Trump: The Only Honor is Corruption

Josh Marshall really has an epiphany here in diagnosing Trump-think.

To the President, soliciting political contributions creates a bond of subservience against which any subsequent caviling about mammoth political differences is either sleazy, hypocritical or disloyal.

What it all amounts is that personal loyalty, a kind of mafia-like allegiance, is the only legitimate mode of interaction. Which is to say, in Trumpthink, only corruption has legitimacy.

Trump sets himself up as the only source of power and you either come to him as a supplicant or you are an enemy in what can only be described a medievel way of thinking.


Krugman Abides

Had to post this twitter chain from Krugthulu.

The only thing I would add is the degradation of the elected Republican official over time.  When the activists and think tanks first came up with the strategies and policies that created the modern GOP, there were many GOP elected officials who knew that those policies were bad economics, bad social engineering and terrible foreign policy – they recognized that it was aimed at rubes to help them get elected.  But the rank and file of actual educated statesmen was replaced over the years with the very rubes who absorbed and internalized the bullshit through talk radio and Fox News.  Now the electeds actually believe the fanciful nonsense that the media arm spews, culminating in a president who gets his news from Fox and Friends.

The last remaining Republicans that remember what statesmen and responsible Republican public servants were are on MSNBC railing against their party every night.

Hatch and Grassley Have Been in the Senate for Seventy-Eight Years Between Them and Do Not Understand Basic Economics

Your Republican Party at (what they call) work.

Which is pretty bad, besides the fact that they’re elitist, classist and silly old ninnies.

Grassley, senator from Iowa since 1981 and in Congress before that for 3 terms, powerful chairman of several committees over the years, said this about the estate tax:

“I think not having the estate tax recognizes the people that are investing,” Grassley said, “as opposed to those that are just spending every darn penny they have, whether it’s on booze or women or movies.”

Proving that Grassley should be retired from public service to play Mr. Potter in live versions of “It’s a Wonderful Life”  His comment is profoundly stupid and yet also massively disgusting and should illustrate that he is the arrogant, elitist, establishment swamp that so many people in Iowa voted for Trump to eliminate.  Taken at face value he’s asserting that there are people who would be benefiting from repeal of the Estate Tax but they’re spending too much on “booze or women or movies.”  How expensive are movies in Iowa?  Or women?

[As Philip Bump has calculated it would take buying 310,697 fewer bottles of liquor to qualify for the present estate tax.]

So Grassley is saying that 99.8 percent of Americans lead contemptible lives of waste and folly, while only that remaining sliver of the extra-wealthy have shown the virtue that should win their heirs the ability not to pay taxes on the fortunes bequeathed to them.

Orrin Hatch, senator from Utah, who used to pretend to be friends with Ted Kennedy, has been in the senate since 1976.  That’s 42 years and 7 terms in the senate. The senator from the Church of Latter Day Saints said this about spending on CHIP (and other safety net programs):

“I have a rough time wanting to spend billions and billions and trillions of dollars to help people who won’t help themselves, won’t lift a finger, and expect the federal government to do everything.”

As Paul Waldman writes, this is what these people actually believe, it’s not spin for their base.  Both of these guys are too old to fake compassion anymore, if they ever had it at all it’s gone the way of testosterone, decreasing to undetectable levels.  They hold the majority of their constituents in contempt and apparently only respect their donors, who are virtuous because they have made fortunes.  Anybody who relies on the government (hm, like Hatch and Grassley?) are lazy losers.

But once again, their beliefs here are not only Darwinian throwbacks to Dickensian attitudes, they betray complete ignorance of basic economics after a collective 78 years in what has been not ironically referred to as the world’s greatest deliberative body.

If they grew mutton chop sideburns and said these things in 1817 we could ignore the mustiness of their utterances, but they’re still deciding matters for this country that they are way, way, way too out of touch to decide for anybody.  (Ex.: see women’s bodies.)

While the GOP was once again screwing America, these also damaging stories were overlooked

Troll-like Texas congressman Blake Farenthold paid $84,000 in taxpayer money to pay off a sexual harassment allegation. Given what he looks like we probably got off light there. Go find any picture of him if you dare, I won’t post it for the same reason I wouldn’t stare at an eclipse, it’s eyeball scalding. Especially the picture of him in his ducky pajamas. He’s just awful, and for a Republican, that’s just typical, a feature, not a bug.

Similarly Trey Gowdy, the chief Benghazi conman is a nightmare for eyes and the coffers. He caused $150,000 of taxpayer money to be paid in a wrongful dismissal suit when he fired a staffer who refused to spend all their time investigating Hillary Clinton.

Again, these morally compromised and ethically challenged idiots are what the GOP offers everywhere. They need to go away ASAP.