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How The Right Created Trump

I was in Italy when Conor Friedersdorf published this article about the Trump phenomenon [1], and missed it. In it, Conor argues that Conservatism, Inc., cannot easily divorce itself from the vulgar, sometimes abusive rhetoric employed by Donald Trump. It has been exploiting this kind of thing for years, for the benefit of the GOP. Excerpt:

For years, I’ve argued that talk radio hosts like Rush Limbaugh, Fox News, and websites like Breitbart.com pose a significant threat to movement conservatism. All movements are vulnerable to populist excesses and the self-destructive impulses of their core supporters. Good leaders can help to mitigate those pathologies. Bad leaders magnify them.

Within movement conservatism, hugely popular intellectual leaders abandoned the most basic norms of decency, as when Mark Levin screamed at a caller that her husband should shoot himself; stoked racial tensions, as when Rush Limbaugh avowed that in President Obama’s America folks think white kids deserve to get beat up by black kids on busses; and indulged paranoid conspiracy theories, as when Roger Ailes aired month-after-month of Glenn Beck’s chalk-board monologues.

Erick Erickson now complains that many Republicans are supporting “a man of mountainous ego” who “preys on nationalistic, tribal tendencies.” But this is what happens when millions of people spend a decade with Bill O’Reilly in their living rooms each evening and Ann Coulter books on their nightstands for bedtime reading. Let’s not treat it as a mystery that their notion of what’s credible is out of whack.

And the more respectable conservatives have rationalized it. Conor cites a 2009 Jonah Goldberg column defending the crackpot conspiracy theorist Glenn Beck, then in his heyday. Read the Friedersdorf piece for the quote, but Goldberg basically says this kind of rhetoric is not that big a deal, and besides, it’s for a good cause (conservatism).

More Friedersdorf:

Today, the very pathologies that conservatives who should’ve known better indulged as a matter of shortsighted convenience are being exploited by a reality-TV populist whose agenda is far from “libertarian.” His ascension poses an existential threat to movement conservatism. And he cannot be stopped in part because, over many years, conservative media trained its audience to respond to tribal signaling more than rigorous debate; to reflexively dismiss any complaints about speaking disrespectfully about others as bogus “political correctness;” to respond to mainstream-media criticism of public figures by redoubling their trust in them ; to value the schadenfreude of pissing off ideological opponents more than incremental policy gains; and to treat Sarah Palin as a credible candidate for the vice-presidency.

This is true. Read the whole thing. [1]

You can’t build a movement on the rage and unreason of radio talkers and expect that the weaponized grievance will stay pointed at liberals only. I deeply sympathize with what the prominent anti-Trump conservative radio talker Erick Erickson is going through now, having to hire security guards to protect his home after threats from Trump fanatics. [2] As someone who has been in the same position, but having to deal with an LGBT fanatic who objected to my columns, I know how difficult that is to deal with. Nobody, on the right or the left, should have to deal with it, should be made to feel unsafe in their own home.

Let me be clear: I do not blame the victim — Erickson — for this kind of thing. [2] But folks like him should reflect on what they have done to create the kind of atmosphere in which conservatives feel they are justified in behaving this way. (To be sure, the left is guilty too, but that’s their problem; this is on us). Here’s the most infamous example of his rhetoric, from years ago, when he was running RedState:

The nation loses the only goat f*&king child molester to ever serve on the Supreme Court in David Souter’s retirement.

Now, I’m sure he regrets having tweeted that. A year ago, Molly Ball at The Atlantic did a good piece on Erick, [3]talking about how he burned out on the anger, and entered seminary. Excerpt:

He knows he has a tendency to get worked up and take things too far. He regrets calling Souter a child molester—he apologized for the comment back in 2009 and still considers it his biggest mistake. “At times, I need to do better,” he told me. But he is of two minds about this, because he also refuses to kowtow to the perpetual-outrage machine of modern politics, and he suspects that many of his critics only pretend to be offended in order to discredit him. “I could say the sky is blue and someone somewhere would get mad,” he said.

He also told me he has matured under the public eye. “If you read my more recent stuff, as opposed to my older stuff, I’ve grown up,” he said. During the Ferguson protests in August, he wrote a sensitive and outraged blog post titled “Must We Have a Dead White Kid?” decrying police-state tactics. “Given what happened in Ferguson, the community had every right to be angry,” he wrote. “Just because Michael Brown may not look like you should not immediately serve as an excuse to ignore the issues involved.” Many RedState commenters objected, insisting that Brown was a lawbreaker who got what he deserved.

