda blaming Ukraine for 2016 election interference. Trump is joined in spreading Russian disinformation by his secretary of state and other supporters, such as Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) and Sen. John Neely Kennedy (R-La.), even though the U.S. intelligence community has exposed claims of Ukrainian election interference as a “fictional narrative.”

Fox News host Tucker Carlson, one of the biggest stars on the president’s favorite television network and an informal adviser to the president, goes even further in expressing his admiration for Russia. Last week, he said: “Why do I care what is going on in the conflict between Ukraine and Russia?! And I’m serious. Why do I care? Why shouldn’t I root for Russia? Which I am.” Carlson claimed to be joking. But then this week, he said: “We should probably take the side of Russia if we have to choose between Russia and Ukraine. That’s my view.”

How did we get to the point where a “conservative” TV star openly sides with an anti-American dictatorship over a pro-American democracy? Most, but not all, of the blame lies with Trump. His affinity for Russia is as deep as it is mysterious. Has he been compromised by Russian intelligence? Is he financially dependent on Russian business partners? Or does he simply admire the way that Putin has destroyed Russian democracy? We still don’t know, because special counsel Robert S. Mueller III did not release any findings from the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation.

But while Trump’s motives remain murky, his admiration for Russia has been clear from the start. Almost exactly four years ago — on Dec. 18, 2015 — Trump was asked by MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough about Putin’s habit of killing journalists and invading neighboring countries. Trump defended Putin as “a leader, unlike what we have in this country,” and said, “Our country does plenty of killing, too, Joe.”

As Boot goes on to note, Republicans embraced Trump even as his affinity for Russia and Putin became more obvious and more obsequious:

Republicans knew this but nominated Trump anyway. Then, during the summer of 2016, came the Russian hack of the Democratic National Committee, a social media blitz, and other actions designed to change the outcome of the U.S. election. Trump made full use of the stolen DNC emails and he invited Russian intelligence to hack Hillary Clinton’s emails, too (“Russia, if you’re listening“). He also hired a campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, who had a long history of corrupt dealings with Russian oligarchs, and gutted the language concerning Russia in the Republican platform.

The Republican Party could not have cared less. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) refused to join the Obama administration in condemning Russia’s attack on our election. The GOP thus became complicit in Russian election interference.

In for a kopek, in for a ruble: The Republicans continued defending Trump even after it emerged that he had tried to build a Trump Tower in Moscow while running for president and that members of his campaign’s high command had met with Russian emissaries promising dirt on Clinton. Republicans were not even fazed when Trump fired FBI Director James B. Comey in May 2017 to stop the investigation of “this Russia thing,” or when in July 2018 he was utterly supine before Putin in Helsinki.

To be fair, Republican and conservative affinity for Vladimir Putin’s Russia didn’t originate with Donald Trump. As long ago as six years ago, I’ve made note of what can only be called a love affair with Russia’s authoritarian ruler on the American right several times over the past several years, specifically herehere, here, and here. To some extent, these positive views of a man who has denied civil liberties to his citizens, had his political opponents jailed and murdered, who continues to interfere in places such as Ukraine and Syria, and who now appears to have been personally involved in Russian efforts to influence the outcome of an American Presidential election, seemed at the time to come from conservative disdain for President Obama during the eight years he was in office. This disdain was so strong that they were willing to undermine his Presidency by boosting Putin. Additionally, much of the support for Putin in the West has come from cultural conservatives who bizarrely see him as some sort of guardian of Christianity largely thanks to the fact that he’s spent the last several years expanding the relationship between the Russian government and the Russian Orthodox Church, a view that Rod Dreher repeated in a December 2016 blog post. Given this pre-existing support for Putin on the right, Trump’s own odd relationship with the Russian leader fit in quite nicely with the prevailing point of view among what eventually became the core of Donald Trump’s base of supporters.

As I noted at the time, it was astonishing that anyone would not see through the absolute cynicism of Vladimir Putin’s supposed defense of “Christian values.” In the end, it’s no different from the manner in which the Czars, and even the Soviet Communists, turned the Russian Orthodox Church into a tool of the state. Vladimir Putin is no more a defender of Christianity than he is an advocate of open government. Secondly, as much as Dreher might like to think otherwise, it seems clear to me that it’s impossible to separate Putin’s “morally praiseworthy” ways from his repressive ones. The fact that American conservatives are defending his actions, even in part, is either a sign of willful blindness or a sign that they are so desperate to find allies for the losing side of the culture war that they continue to fight that they are willing to overlook tyranny and repression.

The latest example of the extent to which the GOP has become a useful idiot for the Kremlin can be seen in the extent to which it has embraced a discredited conspiracy theory in its defense of the President from the ongoing impeachment investigation:

Much of the Republican Party is pressing ahead with debunked claims about Ukraine as they defend President Trump from possible impeachment, embracing Russian-fueled conspiracy theories that seek to cast blame on Kyiv rather than Moscow for interference in the 2016 U.S. election.

The increasingly aggressive GOP efforts continued Tuesday on Capitol Hill and were amplified throughout conservative media, one day after House Republicans released a 123-page document that insisted that Trump’s handling of Ukraine was founded on “genuine and reasonable” suspicions — despite mounting evidence rejecting that assertion and warning of its consequences.

“I am not,” David Hale, the No. 3 official at the State Department, said Tuesday at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing, when asked whether he was aware of any evidence of Ukrainian interference in the U.S. presidential election.

Hale’s statement’s echoed last month’s testimony by Fiona Hill, a former White House adviser on Russia, who dismissed claims of Ukrainian interference as “a fictional narrative” spun by Russian intelligence.

Republicans’ promotion of Trump’s Ukraine conspiracy theory is the latest example of their capitulation to him and of the GOP’s rapid transformation on Russia — from a party that for decades celebrated its hawkish stance toward the Kremlin to one that is reluctant to take a hard line and risk Trump’s wrath.

For some seasoned Republican foreign policy voices, the GOP’s refusal to back away from Trump’s position on supposed interference by Ukraine risks erasing values forged in the Cold War and defined for a generation by President Ronald Reagan’s prescient call for the Berlin Wall to come down.

(…)

Many Senate Republicans who spoke with reporters around their weekly lunch Tuesday argued that the way Ukrainian officials spoke about the 2016 presidential campaign constituted interference on par with Russian interference — a position that is directly at odds with the conclusion of U.S. intelligence officials.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.), who sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said he saw evidence of Ukrainian “cheerleading” for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in 2016 that was “not insignificant.”

