Scenes from the class war

What my dad didn’t tell us was that those rich people who lived in those nice houses were the real hard workers in the world (unlike himself and his brothers) and if we worked as hard as those wealthy folks we could be just like them and live in a nice house, and not a $35 a month apartment, and we could drive a big car that we actually owned and maybe even someday have a color TV.”

“Hacks like Sumner served the plutocrat class of the first Gilded Age; hacks like Caplan serve the plutocrats of the second Gilded Age.”

“Mitt Romney’s tax plan would be a boon for the wealthy, but a tax hike for 95 percent of Americans, according to a new nonpartisan study.”

To Mitt, we’re all Palestinians.”

“That is so different from what my book actually says that I have to doubt whether Mr. Romney read it.”

“If you go into this running river of sludge deeply enough, it no longer matters whether you are a racist or not, as long as you’re so obviously promiscuous about performing as one on the public stage.”

“The Simpson/Bowles deficit reduction plan is ‘really a guide to cutting services and benefits for the working and middle class while protecting the interests of the wealthy.'”

Do Simpson-Bowles fans know what’s in it?

The health-care law, she says, has brought her business some relief.”

“Conservatives have lately taken to mounting the bizarre argument that giving health care to low-income poor people doesn’t improve health outcomes.”

That is a day that will live in infamy, along with those other dates.”

“On the question of extending the wind production tax credit — an important issue for Iowans because of the roughly 7,000 jobs tied to the state’s wind-energy industry — the two candidates have made their positions perfectly (and diametrically) clear: Obama supports it and Romney does not.”

“The voter ID push, along with intimidation of voter registration groups and purges of voter rolls have only one goal: blocking legitimate but probably Democratic voters from exercising their constitutional rights.”

It’s the closest you get in democratic politics to mortal sin.”

The previously noncontroversial idea that local governments, particularly in metropolitan areas crossing many jurisdictional lines, needed to get together to ensure that their infrastructure investments, development policies, and demographic expectations were roughly on the same page, is now being regularly described as an assault on private property rights, and yea, even on golf.”

“If you accused climate scientists of conspiring to ‘intentionally mislead the public on the issue of climate change,’ but are yourself a Koch brother-backed conspirator for the 1 percent, you might be Paul Ryan.”

“Republicans are willing to just flat-out lie about what he said. It’s impossible to self-edit your remarks enough to avoid it.”

If Lewis Carroll wrote a script for a presidential candidate, it’d look an awful lot like Mitt Romney’s.”

Chronicling Mitt’s Mendacity, Vol. XXVII

Chronicling Mitt’s Mendacity, Vol. XXVIII

Chronicling Mitt’s Mendacity, Vol. XXIX

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  • SisterCoyote

    Why do mansions always seem to get built on hills?

    There’s a really rich town a few miles over. The houses are bigger, and the elevation is higher – and the higher up onto those hills you drive, the bigger the houses get, until you hit the giant ridge that looks down over the state capital (and most of the surrounding land), and the houses thereupon are literally built like castles. This pattern is followed all over the state. Where there are hills, the houses get bigger on top of them. Housing developments built on hills could make very neat graphs. It’s weird at first, and then really infuriating on a not-quite-conscious level as it sinks in.

    It’s really difficult not to read a massive “We’re better than you in every way” vibe from that whole thing.

  • PJ Evans

     Where I live, and in most of the rest of the state, the hills may wear mansions, but those are the houses most likely to burn or slide downhill.

  • Incidentally, George R. R. Martin rips into the Republican party over poll blocking:

    It would really be nice if there were still some Republicans of conscience out there who would stand up and loudly denounce these efforts, a few men of honor and integrity for whom “win the election” does not “win the election at any cost.” There were once many Republicans I admired, even I disagreed with them: men like Everett Dirksen, Clifford Case, Henry Cabot Lodge, William Scranton… yes, even Barry Goldwater, conservative as he is. I do not believe for a moment that Goldwater would have approved of this, any more than Robert A. Heinlein would have. They were conservatives, but they were not bigots, nor racists, nor corrupt. The Vote Suppressors have far more in common with Lester Maddox, George Wallace, John Stennis, and their ilk than they do with their distinguished GOP forebears.

  • The_L1985

    That thing about contraception coverage being a problem deeply angers me.  Because of ACA, I no longer have to pay a monthly fee to my pharmacist for the “privilege” of actually being able  to work every day of the month, instead of being anemic, too dizzy to stand, and doubled over in pain.

    I’m one of the lucky ones, in that I am able to use a generic ($10) brand of BCP with no side effects.  What about the women who have to take $90 pills, either to safeguard their health or to avoid producing children (which are even more expensive than the pills)?  How heartless do you have to be in order to consider Giving Poor Women Contraceptives to be a bad thing?