“A lot of conservatives are now where liberals were after 2004—hysterically angry about things they have no business being angry about,” Erickson told me. “I think if you believe in a heaven, a hell, a savior who died and rose again, and a last day on which you’ll win because he wins, you probably should spend a lot less time getting worked up over the temporary politics of the here and now.”

I asked him about his increased focus on religion. What was he searching for? Erickson said he felt “called” to learn more about the faith that forms the backbone of his world view. “Some of my most-read posts involve faith,” he said. “At some point, I just accepted that I have a ministry, even if I never get in a pulpit.”

But:

He says that, and then he goes right on throwing stones. In September, while substituting for Limbaugh, Erickson opined on the radio that minimum-wage workers didn’t warrant sympathy, because they were mostly either high-schoolers or people who deserved to be where they were. “If you’re a 30-something-year-old person and you’re making minimum wage, you’ve probably failed at life,” he said. The week before that comment, Erickson had begun his seminary courses.

Again, please do not misread me: I am not saying that people who use inflammatory language deserve to be threatened in their own house. No, no, no. What I am saying is that Conor Friedersdorf is right: if conservative Establishmentarians fear and loathe the coarseness of Trump’s rhetoric, they need to look at themselves in the mirror and ask why they didn’t object to it when it was helping them raise money and elect Republicans.

I think it’s also true that Democrats who don’t object to the foul rhetoric from left-wing activists are going to come to regret it when it gets turned on them one day. On campus today, you can see the old-school liberals shouted down by the young radicals. Sooner or later there is going to be a left-wing candidate who does not have the decency of a Bernie Sanders — and he’s not only going to be taking aim at Republicans.

So, how about it, Erick? How about a piece reflecting on the role of populist emotionalism on the Right, in creating the Trump phenomenon?

94 Comments (Open | Close)

94 Comments To "How The Right Created Trump"

#1 Comment By Neuroendocrinologist On March 21, 2016 @ 10:25 pm

What some commentators here seem to be missing is the reciprocal relationship between the radio personality and his audience of millions. There is a positive feedback loop that exists between the audience and the radio personality that amplifies ideological positions, reinforces concepts, and stokes anger. The monetary success of these radio personalities makes their right-wing rhetoric all the more likely.

#2 Comment By M_Young On March 21, 2016 @ 11:12 pm

I don’t know if my previous comment…a long one… was spiked.

At any rate, the Left seems to be immune from these sorts of charges of whipping up hate. Yet ctual city and suburb blocks can burn. Political rallies can be violently disrupted. Yet no one questions the rhetoric put out by MSNBC, HuffPo, Daily Kos, even the former AG of the US.

[NFR: I didn’t spike it. I’ll see if the spam filter got it. If there were lots of links in it, that’ll explain it. — RD]

#3 Comment By M_Young On March 21, 2016 @ 11:14 pm

“I wouldn’t take this “both sides do it” too far. Yes, there is some foul rhetoric from left-wing activists, but they are far from the mainstream, mostly marginalized, and little attention is paid to them.”

The Left spent this summer whipping up hatred. Not the ‘marginalized Left’, but HuffPo, DailyKos, Young Turks, the NYT, up to and including the former AG of the US. City and suburb blocks burned, cops were shot.

#4 Comment By Adwilson On March 21, 2016 @ 11:49 pm

Connor obviously doesn’t have an ear to new York politics. This is for local elections, of course it can’t be that it would ever be proposed for national elections… [4]

Used to be illegal aliens couldn’t get drivers licenses, free healthcare, welfare, etc…

Nothing to see here, move along you right wing fanatics.

As to the claim above that left wing ideology begets pacifism. I vividly remember the 60’s riots, the 70’anti-war protests, the eighties protests against anything Reagan did or said, the environmental protests in the nineties (and later) the Bush protests, occupy wall street, Ferguson…

I also remember the tea party leaving the national mall nearly spotless after a huge rally and then witnessing what that same space looks like after the left held a rally there. No comparison.

The republican establishment lied to its base, now the base is going to tear the establishment down.

The real question is whether the republican establishment will try to elect Clinton. If they do, the republican party will be a minority party for a long time.

#5 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On March 22, 2016 @ 12:35 am

Excellent post. Its all true.

