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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

The Grand Old Party Is No More

Category: Donald Trump
Posted: 09/29/16 22:01

by Dave Mindeman

In 2008, John McCain had a conversation with an older woman at a Town Hall, in which she declared that Obama was a Muslim. John McCain kindly and gently gave her the factual information.

But that woman has a new candidate, Donald Trump. And there are a lot more people like her coming out of the woodwork. The thing is, that under the same circumstances, Donald Trump would never correct her. Donald Trump would encourage the conspiracy lies, and then add a few more of his own.

We are getting a very close look at the fringe elements in the Republican Party.... the back to the hanger abortion haters, the gun crowd with their 150 gun arsenals, the out of the dark corner white supremacists, the confederate flag waving racists, the misogynist tough guys willing to sucker punch a 60 year old lady, the wall building xenophobic nativists, and the "look, its snowing" climate deniers. And yes, there are some normal Republicans that tolerate all of this nonsense in the guise of party unity - they might be the worst group of all.

Donald Trump attracts the ugly side of America. He encourages it. He baits and goads it. He dog whistles it. And all the while he is blending it into one of the two major parties that determine the President of the United States.

Donald Trump has a very dangerous view of America - his America can never be great again, it can only lead to our demise. And that is not hyperbole.

There is growing evidence that Trump cheats his way to wealth. That he ruins the lives of many people he comes in contact with. He can be flattered into policy changes. He is willing to "deal" with tyrants and dictators. That he circumvents the law as if it does not apply to him. And he could actually use the military might of the US to settle peresonal scores.

How did we get to this point? Well, you need to ask the Republican Party. They have slowly been gathering this warped coalition for years. They have duped Christian conservatives into thinking that the GOP is the only party they can deal with - even if they produce a pandering candidate like Trump. Who knows so little about Christian values that he truly feels he has never had the need to ask for forgiveness. They have dog whistled the racist fringe in the South, hinting that there support has a safe haven with them, but telling them to keep a low profile. They have manipulated policy on immigration to satisfy xenophobic attitudes along the Mexican border. They have touted symbolic patriotism to stir passions among nativists who think America is being degraded by its melting pot.

And then the Republican Party was surprised that all of these casual undertones of the party finds a way to surface under the bluster of a self-centered, greedy individual like Donald Trump.

What is the worst of all of it is this Party of Lincoln has surrendered all of their remaining principles to this new Party of Trump. The party of free trade is now the party of tariffs; the party of tough Russian resistance is now the party of appeasement; the potential leader of the western world is now a creditor calling in its "loans" for defense.

I have had a lot of policy differences with the old version of the Republican Party, but at least they seemed to stand with some semblance of rational principles. This new version of the GOP has no principles. They are standing on the quicksand of political expediency. Compromising the entire country for the sake of policy power.

If I were a Republican, I would be ashamed of this version of my Party. The party of Lincoln; the party of Reagan; the party of Teddy Roosevelt, has nothing left to stand on. Only hate misogyny, and isolationism is left.

Yes, the primary electorate chose Trump, but that doesn't mean that you cease to fight for your principles. You could refuse to participate. You could point out the many wrongs.

You could just take a stand.

But I guess that is too much to ask. Too much to expect from your country. If Trump wins, it is not just Democrats who will be hurt by a Trump presidency - it is everybody.
comments (2) permalink

Erik Paulsen = Corporatist - First, Last And Always

Category: Erik Paulsen
Posted: 09/29/16 15:09

by Dave Mindeman

I get a lot of people argue that Hillary Clinton is a "corporatist" and not a true progressive. I think that's a lot of bunk, but right now I want to discuss who is the true corporatist....right here in Minnesota.

Erik Paulsen.

This guy doen't bother to represent real people. He truly believes that he is in Washington to represent business. But then I guess he takes the Supreme Court decision to heart - corporations are people.

Let's look at the record.

Erik Paulsen has been in the pocket of medical device companies throughout his career. He has successfully advocated for a moratorium on the device task that helps fund Obamacare....creating a windfall for companies like Medtronic.