Even Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, who has drawn praise for his emphasis on bipartisan investigations, nodded this week toward Trump’s belief that Ukraine interfered.

“There’s no difference in the way Russia put their feet, early on, on the scale — being for one candidate and everybody called it meddling — and how the Ukrainian officials did it,” Burr said Tuesday.

Sen. John Neely Kennedy (R-La.), a vocal Trump ally, was among the first key lawmakers to state that they believed Ukraine’s conduct in 2016 was all but equivalent to Russian interference. But he has strained at times in doing so, pinballing from touting the claim to somewhat recanting to touting it again during a Sunday television interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” where he claimed that Ukraine’s former president, Petro Poroshenko, “actively worked for Secretary Clinton” in 2016.

Outside of Capitol Hill, the right-wing obsession with the Ukraine conspiracy theory is even more extreme:

In other influential gathering places on the right, conservative media figures, including Fox News host Tucker Carlson, have been at the forefront of right-wing claims that Russian interference has been overstated by U.S. officials and the national political establishment, fueling the congressional Republican push to shrug off talk about Russian hostility.

“It never happened. There was no collusion. Russia didn’t hack our democracy,” Carlson wrote on Fox News’s website Tuesday. “The whole thing was a talking point, a ludicrous talking point, invented by the Hillary Clinton campaign on or about November 9th, 2016 to explain their unexpected defeat in the last presidential election.”

That column by Carlson came hours after he said on his Monday broadcast that “I think we should probably take the side of Russia, if we have to choose between Russia and Ukraine.”

As Katie Hill, a Russia and Ukraine expert who served on the National Security Council until earlier this year, noted in her statement to the House Intelligence Committee this entire theory is nothing more than Kremlin propaganda:

Based on questions and statements I have heard, some of you on this committee appear to believe that Russia and its security services did not conduct a campaign against our country—and that perhaps, somehow, for some reason, Ukraine did. This is a fictional narrative that has been perpetrated and propagated by the Russian security services themselves.

The unfortunate truth is that Russia was the foreign power that systematically attacked our democratic institutions in 2016. This is the public conclusion of our intelligence agencies, confirmed in bipartisan Congressional reports. It is beyond dispute, even if some of the underlying details must remain classified.

The impact of the successful 2016 Russian campaign remains evident today. Our nation is being torn apart. Truth is questioned. Our highly professional and expert career foreign service is being undermined.U.S. support for Ukraine—which continues to face armed Russian aggression—has been politicized.

The Russian government’s goal is to weaken our country—to diminish America’s global role and to neutralize a perceived U.S. threat to Russian interests. President Putin and the Russian security services aim to counter U.S. foreign policy objectives in Europe, including in Ukraine, where Moscow wishes to reassert political and economic dominance.

I say this not as an alarmist, but as a realist. I do not think long-term conflict with Russia is either desirable or inevitable. I continue to believe that we need to seek ways of stabilizing our relationship with Moscow even as we counter their efforts to harm us. Right now, Russia’s security services and their proxies have geared up to repeat their interference in the 2020 election. We are running out of time to stop them. In the course of this investigation, I would ask that you please not promote politically driven falsehoods that so clearly advance Russian interests.

As Republicans and Democrats have agreed for decades, Ukraine is a valued partner of the United States, and it plays an important role in our national security. And as I told this Committee last month, I refuse to be part of an effort to legitimize an alternate narrative that the Ukrainian government is a U.S. adversary, and that Ukraine—not Russia—attacked us in 2016.

What Hill is making clear here, of course, is confirmed in Putin’s remarks regarding the ongoing impeachment proceedings and the fact that the President and his willing acolytes on Capitol Hill and in conservative media online and on Fox News Channel have completely bought into a conspiracy theory that is, quite simply, too ridiculous to be believed. According to this theory, perhaps best summarized by Byron York in a piece at the Washington Examiner, foreign interference in the election came not from Russia and its efforts to sow chaos in the United States, in part by working hand in glove with Wikileaks with respect to the hacking and leaking of emails stolen from the server of the Democratic National Committee and Clinton supporter Tony Podesta. T

This claim, as Hill noted, is one that Vladimir Putin and other Russian officials have been pushing ever since Russia’s role in seeking to disrupt the election was revealed by American intelligence agencies and by the investigation conducted by former Special Counsel Robert Mueller. It’s a claim that soon found its way into the fever swamps of Reddit, 4Chan, and 8Chan, and from there made its way to Alex Jones, other far-right conspiracy sites, and finally Fox News Channel. From there, it was just a matter of time before it became what amounts to the primary defense to allegations of collusion being advanced by the President, and from there that they became linked to American policy toward Ukraine, with the President demanding an investigation into the allegations as a part of the price for releasing military aid and progress in U.S./Ukrainian relations. Given this, it is no wonder that Putin is taking a victory lap as he watches the GOP repeat his propaganda.

What this means, of course, is that Republicans and their cohorts repeating this discredited theory are essentially doing the bidding of Vladimir Putin, It also shows that Russia is once again succeeding in sowing chaos and dividing Americans against each other for the investment of what likely involves a small number of operatives and a small amount of money. Indeed, this entire operation may rank up there as one of the most successful disinformation campaigns in history. And we’ve got a President, an entire political party, a cable news channel, and a conservative media dedicated to helping to spread it around as gospel truth Even when it is pointed out that what they are saying has been shown to be nothing more than Kremlin propaganda, Republicans continue to advance the narrative and ignore the source. No wonder Putin is smiling.

FILED UNDER: National Security, Russia, Ukraine, Vladimir Putin,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    How? How did this happen? Did the GOP have some private convention where they all voted to become submissive sissy-boi’s for Putin? How does an entire political party become Putin’s bitch?
    I just don’t get it…

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  2. CSK says:

    Yes, I think Trump has been compromised by Russian intelligence.
    Yes, I think Trump is financially dependent on Russian oligarchs.
    Yes, I think Trump admires Putin as a dictator.
    And I also believe Putin bought Trump’s fealty and adoration forever when Putin described Trump as “smart.”

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  3. CSK says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl: Because they’re terrified of Cult45.