#6 Comment By teddy On March 22, 2016 @ 12:49 am

Funny thing is, is all this angst and handwringing on the Right. It’s all we ever seem to do. The Left doesn’t. They’re pretty much lock step with one another on the base issues. And because so, for them the candidate, at the end of the day, really doesn’t matter. Just as long as the GOP doesn’t win, “it’s all good.” Bottom line: The GOP doesn’t really believe in anything. Well, other than claiming to be “true patriots.” Hell, you can’t even get the contributors to this very site, who supposedly hold generally the same ideological stance, to agree on anything. So what does that say about the rest of the Right? Nothing good, that’s for sure. Nothing good, that is, if we actually want to our message to be heard. Why? Because there is no Message, only messages. This isn’t an issue for the Left.

#7 Comment By Anne On March 22, 2016 @ 2:48 am

@anon_fac,
Uh, no. This has apparently become too hard for some on the right to even comprehend. But trust me: Republican pols criticizing the behavior of their Republican opponents or what they assume is wrong with society at large or those on the other side of the political spectrum is NOT comparable to Obama criticizing leftwing censorship (!).

#8 Comment By robcrawford On March 22, 2016 @ 3:14 am

I agree: the GOP and conservatives need to introspect about how they spawned Trump. It will be a long and agonizing process, but it is the only way to renewal.

#9 Comment By Rhoderick Gates On March 22, 2016 @ 3:42 am

It disturbs me in any society that politics descends into insults, boos, jeers and sneers, belittling. And so on.

Just make the argument. There’s no need to engage in juvenile name-calling, politics swear words and so on.

#10 Comment By MH – Secular Misanthropist On March 22, 2016 @ 6:49 am

According to the web traffic stats I found the DailyKos has daily site visits in the hundreds of thousands, while Rush Limbaugh has a listener base of tens of millions daily. In a single city Rush will reach more people than DailyKos reaches nation wide.

#11 Comment By PA Moderate On March 22, 2016 @ 6:59 am

I think that right-wing media is on of the more obvious contributing factors to Trump. It has created an environment in which no claim is too outrageous. Facts aren’t important. Good policy isn’t important. Sticking it to/pissing off “liberals” (which is anyone who disagrees) is though.

As far as a left vs. comparison goes, from my view in the middle I don’t see this kind of behavior as much on the left as I do on the right. I know far more right leaning people than I do left leaning people, so it’s possible that I just see this more on the right because of that, but it doesn’t seem that way to me.

#12 Comment By JonF On March 22, 2016 @ 7:06 am

Re: Used to be illegal aliens couldn’t get drivers licenses, free healthcare, welfare, etc

Actually it used to be they could get drivers licenses– until the RealID of 2005 was implemented. They still do not qualify for welfare benefits. And what free healthcare are we talking about? Millions of people would love know about that mythical beast. I suspect you are thinking of EMTLA (a rather old law) which requires emergency rooms to treat all people to the point of stabilization. But that treatment is not free. You will be billed for it, and if you can’t/don’t pay bill collectors will hound you forever with such tenacity the ancient Furies would approve.

#13 Comment By Sawbuck On March 22, 2016 @ 9:03 am

Mr. Dreher:

I have been listening to talk radio for years and have to take note of the fact that I decline to include Rush Limbaugh under the “angry talker” umbrella. He (and Rush has said this.) is an entertainer, and his show is both newsy, insightful and mostly FUNNY. He has in his 25+ years on the air (and I listened to him when he was local in Sacramanto, CA in my college years.) and his goal then, as now, was to point out hypocrisy – on both sides of the aisle. he still does.

It has always amazed me that the media insists on paining him as a thought leader in the Republican party – he isn’t at all. The party generally ignores him, otherwise they would not be in the mess they created. Give him a listen for one week. You will find no anger at all. He is a showman, and a good one at that.

Your comment about being in a bunker somewhere north of Coeur D’Alene struck a nerve. Idaho is a lovely state, and that panhandle region is one of the most unspoiled parts. Yes, some famous white supremacists set up shop there and have been mostly run out of there now. Are you going to pick on the Illinois Nazis, or the few remaining Klansmen in Louisiana, or the polygamists in Utah? I understood your point, but it was a cheap shot – and honestly beneath you.

#14 Comment By ADCWonk On March 22, 2016 @ 9:14 am

Sorry — I just don’t buy the left-right equivalency here. Trying to say that MSNBC is just like a lefty version of Fox is ridiculous. For starters, MSNBC gives a daily three hour time-slot to Morning Joe, hosted by conservative ex-congressman Scarborough (who gives Trump a whole lot of air time).