Of course, not satisfied with that tax break, Medtronic changes their corporate address to Ireland so that they can avoid more taxes. All the while, building up offshore bank accounts, hiding their profits - and forcing the rest of us to pay their bills.

Although Paulsen voted against the Dream Act and voted for many of the Trump like immigration bills that came from this Congress, Paulsen managed to vote in favor of special visas that business wanted so that they can bring in high-tech workers from other countries...at the expense of American workers.

And how about energy corporations? Paulsen was right there for them as well. He voted YES on opening Outer Continental Shelf to oil drilling. He voted YES on barring EPA from regulating greenhouse gases. He voted NO on enforcing limits on CO2 global warming pollution. And he voted to bar greenhouse gases from Clean Air Act rules, and to declare that nothing in the Act shall be treated as authorizing or requiring the regulation of climate change or global warming.

When asked directly about climate change, Paulsen said he wasn't smart enough to know whether that's true or not. Well, he votes like he believes it.

Paulsen could easily fit into the Trump camp, except for one clear difference. Paulsen's corporate masters need him to support the TPP.

Paulsen puts it this way:

"We should not step away from the table on agreements such as TPP. The benefits that thoughtful trade agreements can bring to American businesses, their employees, and their families are too important to ignore."

Notice how he wants you to believe that somehow employees and families will benefit as well? He knows better. He only worries about his corporate "people" - he just likes to spin it differently. He doesn't talk much about his TPP support generally because Trump supporters do not like it. But the only people it matters to are the corporate interests - and they already know that Erik Paulsen is on their side.

Erik Paulsen, man of the people? No - he is definitely a man of the boardroom.

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The Breitbart/Gravis Polling Method

Category: Donald Trump
Posted: 09/27/16 13:20

by Dave Mindeman

There is a series of state polls being done via Gravis Marketing for Breitbart News. As you are probably aware, the former head of Breitbart News, Stephen Bannon, is now heading up the Trump Campaign.

This series of polls almost always gives a better number for Trump than any of the peer group of polls. I was wondering why this would be, outside of the sourcing. Gravis isn't a horrible polling group, Nate Silver gives them a B- rating with a GOP bias of 1.1....slanted but not hopeless.

When I looked at the methodology, the polling always includes additional policy questions. The majority of them are about immigration. Here is how they are asked....

13) Recently a Somali refugee attacked ten people in a Minnesota mall with a knife, and an Afghan immigrant was arrested for detonating bombs in New York City and New Jersey. How concerned are you a similar kind of attack could happen in your community and area?

14) How concerned are you with controlling immigration and securing the southern border?

15) Do you support building a wall along the southern border to prevent illegal immigration?

16) Do you support a temporary ban on all Muslim immigration to the United States?

17) Do you support President Obama's plan to increase the number of refugees coming to the United States from the Middle East, Africa, and other parts of the world to 110,000 next year, up from the current level of 85,000, or do you think we should allow no refugees, fewer refugees, or the same as the current level?

18) Under President Obama's plan, the number of refugees resettled in the state of Minnesota is likely to increase by 30 percent, from about 2,600 this year to 3,400 next year. Do you want more, the same, fewer, or no new refugees coming into Minnesota next year?

19) Donald Trump wants to reduce the number of refugees. Hillary Clinton wants to increase the number of refugees. Are you more likely to vote for a presidential candidate because of their position on refugees?

The answers from the respondents slant toward an anti-immigration stance. The exception is the "building of the wall" which respondents are against 48-40.

The question about a "temporary" ban on Muslim immigration was a surprising tie in Minnesota (43-43).

The questions have an inherent bias. And they are the ONLY policy questions asked in the survey.

The Breitbart poll has Minnesota in a 43-43 tie between Trump and Clinton. Barack Obama approval rating is also a tie, 49-49. Dayton has a 53-45 approval.

Breitbart/Gravis does a similar survey in other states as well...all with the added immigration questions. The polling is not just informational; it is also an attempt to invoke a question mark on immigration and refugees.

It borders on being a push poll. So the data here would have be rated as questionable.

As for the MN results, the poll is an outlier on what every other Minnesota poll says about the race.

But then maybe they aren't really all that concerned with the measurements.
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