  4. Kathy says:

    What I find hard to believe, is many Republican partisans now regard submission to a weaker power as the pinnacle of strong masculinity, as embodied by “alpha male” Trump.

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  5. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    In the House, on a motion to disapprove of Russia participating in the G7 meetings, 71 Republicans voted Nay, or with Russia.
    Among them…
    Gym Jordan
    Mark Meadows
    Gaetz

  6. drj says:

    Much like the President they obsequiously defend, Republicans have become useful idiots in Russia’s war on Western liberal democracy.

    I suspect this is at least partially wrong.

    Useful idiots don’t know they are being used.

    I think we need to face the truth that at least some Republicans, as well as GOP-affiliated organizations, know exactly what they are doing.

    They simply don’t care, because they feel more ideological affinity for Putin’s illiberalism than liberal democracy (now the browns also want to have a say), or simply want a taste of that sweet, sweet oligarch money.

    Vladimir Putin is no more a defender of Christianity than he is an advocate of open government.

    Depends on how you define “Christianity.” The Catholic Church, for instance, has a nasty history of enthousiastically siding with military regimes (or even outright fascist ones – e.g. in Spain) against the ordinary people.

    Republicans may be a bunch of dishonest hypocrites, but they are not necessarily stupid. (McConnell for sure isn’t.)

    They want to turn the US into something that more closely resembles Russia; and that includes a more prominent role for Christian authoritarianism.

    This is a far simpler explanation than 99% of elected Republicans being too stupid to tie their shoelaces.

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  7. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Kathy:

    “alpha male” Trump

    Stormy Daniels on sex with “alpha male” Trump…

    “the worst 90 seconds of my life”

  8. Kathy says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    As seen in primates, the alpha-male makes a lot of loud noise and throws his feces around.

    That’s Trump 100%

  9. sam says:

    Uh, that was Fiona Hill.

  10. gVOR08 says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl: I think Joel Grey and Liza Minelli answered your question,

    Money… Money
    Money money money money
    Money money money money
    Money money money

    Plus the other tools of kompromat. I’ve always known congress critters could be bought. But I’m continually amazed at how cheap they come.

    The Russians didn’t just hack the DNC, they reportedly also hacked the RNC, and the RNCC. And they hack cellphones. What do they have on people? And of course their handlers don’t say, “Vladimir and Mother Russia want so and so.” How many guys like Parnas and Fruman are floating around in the dark saying, “I was good to your campaign. We’re good friends, remember how we laughed about you and those hookers. Oh, a friend of a friend needs a little favor.”

    Kompromat needs targets that are greedy, ambitious, not terribly ethical, and a little gullible. Where better to find them than the modern Republican Party?

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  11. gVOR08 says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    Stormy Daniels on sex with “alpha male” Trump…
    “the worst 90 seconds of my life”

    I was wondering about that when Trump did the fake orgasm at his rally. Suppose he’s ever seen a real one?

  12. motopilot says:

    @drj:

    “They want to turn the US into something that more closely resembles Russia”

    Boiled down to its concentrated essence, this is it in a nutshell.

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  13. CSK says:

    @gVOR08: I think Trump has probably witnessed more fake orgasms from his partners than any other man alive. He’s never not been repulsive.

  14. Scott says:

    @drj:

    Useful idiots don’t know they are being used.

    At what point does Useful Idiots become Fellow Travelers? I suspect that line has been crossed.

  15. KM says:

    Trump’s now pulling a Cartman because there’s video of world leaders laughing at his ass. Seems he’s cancelled a bunch of stuff and is planning on going home to sulk and rage-tweet to feel better about himself.

    Wow- so much alpha maleness. Very macho, much badassery. Running away and shit-posting – that’ll teach ’em!!!

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  16. CSK says:

    Duplicate.

  17. CSK says:

    @KM: Remember, he doesn’t want to be in NATO anyway. This is just an excuse to stomp out like the petulant toddler he is.

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  18. KM says:

    @CSK:
    “I never wanted to attend your stupid party anyways!! Mom *made* me come and your present’s from 7-11!”
    *stomps off*
    *stomps back*
    “Also, your hair is stupid and Boris likes me better so nyah!”

    Honest to god, life gets a bit easier if you just project a stereotypical 80’s teenage girl sitcom voice-over to any and all of Trump’s actions. Thinks shrill nasal Valley Girl affect from a really pissed off 11yr old. This is petty-ass middle school drama, might as well get the vocals to really sell it.

  19. Michael Reynolds says:

    The Party of Putin.

    This has been obvious, screamingly obvious for three fcking years now.

    I am very frustrated with all the chin-stroking moderates and sensible folks who refused to face reality and call it what it was. This has allowed a boiled frog syndrome where the public were deprived of an honest assessment not by censorship but by the refusal of ‘reasonable’ folks to recognize the existence of the unreasonable. A failure of imagination? A fear of being seen as leaning too far forward? Take your pick.

    Democrats should have been out in the open calling this out for what it was: treason, a betrayal of the United States, subservience to a foreign power.

    In future may I suggest analyzing the data without fear of embarrassment? The truth is the truth, however improbable. If you add 2 plus 2 and come up with 4 it doesn’t matter if the rest of the class still hasn’t figured it out.

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  20. CSK says:

    @KM: Even funnier, http://www.mediaite.com has a viral video of climbers easily scaling the border wall that Trump said could not be climbed.

    Trump…Loser.

  21. Kari Q says:

    @CSK:

    Blaming “cult45” begs the question. Why are the members so loyal to him? I know the typical response, and I’m sure that’s the answer for many. But if it was just racism, there are many racists to choose from. Why a two but con man with no taste and little brain?

  22. DrDaveT says:

    I was going to tell a Trump/Reagan joke, but I can’t bring myself to do it. There is nothing funny about this situation. We literally have half of the Senate and all of the current administration falling over each other to spread and reinforce Russian dezinformatsiya. There is a very real possibility that some of them are being blackmailed by Russia, but that almost doesn’t matter because none of them have the spine to stand up to #Cult45.

    At this point, I think the best the Dems can do is to get as many people as possible on the record, stating in the plainest possible terms the idiotic things they purport to believe.

    “Do you believe that Russia hacked the DNC server in 2016?”
    “No.”
    “Despite the findings of both the Intelligence Community and the Senate investigation that Russia had done this?”
    [weaseling begins]
    “Please answer yes or no. It’s a simple question.”