And to equate some websites (Salon, HuffPo, DailyKos) with the likes of Rush Limbaugh is ridiculous. Rush has more listeners than any daily broadcast in the US (also broadcast by Armed Forces Radio Network (!)), gets to give keynote addresses at places like CPAC, gets lionized by, say, winning the William F. Buckley, Jr. Award for Media Excellence, and so forth.

The question is who has impact: Rush, Coulter, Levin, Hannity, et al have much much more impact than some liberal websites.

#15 Comment By Ken’ichi On March 22, 2016 @ 9:29 am

>>Lee

History is like a pendulum. It swings to the Left, then it swings back to the Right…

That’s just the way it is and always has been.

Oh really? Then how do you explain the progress made since the Enlightenment? When are you expecting the “swing back” to the Divine Right of Kings of the “pendulum” of history? To cuius regio eius religio? To a restricted franchise? Right-wing “backlash” is always smaller than the Progress of the Left, if you look at the very long run, it’s not a pendulum as a ratchet of progress toward a better future.

#16 Comment By Andrew S. On March 22, 2016 @ 9:49 am

Pont Speedchunk wrote: “The communists, the free-bleeders, the Folsom Street paraders.”

This cracked me up. Are you the last dues-paying member of the John Birch Society? And who exactly are the “free-bleeders”? But seriously, if you read Conor Friedersdorf, you’d know that about 75% of his published work over the past couple of years has dealt specifically with the excesses of the PC Left.

#17 Comment By Pseudonym On March 22, 2016 @ 10:44 am

On the source of the angry, reckless populism of the Trump movement:

The Friedersdorf piece makes for an interesting contrast with [5] from today, in which he lays the blame for the angry and even violent populism of the Trump movement at the feet of the achingly respectable curators of mainline Republicanism.

His counter-narrative is that the Tea Party movement represented a bourgeois, ideas-focused expression of the anger and frustration boiling across the nation, one that valued and sought to preserve our Constitutional traditions and public order. As its proximate cause was the Federal bailout of the large Wall Street lenders and speculators at the expense of responsible average taxpayers, it spoke to one of the legitimate grievances of Trumpers, that both parties rig the system in favor of the globalist financial elites at the expense of the little man. But precisely because it was touched off by an angry rant about bail-outs by a shabby futures trader, associated with the chalkboard meanderings of Glenn Beck, and cheered on by the disreputable talk radio set, the movement was held in contempt by Right-leaning cultural elites like David Brooks, and treated as little more than useful idiots by the institutional GOP. The party was happy to take their votes and make them promises, and then continue to pursue the policy and governing agenda of the National Chamber of Commerce without a second thought.

In essence, Reynolds says that, far from encouraging the angry rhetoric of the radio talkers, the priesthood of Chamber of Commerce Republicanism treated the Tea Party as useful idiots. They felt free to disregard TPers’ very real concerns because they were associated with and expressed in the disreputable, demotic language of talk radio. In doing so, the party plowed under a positive, bourgeois populism, preparing the soil for the negative, nihilistic populism driving Trump.

So there is the contrast: on the one hand, movement conservatism encouraged and even adopted the angry rhetoric of populist pundits in a bid to widen its appeal; on the other hand, institutional Republicanism treated those who had no other language in which to couch their concerns as light-weight rubes to be jettisoned at the earliest convenient opportunity. One wonders which is more at fault.

#18 Comment By Nicolas On March 22, 2016 @ 10:47 am

More troublesome is that respectable Republicans have no problem keeping company with John Bolton, Dick Cheney and other bloodthirsty savages in suits and ties. Heritage and AEI are the dignified face of U.S. imperialism.

#19 Comment By VikingLS On March 22, 2016 @ 10:59 am

“There are certainly way out people among the Dems – but nothing like the birther stuff”

While the right, including Trump, picked up on the birther nonsense, it started with Hillary supporters in 2008.

“Generally speaking the Dems do not propose permanent troops in Iraq (Rubio) or carpet bombing of Syria (Cruz) or invading Ukraine/Georgia (McCain). ”

Clinton actually does support a no-fly zone in Syria and her state department helped overthrow the elected government in Kiev. She pushed for the war in Libya that not only has left that country in chaos but also spread to neighboring countries like Mali.

