Banner Archive

Marvel Comics Timeline
Godzilla Timeline



« Anxiety is universal | Main | TPM getting stupid »

People buy snake oil when they don't have real medicine

The post below talked about how Democrats didn't have an economic message in the general election. Donald Trump did. It's always seemed pretty clear that Trump is a fraud whose promises are meaningless, but his message regarding trade deals and infrastructure spending were sometimes right. I've been having extremely mixed feelings regarding his promise of a $1 trillion economic stimulus. If he actually put forth a decently constructed bill, i could imagine some Democrats supporting it, and i might even want them to. I imagined that it would have a higher ratio of tax cuts to spending projects than i would want, but it seemed like something that would be worth compromising on. The reason i had extremely mixed feelings is that if he managed to pass such a bill, i think the resulting economic improvement would be such that he would probably get re-elected. And with the racism inherent in his campaign and in his cabinet picks, then we really are talking about the choice that i said the Democrats weren't facing (in an intra-party sense) below.

So the "good" news is that Trump's plan seems to already be a sham due to its public/private structure. I'm hesitant to link to these two posts, but here they are. The first is by Ronald Klain, who was an advisor to Hillary Clinton's campaign. The second is by Paul Krugman, who supported Hillary during the primary and went completely psycho on Bernie (he also supported Hillary in 2008 and went almost as psycho on Obama, so i've basically just been ignoring him). So the fact that these are both hardcore Clinton supporters means that their analysis should be taken with a grain of salt, and the fact that both articles came out at the same time suggests a kind of coordinated pre-emptive attack. There's a big division in the Democratic party right now between Dems who think we should oppose everything that Trump does and those that are taking an approach like Bernie, who says that he'll work with Trump on his promises to help the working class while fighting him vigorously on his racist appointments, wall building, registry lists, etc.. But if Trump's infrastructure plan really is just a backdoor to privatization, then Bernie should fight it just as hard as everything else (update: confirmed), and we don't really have a conundrum. Which would be dumb on Trump's part, because if he did pass a legitimate stimulus, i really do think he'd really become the working class hero that he wants to be (at least to whites).

To bring it back to my favorite topic of criticizing the Dems: the fact that Trump's stimulus was using this public/private idea was known during the campaign, too (in fact, i think Krugman and Klain are both reacting to the information from then; i don't think Trump has put out anything new yet). I remember Min pointing it out to me but i didn't pay much attention since i figure whatever Trump said didn't really mean much beyond the messaging (i also stole this post's title from Min). But here we have two economic experts, Klain and Krugman, advising the Clinton campaign. And they see Trump's message about a stimulus, and see that the details are crap. If they had any brains at all, they should have advised Clinton to take a position advocating for a real trillion dollar stimulus - which, by the way, Bernie did during the primary - so that she would have a strong economic message and could take the high ground and attack Trump on the details. Instead they dumped Bernie's message and went with nothing, and Trump was able to sell his snake oil uncontested.

By fnord12 | November 21, 2016, 9:51 AM | Liberal Outrage