  23. Gustopher says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    In future may I suggest analyzing the data without fear of embarrassment?

    You believe people are far more rational than they are.

  24. andros says:

    The mindset here seems to be that the voting public will be so fixated on these spurious allegations and Soviet-style show trial that it will forget all about the alternatives to Trump. And the alternatives? “Decriminalizing” unauthorized border crossings, inviting the world’s impoverished, unskilled masses to pour across our borders and partake of our welfare benefits. (And to top it off, a “path” must be “created” for them to vote for their benefactors.)

    With Democrats back in power, we can forget about economic growth. They have no plan for such growth, and find the subject distasteful. The taxes they yearn to impose on business insure economic stagnation, not growth. Investment, and jobs, will flow to the promise of return, and that will be abroad.

    Squeal “racism” to your heart’s content. You aren’t fooling anyone.

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  25. Robert C says:

    @drj:
    Well said. Much of the Republican base/Alt Right looks fondly upon Russia and desires the US to be the same: a 90% white, xenophobic, anti-Semitic, Orthodox Christian country.

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  26. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Kari Q:
    My explanation is simple. The bulk of Trump supporters are white evangelicals. Evangelicals by the time they reach voting age have been well-conditioned to submit to loud white men with bad hair. (Occasionally a tense, strident white woman with a bouffant look.) I know that sounds like I’m kidding, but I’m not. The Venn diagram of #Cult45 and white evangelical Christianity is close to being a single circle. Once you believe that some strutting, posturing sleazebag speaks for God you’re essentially a computer with no protection – easy to hack.

    Yes, Fox News and the rest, but Fox News has no impact on normal people who of course see that it’s propaganda. But so long as Fox News aligns itself with white evangelical Christianity it becomes part of that faith matrix. Fox News exploits a vulnerability, it does not create the vulnerability.

    Going even deeper this is a problem in the limbic system of the brain and an educational system that refuses to teach students how to think. Limbic system because conservatives are known to be more fearful. Fear makes you easy to manipulate. A problem that could be partly ameliorated by a decent education in logic, epistemology, the scientific method. . . none of which we can really teach in public schools because why? Because evangelicals will scream bloody murder.

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  27. Kari Q says:

    Ignore this

  28. Michael Reynolds says:

    @andros:

    You aren’t fooling anyone.

    Neither are you. Racist. You made the mistake of actually answering questions the other day.

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  29. Mike in Arlington says:

    @Kari Q: I don’t know if this is a complete answer, but I saw a link to this article a couple of days ago:
    https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/12/how-narcissists-wear-out-their-welcome/602446/

    The short of it (at least from my quick read from a couple of days ago) is that Trump can be very charming to certain groups of people, even if his charm doesn’t work on you or me or 60% of the country. And as long as they don’t have to interact with him personally or professionally, the shine takes longer to wear off.

    I also think he was able to create an incredible bond through a shared sense of resentment with many of his supporters, and that’s a hard thing to sever.

  30. Teve says:

    The people who vote for Trump are the same kinda people who send money to Paula White. Which explains White’s new job in the Trump administration.

  31. DrDaveT says:

    @andros:
    Shorter @andros: “La la la I can’t hear you.”

    Until you can explain how the enormous economic growth of the ’50s and ’60s happened despite the “crushing burden” of extreme marginal tax rates, you’re going to continue to sound both ignorant and dumb. You are literally arguing that something is impossible that just happened a few decades ago.

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  32. CSK says:

    @Kari Q: Because Cult45 identifies with Trump. He’s one of them, they believe. He’s the “blue collar billionaire.” Not only that, he’s their savior.

    The last time they had a blue-collar savior was Palin, and she blew it. They’re not going to be balked of Trump.

  33. Mister Bluster says:

    Soviet style show trial.

    First of all this is not a trial. These hearings are to determine if any articles of impeachment should be voted on and sent to the United States Senate.
    It is the United States Senate, controlled by the Republican Party, whose leader Donald J. Trump (I believe Putin) and is in love with the murderous Kim Jong Un, that will give us a show trial.

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  34. Mikey says:

    I remember when Republicans started warming to Putin. It was when Putin started open persecution of gay Russians. All it took for Russia to co-opt an American political party was an appeal to that party’s bigotry. Once Putin had that door open, the rest followed with ease.

    Putin has to still be in utter amazement at how easy it ended up being. Or maybe he always understood he was working in very fertile soil.

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  35. KM says:

    @Kari Q:
    You can ask that from any cult member – why do you choose to follow someone who’s clearly conning you and has little to no redeeming traits? There’s been reams of data and studies over the years on cult mentality, how one falls into it and how to break one out. Essentially, one looks for vulnerable people – those in transition, those looking for answers that fit more closely with their worldview – and slow craft a path with enticing bait that rewards one’s inner need to belong and feel smart /empowered/ better then someone else. Take QAnon for instance, they’ve got loyal followers despite being batshit insane because even though they never pay out on their promises, they make their devotees feel special and elite compare to the rest of us NPCs.

    If you’re interested, there’s several good books out there breaking it all down in deep technical detail. If you want a more viewer-friendly and relevant to the situation video, I recommend The Alt-Right Playbook: How to Radicalize a Normie. It’s not perfect but hits on all the important notes of why a reasonable, non-racist person might decide to suddenly to through their lot in and hand over their loyalty and respect. Trump and his troll buddies on the alt-right have managed to snag quite a few followers using these methods – just substitute “Nazi” with “Trumpkin” throughout the video

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  36. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @andros:

    Soviet-style show trial

    Excellent regurgitation of taking points. For our readers, please describe a Soviet Show Trial, and then compare and contrast with the Constitutional Process of Impeachment.

    With Democrats back in power, we can forget about economic growth. They have no plan for such growth, and find the subject distasteful. The taxes they yearn to impose on business insure economic stagnation, not growth. Investment, and jobs, will flow to the promise of return, and that will be abroad.

    This is at variance with the facts and history…so much so, in fact, that it doesn’t even warrant comment.

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  37. grumpy realist says:

    @andros: I do wish that you could somehow be sent back in a time machine to encounter a REAL Soviet show trial….

    The impeachment investigations being carried out in the House do not, by any measure, equal a Soviet show trial.

    But then, it’s easier to whine about how MEEEAN everyone is to Trump rather than admit he’s undergoing a perfectly reasonable process, right?