The left talks a good game about peace and restraint, but usually when there’s a conflict in the end they go along with the “let’s show the country WE’RE better at war than the Republicans!” crowd of which both Clintons are very much part.

#20 Comment By VikingLS On March 22, 2016 @ 11:04 am

Do you all remember a while back when Rod wrote something critical about Sara Palin and Mark Levin singled him out? Remember all the angry posts from people that obviously knew nothing about Rod or TAC accusing him of being liberal elitist?

People may have legitimate grounds for being angry but that doesn’t mean the things many of them ARE angry about are real.

#21 Comment By VikingLS On March 22, 2016 @ 11:14 am

“Uh, no. This has apparently become too hard for some on the right to even comprehend. But trust me: Republican pols criticizing the behavior of their Republican opponents or what they assume is wrong with society at large or those on the other side of the political spectrum is NOT comparable to Obama criticizing leftwing censorship (!).”

Rand Paul has opposed domestic spying, the use of drones and the drug war since before he was elected. Liberals have done little but mock him.

I think the reality is the progressives don’t want changes they would approve of to happen if the wrong people are going to get credit.

#22 Comment By MH – Secular Misanthropist On March 22, 2016 @ 11:36 am

Andrew S. asked:

And who exactly are the “free-bleeders”?

A Google search shows it originated as a 4Chan hoax to mock feminists about the tampon VAT tax. There are claims some feminists fell for it, but given it’s 4Chan it might be part of the hoax.

#23 Comment By Pseudonym On March 22, 2016 @ 11:44 am

Andrew S. says: And who exactly are the “free-bleeders”?

Sir, please believe me when I tell you that you do not want to know.

VikingLS says: Rand Paul has opposed domestic spying, the use of drones and the drug war since before he was elected. Liberals have done little but mock him.
I think the reality is the progressives don’t want changes they would approve of to happen if the wrong people are going to get credit.

As a wise man once said, “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” What a pity that the progressive left cares more about maintaining their enemies list than halting creeping fascism.

In a better world, Rand Paul would have been the nominee this year. What a pity that most of the libertarian populists who rallied ’round his father turned out to care more about the populism than the liberty.

#24 Comment By Michael Guarino On March 22, 2016 @ 11:52 am

Rand Paul has opposed domestic spying, the use of drones and the drug war since before he was elected. Liberals have done little but mock him.

I think the reality is the progressives don’t want changes they would approve of to happen if the wrong people are going to get credit.

Not only that, but he is probably the most active lawmaker opposing it. Remember his filibuster attempt?

#25 Comment By JonF On March 22, 2016 @ 12:54 pm

Re: In a better world, Rand Paul would have been the nominee this year. What a pity that most of the libertarian populists who rallied ’round his father turned out to care more about the populism than the liberty.

The problem is that Rand Paul in particular and libertarians in general have no program to alleviate the immiseration of the working class. In fact they are opposed in principle to such measures.

Re: Oh really? Then how do you explain the progress made since the Enlightenment?

Actually, the pendulum did swing back to the Right for a good long while after 1815. Starting in 1830 it swung back left again.

#26 Comment By ADCWonk On March 22, 2016 @ 12:54 pm

Rand Paul has opposed domestic spying, the use of drones and the drug war since before he was elected. Liberals have done little but mock him.

That’s just not true. Liberals understand they have an ally with Paul on some issues, and they understand that Paul has bravely bucked the rest of the GOP on those issues.

In fact, when Paul stood against some of the excesses of the Patriot Act, it was the GOP-hawk wing that excoriated him (e.g., Kristol: “Rand Paul has now decided he wants to be a liberal Democrat”; Sununu: “Senator Paul is also an advocate of gutting the defense budget. He’s in fact to the left of Obama on both of those issues”; Andrew McCarthy: “Rand Paul is laughably wrong when he insists the NSA program violates the Fourth Amendment”). See “The Daily Dot’s” article “4 surprising reasons Rand Paul might be the liberal candidate you’re looking for” ( [6])

Or, see The Daily Beast’s “How Did Rand Paul Become a Liberal Hero?” ( [7]) from which the following was excerpted:

And it has won Paul some plaudits in unlikely corners, with stalwart liberals like Medea Benjamin writing that Paul should be commended for his anti-war stance. The liberal website Truthdig.org has regularly praised Paul’s stances, and the site’s founder, New Left journalist Robert Scheer, has regularly sung the Kentucky Senator’s praises on a nationally syndicated radio show he appears on.

