Today’s Republican Party in one headline

Just now in NYT:

Senate Tax Bill May Add Breaks for Rich to Gain Support

The Republican tax bill hurtling through Congress is increasingly tilting the United States tax code to benefit wealthy Americans, as party leaders race to shore up wavering lawmakers who are requesting more help for high-earning business owners.

On Monday, as Republican lawmakers returned to Washington determined to quickly pass their tax overhaul, senators were in feverish talks to resolve concerns that could bedevil the bill’s passage. With pressure increasing on Republicans to produce a legislative victory, lawmakers are contemplating changes that would exacerbate the tax bill’s divide between the rich and the middle class.

As for all those “real” working class Americans who support Trump, I’m sure they love it, too ;-).  Since minorities are less likely to be wealthy than white people, they can be happy that it suits their ethnocentric nationalism.

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Race, history, and Trump

Adam Serwer’s long essay on race, history, and how we got here with Donald Trump is really, really good.  I think it goes a little far in arguing that the media was all “economic anxiety!” as I did read plenty of coverage of what social science has definitively revealed (and Serwer nicely summarizes), i.e., it’s racism (or, racial resentment, as I like to say), stupid.

So many different aspects of this are worth addressing (really, just read it), but I couldn’t help thinking a lot about the fact that “racist” seems to mean very different things to liberals and conservatives today, and that’s a big part of the problem.  Liberals are well aware of structural racism and see how things like Voter ID laws, birtherism, and Muslim bans are, at their core, a furtherance of racially-motivated attitudes.  But for many conservatives, as long as you don’t go around saying the n-word and are nice enough to the minority people you encounter, than, obviously, you are not a racist:

The reason many equated Clinton’s “deplorables” remark with Trump’s agenda of discriminatory state violence seems to be the widespread perception that racism is primarily an interpersonal matter—that is, it’s about name-calling or rudeness, rather than institutional and political power. This is a belief hardly limited to the president’s supporters, but crucial to their understanding of Trump as lacking personal prejudice. “One thing I like about Trump is he isn’t afraid to tell people what the problems in this country are,” said Ron Whitekettle from Lancaster. “Everything he says is true, but sometimes he doesn’t say it the way it should be said.”

Anyway, so much good stuff in here.  Do read it when you get a chance.

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