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  38. Scott F. says:

    @DrDaveT:
    andros will also need to explain how Democratic leaders, who have “no plan” for economic growth, were able to bring about the first 6 years of this 9 year economic recovery from the Great Recession. You know, the recession that started under the last Republican president. For bonus points, he can explain how these anti-growth Democrats presided over the 90s economic boom despite the last meaningful tax hike on the wealthy. For a party that finds economic growth “distasteful,” Democrats sure do a better job with it.

    Of course, he won’t be able to explain it. He’s a troll.

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  39. Gustopher says:

    The Republican vision for America is basically Putin’s Russia, so why wouldn’t they support Putin?

    Look at Russia:
    – Political power is wielded by the wealthy
    – Gays are persecuted
    – Gets it’s way on the world stage through force
    – Opposition is put in its place
    – Poor health care and a declining life expectancy.

    The current crop of the Republican Party only supports democracy as much as democracy supports them. Cities shouldn’t count, etc.

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  40. Kathy says:

    @Mike in Arlington:

    Thank you. that was an interesting, informative read.

    Depressing and disturbing, too. Essentially the US elected a fictional character, and can’t look past that.

  41. Kathy says:

    BTW all this brings to mind a scene from an Argentinian comic strip, Mafalda, which I may have mentioned before. One of the characters, I forget who, looks sick and says “Stop the world! I want to get off.”

  42. andros says:

    @DrDaveT:
    You mean while Europe and Asia were recovering from the devastation of WWII? And would you care to enlighten us on the exact mechanisms through which jacking up taxes to 1950’s levels can cause economic growth? Troll.

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  43. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @andros:

    Troll.

    Pot, meet kettle.

    And would you care to enlighten us on the exact mechanisms through which jacking up taxes to 1950’s levels can cause economic growth?

    50’s level taxes were too high. Kennedy likely hit the sweet spot.
    But your beloved trickle down tax levels have been shown to not create growth for almost 35 years now. In fact, they have decimated your Middle Americans ™ .
    Bush41 and Clinton raised taxes and the economy grew for an extended period of time.
    Obama raised taxes on the rich and began the economy that Trump try’s to claim credit for today. In fact, job growth is slower under Trump than Obama.
    Historically the economy has performed better under Democrats than Republicans.
    Republican economic theory has been shown not to work…repeatedly. See Brownback and Kansas. For that matter, most Red States would be bankrupt without Blue State support.

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  44. andros says:

    Didn’t one of your star witnesses, a high-ranking State Dept. employee (forget her name) suggest that supplying anti-tank weaponry to Ukraine (refused by Obama) was unwise, on the reasoning that, whatever Ukraine did to improve its military capability, Russia could easily up the ante? Is one a “useful idiot” for suspecting that we shouldn’t be encouraging an escalation of this conflict? I wonder what we would do, were we to find ourselves in a similar situation The Crimea, Russia’s only warm-water port, and home to the Black Sea Fleet, was annexed by Catherine the Great in 1783. A certain Lt. Tolstoy commanded an artillery placement in Sebastopol during the Crimean War. The Russians sustained over a million casualties driving the Nazis out of Crimea. As a PR move, in the 1950’s, the Soviets made it part of Ukraine. Then Ukraine, while Russia was ailing, began flirting with NATO. As part of a joint exercise, in 2006, we even put a contingent of U.S. Marines on Crimean soil. Sorry, but I just can’t lather Russia’s response into something akin to Hitler’s invasion of Poland. And we really need to accept the reality that there is little love for Kiev in much of Eastern Ukraine. As concerns any commitment to protect Ukraine’s borders, as an inducement to surrender nuclear weapons, I’ll put it like this: When you’re dealing with someone wearing a suicide vest, you tell him whatever is necessary to get him to part with the vest.

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  45. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @andros:
    So…your new argument is that you think Ukraine didn’t really need the military aid that their President was asking for, which Congress appropriated, and which Trump illegally held up…and so bribery and obstruction of justice is justified and legal? Justifiable bribery? Is that a thing?
    Where did you get your Law Degree…Trump University?

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  46. andros says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:
    Please desist from twisting my words. I’m simply addressing the mindset that everything Russia does is tainted by evil motive, and should be resisted. Now, do you really want another recitation of my views on this farcical “proceeding”?

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  47. andros says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:
    So why aren’t any of the leading Democratic candidates trying to persuade us that jacking up taxes will result in economic growth? Because they know that’s utter nonsense.

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  48. Mikey says:

    @andros: A Trumpist whining about someone twisting his words…bahahahahahahahaha…if I had a dollar for every time one of you fools killed irony, I’d be richer than Bezos.

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  49. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @andros:

    I’m simply addressing the mindset that everything Russia does is tainted by evil motive, and should be resisted.

    You treasonous fuq. They attacked our democracy. According to every Intelligence Agency, they are getting ready to do it again. Are you capable of understanding the concept of “our enemy?” They are our enemy. They support our enemies. Their occupation of Ukraine is not in our interest. Nothing they do is in our interest. Jesus-god, you are dumb.

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  50. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @andros:

    So why aren’t any of the leading Democratic candidates trying to persuade us that jacking up taxes will result in economic growth?

    From Warren’s website…

    If we want faster growth, stronger American industry, and more good American jobs, then our government should do what other leading nations do and act aggressively to achieve those goals instead of catering to the financial interests of companies with no particular allegiance to America.
    It’s not a question of more government or less government. It’s about who government works for

    Not from Warren’s website…
    You’re an idiot.

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  51. andros says:

    Yeah, that “social media” was really devastating, wasn’t it? And I’ll tell you what’s not just dumb, but maliciously stupid: continuing to mouth the insinuation that Trump somehow contrived the release of Hillary’s email indiscretions.

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  52. Mister Bluster says:

    That wasn’t Trump. That was a stunt double decoy that the Secret Service used.
    Trump was off looking to grab some woman by the pussy!

    Russia if you’re listening I hope you find the 30,000 eMails that are missing…

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  53. Kathy says:

    Anyone who thinks something as complex as a nation’s economy can be reduced to a tax rate, is a f***g moron.

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  54. andros says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:
    A remarkably opaque way of saying higher corporate taxes cause corporate growth. No, that’s not what she’s saying. She’s saying that businesses need to be punished for preferring the interests of stockholders over those of the “deserving public.” But perhaps she, like you, confuses growth despite taxation with growth because of taxation. Again, what are the specific mechanisms of how higher taxes cause higher growth?