“I have a lot of problems with Rand Paul,” said David Sirota, the liberal author and blogger, citing his positions on the economy and on a woman’s right to choose. “But I think that on issues concerning national security and the domestic security state he is as right as anybody in the Congress—and there aren’t a lot of people in Congress who are good on those issues.”

#27 Comment By KD On March 22, 2016 @ 1:23 pm

{Sarcasm.] Yes, if only the right still had enlightened voices like W. Lee O’Daniel and Father Coughlin, instead of Levin and Limbaugh, the political discourse would be so much more civil and respectful.

#28 Comment By Fran Macadam On March 22, 2016 @ 1:34 pm

Right wing talk radio didn’t create the viability for a Trump campaign. Bipartisan duopoly neoliberal and neoconservative policies that haven’t served most of us well are the culprits. All that was lacking was a viable candidate who could buck the status quo elitists and Trump was it.

#29 Comment By Adwilson On March 22, 2016 @ 1:44 pm

JonF, the healthcare is still free even with the hassles. Also there are numerous news stories about illegals getting huge subsidies for their health insurance. I may be a fair amount older than you, the prospect of illegals getting drivers licenses is a reasonably new phenomenon -20 years or so. As to welfare, the Center for Immigration Studies lists the illegal immigrant headed household welfare percentage at over 60%.

#30 Comment By KD On March 22, 2016 @ 4:02 pm

Here is an interesting quote from an article in Vox:

At the time, I was writing a book about the politics of drug prohibition. I started to ask Ehrlichman a series of earnest, wonky questions that he impatiently waved away. “You want to know what this was really all about?” he asked with the bluntness of a man who, after public disgrace and a stretch in federal prison, had little left to protect. “The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”

[8]

The “silent majority” schtick was all based on anti-Black, anti-hippie sentiments. That kind of politics just doesn’t play nationally anymore.

There has always been the Mainstream “I’m not racist, but. . .” and the ethnonationalist base, and the Mainstream conservatives have always courted approval from the cosmopolitan liberals, and disdained their actual voters (Nixon is a case in point), but let’s stop pretending.

The issue of Trump is about the Mainstream Conservative movement losing control of the ethnonationalist base in a way that conflicts with the interests of the rich donors. This is causing the fracture in the GOP, not talk radio.

#31 Comment By Eugene On March 22, 2016 @ 4:03 pm

“Sooner or later there is going to be a left-wing candidate who does not have the decency of a Bernie Sanders — and he’s not only going to be taking aim at Republicans.”

He already exists, but hopefully Florida Democratic primary voters will slow his rise: [9]

#32 Comment By KD On March 22, 2016 @ 4:14 pm

I’m not trying to single out the GOP here, the Democrats have an even stronger ethnocentric/ethnonationalist base that they explicitly appeal to, but it is more fractured than the GOP base. However, ethnocentrism, ethnic nepotism and ethnonationalism by Democratic constituency is deemed “anti-racist” activities by the MSM, will the same behavior by GOP voters is deemed “racism”.

I don’t see much benefit in arguing the point, because it is about political labels, not about describing social phenomenon in anything like neutral language.

Race + Power to cast your enemies as “racist” in the MSM = “anti-racism”, so far as I can tell.

#33 Comment By grumpy realist On March 22, 2016 @ 4:27 pm

Um, for those of you having a fit about “illegals” getting health care…..have you thought about what would happen if they didn’t? Especially with something nicely infectious like TB? Or (god forbid) Ebola?

Which is ALSO why if they come to the hospitals we don’t immediately hand them over to be deported, either.

Think about it.

#34 Comment By JonF On March 22, 2016 @ 4:36 pm

Re: JonF, the healthcare is still free even with the hassles.

No it is not. In fact it’s an abuse of language to call it free. As long as there is a viable (not dismissed in bankruptcy) bill with your name on it you have not received anything free.

Re: Also there are numerous news stories about illegals getting huge subsidies for their health insurance.

I question the veracity of those stories. I applied for assistance under the ACA in the summer of 2014, when I was unemployed. It was not a rubber stamped. I had to provide a valid Social Security Security that matched my name and birth-date (similar to E-verify) and provide other evidence of my circumstance (my termination letter; a 1099 showing the residual ongoing income I was still claiming). In a nation of 320 million people, as I like to say, anything that does not violate the laws of physics will happen so no doubt someone, somewhere has gotten away (at least temporarily) with defrauding the ACA exchanges. But it’s also perfectly irrelevant to the argument. The stuff is against the law, full stop. It is not evidence of public largesse being given to illegal immigrants.