    Actually, don’t answer that.  As an ex-Catholic, I’ve seen how easy it is to convince caring, Christian people to believe horrible things about others.

  • The_L1985

    Don’t forget gated communities.  The houses may not be as big, and they may not be on hills, but there’s a strong implication, especially in the richer ones, of wanting to get away from those people.  You know, the ones without loads of money.

    That’s what’s really meant by “gated communities are safer”–“poor people can’t get in, and we ALL know poor people are the ones that commit crimes.”

  • Don Gisselbeck

    If Paul Ryan works as hard as a Montana logger, he should make as much.

  • Fusina

    As someone whose Mother in Law died of breast cancer, sister in law has just been diagnosed with a second round of breast cancer, and also mother of a daughter, I sincerely hope that the ACA remains around. Because otherwise, I don’t know if my daughter will even be able to acquire health insurance.

  • Azraelmacool

    Oddly enough, in the city my sister lives in (Bloomington, its in Indiana), the hills are where the poor neighborhoods are. I mentioned this once to her. She thinks it has something to do with the way the hills are formed or something.

  • How heartless do you have to be in order to consider Giving Poor Women Contraceptives to be a bad thing?

    I have always assumed that a lot of the religious motivated hullabaloo about contraception has to do with confusing the the rule for the conclusion.  In the absence of reliable contraception, sexual infidelity leads to surplus of babies and confusion over who sired whom and therefor where responsibility lies.  Thus, sexual infidelity is considered a Bad Thing and rules are put up to try and regulate sexual contact to avoid it and minimize potential damage to the community.  Fair enough.  

    The problem they run into is that with reliable contraception, the situation changes and sexual promiscuity is no longer the potentially destabilizing force it once was, and thus social rules surrounding it need to be re-evaluated about what kind of things might do damage to the community.  However, the old rules have been enshrined as sacred for so long, it seems like the rules themselves ought to be the be-all and end-all, regardless of changing circumstance, largely forgetting why those rules were created in the first place and trying to come up with rationalizations to keep them relevant.  

    But this is also a two-for-one deal, since not only is it encouraging the use of contraception, it is also *gasp* giving poor people things without expecting something in return.  Sooooo shockingly immoral, I know!  :p

  • Tonio

    Your first paragraph is more charitable than I would have been. That was an era when women and children were the property of men, and those rules seem designed to prevent wives from conceiving by men other than their husbands. In such societies,  the protection of paternity might have benefitted the children and their mothers, but only because the system was gamed in favor of men as to preclude any benefit from any other arrangement. Similar to how the practice of child bridehood in some countries, horrific in and of itself, is often seen as preferable to even worse options like coercive prostitution. Or how in Western countries for centuries, life outside of marriage meant poverty for women since they were locked out of most professions. 

  • aunursa

    I was going to respond to the opening paragraph of the link about the Palestinians.  But I decided that I don’t feel like wading into another Middle East war of words right now.

  • Baby_Raptor

    Pretty much anything can be sold under the twin guises of “SAVE TEH BABBIEZ!” and “Because Gawd said so.” 

  • I am no good at accepting arbitrary rules.  “Because I said so,” never works for me.  So when I am given a rule, I try to deconstruct why such a rule might have been formed, and to what end it is meant to accomplish.  Thus, when there is some religious mandate given, I tend to assume that in the context it was originally adopted there must be some reason to it, some social good it served.  

    Where a lot of religions and I tend to disagree is when I question whether something still serves a beneficial purpose now, or has it passed the point where it is still useful?  

  • reynard61

    “Why do mansions always seem to get built on hills?”

    Military Tactics 101: Always take the high ground.

    I would guess that rich people see it as a “Dominate the Land”-type thing — y’know, “A Man’s home is his Castle” and like that. If all them dirty po’-folk try to come a-crawling up when The Revolution Comes, it’s easier to pick ’em off from the high ground than it is from the low — assuming, of course, that Obammy hasn’t kicked their door in and confiscated their guns.

    Holy shit! Did I actually write that second sentence?!?!?! *stuffs inner-George Wallace back in his box and heads for the Brain Bleach*

  • Baby_Raptor

    You were in character. Comfort yourself with that.

  • reynard61

    “(…E)ven Barry Goldwater, conservative as he is. (sic) I do not believe for a moment that Goldwater would have approved of this (…) They were conservatives, but they were not bigots, nor racists, nor corrupt.”

    Really?! Then please explain to me why Goldwater opposed the Civil Rights Act and voted *against* making MLK’s birthday a national holiday when it came before the Senate?

    Corrupt? Probably not. Neither bigoted nor racist? Hmmmmmmm…

  • reynard61

    “You were in character. Comfort yourself with that.”