    I’ve replied to your “treason” slander below.

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  55. drj says:

    @andros:

    what are the specific mechanisms of how higher taxes cause higher growth?

    Just to list the most obvious, tax money can be used to:

    * improve infrastructure
    * improve the education of a nation’s workforce
    * improve the health (and thus productivity) of a nation’s workforce
    * finance the enforcement of regulations that help businesses (e.g. IP protections)
    * finance the enforcement of regulations that improve consumer confidence (e.g. product standards)
    * finance the enforcement of regulations that ensure a level playing field and thus stimulate competition

    Etc., etc.

    Also, taxing the wealthiest and handing out money to the poorest is a guaranteed way to improve a nation’s economy. After all, the rich (who have savings that may or may not get profitably invested) spend a far smaller percentage of their disposable income than the poor (who spend close to 100%). This means that redistribution is good news for supermarkets, truckers, farmers, landlords, movie theaters, food processing plants, hardware stores, furniture makers, etc., etc., etc.

    This shit is as basic as it gets.

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  56. DrDaveT says:

    @Kari Q:

    But if it was just racism […]

    It isn’t just racism. Trump appeals to many single-issue constituencies. That’s the key attribute of single-issue voters; they really don’t care how appalling your other positions are.

    Anti-abortion fanatics will vote for Trump, period.
    Evangelical theocrats will vote for Trump, period.
    Overt racists and xenophobes will vote for Trump, period.
    The amoral very wealthy will vote for Trump, and put their money behind his campaign, knowing they’ll get it all back in the form of tax cuts.
    Brainwashed FNC viewers who believe the storylines that it’s all just lies and politics so that liberals can force your kids to be transgender vegetarians will vote for Trump, period. There are shockingly more of these than you would expect, thanks to decades of GOP (de-)education efforts.

    Add them all up, and you’ve got your ~45%

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  57. Kathy says:

    @drj:

    Don’t forget the $22 Trillion elephant in the room. That debt ain’t gonna pay itself.

  58. Teve says:

    Tax dollars can also be used by the Treasury to step in and rescue a financial system that’s been destroyed by the capitalists, which happens approximately once a decade or so.

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  59. An Interested Party says:

    “Decriminalizing” unauthorized border crossings, inviting the world’s impoverished, unskilled masses to pour across our borders and partake of our welfare benefits.

    I will ask again, can anyone, anyone at all, provide any evidence that immigrants, either legal or illegal, “partake of our welfare benefits” any more than or even at the same level as do native born citizens? Again, thanks in advance…

    With Democrats back in power, we can forget about economic growth. They have no plan for such growth, and find the subject distasteful.

    That’s especially amusing, considering our current economic recovery period started with the Democrats in control of the Congress and the White House…

    Squeal “racism” to your heart’s content. You aren’t fooling anyone.

    In this case, it isn’t so much racism as it is idiocy…you should work on that, if you can…

    Sorry, but I just can’t lather Russia’s response into something akin to Hitler’s invasion of Poland. And we really need to accept the reality that there is little love for Kiev in much of Eastern Ukraine.

    Wow…so now you are making Putin’s arguments for him…the title of this post is perfect, as you amply illustrate…

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  60. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @andros:
    You’re not smart.
    She’s saying that it’s necessary to do things that achieve those goals, instead of catering to the wealthy and waiting for it to “trickle down”.
    But because you cannot think conceptually, and need to be spoon fed, see @drj:

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  61. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    …spend a far smaller percentage of their disposable income than the poor (who spend close to 100%).

    Just so’s we’us will all know this, the bottom quintile of US society spends 120% of their [eta:] total income and at the bottom, none of it is “disposable”, per se. The extra spending comes from debt that will never be repaid (something about not getting blood from turnips), social safety net effects, underground economy unreported earnings, subsidies for housing, payments from relief agencies either providing money or goods and services, illegal activities, etc.

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  62. andros says:

    @drj:
    That’s precisely the sort of sophistry that has driven jobs overseas, where the prospect of return is more favorable. It is a certain formula for economic stagnation. Put your brain in gear. You think imposing higher taxes on IBM is going to cause IBM to expand?

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  63. JohnSF says:

    @andros:

    “…driven jobs overseas, where the prospect of return is more favorable.”

    Roughly comparable corporation taxation levels:
    USA 25.9%

    France 32%
    Australia 30%
    Germany 29.7%
    Japan 29.5%
    China 25%
    Italy 24%
    India 22%
    Sweden 21.5%
    UK 19%
    Japan 29.7%
    Uzbekistan 7.5%

    So, now we know why Australia, Japan and Germany are such such scenes of poverty and backwardness, and why Uzbekistan is the new global epitome of economic dynamism.

    You might note that the single largest area of economic expansion in the world has been China.

    If you think that’s because in China corporate wealth is secured against the reach of the Power of the State I have a question for you:

    What’s the weather like on Planet Zarg this time of year?

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  64. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @andros:

    You think imposing higher taxes on IBM is going to cause IBM to expand?

    You are not smart.
    Taxing IBM and investing that money, in things like infrastructure and education and health care, creates a middle class with more money to spend on IBM products. More money in the middle class causes more demand. It is that demand causes IBM to expand, not tax cuts. And the way corporations behaved after Trumps Trillion Dollar giveaway to them proves this…corporations didn’t expand, they didn’t pay people more…they simply bought back stock, reduced debt, or increased dividends.

    You are the kind of person that always cracks me up. You have these incredibly strong opinions based upon things that clearly you have zero knowledge of. Every comment you make just reinforces the fact that you are incredibly mis-informed, that you lack basic logic skills, that you are unable to grasp complex and/or abstract concepts. And to compound those short-comings, you are unwilling to, or incapable of, listening and learning.
    Research the Dunning Kruger Effect.
    Then spend some time in self-reflection.
    And stop making an idiot of yourself.

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  65. JohnSF says:

    Re. the Republican right and Russia-revisionism, setting aside the self-interested contortions of Trumpians, I think there may be a connection with some attitudes I noticed in the 1990’s and early 2000’s.

