Sexual harassment, taxes and net neutrality

In response to the question I asked Monday — what do we do about sexual harassment? — one thing we definitely shouldn’t do is worry about the right wing.

The right wing has a huge advantage in that a large number of conservatives don’t give a crap about harassment or rape or adults hitting on young girls, or at least oppose any legal penalties for it. So there’s no conflict in voting for Roy Moore despite his fondness for hitting on teenage girls (of course his other flaws don’t stop them either).And declaring his opponent soft on crime.

When they freak out at Al Franken’s case, it’s purely for partisan gain. So I think trying to worry about what they think or say is pointless: just do the right thing, whatever that is (Franken apologizing and asking for an ethics investigation, for instance). Because whatever we liberals do or say, they’ll ignore it or lie about it. Like claiming Hilary Clinton hasn’t criticized Franken. Or insisting, as some did, that Bill Clinton raped Monica Lewinsky even though she has always been clear it was 100 percent consensual. Or insisting not that “both sides do it” but “only our side does it” (I’ve had that reaction to anti-rape columns I’ve written elsewhere). Or insisting that 1950s morality was better for women (definitely never worry about what Ben Shapiro says).

Related to which, Echidne of the Snakes disagrees with the argument we should never disbelieve the accuser (at least without evidence), suggesting the real issue is avoiding the automatic disbelief that society has engaged in so long (and still does).

Now, stuff about the tax cut. Whiny Sen. Orrin Hatch’s fee-fees were hurt this week because someone called the GOP tax bill a tax cut for the rich. And he’s very, very offended anyone would say he’d support a bill that benefits the rich.

As the BBC says, there are people I want to offend. Because that’s what it is. Tax breaks for private planes. It makes it easier for the rich to pass wealth to their kids while making it harder for lower-class families to move up a notch. They’re lying about it because the truth is so bad (just as Paul Ryan lies about his opposition to government handouts, as long as they go to him). As Krugman says, it’s worse than just not helping the middle class — it makes things worse. And might cripple the Affordable Care Act by eliminating the individual mandate.

And despite abortion being supposedly the moral equivalent of the Holocaust, preserving the tax credit for adoption isn’t as important as cutting taxes on the rich (for once I’m happy pressure from the forced-birth movement made Repubs back off).

Despite the cut’s unpopularity with everyone, Republicans are forging ahead, confident that as with Moore, the base will still prefer them to Dems. As Lance Mannion says, part of this is pure tribalism: even Bad Republicans are One Of Them and should be defended against The Other (this is not unique to Republicans, but a lot of the base take it to an extreme). Part of it is politics: by supporting Republicans they can stop the Gay Abortion Agenda. A lot of it is about race, even though Trump supporters insist otherwise.

Finally, net neutrality is finished, according to the decree of Ajit Pai, FCC Chair (enthusiastically supported by the telecom industry). Pai has spent the past few years opposing any restrictions on telecoms on the grounds free markets! Innovation! Consumer pressure! Never mind that most consumers don’t have options for picking and choosing broadband providers (and the big firms work hard to keep it that way). Or possibly Pai is looking ahead to leaving the FCC and taking a nice high-priced job as an industry lobbyist. Or both. But I’m sure no ISP company would use its power to favor its own websites or subdivisions’ products or anything like that. Nope, no worry here.

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Filed under Politics, Undead sexist cliches

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