Jul 05 2018

Pondering the Pundits

Pondering the Pundits” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from> around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.
Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Pondering the Pundits”.

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Jennifer Rubin: Trump’s racist views have not gone vunnoticed

President Trump, more than any modern president, freely expresses his racist views —  whether it is calling Mexican immigrants rapists, asserting that immigrants “infest” America, saying neo-Nazis include some “very fine people,” preferring Norwegian immigrants to those from “shithole” countries or associating immigrants with crime in public and in private. (In May The Post reported on an episode in April 2017: “Trump reminded them the crowds loved his rhetoric on immigrants along the campaign trail. Acting as if he were at a rally, he recited a few made-up Hispanic names and described potential crimes they could have committed, such as rape or murder. Then, he said, the crowds would roar when the criminals were thrown out of the country — as they did when he highlighted crimes by illegal immigrants at his rallies. . .  .”)  Add in his ongoing feud with African American  football players who kneel for the national anthem to protest police brutality (“Get that son of a bitch off the field right now“) and his attack on African American Rep. Maxine Waters’s (D-Calif.) intelligence, and you see a president who is either catering to racists or himself harbors racist views.

Voters have noticed. The Quinnipiac poll released this week shows a plurality (49 percent) think he is a racist while 47 percent do not. Among the 47 percent are 86 percent of Republicans, roughly the same percentage that support him. (They simply will not believe the president they voted for is a racist.) More young voters (18-34 years) think he is a racist (56 percent) than do older voters. Perhaps there is something to the polling on millennials that says they are more tolerant and inclusive than older Americans (and themselves are more diverse). Nevertheless, by a small margin (50 percent to 44 percent) voters are willing to believe Trump’s sincere beliefs about controlling the border, not racism, are the main motivator for his immigration policies. [..]

There are a few takeaways from this data.

Michael Tomasky: Democrats in Disarray? No, That’s the Myopic Media.

One genre political reporters never tire of is your classic #demsindisarray story. You know the kind. One Democrat says A, another says Not A, and sometimes a third one says, well, actually, B, and suddenly the party is a mess and falling to pieces.

The genre dates back to the 1980s, when the Democratic Leadership Council was formed to take the party back from the liberals, and Democratic ideological feuds came out into the open. In the 2000s it was again at the forefront when George W. Bush was president and the Dems post-9/11 were intimidated into voting for a war they obviously didn’t believe in.

There’s always a little truth to these stories. But they always ignore the fuller context that explains why the Democrats are a cantankerous lot and the Republicans aren’t. And they always cherry-pick for the evidence that suits the thesis, ignoring the evidence that doesn’t. [..]

Now I’m not making any predictions here about November. I’m just saying the press is always looking for #demsindisarray stories, even when they could be cherry-picking different evidence that would lead to the opposite conclusion. Why?

Ruth Marcus: The Trump Supreme Court pick who’d pose the biggest danger to abortion rights

No Supreme Court nominee is a completely safe bet. No one — not even the nominee himself or herself — knows for certain how he or she would rule on a particular case until the moment arises.

When the Supreme Court explicitly weighed overturning Roe v. Wade and eliminating constitutional protection for abortion rights in 1992, for instance, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy provided the fifth vote to prevent that outcome. But Kennedy’s vote in an abortion case three years earlier made that position surprising — including, perhaps, to the justice himself.

And yet: Of all the potential Supreme Court nominees that President Trump is considering, the one who seems most inclined to undo Kennedy’s work and overturn Roe as completely and quickly as possible is Amy Coney Barrett, a 46-year-old newly minted (last November) federal appeals court judge

Heather Cox Richardson: The supreme court has taken a sledgehammer to the New Deal

Of the three decisions the US supreme court handed down this week, the gay wedding cake case and travel ban cases were the latest battles in the culture wars that Republicans long have waged. The Janus decision declaring that public sector employees cannot be required to pay fees to the unions that represent them went beyond culture to the very meaning of the American government and how Republicans define it.

Since the 1930s, when then president Franklin Delano Roosevelt promised to break the hold of moneyed men on the government and broker “a new deal for the American people”, a cabal of reactionaries resolved to destroy the new government Democrats created. Roosevelt’s New Deal regulated business, protected social welfare and promoted national infrastructure on the principle that the role of government was not simply to protect the property of the wealthy, but rather was to promote equality of opportunity for all. The popularity of both Roosevelt and his agenda showed that Americans recognized that the government must rein in the runaway capitalism that had brought the nation to its knees.

Julia Hudson=Richards: House Republicans Are Still Fixated On Making It Harder For Poor People To Eat

House Republicans have kept busy on the sidelines these past several weeks while most of us trained our focus on the immigration crisis.

On June 19, the GOP proposed a plan to “balance” the country’s budget over nine years that would eviscerate Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid in order to pay for the more than $1 trillion Republican tax cut that most analysts say will benefit the wealthiest Americans.

Then, two days later, the House voted 213-211 to pass a sweeping farm bill that, if enacted, would institute huge changes to the nation’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) ― America’s primary food program that is more commonly referred to as food stamps.

The Senate has its own farm bill, approved on June 28, that is much more bipartisan in agreement and that doesn’t include those aforementioned significant changes to SNAP.

But to pass a version at some point this year, the two chambers are going to have to find some common ground amid an election season that sees all 435 members of the House and one-third of Senators up for re-election.