Re: As to welfare, the Center for Immigration Studies lists the illegal immigrant headed household welfare percentage at over 60%.

The Center you cite is a notoriously partisan interest group (for some reason I get emails from them; I’ve read their boilerplate). One might as well cite a PAC composed of billionaires on the wondrous efficacy of cutting rich people’s taxes.

#35 Comment By panda On March 22, 2016 @ 4:54 pm

“Also there are numerous news stories about illegals getting huge subsidies for their health insurance”

I’m sure you won’t mind citing some!

#36 Comment By Joan On March 22, 2016 @ 8:35 pm

I remember how, in the 1970s, when our lease on the Panama Canal was up, there were right wing writers calling the process of turning the canal over to its actual owners, in accordance with the treaty we signed, a “give-away”. They argued that we shouldn’t go through with it, that because of all the money we’d invested in it, we should be entitled to just keep it and anyone suggesting otherwise was a traitor. When the process was complete, they claimed that every member of Congress who voted in favor of it (and that means most of them) did so out of a desire to weaken this country. So this kind of thing has always been around.

#37 Comment By jrm On March 22, 2016 @ 9:58 pm

“illegal immigrant headed household”

I see what you did there. Households contains American citizens (entitled to welfare) might be headed by someone who overstayed a visa(not a crime).

The question is how many illegal immigrants are legally drawing welfare. That would be zero.

The rest of your stats are even more bogus.

#38 Comment By Tim McFalls On March 22, 2016 @ 10:00 pm

No, the cowardly, weak GOP Establishment created Trump. As for Eric Ericsson, I could care less.

#39 Comment By Adwilson On March 22, 2016 @ 11:40 pm

JonF, I don’t have much time to respond but… If you don’t pay for something, it is effectively free for you. I quickly pulled up a GAO report from the 90’s that stayed that 1.1 billion in welfare (AFDC) went to illegal alien headed households. The news stories I referred to about the illegals getting subsidies were all mainstream media, not right wing.

#40 Comment By JonF On March 23, 2016 @ 9:58 am

Re: If you don’t pay for something, it is effectively free for you.

No, if you don’t pay AND ARE NOT BILLED, them it’s free.

As someone else pointed out above, that “welfare” is actually going (in nearly all cases) to American citizens who are in a household headed by someone who is not a citizen.

#41 Comment By Adwilson On March 23, 2016 @ 11:00 am

JonF, We can talk semantics all day with regard to free, or stolen, or debt. It would be interesting to know how exactly the welfare for the anchor babies is conveyed. Are the accounts in the name of the parent (illegal?) Still somewhat a moot point since in most states any earnings of a minor child is legally owned by the parent.

#42 Comment By JonF On March 23, 2016 @ 1:00 pm

Re: It would be interesting to know how exactly the welfare for the anchor babies is conveyed.

I couldn’t tell you on this, though presumably it’s the same as for all other minors. Ideally, that should be an “FBO” labeled check (nowadays that would be an electronic advice) and the accounts into which it is deposited should be in the child’s name with the parent as legal guardian. Legally such an account is available to the parent’s use with no restrictions that I know of. I had a minor’s bank account with my parent’s name on it, and my parents in fact borrowed money out of on one occasion (but told me about doing so as I was old enough to understand). Minors are presumed incapable of giving consent so the issue of a child’s consent is moot.

#43 Comment By David M On March 23, 2016 @ 3:31 pm

@Adwilson: “It would be interesting to know how exactly the welfare for the anchor babies is conveyed.”

Anchor babies are by definition American citizens. Seems to be a massive shifting of the goalposts here. They are just as eligible for benefits as every other citizen, including yourself.

#44 Comment By Jay L On March 23, 2016 @ 7:54 pm

Short and sweet – FOX and company set out to make news, especially political news, entertainment. Is it any wonder that after they succeeded we get so called reality show candidates?

Business-wise it is a giant success but the cost in the real world looks like it is to high and people wonder how countries go bad – look into the mirror. All our problems can’t be solved in a one hour episode, some can’t even be fully explained in that amount of time. So just have your candidate say ‘It will be wonderful, I can do it just trust me. Besides the other candidate is stupid, a fool and ugly.