    1) The refusal of European countries to meekly accept US rejection of the Kyoto protocols prompted outrage in some quarters, reinforced by disagreements on other environmental and consumer protection issues.
    I also noticed a growing interaction of the British eurosceptic right and Republican right; similar linguistic and ideological tropes; it was about this time that the linkages began between the precursors of the “Tufton Street Mob” and the loose web of transatlantic funding/thinktank/media linkages: Murdoch network, Koch’s, Mercer’s, Telegraph/Spectator connected journalist/lobbyists, Templeton Foundation etc.

    2)Related soundbites of:
    “eurosclerosis”:the European countries and/or EU are about to collapse under their burdens of welfare and regulation)
    “free-riding”: the European countries are only able to afford their welfare states and not collapse (even though they are collapsing, see above…) because they are defended by the US.
    Ignoring the actual tendency to reductions in European welfare post c.1980, and the fact that in the period 1950’s to 1980’s Europeans maintained large militaries and large welfare
    outlays.
    e.g.
    1970
    total army manpower
    USA 1,522,000
    USSR 2,000,000
    Euro 1,330,000

    Not to mention the fact that in the period 1950-1990 US policy generally favoured high European welfare expenditure as a key element of counter-Soviet strategy.

    As the Europeans came to be seen less as allies and more as an ideological threat by some right-Republicans, Russia looked more attractive by contrast:
    no annoying concerns about human rights, environment, anti-monopolies policy, consumer protection, no welfare model that might prompt domestic comparisons….

    Perhaps they’d backed the wrong side in the Cold War after all…

    To those more inclined to isolationism, a view of post-Communist Russia as fairly benign, even a possible ally, could help enable strategic disconnection from the “European zone”

  66. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @andros:

    Yeah, that “social media” was really devastating, wasn’t it?

    Fact: Russia interfered in our election in sweeping and systematic fashion. 13 Russians and three Russian companies were indicted for interfering in the 2016 election. The indictment said 12 of those Russians worked for the St. Petersburg-based Internet Research Agency, an internet troll farm that employed hundreds of Russians who created fake social media accounts intended to mislead American voters. YOU ARE PROOF THAT THIS CAMPAIGN WORKED. You repeat Russian propaganda, constantly!!!
    In addition, 12 Russian military intelligence officers were indicted for breaking into the Democratic National Committee’s email servers, stealing information, and leaking it through affiliated websites as well as through WikiLeaks. The Justice Department said the Russian military officers also hacked the website of a state election board and stole information on 500,000 voters. The Intelligence Community is not providing information on local election offices that were hacked but we know some were.

    And I’ll tell you what’s not just dumb, but maliciously stupid: continuing to mouth the insinuation that Trump somehow contrived the release of Hillary’s email indiscretions.

    These guys say you aren’t J-nos, but that strawman is classic J-nos.
    Anyway…what is fact, and not insinuation:
    Russia worked to benefit Trump as a candidate in the 2016 presidential election.
    Trump developed messaging strategies around the release of the stolen emails and Wikileaks.
    Trump used others to help that coordination; Roger Stone, Rick Gates, and others.
    Trump lied and directed others to lie to hide those facts. Many people have pled guilty, and /or been found guilty of this obstruction, which hid the underlying conspiracy.

    You are embarrassing yourself. Try to have a little pride.

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  67. grumpy realist says:

    @andros: I suggest you read up on what happened in Kansas when they tried to implement the “trickle-down” concept of taxes. After watching the Pure Believers trashing the local economy, schools, infrastructure, and a host of other programs, the people of Kansas finally had enough and Threw The Bums Out.

    You should also pick up some history books and read up on what happens when national economies get too lopsided in favour of one group of people. Taxes are the cost we pay for living in civilised societies. If you don’t provide a mechanism by which the greediness of the upper class is checked, you’re going to end up with a revolution or anarchy when the poor become desperate and have nothing to lose.

    Think of a high progressive tax rate as insurance against getting hanged from a lamppost. It’s not like you’re going to be able to stare down at the mob from your glass-enclosed penthouse and be perfectly safe, is it? How will you feed yourself? Contrary to what you may think, it’s not going to be like you watching Mad Max on a screen for entertainment.

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  68. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @grumpy realist:

    It’s not like you’re going to be able to stare down at the mob from your glass-enclosed penthouse and be perfectly safe, is it?

    I guarantee you that the only Penthouse andros has is a tattered and stained girlie magazine from the 90’s.
    I will also guarantee you that andros is not one of the people benefiting from Trump’s Presidency…he is one of the dupes that is being conned into voting against his best interests. He will end up without the safety nets he will need to survive, social security, medicare, etc…and, ever the victim, he will lash out and blame anyone but himself and his own bad decisions.

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  69. andros says:

    The issue the House Choir is trying to evade is whether taxation can be so excessive as to cause businesses to be so unprofitable that they go “belly up” or transfer operations overseas. No one denies the benefits funded by tax revenues, or that growth has been achieved, in the past, despite higher rates of taxation than presently imposed. But how much is too much? Does anyone deny that our rate of economic growth has been unsatisfactory? That too many industries have fled abroad (taking with them jobs) seeking more favorable prospects of return? What I’m seeing here is sophistry deriving from the Robert Mugabe School of Economics.

  70. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @andros:

    No one denies the benefits funded by tax revenues

    You called it sophistry.
    @andros:

    The taxes they yearn to impose on business insure economic stagnation, not growth.

    Seriously y’all…moving goalposts like this…and you’re sure this fool isn’t J-nos???

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  71. Michael Reynolds says:

    @andros:
    Does anyone deny that our rate of economic growth has been unsatisfactory?

    1) You want more growth? Immigration. Without immigration we are below replacement level and will decline in population. That may be fine, but you don’t get economic growth with a declining and aging population.

    2) The Trump tax cut had minimal effect on economic growth. The Obama tax increase seems to have allowed for the ten year expansion. Your argument is illogical as it flies directly in the face of recent evidence.

    3) Is there a tax rate that’s too high? Yes. The fact that a ‘too high’ exists is not proof that taxes are ipso facto bad. A little aspirin is good for you; too much kills you. How to find the ‘right’ rate? Experiment. Like we have just done with the Obama tax increase and the Trump tax cut: neither can be credited with the expansion IMO because in the ranges we normally experience, the effect on a 20 trillion dollar economy is minimal.