    That’s hardly a comfort! It’s damned *scary!*

    *goes to apply more Brain Bleach*

  • The_L1985

     Oh, but BCBS does expect something in return.  My premiums went up by $5.  Less than the cost of the medication (so I’m still paying less each month overall), but still definitely an increase.

  • The_L1985

     I have the same “problem.”  Dad was a “Because I said so” kind of person, but Mom always realized that I needed to know why something was bad.

    My problem was, I tended to assume that “Because I said so” meant that something wasn’t actually wrong, I just needed to not do it in front of the person that said that.  Especially since my father generally prefaced the new rule with “I don’t ever want to see you doing that again, do you understand me?”

  • christopher_young

    Oddly enough, in early modern Europe the elite tended to leave their castles on hilltops and move into mansions on low lying country – security being less of a concern, and convenience and nice parkland more of one. This was a thing, that historians have written about.

    If that process is going into reverse, we might be advised to start worrying seriously about what these people have in mind.

  • Tonio

    While I don’t know why he opposed the MLK holiday, Goldwater’s stated reason for opposing the Civil Rights Act was about limits on federal power. Since that was consistent with the rest of his stated political views, I doubt that his argument was merely a subterfuge or rationalization like the “states’ rights” segregationists. But ultimately Goldwater’s motives don’t matter – what matters is that his stance, if enacted, would have perpetuated injustices based in skin color. The stance was racist because of the effect it would have had.

  • I am a transplant patient with End Stage Renal Failure. I am currently disabled, but how long I will retain that status, and the Medicare coverage that comes with it, is uncertain.

    I am working with my doctors toward becoming able to work again, so that I can become self-sufficient, which will require that I be able to obtain private health insurance.

    Pre-existing condition clauses are literally a matter of life or death for me.

  • connorboone

    Here’s one I came across via Wil Wheaton’s tumblr –

    There’s class warfare for you.

  • Lori

    My standard comment about insurance companies is that they’re a career for people who have the morals, but not the spine for joining the mob. That story does nothing to change my mind.

  • I think Goldwater’s position is the kind of position that only a privileged white guy could have had at the time. I think it’s easy to take such rigid ideological stands when you’re immune to their effects. I would take them more seriously if people like him ever took stands like on issues that would hurt them and their family personally.

  • LL

    RE the first link: among the many reasons to despise the Republicans, even more so in the last few years, is this insistence that really rich people work harder than the rest of us, that’s why they’re rich. While I’m sure many of them are very hard-working, I doubt most of them work 10 or 20 times as hard (or more) than the rest of us shmucks. 

    I work (in an office) about 9-10 hours 5 days a week (sometimes a bit more than that). I do OK, I make $40k+. But I don’t think for one second that I work harder than somebody making minimum wage at McDonald’s, or some guy picking fruit in the Imperial Valley. 

    That’s why hearing the words “class warfare” from any Republican fills me with a little bit more contempt for them every time. Their self-regard is repellent. And they keep doubling down on it. I even feel a bit of contempt for any Republican voters stupid enough to believe their claptrap. I should feel sorry for them, but since many of them seem determined to help take us all down with them, I don’t. 

  • AnonymousSam

    At the worst point of my own income, I was waking up at 6 AM and working steadily until midnight for $20-25 a day, six days a week. I wonder, at what point was my hard work going to catapult my income 125000 times its value? I’m pretty sure there weren’t too many Republicans working 108 hours a week for $600 a month… before taxes.

  • Amanda

    I remember being told somewhere, I think it was in some college class, that the richer neighborhoods are at higher elevations than the poorer neighborhoods because sewage runs downhill. These patterns come from back in the day before we had good water systems, you see. For example, here in the Austin, TX area, the rich side of town is the west side, and the poor side of town is the east side (which was previously the segregated black side of town). There’s a faultline right down the middle of the city, so the west side is hilly, and the east side is flat, and this geology affected how the city was settled from the very beginning. Basically, poor people always live downstream of rich people, and get all their crap that runs downhill to them. Or so the hypothesis goes.

    Also could be related to how the hilly west side of town is pretty and scenic, and the east side was traditionally farmland (hard to farm on hills), so that’s where the poor farmers lived, while the people who could afford to not farm got to build their houses in the pretty areas.

    I wonder if this pattern holds up in other cities in other parts of the world. I bet it does.

    (Personally, I think the hills are much prettier when they don’t have big-ass mansions slapped on top of them, but that’s just from my perspective, as one of the peasants looking up at them from the other side of the faultline.)

  • PJ Evans

     Fortunately the area I grew up in didn’t have mansions on its hills (at the time, it had rangeland and hay-production). Still doesn’t have mansions on the hills, but last time I was there for a weekend, I was surprised to see a vineyard on one of them.