“No arguments can force you into other people’s shoes. Either you decide that it’s right to consider the world from somewhere other than the accidental point at which you stand in it—or you don’t.” — Susan Neiman
I think one reason Republican governance is such a nightmare is that large numbers of Republicans have decided they shouldn’t look at the world from anywhere but their own privileged position. The elected official position (rich straight WASP men) and the Republican voter position (straight WASP men, not always rich). The further from that accidental point you fall — a woman, a Muslim, non-white, non-rich — the less they give a damn. As Lance Manion says, the fundamental belief is “we get to have it, you don’t.”
Trump voters grumble a lot about welfare queens and shiftless black folks, but they’re very keen to have their own social safety net increased. They need it. They’re not loafers, it’s just life gave them some hard knocks. Just like their abortion is necessary, not like the ones slutty girls get.
Of course, as Lawyers Guns and Money points out, welfare cuts and abortion restrictions don’t work like that, neither does discrimination against pre-existing conditions. Alabama Repub Mo Brooks argued that Trumpcare shouldn’t allow people who didn’t take care of themselves to get a pass on their pre-existing problems; in reality, the insurers will never distinguish between the Bad People who brought it on themselves and the Good People who take care of themselves. If either has a pre-existing condition, the reaction will be the same. Just as restrictions on abortion clinics affect everyone who wants an abortion, regardless of the reason. Ditto the attacks on Planned Parenthood as a source of affordable contraception. They won’t just affect the nymphomaniac sluts of right-wing fever dreams. But large numbers of Republicans (admittedly this is not unique to them) still refuse to see that The Other needs help as much as they do.
And at the level of the wealthy and powerful in national government, the lack of sympathy is worse. After all, they’re rich, so why should they do anything for people who need help? So we get a budget that guts services for the needy. And bullshit projections of super economic growth so revenue will look rosy even after tax cuts. Or claims that just because the Trumpcare plan cuts $880 billion from Medicaid, that doesn’t mean services will be cut.
Or student loans. The Trump administration is looking to end a student-loan forgiveness program. But I’m sure Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ latest plan — to have a single company service all loans — will work out wonderfully (sarcasm).
Or Trump’s lack of enthusiasm for even basic regulation, such as requiring investment advisers put your interests ahead of their own.
In other news:
•New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu gives a powerful speech about why it’s right to take down the monuments of Confederate officers as both traitors and white supremacists. Breitbart proclaims that criticizing the Confederacy is (surprise!) political correctness (and a Mississippi lawmaker says people taking down Confederate monuments should be lynched.). Similarly, after a Washington DC bar pulled the Pill Cosby drink from its menu oh-so-edgy libertarian Nick Gillespie declared this was PC Oppression (rather than say, the business responding to negative public feedback).
•Government is not a business and Trump is not America’s CEO.
•Slacktivist on fantasies of heroism.
•Stripping naked at the airport during a dispute with TSA staffers is not First Amendment-protected.
•Now, some good news: House Republicans rushed through the last Trumpcare vote so fast, they may have to redo it. LGM meanwhile shows how the Heritage Plan (a right-wing proposal for healthcare) falls far short of Obamacare. More on that.