How not to fight Trump, Republican sexism and my new And column

Professor Mark Lilla got a lot of flak for his recent claim that Democrats spend too much time on “identity politics,” issues that benefit only blacks, Latinos, gays, women, and that this is why they lost the election. If only they’d pitched policies that would benefit all Americans, Clinton might be president today! This is what they must do to win in the future!

In this And column, I argue that compromising on equality — which is what Lilla’s talking about — isn’t going to win over Trump voters. In a Vox interview, Lilla makes a more nuanced argument, that he’s not saying to abandon minority issues, just to reframe them. Don’t discuss how black motorists are pulled over arbitrarily: start from a general position (“Everyone should be free of arbitrary police harassment, right?”) and then lead them to see how black drivers are being arbitrarily harassed. Then the person you’re working on will have to agree with you.

I think that’s bullshit. There’s no shortage of stories about right-to-lifers who believe their abortion is different from everyone else’s. Or who agree freedom of religion is important, but of course that doesn’t apply to Muslims. Or the right-wingers who support a war on terror, but squeal like stuck pigs if right-wing terrorism is the target. And how exactly do you make pro-choice issues into something that applies to men?

Millions of Americans throughout history have believed “all men are created equal” doesn’t apply to blacks. Or Latinos. And if you read some of Martin Luther King’s speeches, you’ll notice the civil rights movement called on America to deal with the problems of black America not some vague call for universal equality. Not to mention that Clinton did make proposals to benefit everyone, such as a higher minimum wage. In short, I think Lilla’s full of crap. For better suggestions about how to win, check this post.

Shakezula points out that while Trump lashes out when provoked, he’ll lash out when not provoked. We can’t stop him getting angry, so don’t worry about it. To a large extent, I think this applies to the hardcore Trump supporters. As long as we’re not in the 1950s, as long as blacks, women, Muslims, gays and other groups don’t Know Their Place, they’re going to get angry.

•Trump’s health-care advisor Katy Talento, is yet another forced-birther who thinks birth control is baaaaad for women. And since birth control interferes with nature, isn’t that wrong by definition? Oh, and the reason men abandon women to raise babies alone is birth control! Because it never happened before the Pill came along! As many conservatives pretend.

•In more Republican sexism, Rep. Congressman Mark Meadows wants Trump to roll back Obama’s rules for how colleges handle sexual assault charges. Because they’re too hard on the accused, which reduces the chance victims will report rapes (no, it didn’t make sense). And besides, most of them are just date rapes, so no big.

•And here’s a memorable listing of great Republican quotes about rape.

•Digby points out that Trump’s business debts could give Wall Street a lot of influence over his presidency. And that despite his boasts about the factory jobs he’s saving, the shit-gibbon isn’t doing much about thousands of retail jobs that are being lost.

•Under a revived Congressional rule, the House can now pass appropriation bills that slash the pay of specific, individual federal employees. To as low as $1. I think I’d be happier with that if voters could do the same to Congress.

•Florida AG Pam Bondi announced a couple of years back that she was thinking of suing Trump University (which as noted at the link, has paid out $25 million in a settlement with students), while at the same time soliciting donations from the shit-gibbon. So the Trump Foundation donated to Bondi’s campaign…and Bondi is now being considered for a Trump administration post. Thank god we were spared the corruption of a Hilary Clinton presidency.

That sort of thing, Bill O’Reilly, is why the left wants a profound change in how the country is run.

(There will be another link post today as I clear out old links).

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Filed under Politics, Undead sexist cliches

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