    4) Given that there exists no evidence to support the notion that 25% is good, 30% bad, or whatever number you plug in, the logical thing to do is match receipts to expenditures – except in cases of recession. I get that this means some POC may get some benefits. I know that upsets you. But the evidence simply does not support your position.

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  72. andros says:

    So there’s no relation between the rate of business taxation and business growth. In fact, Obama’s increased taxation gave us a nice little increase in growth.

    I hope no one supposes I post in an attempt to remonstrate with such “progressive” flapdoodle. I write for those possessed of a modicum of common sense who may chance to pass this way.

  73. Michael Reynolds says:

    @andros:
    What you do is refuse to address actual evidence. You neither provide it, or refute it, you just regurgitate your articles of faith. Faith, not logic. Propaganda, not evidence.

    This is a reality-based forum, and we want facts, evidence, logic, reason. And you are in a cult of personality.

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  74. Moosebreath says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    And since andros is unwilling to provide evidence, let’s add some from Kevin Drum. Specifically, charts showing that the tax to GDP ratio is smaller in the US than all but 3 of the 35 OECD countries, and US corporate taxes are about 2/3rds of the OECD average.

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  75. JohnSF says:

    @andros:

    …how much is too much?

    Well, congratulations.
    I believe you may be on the road to rational debate on the good old fashioned questions of political economy…
    Where the key questions are (not necessarily in this order):
    – what policies are appropriate?
    – how are they most effectively/efficiently pursued?
    – what are their costs; are they bearable in total?
    – how are those costs best met (and let’s remember the Laffer Curve is a curve (of questionable shape))?
    – do their costs outweigh their benefits?
    – do the costs and benefits have less apparent effects that might argue for or against them?
    etc. etc. etc.

    This one side of the basis of reasonable politics; the other side being matters of law, liberty and equity.
    Not turnip-ghosts of “Progressives” who have no concern for economic considerations.

    On a couple of other points:

    Does anyone deny that our rate of economic growth has been unsatisfactory?

    Yes. Me.
    U.S. economy grew by an average of 3.8% from 1946 to 1973
    Trees don’t grow to the sky.
    There’s no way that level of growth could sustain after the recovery of other areas and a material output roughly par with reasonable material demand.
    Reductio: You’re not going to get a “traditional Detroit” economy expanding indefinely to a “ten-cars-per-household” basis etc.

    To expect 21st Century America to grow like 21st Century China is irrational.
    A 1% annualised average is not that bad.
    Increasing it is more likely to be achieved by improving infrastructure and base living standards, and by aggressive anti-monopoly policy, than by simply lightening corporate taxes, IMHO.
    (Bear in mind how many “corporations” are no longer productive enterprises but mere “tax efficiency” channels for revenues formerly taken as salaries or dividends)

    You may disagree.
    Fine.
    Let’s argue the case out sensibly.

    That too many industries have fled abroad (taking with them jobs) seeking more favorable prospects of return?

    Do you really suppose that industries based on intensive use of unskilled labor could survive in a high wage US without a “Fortress America” economy?
    They may come back, or their remnants survive and thrive, but in automated form.
    Mass low-skill factory labor has gone the way of the dinosaurs, and for god or ill it’s not coming back.
    Largely the companies did not flee; they were replaced by or subcontracted to low wage sites, or else they move up the quality chain.
    There’s good reasons why Wolfsburg, Germany is still a 24/7/365 hub of industry, and it’s not because Germany is a low wage or low tax economy.

  76. andros says:

    I urge those with a grain of common sense to peer through these dense clouds of verbiage, and reflect on the truism that investment flows to the most promising prospects of return, creating jobs. You guys wouldn’t be devoting so much time to trying to refute me, if you didn’t fear I’m being persuasive.

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  77. Michael Reynolds says:

    @andros:
    I urge you to answer the questions, refute what you don’t like, and provide some factual basis for your assertions. You have offered nothing but polly-wanna-cracker regurgitations of talking points you lack the wit to defend.

    You guys wouldn’t be devoting so much time to trying to refute me, if you didn’t fear I’m being persuasive.

    Oh? Show me someone you’ve convinced. We talk to you because we don’t like lies, we’re bored, and you’re easy to beat up.

    You’re just another cultie, as open to reason as a Scientologist or a Koreshi. You regurgitate and lie and evade and move the goalposts but everyone here sees what you are.

    The troll has no clothes.

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  78. JohnSF says:

    …dense clouds of verbiage…

    Such is my squiddy superpower!

    …wouldn’t be … trying to refute me, if you didn’t fear I’m being persuasive

    Or, alternatively, because I think you’re mistaken.
    I really wouldn’t overrate your powers of persuasion.

  79. An Interested Party says:

    I write for those possessed of a modicum of common sense who may chance to pass this way.

    Bullshit…if you actually did have that intention, you wouldn’t type nonsense like the following…

    What I’m seeing here is sophistry deriving from the Robert Mugabe School of Economics.

    Yeah, there’s some real “common sense” there…

  80. Matt says:

    @andros:

    that investment flows to the most promising prospects of return, creating jobs.

    JHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    Investment is going into automation and whatever others methods are available to cut jobs. It’s all about decreasing costs at a rate faster than any potential profit loss so the end result is more profit. Businesses exist to make money. Jobs are just a side effect of the owner’s desire to make money. Automation is coming even for highly skilled jobs and it won’t stop just because tens/hundreds of millions need jobs. Those businesses are also tossing millions in cash at the executives doing this.

    Meanwhile the top 1% possess 60% of all wealth in this country with the top 10% sitting around 80% of all wealth in this country. That leaves 20% of this countries wealth to be fought over by the remaining 90% of citizens…

    You guys wouldn’t be devoting so much time to trying to refute me, if you didn’t fear I’m being persuasive.

    per·sua·sive
    /pərˈswāsiv,pərˈswāziv/
    good at persuading someone to do or believe something through reasoning or the use of temptation.

    If you were actually being persuasive then you wouldn’t have people pointing out how wrong you are…

  81. grumpy realist says:

    @andros: You sound like the damn bozos over at the Daily Telegraph claiming that “you wouldn’t be saying such nasty things about us Brexiters except because you’re scared of our strength and how we’re winning!”

    Winning?

    Ha.

    Naah. We’re bored and find it amusing to bat the squeaking mousie around. Because that’s what you are. The dimwitted little troll which we’re able to immediately debunk.

    Here, mousie, mousie, mousie. Come closer.

    Whap!